out of body

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after 16 hours of intense yet enlightening work this weekend on top of my very first chiro appointment i’m feeling completely out of it.

i am inhabiting a body that is completely foreign to me.

it’s almost the same feeling i had after my very first bikram class.

last week my brain was gooey.  this week my body is light, airy, there’s room inside for all the important stuff and when i get up from my desk to walk somewhere i feel like i’m walking on the surface of the moon.  gravity is still working but it’s not affecting me in the same way.

ugh. i hate trying to put these things into words.  when eric asked this morning what’s going on after i got teary eyed explaining the non-invasive, gentle psoas and pelvis work we did this weekend in ortho-bionomy i couldn’t do much more than string together words that described the strange mini muscle spasms firing in all sorts of random places.  i feel physically fine and mentally messy.  my brain keeps trying to find words to say why i’m emotional, why the tears, why my voice starts to shake almost instantaneously and I don’t really have any words left.

i ended up shrugging a lot saying, “I don’t know.”

i know that the work i need to do is to be ok with not being ok.  knowing that i don’t know and it doesn’t matter that i don’t know why my left psoas is such a drama queen.

i really didn’t know how my appointment with eric would go and after some paperwork, some minor tears as i retold the events of sunday psoas we got to work.  after some analysis, i got onto the table as he did some light work.  i don’t know how to really describe it as i was trying to get my brain to shut up as it tried  to catalog each movement.  he placed my legs in positions, he pulled and shifted and then he stepped away.  the pauses in between movements i found my attention drawn to the strange things happening in my left hip.  since it felt like it was the first real quiet environment my hip was worked on it’s almost like i could hear it and feel it pulsating and moving inside.  my brain gave it a visual.  it felt like a low intensity electrical current running in a circle from the inside of my lumbars down to the front of my body to the hip and down below the inguinal ligament and traveling back up through the sacrum to the lumbars.  i felt like my hip was radiating heat.  nothing was an overwhelming or strong pulse, it was more like a quiet hum as the loop went around from lumbar to pubic to sacrum back to lumbar.

when i think about it now i’m realizing the soft tissue in the middle of this electrical current, the hip rotators that live there are the ones that feel like they are holding onto something for dear life.

i was grateful that eric also addressed and worked on the weird pulling i had noticed in my mid thoracic and the hot spots he found in my neck i didn’t notice (C4 and C6 were rotated in opposite directions) which kept my brain from over analyzing or spending too much time on my hip.

after the softer adjustments came more direct work (but we hadn’t had any real spinal adjustments or cracking yet) .  he held one point in my left foot that felt sore to the touch that translated straight up my leg into my hip.

oooh, meridian, maybe?

there were still some pauses between the more direct work but they were shorter.  when he had me move into sideline, adjusted me close to the edge of the table and curled my arms around myself i still wasn’t sure what was going to happen even though he was explaining what he was doing as he did it.  i wasn’t completely there and so i didn’t really know what was happening until he did something that felt like he picked up 1/2 my body and bounced quickly on top of me with my hip off the edge of the table.

i heard and felt the SI joint crack and shift.

i didn’t have much time to process as he quickly moved to the opposite side of the table, set up the move and did the same thing except the first time i tensed up and nothing happened and the second time the same crack and shift.

when he moved me back onto the table and asked me to lay on my back i exhaled and for the first time in awhile felt like my hips almost even, resting firmly on the table.

i was quite surprised that i wasn’t in tears.  the procedure wasn’t painful in any way.  it was just new and strange.

eric went to get something and i just closed my eyes and tried to scan my body from head to toe to see how it felt.  when he came back he wrapped both my arms around a small teddy bear, kept them there, and reached both arms around me to my back to adjust one of my thoracic vertebrae.  i couldn’t tell if it was just one.  it might have been 2.

he moved on to my neck and held a point and manually moved my head around in a method that felt very orhto-bionomy-ish.  i felt some tensions let go before he adjusted my neck twice, once in each direction.

each adjustment i felt a strange shudder go through me.  none of it had felt painful at all.  it was just a completely new sensation.

my brain has closely linked the sound of cracking to breaking and it really had a hard time realizing that nothing was broken.

