“It’s most unlikely you will ever regain full use of your arm”, the orthopedic specialist said in a bored tone. As if he’d pronounced this diagnosis thousands of times and it was of no emotional consequence. I had broken my hand, arm and elbow in 6 places in a car accident, and also sustained substantial nerve and soft tissue injury to my neck. The bones healed quickly and cleanly and did not require surgery, the rest not so. “If you still have bad pain in 3 months, maybe we make operation to repair some nerve damage.”
That was never an option.
FFWD to yesterday, when I took my first yoga class in the 11 months since his prognosis on the day the cast came off.
I have worked HARD on my arm rehabilitation, and it has been painful, to say the least. I have carried full buckets of water with that arm until I have, after 7 months, finally been able to straighten my arm and open my elbow fully. I participated in phase one of an INCREDIBLE natural healing clinical trial with Dr Zulia Frost, using Near Infra Red Light and FlexBeam, and have made incredible progress, to the point of being almost pain free. More about that when the trial is completed and I’m allowed to tell – Phase 2 starting soon.
I have self-massaged my hand, arm, neck and shoulder several times per day – for a year! – with Magnesium Chloride Spray and my own essential oil blend, and soaked my feet DAILY in magnesium sulfate to soften the spikes of nerve pain. The magnesium has been incredibly helpful over time, and enabled me to find a much deeper level of restful sleep, which is when the body works its healing magic best.
I have envisaged my arm strong, straight and functioning fully with mindfulness and clear intent.
But yesterday, I started on the next level of natural healing towards full function – I returned to yoga class with a clear focus and purpose to work on my alignment.
Injury manifests imbalance. In the quest for a return to full function and wholeness, it is not always easy to spot one’s own imbalance. The beauty of a regular yoga class, as opposed to personal mat time at home, is the gentle correction towards alignment – feeling how off real alignment felt yesterday, made me realize that I have quite some muscle training on my “weak” side to do before I can sustain that new alignment without discomfort. Kru Jaew gently gave correction through the class to all of us, so we could feel where real balance is, and begin finding that ourselves.
Mindful use of language is important too, in the journey of injury recovery. Today I decided to no longer talk about “pain” in my arm. Today I simply have some discomfort (in some unexpected places!) after stretching and really working my whole body hard yesterday.
So how did I do? Khun Ritthee, the owner at Amaravati, snapped some pictures of me in the class so I can send them to Dr Zulia, along with my profound gratitude.
But this last picture? I’m not sure I quite believed I’d be able to do this so quickly, but I did! And I breathed into the discomfort. And smiled. And allowed everything to settle around my breath.
The flow of energy – equal and steady – is the basis of all natural health and natural healing. The practice of yoga is so much more than physical movement – it’s a mindfulness and harmonization of breath, life, light, energy and body. At its very core, it is the practice of alignment.
Funnily enough, as I left Amaravati Wellness Centre for the 5 minute drive home, I saw something that I had never noticed before. They have a replica of a famous Chedi at their entrance:
Yesterday, I noticed that the spire rises straight, towards light and wholeness, from a completely lop-sided and lumpy base!! I understood that Chedi at an energetic level for the first time ever. And I found myself laughing and feeling better, knowing that one can achieve alignment and wholeness from anywhere without the requirement of perfection, and even from an injured, unbalanced beginning.