When I started Chiropractic school, I was invited to a housewarming party of a fellow student named Helene. At this party, I met a woman named Cathy who was in a wheel chair. We began talking and she told me that she had been paralyzed from the waist down since the age of six after what seemed to be a minor fall. After the fall, the feeling in her legs began to disappear and after a few weeks she could no longer move them. It was now over 50 years later and she had never regained her ability to feel or move her legs. The party ended, I said my good-byes, after which I would sometimes think of her, but never thought I’d ever see her again.
Four years later, it was time for graduation. My friend, Helene, who had the original housewarming party, invited me to a graduation party. We were having a great time, when suddenly a woman walked into the room that looked so familiar. I asked Helene who she was? She said it was Cathy! I couldn’t believe it. Here was a woman who four years ago had been confined to a wheelchair for over 50 years, and now she was walking into the room!
I stared at her like a little child who was seeing an angel. She saw my stare, recognized me, and came over with a smile and said, “Nice legs, huh.” I laughed and tears came to my eyes. I asked her, “What happened?” She explained to me that she had been under Chiropractic care, specifically Network Spinal Analysis (described in the next chapter) for the last four years, getting her spine adjusted every day, sometimes three or four times per day. The process was slow, but the feeling and mobility had returned to her legs. I asked her what it was like, and do you know what she said?
“It was the most painful experience of my life.”
This wonderful true story demonstrates that healing can often be a very painful experience. Often when you become aware of something, the discomfort may increase. Have you ever had your arm fall asleep? You may have woken up in the middle of the night to feel a strange arm next to you. You throw on the light and realize that it is your arm! You rub it, squeeze it, and pinch it to get some feeling back into it. How does it feel when sensation begins to return to the arm? First it tingles, then it stings, then it burns, then it throbs, then it just outright hurts! After the pain subsides, your arm comes back to life.
Even though pain, discomfort, or other symptoms are increasing, it does not mean the problem is getting worse, it just means you are beginning to feel more. Healing is not about feeling better, it is about being able to better feel.
When you become aware of your body and acknowledge every aspect of yourself, healing occurs. You can accept who you are, what you are going through, and who you are becoming.