by Rachel Mascord, BDS, Sydney and Warrawong.
This has been an extraordinary week in my life…a point of endings and new beginnings that have left me raw and vulnerable in a way I’ve rarely allowed myself to experience before.
I submitted my resignation this week. This has been a momentous step because it is the first time I have left a job with no other job to go to. I had held this position for more than 16 years, and a very comfortable nest it became indeed. My comfort in this job lay in the “security” of its tenure, but an uncomfortable and damaging comfort it was. The price I was paying was high; its coinage the toleration of a constant level of low grade disrespect and the sort of subtle abuse that people learn to cope with, in some way or another. After all, it is quite the normal thing in this world…isn’t it? It is an abuse that does not mark the flesh, but rather more insidiously leaves its bruises deep and unseen upon the heart and the being.
Leaving it has felt like I imagine the baby bird must feel as it extends its wings for the first time, surrendering itself from the edge of the nest that has held it safe for so long…
Never have I allowed such a level of open vulnerability in my life. Never have I allowed such a level of surrender, never have I stated that I trust myself so deeply and all of the resource that comes, innate, rich and sourced from deep within me.
Continue reading “Breaking free of the uncomfortable comfort”
by Jessica Gamble, Psychotherapist, M.GestTherapy, Tintenbar, NSW.
At 18 years of age I should have been a fit young woman who wanted to grab life with both hands. Although I wasn’t depressed and did not have anything physically wrong with me, I had certainly adjusted to living a life that lacked true health and wellbeing.
At 174 cm tall I weighed 80 kilograms and had little vitality or motivation. I felt sluggish and often woke up with enormous back and shoulder pain, a tight jaw and felt constantly dehydrated. I remember having to seek support from my mum who was a qualified bodyworker, as most mornings I physically couldn’t get out of bed without a back rub, allowing me to stand up straight and proceed with my day. During this time I was on the contraceptive pill and had been since age 15, so my periods were falsely manufactured and I therefore had little knowledge of just how much my body was struggling. After I finished a long-term relationship at age 20 I decided to go off the pill, in order to see if I could shift some of the excess weight and regain some aliveness in my body, as my libido was now well and truly dead.
Continue reading “From Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome to regular periods through Esoteric Healing”
by Alexis Stewart, care worker with the intellectually disabled and yoga teacher, Sydney, Australia.
When I was a girl I used to go to friends’ houses for tea (‘tea’ being a word in England that refers to an early dinner. My favourite tea was macaroni cheese and chips). Going to other people’s houses was always a bit odd, because other people’s families never did things quite the same as my family did; for example some Mums used to tell their kids to wash their hands before eating, which is something my family never did. So when issued with the command to wash my hands by someone else’s Mum, I would dutifully file into the bathroom with the other kids and copy the way that they waved their hands in the general direction of the taps. There was one thing however that most Mums seemed to have in common and that was the nagging suspicion that the kids had not actually washed their hands! Funny that!
Continue reading “The gift of constipation”
by Matts Josefsson, Student in Behavioural Science, Sweden
I find the body absolutely extraordinary in the way it functions. Just this morning I was reminded how amazingly it just keeps on doing what it does, regardless of what we do to it, up until the point that it cannot support us any longer. What I also came to think about was how and why things occur in the body and how the way we are living with the body must have an effect on it. Science these days knows a great deal about how the body functions but still there are the questions that go unanswered as to why things actually occur. There are extraordinary experts in knowing how to deal with something once it has occurred, but the bigger struggle is still trying to understand why things occur. For example: why do cells starts to divide in a way that later on leads to cancer? Continue reading “Our Body and Its Amazingness”
by Lieke Campbell, Student Dentist, Ghent, Belgium
I am a dentistry student and in the course of my work, I started developing pain in my neck and back that stayed until the next day, even from working just short periods of time with patients. As a dentist, I have to work in an area that is small (and moving) which asks for precision and attention to detail whilst working with the instruments in the person’s mouth. To be able to see it all, I often find myself going out of the preferred ergonomic position – which is with back and neck only slightly bent – bending and turning my back and neck in all directions. This is the worst position to be in for your back and neck, as it puts a huge strain on the spine and the muscles around it. Even when knowing this fact, not wanting to cause harm to my patient can drive me into going into such a position anyway. Combine this with a little nervousness and tension about treating my first patients and this developed into neck pain. Continue reading “How Connective Tissue Exercises helped my neck and back pain”
by Carmel Reid, Somerset, UK
I recently had a hysterectomy; it was the final solution for a vaginal prolapse that had been around for many years, although I had largely been unaware of, until it became too uncomfortable to ignore.
What is a prolapse? Well basically, a weakness in my pelvic floor muscles and vaginal wall, so that what is normally held inside is no longer supported, and begins to protrude on the outside, making walking uncomfortable.
What caused it in me? Many reasons, I suspect. Giving birth is acknowledged as a common one, and new mothers are always encouraged to do their pelvic floor exercises afterwards. I didn’t, so that may have contributed in my case. Add to that was my attitude to what I felt my body could do. I played squash 2 or 3 times a week; that’s a game that can be pretty hard on many areas of the body. Not only that, but I was strong and therefore allowed myself to lift heavy things, and enjoyed the weekly battle with a wayward shopping trolley and all the heavy shopping, not knowing how much lifting heavy things was affecting my pelvic floor muscles. Continue reading “Prolapse and Hysterectomy – Appreciating Myself as a Woman”
By Richard Mills, Training Manager, Lightwater, Surrey UK
There is a tendency for us to look at a person who has an illness, disease or condition, and attribute the fact to the individual. This may be valid and perfectly understandable and there may well be individual factors – genes, lifestyle choices and the like – that make that person more susceptible to such things. Research into these factors is certainly very appropriate. But rather than looking at the person solely from the individual perspective, might we equally ask ourselves why do we have dementia? Or why do we have autism? Why do we have cancer or diabetes?
Do we only take note of particular situations when they begin to affect us directly, or someone close to us? Maybe it would be helpful if we looked at humanity as one body rather than as the 7.5 billion individual people we currently see ourselves as. What is the increase in breast cancer telling us as a race? What is the incidence of prostate cancer in men saying to all men? What does autism tell us about how we are living? Or heart disease? How would life look if we accepted that as well as our individual bodies, we are also part of One Body that is all of us together? Continue reading “Why Does Humanity Have Dementia?”