...off the road on a healing journey in Greece - 2008
The other day, one of my colleague’s in the Feldenkrais Method® came into my office with complaints of pain in her knee. I grimaced at the sight of the twist in her lower leg. The same side hip was jutted forward so that her pelvis and leg alignment was “off kilter.” She couldn’t bend her knee completely and hobbled around my office. Her lower leg circled around her painful knee like an eggbeater instead of opening and closing in a straight line.
“I have an idea what happened, but I don’t know how to get my knee straight again,” she said, with frown.
“It’s like being stuck in the ditch,” I said. Her eyes fixed on mine with an intensity I recognized. Fear.
She nodded. We talked about how the noise of misalignment or irritation in her knee may have been gradual. How does it happen that one day a joint in the body starts complaining? It may have begun with a wobble or twinge of pain now and then, but nothing substantial. A person may have started out her life on a broad, flat road of alignment. A few experiences and injuries may have pushed her toward the shoulder; it’s rougher there, but still flat. But once the gradual slide into the ditch begins, it is often harder to climb out without help. Then, some final thing– it could be picking up a paper off the floor, a fall from a tree, a frenzied weekend in the garden or a brazen snowboard jump may have pushed you over the shoulder and into the ditch. (Yes, I have been there, too.)
Yet after two lessons with my colleague of exploring how to move, bend and push with her whole body, she found her way out of the ditch. She walked straight again, with confidence. Her many years of experience as a practitioner and in other movement fields provided strong footholds to find her way back to alignment. The road is really not very far from the ditch. In some cases, the path might take years to get out of the ditch but not necessarily. We both learned a lot from her injury.
I’ve had a lot of personal experience with knee pain. It’s humbling to be thrashing around in the ditch while others speed by on an four-lane interstate. The origins of the Feldenkrais Method® began with Moshe Feldenkrais’s quest to heal his injured knees. I’ve spent nearly thirty years learning about knees and keep learning. I’ve spent long periods in the ditch and trenches myself. I hope to write and record much of what I’ve learned about knees, however, this article is about how to find our way out of the ditch after we’ve veered off the road of alignment.
Some people find their way back to the road. But most have some wreckage to address. Parts that need healing and rest, occasionally surgical repair. A little counseling may be needed. Many people treat their cars and bicycles far better than body.
It’s a step by step process to get out of the ditch and re-connect the body and mind so the wobbles and noises can be smooth and quiet again. Read on: Healing – Out of the Ditch: Step #1. Listening
©Annie Thoe, www.sensingvitality.com 2012