Around 1990 I had the great good fortune to have an appointment with the legendary osteopath James Jealous D.O.. I told hime my wrist had been hurting badly. He looked at it, he felt it, he went into deep pause: Then using a screwdriver as an example he talked about body mechanics. “You start a screw with this grip, drive it with this grip, finish setting it with this grip. Keep an eye on yourself.” He didn’t do a miraculous adjustment to fix my wrist but I took an interest, I watched and two days later, while splitting firewood I saw and felt it. I use a lightweight splitting maul and that had allowed me pick up a horrible habit. Change habit, end of pain. And…. opened up a whole new world for me!
When we adopt a wellness lifestyle, when we seek healing, we find that everything has to change, it’s a different paradigm. It’s participatory, you have to be proactive, take an interest, embrace it, be willing to make changes and, be willing to sit with the discomfort. Sitting with the discomfort is not necessarily easy, so let’s dangle a carrot: The discomfort is your doorway to life changing information. The rule is, when we approach not to fix, but to heal, while the symptoms may change for the better, it all becomes secondary to the measurable changes that the journey through that door will bring in terms of healing and quality of life. Life just gets better!
Botox looks like a simple fix for the vertical creases in the center of your forehead. But if you decide to be curious, an acupuncturist will tell you that actually your Liver Qi, your liver energy, is far from at ease. Life could be much better. A swollen nose with a red tip - information. Generous lips with red lipstick may be sexy, but they are also information. The rumblings in your stomach, the clench, squeeze, clamp are valuable information, especially if you begin to be curious - when, what does it connect with, what’s going on? The information has always been there, you just have to bring out your little professor, be interested, be curious - When? Why? Who? What else is going on? What’s the pattern? What are the connections?
As an acupuncture practitioner I often have a good guess at what’s connected to what but I can’t tell you. I can guide, drop hints, ask questions, but you have to stumble upon it. When you see it and you feel it, you are moved, you are empowered: “That’s not acceptable. I’m hurting myself. Absolutely I’m willing to make changes.”
When the lady with rheumatoid arthritis catches that her flare-ups are not random, but connected to her inner world, it can change her life. But it required curiosity for her to get there. For the man whose life was perfect except for the panic attacks, I couldn’t give him my take, I had to just keep tilling the soil. He had to be curious, make friends with the little dogs that snapped at his heels as he approached the doorway. He had to sit with paradox and confusion until they let him through. Can’t use force, just have to have patience, compassion, and curiosity!