Wednesday, July 8, 2009

How to Heal Yourself


Your spine: the ultimate healer to all your physical and emotional woes.

Your spine: such an underrated part of your body, yet when its healthy, the difference that it makes in your life is monumental!

My knowledge of this began when my wonderfully attentive partner asked me to start going to a chiropractor with him when I was in Canada—something that he had done for years. (I do wish to distinguish the very different level of qualification and professionalism of chiropractors in Canada than those in the US).

The first thing to note is that I grew up thinking I was just one of those girls that would always have problems with my period my whole life. I’ve always had pain that was severe enough that during the first 24-48 hours I had just resigned myself to being the kind of person who would have to deal with it until menopause. No Tylenol, Mydol, etc could do a single thing to help me… but our chiropractor changed my life.

After my initial consultation and looking at my spine, my chiropractor immediately said “you have period pains, don’t you?” That was the first of many times I would gawk at the wonders these doctors are capable of. Within one week of adjustments I never had problems ever again. For over 2 years now, I’ve been totally menstrual pain-free. Both minor and more severe aches and pains outside of that time of the month have also totally gone away, whether they are short-run from exercise or long-run from who knows what. I found that I have more energy, feel lighter, better, get even less sick than before… just going to the chiro twice a week for the first month, then once a week for a month, and then every other week, made one of the most significant health differences in my life alongside regular exercise, raw food and veganism.

Even more miraculously, one chiropractor in particular changed my life. My partner’s childhood chiropractor from London, Ontario, Ted Gdanski is truly a miracle healer. Seeking to practice more than just chiropracting, he also has a solid foundation in acupressure, reiki, acupuncture, traditional eastern medicines, etc. When we went to see him over Christmas and after I’d been without a good chiropractor since leaving Canada for about 4 months, he actually healed me using the power of his energy and mine. It was AMAZING.

One of the really neat things he showed us, was how you are actually physically weaker when you and your partner do not have physical contact. The energy channeled from one partner to another makes you twice as strong. When my partner had his hand on my shoulder, my capacity to resist pressure exercises from Ted where significantly stronger than when my partner removed his hand and stepped away. Though I always believed in this kind of stuff, it was a wholly different experience to actually physically witness myself. It’s almost beyond belief, except it can’t be because it just happened.

Since starting grad school in Georgetown, I (literally) sorely miss having a chiropractor as I don’t believe the US really stands up to Canadian quality in this regard. My one miracle cure until I can go back though has been yoga. To thank for my new dedication to yoga, I have to give a shout out to the Salad Girl for giving me the motivation and inspiration to truly get into yoga for real. Rather than being a dabbler, the person who says they’ll never get into it, she gave me motivation to just do it, no questions asked. I also have to say that would have never been possible without the awesomely simple yogadownload.com routines.

Doing only 20 minutes of regular yoga every morning has made all my pain symptoms go away as they were slowly creeping back over time sans chiropractor. In following through with the flow of each asana into another, I have found that the movements often mirror those of the chiropractor, the only difference being that they are ‘self inflicted’. Yoga, I have found, is like self-chiropracting.

After eight hours in an airplane to France last Wednesday, all my sleeplessness in tiny airplane seats, a painful seven hour wait in an airport, and a very uncomfortable two hours bus ride, all the spinal, neck and just general muscular discomfort I accumulated vanished within two twenty minute sessions of yoga. It’s brilliant. The body has the amazing capacity to heal itself, and some of us (ie. chiropractors and yoga practioners) have definitely found how to help the body make that happen. I encourage you to try one of both of them because they will heal you in ways you didn’t know were possible, both emotionally and physically.

The long plane ride I just spoke of though has indeed taken me to my summer childhood village of Les Issambres, in the South of France, where I’ve already spent almost a week and will be spending the next six days. I have taken a billion pictures document my culinary and cultural adventures here, and am extremely eager to share them with you. I love this place so much. It saw me grow up, and as I noticed earlier today, Canada is like the place I want to call home, while the South of France will always remain my summer love fling. More from me soon!

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