For a while now, I’ve had some discomfort in my right shoulder, which I’ve been passing off as soreness from my workouts and from sleeping weirdly. At times I’ve even asked people if I look crooked, because that’s how I feel. When I went to see my iridologist, she pointed that out to me, which I was surprised about, because she saw that by looking at my iris—and that’s when I knew I could whole-heartedly trust her. She then referred me to someone who could possibly help me out through Integrative Bodywork, so I made an appointment to go in for a consultation. As I was filling out the intake form, I was suddenly enlightened and a little pissed.
One of the questions was “Have you ever been abused?” For those of you who have been following “Love, Justine” since before it became “Love, Justine” know this, but for those of you who don’t, two and a half years ago I got out of an abusive relationship. On the back of the form, where it asks for your John Hancock, it also asks, amongst other things, that you understand “emotional memories are often stored in body tissues, and that the process of Integrative Bodywork will sometimes bring those issues to [your] awareness.” As I learned in the consultation session, this can range from you falling of your bicycle when you were a kid, to something much more traumatic.
So, I was enlightened, because I didn’t know this before and thought it was very interesting. I was pissed, because the first thing that came to my mind was that I should’ve thrown the son of a gun in jail and filed a criminal and civil lawsuit against him. Long after forgiveness has been given, and happiness achieved and locked down, it seems I am still paying for the physical and emotional abuse in ways I had no idea about. Don’t worry, I wasn’t pissed for long, as I reminded myself just how happy, blessed, and beautiful my life is right now. I mean, I seriously couldn’t have dreamt it better. I don’t think anyone could have.
Anyways, I had a great consultation meeting with the Integrated Bodyworks specialist, and was further enlightened when I learned that some of the issues that my iridologist has helped and is helping me out with are very much correlated with the shoulder discomfort. She also answered another question I’ve been having problems with, but didn’t think it was something to ask her about. Sometimes, I have trouble breathing, as if all the air is in my chest, and I can’t get any air down to my diaphragm. It’s become worse lately, to the point where sometimes I catch myself not even breathing at all because it takes too much effort to have to take such deep breaths, for every breath, in order to feel like I’m properly breathing.
What I’ve learned is that the shoulder discomfort goes much deeper than just in my shoulders. In fact, she said it’s my left side that has the problem, which is causing discomfort in my right side. Apparently, my first rib is out. I’m not really sure how that happened, but the imbalance in my body is affecting my adrenal glands and kidney—the very things that, if you read my “BIONIC Woman” post (http://www.lovejustine.com/4/post/2012/09/bionic-woman.html), are what I’m currently taking care of as instructed by my iridologist—and thus my breathing is also affected.
Different from a physical therapist, integrative bodywork is “a form of manual therapy that incorporates various facets of healing w/ Structural Integration… Structural Integration is a somatic practice utilizing fascial manipulation, awareness, and movement education.” Basically, it is designed to restore balance and functionality, by aligning and integrating the body in gravity. Therefore, instead of just working on my shoulder, where I am feeling discomfort, she will work on my whole body to help me get my body back to functioning properly, because there’s a relationship between the connective tissue and the other structures that, when in alignment, brings balance to our entire body. As she explains it in her brochure, if you have neck pain, and you’re only “fixing” the issues in your neck and upper back, you’re not really solving the issue, because “ your head needs to come into alignment with the rest of the body to ease the tension on the neck, which unfortunately is caught in the middle. Of course, that means the torso needs to rest on the pelvis, and the pelvis needs to be balanced on the legs and feet. Therefore, healing the neck usually starts in the feet.” Integrated Bodywork, is great for athletes!
So now I’m even further excited about having answers to my problems, and even more excited about having a way to fix them, and get my body entirely back in order. It’s amazing the toll stress can take on our bodies.
I thought this was important to share, because I think it’s important to understand the dynamics of healing, and also body awareness. Sometimes, we ignore or pay little attention to “minor” injuries, but in reality they are not so minor. In my former relationship, I was left with bruises, but no broken bones—and I went to therapy to help me take care of the emotional and mental harm done—I just never thought that all of these bodily issues I was and am now experiencing can all be traced back to a common denominator. It’s just something to keep in mind. Also, if you or someone you know has gone through a traumatic experience, there’s a lot more to healing than we sometimes think about and realize. I think people tend to focus on, or give greater weight to, just the physical or just the emotional and mental healing, depending on what the trauma was, and forget that both are often equally important. I thought I was done healing after almost a year of therapy, and then finally being able to give forgiveness; but apparently there’ still some healing to be done, hiding in my body tissues.
As I’m always telling people who come to me for fitness and health advice, pay attention to your body. Body awareness is so important. We’re such incredible machines, and it’s a shame not to allow ourselves to move at our full potential. Remember the bigger picture in anything you do. And remember to take care of your body, mind, and soul as a whole, for there are few things we can function without, and still be whole and well.
As a complete side note: This may sound weird, but I’m actually really curious to see what memories Integrated Bodyworks will stir up in me. It’s completely fascinating to me.
BIG LOVE & BIG HUGS