Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Return from Sedona - The Power of Myofascial Release

"We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face." 
-Eleanor Roosevelt

It has been over a week now since my return from Sedona, where I took a chance at a therapy known as myofascial release.  If you haven't read the previous posts, this was an opportunity to explore a method of healing, which dramatically improved a dear friend's struggle with gastroparesis, amongst other health conditions.  Those of you who have been following me on this journey are probably wondering, "did it help, am I cured, can I eat normally again?"  I've even received messages that if indeed it did they would be on a plane ASAP, ready to get their own treatment.

Well, to begin with, the short answer is no, I am not cured.  This wasn't an expectation of mine being that immediate results after years of serious illness are not the norm.  Yes, some have experienced miraculous healing and thinking positive has it's benefits (which I did) but not to the extent of a cure being the only possible outcome.  Plus, if I went into this thinking I would walk away eating steaks and salads then there was the possibility of being hugely disappointed and that could have a devastating affect on the mind.

What I can say is that good things did happen and I feel like I am much further in the healing process than before the trip.

Three weeks with 30 hours of bodywork was intense, to say the least.  It's like getting a deep massage and physical therapy while going through a very emotional counseling session all in one.  While familiar with this type of work prior to visiting Tina I had NO idea how powerful it would feel.  To be completely honest, each session had me crying like never before, even shaking at times, when past traumas came to surface.
A small example is the fear and severe pain that suddenly came on at 19 which put me into immediate need for surgery to treat endometriosis and ovarian cysts.  Comments were made about my unusual and dangerously low blood pressure right before I was knocked out and I went into the procedure thinking I might not survive, yet unable to express these emotions.  Even subconsciously these fears can get locked in our bodies, deep in our cell memories.  During treatment, memories such as this surfaced and, in a way, released as my body relived what it had learned to "freeze" (think fight or flight).

That is only a tiny bit of the process.  I learned that I have been in a state of fight or flight, aka survival mode, for many, many years.  Tina worked specifically on my abdominal scars and we watched as they went from raised and angry red to transition into a much calmer and healing tissue.  She tugged on fascia surrounding my neck and jaw, which in turn I felt all the way down in my stomach and pelvis, even to the point of belly grumbles at times.  My posture improved and I stood up straighter as each day passed, no longer hovering to protect the frightened belly.  When I left after 2 hours of this, completely cried out for the day, I felt lighter, like pounds had been lifted off my shoulders.  Years of ignored trauma had finally been given permission and a place to escape.

The final day of treatment was by far the most intense, but again I left feeling amazing.  I danced around my small hotel kitchenette and made a simple meal to enjoy before heading out for a hike in the magnificent red rock mountains.  However, the instant I finished eating the pain returned like no other and I cried in frustration.  "How could this be, after 3 weeks of this?"  Immediately I began to have doubts, sure that this stubborn stomach would refuse to ever heal.  Because my mind is equally stubborn, I refused to let this ruin my last day adventure.  I hopped in the zippy little rental car and took the 10 minute drive to Boyton Canyon, well known to be a powerful vortex (healing energy centers that Sedona is known for).  I hiked along the flat trail and up one of the giant rocks to get a view of the canyon.  Distracting myself from the pain I went on a scavenger hunt for little red rocks shaped like hearts then sat still for about an hour, grateful for the amazing opportunity to experience such a beautiful place, fascinating people, and healing work of a therapist that brings in people from all over the world.

The following morning I woke up early and made one last short walk, easy to get to and what quickly became my favorite view spot off Airport Rd.  Something had changed that day.  My belly rumbled and I felt energy shining through and out my entire body.  Heading to the Phoenix airport shortly thereafter, I soaked in the last of the warm sunshine through the car windows and prepared to return to life back home in Bellingham.

Since returning I have counted 6 out of 8 good days.  Good meaning little to no pain and actually feeling hungry and confident enough to eat without fear.  The other 2 days, you might ask?  Well, my food sensitivities have not changed too much and both times I had onions, one in soup and another in a turkey dish.  NOT agreeable and will be careful to avoid for the time being!
The best case scenario for me right now would be the ability to eat enough to make up for the TPN calories (1300/day) which at this point I do not feel I can do.  However, I am experimenting with 5 nights per week instead of 7 and slowly increasing the amount of food I eat daily.

In addition to myofascial treatment, I did mention in the previous post a herbalist I began working with.  She continues to support me with recommendations for supplements and food, especially to help with what I recently discovered as a hypothyroid issue.  If all goes well I hope to share more here on the blog and in one-on-one health coaching again.

Until then, I thank you all for your support over the years as I continue to not only search (outside sources and also within myself) for a cure and for believing that it is possible!


  1. Stephanie, this sounds like it is a huge piece of healing for you in your journey, one that may take some time to integrate. I really enjoyed the book you recommended, 'The Last Best Cure', and really gained a lot from it. It's hard to rewrite our story, but am starting to feel the promise of it. I think in some ways our bodies are guiding us to heal from our past wounds. Don't give up, I'm glad you found some peace and healing on your trip. Much love, Carlin

  2. That sounds like it was a good, productive trip. I'm glad. I hope your trip towards healing continues.

  3. I am so Proud of you Stephanie! You are doing an amazing job at healing yourself! You are an inspiration to all of us, to not only keep fighting, but also to keep on trying supplements and alternative medicines...we both know how beneficial they can be to our over~all Healing : ) Love & Hugs!

  4. Another approach is to allow and accept the feeling. This entails experiencing the feeling and observing its effect on you. The point here is to realize that your feelings can't hurt you. You may be afraid but that fear won't harm you and doesn't have to control you in any way.

  5. Hello! Could you share the name of the facility that you went to in Arizona? I have an extremely ill 16 year old son who has been on TPN and enteral feedings for 7 months following a stomach virus. His digestive system hasn't started working after the illness and we have tried countless doctors and medicines to no avail!