I recently worked with a client with chronic back pain. He had gone to PT, massage therapy, and seen a doctor. He’s in his mid 50’s – has a little arthritis – but nothing else to speak of. We worked with asana to extend his range of motion and strengthen his imbalanced weaker muscles. It helped a bit, but not as much as one would like.
Then during one session he said, “Things don’t move through there. I think it’s stress.”
There it was. So often it happens that we are working in the wrong area of our complicated, beautiful systems. Even as a yoga therapist I am sometimes derailed by my fascination with the physical – the manomaya kosha – the body of food that veils us from our innate bliss. (If that’s not a reminder than I don’t know what is.)
He could have hacked away from an anatomical perspective for a long time. Of course we will still address that. But after one week of pranayama, his symptoms were reduced greatly. He sometimes forgets he has a back problem altogether. What he needed was to address his issue through the pranic/breath body. When he did this, suffering immediately reduced.
Those of us who work in the healing arts need to hold the possibility that things aren’t always exactly as they seem. We need to educate and remind ourselves, as well as others that we are multifaceted beings. We need to not get stuck in the limited paradigm of western medicine and keep our minds open to all possibilities for healing. Especially the possibilities that come from simply seeing things as they are and moving from there.
I am so happy I have these reminders for myself each time I walk into my office. What a blessing!
May we all see the light of truth – especially when its standing in front of us.