I recently had the distinct displeasure of a bout of food poisoning. I knowingly went against my own better instincts, (a painful mistake) – which was to avoid all imported seafood from a certain part of the world. This unfortunate tale, and my recovery process, may be of interest to practitioners and clients alike.
It was late afternoon just before closing time at a seafood store I like to purchase from. They usually stock a fresh marinara mix from their offcuts which was what I was intending to purchase however it was late and most of the products in the long display had been returned to overnight cold storage. Another customer was in the shop and this particular lady was asking questions about products that weren’t available at that time of the day when the staff where on their last procedures before closing the doors. I waited patiently while this woman dragged the chain and eventually I had my turn.
“Do you have any marinara mix?”, I asked, as none was visible in the display.
“Yes, I think we do, – we’ll just have to find it.” I waited for 10 minutes, – an inordinately long time in the scheme of things and finally a man appears with a frozen pack of marinara mix…and I froze with it.
“That’s not exactly what I was thinking”, I stuttered. By this stage, however, a sense of obligation overwhelmed me and the correct answer,”Oh – thanks for going to all that trouble but that’s not what I’m after” did not pass my lips and I made the purchase.
When I got home (a fifteen minute journey) I read the packaging, identified it was a Thai seafood import and expressed my disappointment. My dubiety demanded a closer inspection and I decided to go ahead with dinner in the absence of other suitable alternatives.
The next morning I awoke early with mild intestinal discomfort. By the afternoon I was well aware that my situation wasn’t good. By the evening I was in significant pain. The following day I ran like a tap. By that evening I fell into bed and spent the night drenched in sweat. I awoke knowing I was now on the other side of the illness. My body had broken the spell and a recovery process of sorts began. Though not everything quite recovered. My intestines felt, quite literally, scarred.
During the seminar that followed shortly after my illness, I became aware that everything was moving reasonably well in my body with the exception of my abdomen. My abdomen was restricting my breathing. I didn’t and hadn’t felt much like eating. I noticed that I was losing muscle mass and that the exercise routine I engaged in was more difficult to complete.
When it came my turn to receive a treatment I requested some work on my abdomen. My practitioner (Gina) found a tight mass around my belly button. Any movement in excess of its small parameters registered as pain, however my practitioner applied gentle yet definite jiggling motions suggesting movement to an area of obvious compaction. My nerve and a pocket of my intestines had become very tightly bound, courtesy of my food poisoning, and charcoal, slippery elm and other supportive concoctions had helped, but not effected a complete recovery. This compacted residue was, I was aware, compromising my overall wellbeing. Now, as I lay supine on the table, these compressive effects were beginning to lift. I felt a surge of sensation run down the back of my left leg. My breathing became easier and fuller, I could feel the tight mass in my abdomen changing – these gentle jiggles were allowing a ‘lifting’ sensation to pervade and release the compacted area. My practitioner then had me lay on my side, and more of this mass was addressed from a different relationship to gravity. And the relief expanded. I declined the request of my practitioner to roll again onto my back as my whole body was now experiencing such a remarkable sense of wellbeing and relief, I just couldn’t consent to changing anything at this moment…
In just a few short minutes I felt able to roll again onto my back. As the work continued I became aware of the distinct sense of needing to burp. I knew, as one can through such a direct experience of their own body, that the unravelling of this mass was now allowing what was trapped in this area to start to move again….and burp I did, and again the sense of relief grew. Everything changed from this point. My appetite returned. It was easy to breathe. And once again I experienced the value of having the benefit of a ‘hands-on’ approach for restoring me to balance. The greater education here, that of aligning my communication and actions with my instinct – is a behaviour I decided to strengthen.
In our family, and in our other social relationships, (and of course, professionally) we use hands-on approaches frequently to address people’s circumstances in surprisingly efficient and unexpected ways.