I used to share a lot of these, but it's been a while. I'm still "doing the process" of healing, as my osteo and those close to me have come to call it. It's anything but easy. If I stop doing it, I am certain my improvement will no longer continue, and over time I would relapse after a major stressor.
I wrote a lengthy post here about how I suspect I have some sort of cavitation or infection in my jawbone, and natural ways I'm attempting to address it. One of them was:
Work on correcting the habit of tensing my face inwards (weird, but it's the only way I can describe it). If I relax my face, it feels like I'm emotionally falling apart. This is a lifelong habit that I suspect interferes with my body's self-healing mechanisms there.
That night, as I worked hard on relaxing into that, I began yawning massive yawns, uncontrollably. I couldn't even do it lying down, I had to sit up. I yawned FAR larger than I ever thought possible, it started to become very painful. But my body desperately craved it at the same time. I was whimpering from the pain and the disorientation of my body doing this. I could also tell that it was deeply healing.
Finally I decided it needed to stop for the night, and so I simply pulled myself out of that meditative state. I slept very deeply and woke more rested.
The treatment I found most helpful to getting me from a bedridden state to working part time has been cranial osteopathy, which is a process of releasing trauma from tissues. But it only works if you let it happen by following what your body wants to do, no matter how odd. My osteo would be able to work on this all day and if I didn't let myself risk emotionally fall apart, this sort of healing would never take place.
Over the course of the next 5 days or so, the sites of my wisdom tooth extractions from about 8 years ago ached and tingled. I now still yawn way deeper than I ever have before, but it only leads to relaxation and is no longer painful.
After the yawning breakthrough, I discovered there's more involved than just my face. As I meditated on the notion of not "holding myself together" on a continuous basis - which I realized is exhausting and I've been doing it most of my life - I realized my entire sternum was involved too. In fact, whenever I came close to relaxing the death grip on energetically holding myself together, my breathing would change dramatically. It felt like breathing loosely and freely would feel so good, but wasn't safe to do. When very young I had learned to breathe in this tense way to keep myself together. Now, over a decade later, it still feels necessary.
Meditating on this and practicing the loose breathing resulted in emotional breakdowns, and sometimes panic attacks. I often cannot bring myself to do with while alone. Too unbearable. But I could feel the healing happening way down deep in my bones, relaxing things I never knew it was possible to relax. My sternum releases massive amounts of heat when this is happening, something my osteo calls the "toaster effect". It has something to do with all that stored energy finding its way out. Internally, it feels like a massage is happening way down deep inside.
My three days of work were killer this week, even with the final two being shorter hours. This always happens when my body is shifting (our word for structural change). I don't immediately have more energy. Rather, the initial effect is I rest deeper, my body relaxes more, and functionality dips downward because my body needs it to. I physically feel better, but my body gives me a hard NO for doing stuff that previously I could get away with. Pushing during this stage can undo all that hard work. The improved functionality and more energy comes later, once the body has re-built that part of itself.
This morning I woke up and was working on the loose breathing and the meditating on not holding myself together. My sternum feels loads looser than it did. But now my diaphragm is involved, and my abdomen is starting to, as well. There were sharp pains and very uncomfortable stretching as my body tried to figure out how to accommodate this different way of being. As I worked on it, the origin of this strain popped into my head, in fact I couldn't stop thinking about it, though I hadn't remembered it until now.
There was a phase in my life where I was under immense pressure and everything traumatic was felt very deeply by me. It was during that year or two that I learned it was not safe to live life this emotionally open. It was too painful, too traumatic, felt like it was killing me from the inside out. So I closed myself off to it. That resulted in a change of breathing, which resulted in a change of healthy physical structure, which resulted in both physical and emotional issues.
Now life is safe enough to live emotionally open again, and it's what my body needs me to do in order to reach the next level of healing. It's fucking scary, it's physically painful in my sternum and it's affecting my ability to work, which is also terrifying. But I'll take this any day over being mostly bedridden and without hope.
I know that what's healing me isn't necessarily the answer for everyone. This process I've described above has happened in so many different ways around my body, I would guess hundreds of times over the years of recovery. I think when I mention cranial osteopathy people think it's a treatment you just do and then things get better. Rather, this process is deeply invasive to not only a person's lifestyle, but also to their emotional equilibrium and belief system and worldview. I watched my fiance go through the same thing when he started getting osteo treatment for his misshapen ribs. Your body begs you to go about life completely differently and it's a shock and it's very difficult to follow through on. But the reward is healing. And healing opens up the doors to a lot more options for a fulfilling life. So we pursue it at all costs and embrace the journey. <3
May we all find our path to healing.
Examples of my healing process
Blog entry posted by Dainty, Aug 8, 2017.
About the Author
Dainty became ill as a teenager and spent 7 years mostly bedridden from ME/CFS, life-threatening MCS reactions, extreme food allergies/sensitivities, cognitive impairment, fibromyalgia, episodes of temporary paralysis and various unexplained emergencies. The past 5 years she has experienced profound improvement from various treatment approaches. With homelessness and PTSD presenting as significant obstacles, she continues to pursue healing full time and find incorrigible opportunities to enjoy life.