It’s amazing how the universe works. When I opened up to healing, more information of different healing modalities was revealed. A friend of ours was seeing a chiropractor schooled in Network Spinal Analysis (NSA), which is a gentle touch modality, more like acupressure, and unlike “regular” chiropractic practices of adjusting the spine and neck manually. Network care is very focused on energy in the body – where it is blocked and where using that energy can assist in the healing process.
I had seen a regular chiropractor for adjustments for over 15 years. After the wasp sting, I found that my body could no longer sustain the new position of my spine or neck after the adjustment for longer than about 24 hours. Then I was immediately back at the doctor’s office complaining about the pain having returned. And adjustments with bones cracking began to feel too harsh on my body. I needed a more subdued but effective method to keep my spine in alignment, and to help me with the back pain I was experiencing. In the spring of 2014, I decided to try this Network doctor after our friend had shared such positive experiences.
I had never participated in any energy work on my body other than chiropractic adjustments. When I had tried yoga, I found that my body revolted with so much pain I couldn’t continue. I was really hopeful that I wouldn’t experience that level of pain with NSA, but was willing to go forward with the hope of truly getting to the bottom of all my back pain.
What I discovered was a healing of the blocked energy in my spine and a cue to my body to wake up and reconnect during each entrainment, (the term that an NSA doctor uses for the healing session). This type of work initially required a commitment of appointments of 30-60 minutes a couple times a week since I had been so sick. And yes, I experienced different levels of physical and emotional pain as parts of my body began to wake up as I had more awareness of my body. I would lay on the table and begin to cry. Many times, I’d walk out of the doctor’s office and have to sit in my car for 30 minutes allowing myself to come back to the present before I could drive home.
The doctor suggested that I remove the lift from my shoe that I had been wearing for nine years. I was nervous at first to do that for fear of back and hip pain returning, but I followed her suggestion and progressively improved. Soon, I was able to take walks again around my neighborhood. That was a huge step for me since I had been unable to walk for even short periods of time. I was still experiencing back pain, but it wasn’t near as debilitating as it had been.
I continued with this particular Network doctor for four years before realizing that it was time to move forward to find another NSA doctor to take me to a higher level of healing. I had a lot going on in my body, and I had reached the limit of knowledge of this doctor. I came to understand how much stress was stored in my body, and this first NSA doctor wanted to force some of my painful areas to release. It was too harsh for me, and I wanted someone who was gentler with the process.
I researched and found another NSA doctor in Denver, Dr. Rick Munn, who trained with the founder (Dr. Donald Epstein) of this modality. The level of my healing was catapulted into another dimension within a few weeks of seeing Dr. Munn. He is very calm and kind, and his office space is very soothing with soft meditation-like music in the background.
He would gently touch various spots on my spine and tell me to breath into a spot where he felt stored energy. I began to connect more to my body and to the energy flowing in my spine. I was able to relax and connect with all the feelings that my body was experiencing. I began seeing him once a week in late winter of 2018.
Two months after I started with his practice, I fell and severely sprained my right ankle. I learned that injury can increase mast cell activity, and for me that meant that my gut immediately began activating mast cells. Additionally, it was springtime and the pollens were just starting to proliferate. Trying to manage my upset gut from pollen allergies along with my ankle pain was very frustrating. I needed to increase my antihistamines and mast cell stabilizer (Ketotifen), yet I wasn’t able to take any NSAIDs for pain and swelling. I felt like I had enough to manage with my stomach issues, and berated myself for not paying closer attention to where I was walking when I fell. Beating up on myself for an accident wasn’t the best course of action, but that’s the pathway that my mind chose when something is out of my control.
I used Arnica Gel on my ankle to lessen the pain, bruising and swelling. I also iced, rested and elevated my foot. It was a good lesson for me to listen to my body and to not overdo my activity since I couldn’t take a pill to feel better and minimize the pain. I had never fallen before and had no experience with walking with a boot on my leg. I discovered that the difference in height between my leg with a boot and my regular shoe wasn’t helping my back in the least. The old lower back pain returned. And I wasn’t very coordinated with walking with a boot, and didn’t feel steady on my feet. It was really difficult for me to sit still, yet getting around with that darn boot wasn’t working either.
Within days after I fell, my daughter drove me to Dr. Munn’s office. He immediately wrapped my ankle in an infrared light therapy compression wrap for 20 minutes to oxygenate the cells and to assist in healing. And he completed an entrainment on my entire body and suggested that I rest more and walk less.
For the next 24 hours after the infrared light therapy, my ankle felt a whole lot worse with more pain and discomfort. I thought I’d made a mistake allowing him to do that therapy. Then, the day after that, it felt so much better and the swelling lessened noticeably. For the next several weeks, I visited his office twice a week getting the light therapy compression wrap each time, and an entrainment.
The orthopedic doctor that I visited suggested that I get a wheelchair, especially since my son was going to be graduating from college just a few weeks from that appointment. I told the doctor about the Network doctor that I had been seeing, and the infrared light therapy. I got another one of those raised eyebrow looks that I became so accustomed to seeing. He said that I wouldn’t be able to drive for 9 weeks after the sprain to ensure that my foot had good command of feeling the accelerator and brake in a car. I thought that sounded excessively conservative, and set out to at least be walking by my son’s graduation.
Within 4 weeks of the severe sprain, I was walking into the arena at my son’s college graduation without a boot on! It was a slow walk, but a walk nonetheless. While it did take a few more months for me to be able to get back to my walks in the neighborhood, I learned that my body does know how to heal, especially with the help of Network care and infrared light therapy. I had forgotten the simple fact that my body is primed to heal itself! I had been managing the MCAS and EoE for so long without being able to add any more foods to my diet, which was my definition of healing, and therefore thought that my body no longer could heal any issue inside it. It was a great lesson for me to see that healing does occur, and it’s the natural process of the body. I got back to my once a week entrainment with Dr. Munn, and the back pain that had been a constant companion disappeared. My gut would feel so much better after an entrainment, and the result would last for several days. I began to have hope that I could get better. He was willing to provide a space for me to heal without trying to fix me. He allowed my body to naturally reveal its secrets at its own pace.
Somato Respiratory Integration (SRI) is another modality that Dr. Munn taught me. It is a series of breathing exercises, spinal movement and touch to assist in being aware and connected to the body. I was able to practice these exercises in between weekly entrainments, and they helped me to become and remain conscious and aware of the energies in my body. When I would feel anxious or upset, I’d take a few minutes to check back in with my body through SRI. I would soon find myself yawning, meaning that my nervous system was calming back down.
NSA and SRI are not quick fixes for the body. There have been times when I’ve really wanted to just have a magic Harry Potter wand waved over me and to feel all better; however, it’s been important for me to learn how to ask my body “what do you need?” and “what are you trying to tell me?” and, even more important, to learn how to listen. Learning how to sit quietly and with a gentle purpose was the next step in my healing journey, so that I could hear the answers to these questions that I was posing. The results have been profoundly positive as I raise my consciousness of health at levels I never knew existed.
To read about healing through meditation, click here.