Pain – that splendid sensation that brings you to your knees, stops you in your tracks, and re-arranges your schedule in an instant.

Uninvited, underserved, overwhelming and all consuming – Pain.

I inherited the gift of degenerative disc disease, like so many others in my family. The diagnosis was discovered when the sensation in my hands decreased and the phenomenal Raynaud appeared.

After months of tests, many needles and bottles of pills, the fusion of C4 to C6 was just what the doctor ordered.

With a routine outpatient procedure and a gut wrenching two hour ride home; I was feeling my fingers again in just a few days. As the skillful surgeon and I met for the last time; he offered one last statement – sit as far back from the steering wheel as you can just in case the airbag deploys.

All too soon I would come to appreciate his advice.

Another auto accident was added to my record, this time my daughter was with me. She slept through the crash, and was safe and sound – make sure your child car seats are installed properly, please!

Each day after the accident my lumbar, sacrum and legs increased in discomfort.  It is just sore, stiff and achy, right? Days turned into weeks, something was wrong.

Poke, stretch, does it hurt here; quickly became the white coat skit.

14534701_sTake this, try that, I am going to order this test and suggest you see Dr. Who (OK – not really but that would have been more fun). Nothing seemed to help, this was not going away.

Betrayed by my own body, I stood rocking while shifting the weight from side-to-side desperately seeking comfort.  This must have looked like a geriatric twerking move that went terribly awry.

I sat, almost, but feared I wouldn’t rise again.

I tried to walk grasping one sturdy object to the next, only to achieve a shuffle.

Finally, hunched over the counter with my head slumped in my prayerful hands, I pleaded to be released from the devil’s clutches. What have I done to deserve this torturous fate? Whatever it was, I begged for mercy and prayed to be released from this hell.

I was certain death would be more comfortable.

Tears were available in the beginning but only under the cloak of darkness. I secretly sobbed as I stared lustfully at my bed while watching the sun rise.

Quietly, oh so quietly, I screamed inside my head as the tears trickled down my cheeks. Eventually, the salty well ran dry as the sobbing, begging and pleading only served to deepen the pain.

I hurt too bad to cry.

My spirit was dying to be released, just like the last dab of toothpaste as the tube is rolled and compressed into a spiral. A hug, intended to offer healing and support felt as if I were about to be dinner for a twenty-foot boa constrictor. But this did not compare to the ache in my heart as I told my daughter I was still unable to play with her at the park. As I tucked her into bed, I secretly prayed that she would sleep through the night – not for her well-being but for mine.

Life was going on all around me, at least what I can recall.

There was a career, loving partner, beautiful child, parents, sister, friends, and a new house – all the things that anyone could ask for. Like a lost soul wondering about; I moved through the routine of my daily life.

There were some good hours, or so I am told; that comfort settled in minutes after a pill or two.

It took all I had to make it to the office after I dropped my daughter at day care and navigated those damn stairs. As if searching for that last piece of gum in my purse, mental clarity and logic were not easily found.

I began to broaden my vocabulary with terms like hemiplegic migraine, fibromyalgia, MRI, CT scans, cortisone, fentanyl transdermal patch, neuro-stimulators, intrathecal drug delivery system, and even multi-level lumbar spinal fusion.

My fuzzy brain was baffled by the options and my coiled spirit was horrified that this was the path that lay before me. Should I follow this path, I would receive a solidly fused spine as my trophy at the finish line.

With nothing left to lose, the promise of Reiki was presented to me.

The trial for the intrathecal system would be scheduled in just few weeks.  Whatever this woo woo practice was, at least there were no needles and nobody was poking or prodding me.

Three times a week for a month was the plan, at least until I could get the trial system.

Snake oil you say, me too…until session five.

I began to notice that I felt better at least for a bit; longer and longer after each session the comfort would stay. The “energy healing” soon felt like an old friend as it soothed my hyper-sensitive soul.

I faithfully returned according to the plan and eventually declined the trial.

I could feel progress coming like the soft spring sunrise cresting the hill. Slow and steady with just a few zigs and zags, I was getting better. As sleep and I reunited and the refills were no longer needed, I was well enough to invite explanations for my analysis.

What was this laying on of the hands all about?

What do you mean I can heal myself?

Only the doctors do that.

Reiki met me where I was, at rock bottom with unbearable physical pain.

Inside the over-crowed state of can’t – sleep, walk, focus, sit, stand, lift, hug, laugh or smile – that place where breathing was exhausting, there was a message.  While the window to my spiritual awaken was cracked open, I decided to explore the theory that I could heal me.

All I really remember from the first Reiki class was gratitude for a seat on the floor. Just a few months before, a seat on a thrown was not possible; now I could sit all the way down there and get back up.30540098

One class led to another and soon Reiki was a partner throughout each day. As I reclaimed my power one thread at a time, Reiki helped me weave my tapestry of health. The need for pills was replaced with a desire for self-Reiki sessions, mediation and eventually laying on the matt embracing the flow during yoga class.

It’s a little more than ten years since I had the great fortune of being involved in the auto accident that led me to health, Reiki and ultimately to hear my soul’s calling.

I no longer require prescription medication to make it through the day.

I have released the diagnosis of degenerative disc disease and am embracing life fully. My life contains joy again and my gratitude grows every day. My holistic maintenance program helps me retain the healing but persistence is required.

Reiki, hypnosis, meditation, chiropractic, massage, yoga, herbal remedies, aromatherapy and so much more – are what you will now find in my ‘medicine’ cabinet.

This year I was able to embrace some amazing firsts for me (horseback riding, all-terrain vehicle tour, and travel by train). These would not be possible if I had turned my back on the woo woo idea of ‘hands on healing’.

As I continue to lay claim to my power to heal, I invite you to join me.

I facilitate a group to help those that are affected by chronic pain.

You will find it on my calendar called ‘Beyond Chronic Pain: An Invitation to Heal’.

This group will focus on inviting complementary holistic modalities into your medicine cabinet. Remember that complementary means that it is in addition to your current regiment that your medical and mental health professionals have developed.

This is a great way to explore these techniques in a safe and welcoming group environment. Private group presentations may also be available.

You have the power to heal, claim it now!

Blessings for all the very best!