It has been a long time since I wrote about the power of touch. I often look back at the original article that I wrote and tears stream down my face. I see where I was and how far I've come since the day I wrote the article.
Touch is a "touchy" subject for me.. pun intended!
I have been through a lot physically in the last year. Those of you who follow me on Facebook would know that I have a heart abnormality that gives me a lot of grief. I have been through so many different therapies... but I find it interesting that the one thing that I needed most was never perscribed by any doctor. I needed touch. It is funny that the one thing I needed most I did not like. I hated being touched and still struggle with it from time to time. Now I still have issues with my heart- but what gives me relief I have found is more times than not touch.
So here is "The Power of Touch.. continued... because healing doesn't happen overnight.. "
We all have our issues.. insecurities.. Even those people who seem to have it all together have something that they struggle with. Whether it is lack of emotional support, unresolved grief, anger, fear, or lack of trust. Some people suffer with eating disorders, heart conditions, slow metabolism, insomnia, headaches, constipation, and nausea. Would you be shocked to know that all of these things can be treated through body work? For those of you who don't know, body work is a large category of different forms of touch for the body. It includes massage, energy work, reiki, light therapy, hydrotherapy, cranio sacral, and many other things. Have you ever just had a rough day and thought... "All I need is a hug"? There is a reason for that.. Your body knows, instinctively, that it needs touch to release hormones and make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside!
I suffer from a heart condition. It is a very tricky type of condition because doctors have a difficult time A) treating it B) actually fully diagnosing it. Basically, the electrical part of my heart misfires all the time. My heart rate can go from 200 bpm down to 40 bpm in seconds. It also will through off very irregular beats and arrhythmias. I've been seeing doctors since I was very little without much success. This last year, my heart began to really struggle. I had 9 or 10 hospital visits, 4 of which I went in by ambulance, and 1 of which I almost died. It has been a difficult year- but I have learned so much...
I had a very large episode at school. This was exactly one week after I almost died in the hospital from my pH getting too acidic and my minerals dumping to keep me alive. I attend a Naturopathic School, and that particular weekend the Doctor who started the school was teaching the class I was in. My anxiety of not wanting to be touched started the day before my big episode. I was having a small episode and she decided to show the class how to do Meridian work in order to pull my heart back into rhythm. I was not thrilled about this because A) she told people if they noticed I didn't look right or they could sense that I was having an issue- not to ask just to start the work on me B) because I kept being touched throughout that day by other students in my class. That day she worked on me for a while and then told me
"You have to let down this wall. You will never get relief from the pain in your chest if you don't stop fighting the people trying to help".
I came back with "I'm not fighting you"
She stopped and looked at me and said "You don't like being touched and we all know it. The problem with that is in order for you to get relief you need to be touched. Your spirit needs to be touched, your body needs to be touched, and so does your mind. If all you think about is not wanting to be touched you will never get relief."
So I started to let me guard down. I accepted the fact that like it or not I was surrounded by doctors in training and they were going to be touching me all weekend long.
Long story short I almost died in class the next day. What brought me back was #1) Prayer #2) Touch. At first to deal with the emergency situation, they had a lot of compression. To compress my sympathetic nervous system. Next they did a lot of energy work. The energy work is what started to slow my heart rate down and bring it into normal rhythm. They also used something that we call "calling angelic hosts". This is when we don't have the actual herb, homeopathic, or medicine we simply speak it into being and it happens. I also left school that weekend being hugged. Dr Baker- the doctor that runs the school, hugged me for a LONG time. At first I was stiff and didn't want to be hugged but then I got passed my fear of being touched and realized that I actually needed that hug from her as badly as she needed to hug me. I had just been through something not only scary but traumatic to my body & my mind. I needed the love and the hug.
Fast forward to November 2013. My best friend had her baby. It was a beautiful day! That little girl is the cutest little baby I've ever seen in my life! I stayed the night with my friend the first night to help her with the little one since her husband had to work. I started having a lot of chest pain in the middle of the night and my heart was going wacko. I had this thought to lay the baby on my chest and just breathe. It was that night that my friend and I discovered that this little girl paces my heart. My heart calms down whenever I lay her on my chest- even to this day. Another way to prove to myself that touch does in fact heal.
Next lets fast forward to this last weekend. I went home to Michigan to do get some more training in body work at school. This was the weekend that we spent hours and hours giving and receiving body work. We learned that people can die from not having touch. If you never hold an infant ... they will die. Also touch can bring on emotional releases... this happened with many of us as well.
Because we are all training to be Naturopaths, we all are very aware of what is going on with someone without them saying a word. We are trained to be able to touch someone or feel their energy and know so much about them. The only thing was, this weekend we all had to work with our classmates..... what a vulnerable spot to be in.
I have to say I was pleased with my peers. Instead of dealing with our vulnerability with negativity-- we chose love. Every single one of us chose love. To lay down on a table and be draped by someone that you know has the training to kind of peel back the layers of the past and help you let them go, is a type of experience that is hard to explain. It is one thing to be able to help someone do this, it is another for someone to help you. Often times, we give and give but don't know how to receive. In my case this is true most of the time. I would rather be the one doing the body work.
I worked with 2 amazing girls this weekend. Each of them gifted in their own way. The first I worked with turned into a very deep friend. Almost like our souls could speak to each other. There was an understanding between us that was beautiful. Her work helped me to relax and feel more calm. I worked with her on Saturday. Now I've been told touch can bring on emotional releases, but I had never experienced an emotional release (which is shocking given my field of study). While I was being worked on, it was everything I could do to keep myself from just sobbing on the table! I actually made it until I got in the shower and just lost my marbles! On Sunday I worked with a different girl, my roommate actually! She was amazing as well. She was strong and the work she did almost felt as though I was being built back up. Saturday was about tearing down the walls of my emotions and Sunday was about building them back up positively.
The class became so close over this last weekend. None of us wanted to go home. None of us wanted to leave each other. None of my friends wanted me to go back to Virginia. As I hugged my classmates and teachers this weekend I realized something. For the first time in months I didn't cringe at the thought of someone touching me. I didn't cringe at the thought of hugging someone. In fact I cried on Dr. Bakers shoulder, cried into my friend as she hugged me when I left, and cried in the presence of other friends. It was almost like all of the hurt that I had been trying to let go of all these years became easier. It was a type of cleansing.
I found on Monday I was extremely emotional. I asked some of my peers if they felt the same way and they all said they felt amazing but seemed to be crying at the drop of a hat. By Tuesday I felt stronger, more enlightened, and more thoughtful.
The power of touch. It's not always what you would expect. Sometimes it's not a physical touch, more of an energetic touch. One of the instructors I have said "Your issues are in your tissues". She was very right.
Who am I?
My name is Jessica Kellaway! I am the earth loving, natural parenting, Jesus loving weirdo your mama might have warned you about!