eric let me lay there for a moment.  i hugged the teddy bear,  it’s fur soft and worn. for the first 10 years of my life i had a blanket i absolutely needed to go to sleep.  i would take the satin edge of the blanket and rub my thumb and forefinger down the edge, around the corner, around another edge, over and over, the blanket twisting in circles, until i fell asleep.  while i stopped sucking my thumb i couldn’t give up the blanket until it was bribed away from me with a hello kitty watch and promised to be returned to me on my 18th birthday.  lying there in eric’s office my right hand automatically, without any real thought, came up to the bear’s right ear and did the same rubbing motion i had used to do on the edge of my blanky.  it had the same feeling as the worn down satiny blanket edge and i felt, for a brief moment, like a little kid winding down for the night, right on the edge of sleep.   i imagined many people, men and women alike, holding the bear in the same manner.  i liked the idea, the visual, of full grown adults wrapping their arms around a stuffed animal.  i thought of men in business suits and women in severe looking blazers and obnoxiously expensive watches cuddling this bear.  i loved how universal this felt, how something so small could bring so much comfort.

he didn’t ask me if i wanted to hold something, he just laid the bear on my chest and wrapped my arms around it.

it’s the little things.

when i sat up i was surprisingly dry eyed.

not a tear in the house.  no quivering throat, no facial convulsions.

just me and probably some really intense bedhead and this feeling like i was inhabiting a body that was not my own.

eric checked in with me and i sat and thought about it for what seemed like a long time.

“I’m fine,”  i replied.

he smiled in a way that felt familiar.  it’s the same smile he gives me when he thinks i’ve said something funny or weird, which is something i found i often did in my fundamentals classes with him.

because i’ve only seen him in a classroom setting i had expected margarita to come bouncing up behind me to give me a hug.  it was just us though and that was fine and i felt fine and while i had anticipated waterworks and complete and utter breakdown…it didn’t happen.

and it felt ok.

i felt…ok.

we talked a bit about what my illium were doing, my left being pulled superior, anterior and medially (I KNOW, WTF?!) and my right going in the opposite direction and how my rib cage is slightly shifted to the right.  i asked about my psoas and he noted he sorta delicately worked around the edges of it. it’s a process of unpacking a suitcase.  whatever is holding there doesn’t want to be dug into right now so he let it lie.

i made a second appointment for an open adjustment next week to unpack another layer and walked out of the office with the sun in my eyes and the wind cold on my face.  i had no idea how to get downtown from where i was but i saw a bus pull up in front of me and just decided to get on it.

when i realized i was on the 30 stockton i relaxed knowing it took me relatively close to the office but the moment the bus hit chinatown i felt myself start to shut down. i wasn’t really ready to be shoved around by people my height so i got off the bus and walked 2 blocks east until i was out of the thick of the chinese markets and back to the familiarity of the financial district.

i looked at my clock.  it was almost 10AM.  this explained why the streets weren’t as busy as anticipated.  everyone was already working.

i turned up the volume on my ipod and listened to beirut and imagined i was walking through the streets of an old czech town to buy a loaf a bread.

the random things my imagination does to make the financial district more palatable.

i quietly slipped into my desk without much fanfare or anyone noticing i was a lot later than i had thought i would be and i was grateful.  i put my headphones back on and went about the tasks of the day. voice mails, emails, meetings.

i thought about this weekend and the connection between needing to be safe to be able to let go and how my journey this past year has been firmly about digging deep into the things that make me twitch and learning that the only way i’ve been able to let go of anything is by going into it deeper and embracing it tighter.

i thought about how sometimes it looks  like i’m seeking out suffering because i seem to be diving deep into those places that make me uncomfortable.  it’s only because i’m banking that whatever’s on the other end of all this work is a more authentic life.

in the meantime i do the work.   i do what i can to listen to my body and do right by it.  i do what i can to not let my job run my life.  i try to balance school, work and play and err on the side of more play.  it’s a consistent practice.  just like remembering to breathe during the tough parts.  sometimes you need someone to remind you and hand you a teddy bear.

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1 Response to “out of body”


  1. 1 Anne April 17, 2012 at 2:42 am

    Thanks, love. And wow.


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