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Healing the whole.

May 27, 2008 at 11:28 PM

the craft and art of violin playing is so complex and enthralling that it tends to exclude thought of anything else in the immediate environment (except doggy farts). This is really dangerous for violinists and one of the most important things we must learn and relearn throughout our lives is to keep our whole bodies integrated and in tune with the environment. By doing this we not only get much closer to maximizing our potential but also prevent unnecessary injury concomitant with emphasis zing one part of the body in favor of another.
The muscles and tendons are funny things. The excellent studies of western medicine have shown us in great detail how these things work and given us a range of exercises, medicines, creams and silver plated toilet brushes to keep them in good order. However, since an ounce of preventive medicine is better than a pound of prunes there is much we can and should do for ourselves on a daily basis.
It is usual to think of our personality, character , self or whatever located in very specific parts of the body. Unfortunately this rather reductionist view of oneself dehumanizes and disenfranchises the rest of out anatomy. One of the most interesting things I feel I have learned from a variety of healing sources over the years is that if the whole person is to be recognized then we nee dot treat our whole body as a person. In other words , a muscle or organ is not a `thing@ but rather a living being with feeling and human characteristics redolent of the whole. This is often reflected in language when we talk about things like `muscle memory` or `my shoulder is hurting me,` attributing a body part with both abilities and intent. It follows on from the assumption that our whole body is a person that if we ignore somebody they will cease to communicate with us or be our friends. So priority should be given to saying hello to the whole body everyday. It is especially important to touch and massage the parts of our anatomy that we cannot see for the expression `out of sight, out of mind,` is a horrible truism. We al appreciate gratitude and a daily meditation or prayer expressing thanks to each and every internal organ is as powerful a health enhancer as taking vitamins and brushing teeth. We all need to be touched too. If you have a muscle injury or strain consider that part of the body has gone into shock. In the same way that we store painful memories and experiences in our subconscious that can affect us negatively for the rest of our lives, so too does a muscle. Creams and exercises will help with the main part of healing an injury but the trauma is still embedded din the muscle or tissue and we must help it to release and feel safe again. This notion of helping muscles and the like to feel safe and be able to let go is not at all fallacious or silly. If you are engaged in healing right now you will speed things up remarkably by gently placing a hand on the affected area and talking to it. Express you love and tell it that it is safe . That it can relax and let go. If the worst comes to the worst it is an excuse for eating more chocolate. Prune flavored of course.

From Laurie Niles
Posted on May 28, 2008 at 4:14 AM
My yoga teacher talks about these kinds of things quite frequently, and the longer I practice yoga, the more I understand what he means. When we are stretching our legs, he says, "Tell your legs how much you appreciate them for carrying you around all these years!"

A number of years ago I fell down the steps while carrying my 10-month-old, and I badly sprained my ankle. I didn't want to drop the baby, so my ankle really took the fall. It was at a time when I was overdoing everything. When I started doing yoga, a few years after that fall, I started a little conversation with my still-weak ankle. Though I felt funny doing it at first, I have no problem now with assuring my ankle that I'm going to strengthen it and take care of it, to retrain it to balance again so that it never gets re-injured. It's very reassuring and effective.

From Yixi Zhang
Posted on May 28, 2008 at 4:26 AM
Buri, that is very touching. Lately I’m going through some tough spots so I really need this. A big thank you!!!
From Bart Meijer
Posted on May 28, 2008 at 5:36 AM
There is a Taoist exercise called the , taught by various teachers of Buddhism or Taoism (Thich Nhat Hanh, Mantak Chia).
I'm going to do it today. Buri, many thanks for reminding me.
From Bart Meijer
Posted on May 28, 2008 at 5:40 AM
The words "Inner Smile" got lost in my faulty HTML. The website is
See if this works better.
From Bart Meijer
Posted on May 28, 2008 at 5:42 AM
From Stephen Brivati
Posted on May 28, 2008 at 5:57 AM
if you check out `NLP Richard Bolstad `or something like that you can find his verison of the Inner Smile on tape. He doe sit very well. Highly recommended.
From janet griffiths
Posted on May 28, 2008 at 6:06 AM
My daughter wrote her university thesis on the topic of Ayurveda entitled 'Ayurveda: Holistic Harmony (a journey into the science of life)'In oder to write this she attended Gujarat University in India where they offer a degree course in Ayurveda medicine.This appraoch is still considered as valid as western medicine and is still widely practiced in India.
From Stephen Brivati
Posted on May 28, 2008 at 6:37 AM
and all over the world. I am planning on taking some training courses in Japan. One of its strongets aspects is its tools for classifying pewople in wyas that make apprpriate healing methods possible,
It also works for farting dogs
From Anne Horvath
Posted on May 28, 2008 at 12:56 PM
Lovely blog, but do you really need an excuse for eating more chocolate???
From Charles C
Posted on May 29, 2008 at 6:48 AM
Fascinating blog, Buri. I am curious about two things - one is how would you explain this in terms of more traditional thinking (or is it just not ready to be understood that way yet), and two is does it matter whether for example you actually speak etc. to an injured area out loud or can you do it in your head, or somewhere in between?
From Stephen Brivati
Posted on May 29, 2008 at 10:44 PM
Greetings, I think maybe one could substitute western or conventionla or some otehr term for traditional. The ideas expresse dhere have bene round for thousands of years. I think the basic premises of western medicine tend to be inopposition to this. Problems are seen as discrete occurences to be treated by an etxernal weapon. Thankfully, there always will be doctors willign to explore helaingpractice from other sources and geographical regions.
I don`t know what the differnece betwen speakign and thinking only would be except that speaking is a useful method for focusing on the present moment. Our thinking tends to go of fall over th epalce despite our good intentions. I note that modern tecnology (CDs etc) are offering an extrenal voice to kep our thoughts on track so I don`t actually speak while using a tape such as `The Inner Smile` mentioned above Cheers, Buri

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