Peeling the Layers of an Onion!
I started my healing journey thirty-plus years ago when I walked into Cynthia’s yoga class. I had been on medical leave from my teaching job diagnosed with gastroparesis, a very scary-sounding diagnosis – aka stomach paralysis. I was taking a medicine that was causing depression. Most days I could not get out of bed. At that time, I had three young children. Thanks to my husband Mark for his support of our young family and me during this dark period of my life. The first few times I joined the yoga class, I could only manage about ten minutes of the yoga practice and then I would lay in the back of the room either in child’s pose or on my back listening to Cynthia’s lyrical voice. I was in physical pain, and I wanted to feel better.
Most of us can relate to the desire to avoid and get better from physical pain. However, most want to be rid of it immediately. However, I have come to realize that the healing journey is not quick because most pain is multi-layered and must be peeled like an onion.
Chronic pain is not like acute pain, where if we break a bone or catch a cold, we treat it and expect to recover shortly afterward. With chronic conditions and pain, seeking similar solutions often leads to years of frustration and dashed hopes of finding the one thing that will relieve our suffering.
So What Does Work for Chronic Pain and Conditions?
Uncovering all the layers of pain and developing tools to heal physically, emotionally, energetically and for some, spiritually has worked for me and for thousands who have turned to modalities like Yoga Therapy. The Yogic Therapeutic Healing system includes tools for working with all these layers or in the Yogic System, Koshas. I am currently taking a 12-week intensive course in the Art and Science of Yoga Therapy learning these tools to continue my healing journey and to help others. This course is being taught by one of the most respected yoga therapists in the world who is also known as the father of Mudras—Joseph LePage. Just look him up and you will see why many consider him the foremost expert on Mudras. He has written the ultimate reference guide to Mudras for Healing, which I use so often with students that I have lost the cover of the book. (More about Mudras in next week’s blog post).
Here is how therapeutic Yoga addresses chronic health issues:
Whether working with a chronic knee condition or chronic stomach disorder like Small Intestinal Bacteria Overgrowth (SIBO) or a sleep disorder—yoga therapy might start with some physical poses to help heal physical discomfort. Breath practices would be added to work on the physiological systems of the body. However, the yoga sessions would go further adding practices to uncover and address unhealthy thoughts, emotions, beliefs, and patterns, and offering tools to access your body’s intuition for what is needed to heal. Energetically, we might explore how comfortable or uncomfortable you are in each of the Chakras (subtle energy centers) in your body. We might do an exploration like this one in discovering where in your Chakra system is an energetic blockage toward healing.
In my classes and sessions, I also add tools from the HeartMath system of healing and the Polyvagal approach to healing the nervous system. So, if you are wanting to become more empowered in your healing journey, you might consider taking my yoga classes or scheduling a private session with me. You will get more than just physical postures. You will be gently guided into all the layers of healing that will ultimately bring you back to safety in your body so that you can live more joyfully no matter what your diagnosis may be. Check out my yoga offerings here. Check out my HeartMath services here. Check out my Health Coaching here. While descriptions of these services are on separate pages, I have recently decided with my clients, it is better to offer all three to heal the whole person.