I’ve had three migraines in my life. The first was at the start of my structural integration practice, working (12) hour days, and I ended up in the E.R. After that experience, I’ve learned to manage the tension that was the source of my migraines, back then through over-the-counter-meds, but more recently with qigong breathing and movement techniques. I’ve also successfully shared these techniques with clients.
A few nights ago, I awoke with my third migraine and it had fully set in. After thirty minutes of my old stand-by yoga and qigong techniques, the pain was worse than ever, accompanied with nausea and blurred vision.
I thought to sit in meditation and simply ‘regulate’ the muscle tension but that effort lasted only a few minutes. Instead, I fell into a practice on ‘sitting with the pain’. Identifying what it felt like, how it affected me and what might come from the event. Soon, and these are words I would never have imagined saying in the past, but I felt my body melting into the floor. A very palpable sensation of heaviness,… thick, dirty, saturated. What followed was an experience, not a vision, not something I could see as though I watched from outside, but rather a tangible quality of existing. I’ve tried to draw what I felt, but my third grade artistic skills leave much to be desired. I’m afraid my words don’t give much help either.
When this experienced passed, which lasted probably only fifteen minutes or so, my migraine was gone… no pain, no nausea, no linger haze, just a euphoric state of content. Fully, aware during the time, I tried to recreate what I had just experience, but it only felt like ‘me sitting on the floor’.
You can interpret the image anyway you like. Trying to avoid too many cliches, what I was left with was the feeling that our physical body is not what defines us. The essence of who we are and what we experience is more than the sum total of our fleshy parts.
After (12) years of treating the physical body with such aggression through structural integration, I’m excited to continue exploring a deeper, more complete, treatment to the human condition. I’m far from a thorough understanding of what I’ve experienced and what I have to offer, but look forward to continuing the search and sharing what I find.