Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Healers with X-ray vision who don't need X-rays

I have recently encountered three healers who seem to have X-ray vision but never needed to see an X-ray to determine their treatment.  They seemed to figure things out by observation and inquiry.

My piano teacher Anadel told me she had recently had the best massage of her life.  She is 76 and probably has had a lot of massages so that is significant.  I went to see Dan Bettes, the guy she recommended, and determined she was absolutely right.  He is probably in his fifties, living and working in the Foggy Bottom area of DC.  He mentioned “I noticed you had a bit of a limp.  Tell me more about that.”  And that’s how we got started. 

It was one of those massages where I totally lost track of time and just thought about breathing.  He did things with my legs and hips that no one had ever done.  At one point when I was on my stomach, he was on the table too lifting, stretching, manipulating my legs and lower back.  It was not a gentle massage, but the result was immediate and quite therapeutic.  I had never found anyone who got it so right on the first visit.  I have my second appointment to see him on Friday if the snow permits. 

About 10 years I fell as I was hurrying to a meeting in my old place of work.  There was no outer damage, but my right hand had taken the brunt of the fall with the fingers bending back much further than they were ever supposed to bend.  It was black and blue for a week or so and then stiff. 

At one point I saw an orthopedic doctor who specializes in hands.  He took an X-ray and confirmed nothing had been broken.  But the stiffness persisted.

My piano teacher Anadel immediately spotted my difficulties in holding my fingers in the right curve and in playing anything that required speed in my right hand.  She suggested I see Jan Dommerholt, a physical therapist who deals mostly with musicians.  He began by manipulating my hand and within 10 minutes had pinpointed the problem to some inelastic tissue between fingers 3, 4, and 5 on my right hand.  His comment about the orthopedic doctor:  “They only look at bones and joints.  Many times that’s not the problem.”  He had pioneered a technique called dry needling, which created quite a stir in the acupuncture world because it uses the same needles they use, but insurance pays for PT.  I had the first of 4 sessions with him, experiencing the pain of the needling technique, but also realizing a greater freedom of my fingers afterwards.  He is hopeful that he can fix my hand problem even after 10 years.

The third of my healing wonders is Bill Short, who had been a certified rolfer for 20 years, leaving a lucrative job as a hospital administrator to devote himself to healing with this technique.  Rolfing works on the connective tissues that hold our bones together and sometimes lose their flexibility and get somewhat stuck.  The picture above shows what this webby stuff looks like.  So far nothing he has done has caused me screaming pain.  There has been some discomfort, but nothing I couldn’t easily breathe through.  His approach is to treat the whole body, not just the part that seems problematic, so that is exactly what he is doing.  After each session, I have been able to look in the mirror and see the change.  After the first, my right shoulder no longer dipped below my left.  After the second, I was considerably more grounded on all parts of my feet and my snow shoveling backache had completely disappeared.

I appreciate the fact that tests and X-rays and MRI’s are often necessary and informative, but I have a new-found admiration for healers who seem to have the unique ability to climb inside one’s body and see things without the aid of this external information.  I am totally in awe of Dan, Jan, and Bill, all  guys with X-ray vision.


Blogger Squirrel of Nyack said...

It's wonderful that you met these true healers! People who focused and took the time to SEE. I have a healer in my life too, and we see him whenever we need to. He's very quiet-- doesn't talk about his abilities at all, he doesn't advertise, but he has no shortage of clients--& we all appreciate him.

Today I walked past a Rolfer's office and wondered what rolfing was, then i came home and you've explained it here! thanks!

6:25 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

It sounds like Anadel's got pretty sharp vision herself.

11:22 PM  
Anonymous lr said...

Barbara, how wonderful that you've found not one but three healers, who are making such a difference in your life! Wahoooo!

11:22 PM  
Blogger Angela said...

Now I will remind my daughter to quickly look up her rolfer! I`m glad you had such good experiences. With all three healers. Funny that many doctors aren`t that - healers.

3:31 AM  
Blogger Steve said...

Bravo! I'm glad you've found healers who are working for you! Good healing ability is always remarkable, in any tradition...

7:03 AM  
Blogger Reya Mellicker said...

So glad you are receiving excellent bodywork!

12:07 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Reya -- You were actually the first person to suggest rolfing to me, maybe 5 years ago. I wish I had followed up on it then because this may be the best thing yet for helping me deal with some elusive problems that have caused many people to just scratch their heads.

12:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What an inspiring post! I'm happy for these precious finds. Deep work, indeed.



5:01 PM  
Blogger bozoette said...

Oh, how wonderful to have those healers!

5:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

P.S. I meant to add -- reading your remarkable post, I was reminded of my years serving as a bodyworker and then in the physical therapy world. I remember clearly times when I "got" a client's situation clearly (energetically, non-verbally, etc.) and could address it helpfully and directly, and also those times when I hadn't a clue, kind of like hearing a totally unfamiliar language that I just couldn't penetrate. I look forward to hearing more about your healing experiences!


2:13 AM  

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