The Medicine of Injury

The Medicine of Injury

The taste of medicine is often unpleasant. It’s been a long time since I’ve had an injury. I almost forgot how debilitating it can be when part of my body doesn’t work properly. It’s amazing how much it affects every small thing that I do throughout the day. It changes my perspective. It limits my range in so many ways. It takes my focus away from all the larger things that seem to be so important in life…the things I’m striving for, the problems I’ve been trying to solve, or the places I’m aiming to get to. Instead it draws my focus in so close and so deep inside.

I injured my hip flexor the other day. I’m not even sure how it happened. There wasn’t a significant moment that I felt something pop or shift. Thank goodness because it is not a serious injury, meaning there is no damage or tear to the tissue. It is just strained and inflamed. I couldn’t lift or twist my leg or bend over without an immense amount of pain, and even the littlest thing like rolling over in bed or putting on my socks was a huge feat.

Of course this brings a lot of emotional and mental stress for me because my body is not just a vacation home, it is my primary residence. It is the vehicle for how I do my work in the world, as Christopher Pearson, acupuncturist/bodyworker so precisely stated. I was able to get a session with him the morning after it happened. It was amazing the amount of fear that was locked into holding my leg. The Psoas is one of the major hip flexors that runs deep inside the body. It connects the spine through the pelvis to the top inside of the leg bone. It is said to represent fear and trust. My body was holding so much when I walked into the session. Chris both gently and boldly welcomed my hip to release. The session was not only focused around my physical pain or limitation. He works with the chinese medicine system so it was a very thorough investigation into all aspects of my life and my current being. Even though this field of holistic somatic therapy is one that I work in and help others with every day, it is so valuable to have someone else remind me of how connected everything in my life is. When I am not listening to some aspect of my being then something appears or shows up in another aspect. Generally injury appears as a way to slow me down and take a deeper look into whats really happening on the subtle levels of my spirit. I was able to breathe deeper into the center of myself. Literally the psoas is about the deepest you can go into the center (at least as far as muscles go). I continued to breathe deeply and massage and move my hip and leg throughout the day.

The next day I participated in a ceremony which I was hesitant to do because it involved sitting for a number of hours and I wasn’t sure if this would aggravate my injury even more. On the contrary, it actually helped me release and let go in ways that my spirit desperately needed. That was last night and my hip injury is almost completely better today. Wow. All I can say is Wow. The power of the body. The wisdom of the body. The power of the spirit. The power and wisdom of SPIRIT. It astounds me how connected everything is.

Mostly I feel grateful for the simple things in life. Today I am walking without pain and enjoying the little things like bending over to pick something up with ease, and just being able to sit in my practice without stiffening up. I am enjoying some fresh air in nature. The spaciousness in nature reminds me of the spaciousness within my own self. I feel excited about my path. This reminder to slow down, to look within, to feel what’s happening, to be willing to feel has been yet again so valuable. I hope reading these words can offer a glimpse of that reminder to you. The spacious breath lives within and is always available no matter what is happening outside.

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