The Power of Self-Healing – A Client’s Journey To Wellness, Part I

Following a hit-and-run, head-on car collision in 1997, I joined the ranks of millions of  Americans living with chronic pain. Turning to both the conventional and complementary healthcare system, I soon found myself spinning through a nightmare common to those seeking chronic pain relief. I was misdiagnosed, refused tests, dismissed as a hypochondriac, physically injured, emotionally traumatized, and financially drained by the very practitioners who were supposed to help me heal. As a result, I ended up not only in pain, but also in despair.

By 2005, I had sunk so low that contemplating suicide had become as much a part of my morning routine as drinking a cup of coffee. That year, a friend dragged me out of my urban apartment–which I had become afraid to leave–and took me to a bodywork retreat in the middle of the desert. The morning after we arrived, I participated in a gentle yoga class that ended with a meditation.

“Feel the ground beneath you,” the teacher guided. “Feel the weight of your body pressing down, feel the sensation of the mat on your skin.” He paused for a moment. “You are not the ground. You are not the mat. You are not the weight pressing down. You are more than this.” As he led the group through numerous other sensations, each time reminding us that we were more than any of them, I was so in the moment that it took a while to notice my pain had disappeared.

Throughout the previous decade, I had tried physical therapy, yoga, acupuncture, Feldenkrais, swimming, weights, qigong, chiropractic, tai chi, and other modalities as pain management techniques. I knew how much effort it took to reduce pain through natural means. So how could someone just talk me out of it?

Recognizing a crack in the cement of my incessant suffering, I felt enraptured. Something magical existed in a realm beyond what I’d experienced up until then, I knew, and I could access it myself if only I could find the gateway.

Days after the retreat, still fresh with the possibility that an alternative was out there, I dusted off my iPod, strapped on a knee and ankle brace to help stave off the pain that inevitably would come with motion, and headed off to the beach. Something happened along the way: I danced.

It was a flashback to life before the car crash, before the slew of physical injuries and emotional traumas I’d accumulated over the years. Maybe it was the music. Maybe it was the fresh recognition of possibility beyond reality as I had known it. Maybe it was both.

Once at the beach, I pulled out my journal, and began furiously writing about my experience in the desert. When I couldn’t write any more, I closed the book, walked to the water’s edge, and let out a deep, long yell from my gut–releasing anger, pain, and suffering, and expressing the joy of new possibility.

Somehow, the yell morphed into me running down the beach–running! Once upon a time I’d jogged 12 miles a day down those same shores, but it had been almost 15 years since then. Certainly over the previous two years, I hadn’t jogged at all, I’d barely been able to walk three blocks without excruciating pain forcing me to stop.

So there I was running from one side of the beach segment to the other–full of surprise and gratitude, crying and praying my heart out–when the run transformed into a dance. And not just any old dance, but the furious leaping-twirling-stomping dance of days gone by, when my body reflected the manifestation of my spirit. Where had it all come from?

The Dance
Over the next few months, I learned to reconceptualize dance as something other than leaps, twirls, and fancy footwork. I danced at my edge, wherever that edge was on any given day–even if it meant standing in place and dancing only with my arms. Once I began dancing, I usually found my edge of limitations moving out farther and farther. It was not unusual, in fact, to start off barely able to move and to end up bouncing around my living room. As consistently as it happened, I was always startled by the transformation.

Once I discovered that dancing, above and beyond all else, could help me heal, I became very curious as to why. Primarily, I wondered if the healing power of dance was the product of vibrations from music. That in turn led me to become very curious about the potential of healing vibrations emanating from everything and everyone–sky, trees, water, people. I started experimenting, seeing the world around me as one big, fat radio, and working to tune my dial into those “stations” with healing frequencies.

Essentially, it was a shift in consciousness: I recognized the possibility that something powerful existed beyond the realm of (and yet always had been a regular part of) my daily experience. I invited and made myself receptive to a very particular field of energy. I began walking around like a sponge of sorts–my soul asking (nonverbally) everything and everyone around me if they had some healing power to share, then opening to the energetic vibrations that came my way.

Whenever I was able to really tune in–to flowers on the sidewalk, to fish in the ocean, to smiling people walking by, to healing spirits traveling the earth–I felt immediately calmed and soothed. I felt powerful, hopeful. I felt my body healing. Once, when tuning in to the healing vibrations of stars in the sky, I was able to actually see the vibrations, like physical matter I could cut with a knife.

I also came to discover that I could harness the energy of anger and pain, using it to heal myself. I would transform the anger or pain energy into healing energy, then send that energy into the pain source. Within minutes or seconds, the pain would melt away, leaving me feeling empowered, elated, and in awe.

Experiences like those were so powerful, and so out of the realm of so-called “reality,” they often confused and scared me. Sometimes I shut down after experiencing them. Often, I decided that I had just made everything up, and that any relief I had felt was simply coincidence.

I especially doubted myself because my ability to do a repeat performance was highly erratic. Sometimes I would do my little abracadabra and make the pain vanish immediately–poof! Other times, I would focus and concentrate, then concentrate and focus, only to be left sprawled on my couch like a drunken sailor, belting out an off-key rendition of “I Can’t Get No Satisfaction.”

It was only last year, after I read a book by Adam DreamHealer–a distant energy healer and best-selling author of three books on energy healing–that I began to take myself seriously. As a young boy, this energy worker had all kinds of freaky experiences: objects would fly toward him, his bicycle would suddenly flip in the air while he was riding it, lots of weird stuff that nobody initially believed.

Meanwhile, for years, his mom had regular and excruciating headaches. She would go into her bedroom, lie down, and scream in agony. Nothing could be done to relieve her pain. One day, when his mom was in the middle of an episode, DreamHealer instinctively went into her room, put his hand on her head, and energetically pulled the pain out. His mother immediately stopped screaming, and, as I understand it, she never had another headache episode again.

Forge Through The Doubt
My power to tap into universal energy certainly was not as developed as DreamHealer’s, but after reading his book, I was able to recognize that I had not made up my abilities. I set off on a mission to find people who could help me understand and consistently access my self-healing powers.

I was looking for a guide, a coach, someone to teach me techniques. What I encountered, however, were practitioners of various modalities who wanted me to surrender to their “mastery” (in one case, to the tune of $250 an hour) and to defer to their platitudes about why I had experienced trauma in the first place. I decided, instead, to put my journalistic skills to use. I read books by, and personally interviewed, a cross-section of doctors, bodyworkers, and energy healers during my mission to uncover the mechanics behind the self-healing I had experienced, to understand why it was so difficult for me to trust that experience, and to learn techniques to consistently manifest self-healing.

I discovered that practitioners refer to this self-healing power by many names: energy healing, mind-body medicine, positive expectant faith, consciousness, positive intention, quantum healing, vibrational healing, and connection to the source. Some don’t even call it anything–asserting that by naming it, we limit its power and potential.

Continued tomorrow in Part II . . .

By Loolwa Khazzoom, a professional writer, editor, and blogger. She also is the director of Dancing with Pain (www.dancingwithpain.com), through which she blogs about and offers workshops on natural pain relief for both chronic pain patients and the healthcare professionals who treat them. For more information, visit www.loolwa.com.

By Loolwa Khazzoom
Originally published in Massage & Bodywork magazine, September/October 2009. Copyright 2009. Associated Bodywork and Massage Professionals. All rights reserved.
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