I saw a physio here in Sooke yesterday. Having practiced physiotherapy and acupuncture for 20-some years, John is compassionate and knowledgeable. An unassuming man with the soul of a healer and a monk-like, puckish grin.
John asked me about the history of my hip, noticing that I sat with my weight on the left. After a few gentle questions, I found my eyes tearing up. I remembered an ex-dancer in his early 50's who told me of his grieving following his double hip replacement. He'd waited until he could barely walk before getting surgery. John mentioned holding space for a natural grieving process. I realize it's a necessary part of my healing. I don't like having to live with a porcelain hip. I liked my body just fine as it was - before the pain. I think I need to play me some cryin' tunes.
The MyoFascial Web
John placed me in front of a mirror and looked at my posture. He asked me to notice how my pelvis was shifted to the left, my ribs and shoulders to the right. John described the fascia as a net that weaves through all the tissues of the body. Put your fingers into the net, and twist it. The twist will carry through the rest of the net, creating pulls in other places.
Symmetry, symmetry, symmetry!
To correct my posture, John asked me to root through my feet, still allowing my right foot to rotate outwards about 45 degrees. Then to do a Kegel (like yoga's Mula Bandha) and engage my core (Samanha Vayu), keeping the upper abdominals soft. He encouraged me to lengthen, to reach up through the crown of my head. Through creating length in the spine, taking the slack out, everything slid into alignment.
My hip flexors have been shortening, and my lumbar curve deepening. John recommended that rather than a walker, I use crutches. These will enable me to walk evenly as well as continue to lengthen instead of leaning forward over the walker. Crutches for a bit, then a cane. I'll be walking unaided in no time.
I was already feeling impatient with 3 - 6 months of precautions. When John said 12 - 18 months for total recovery, I almost burst into tears. I realize he means until everything's all aligned, no limp, etc., but that's a long time!!!
He asked me what I am afraid of. These are my fears:
- That I'll need to get my left hip replaced too. Johns says it's likely.
- That when it's all healed up, I'll have a squeak, or a clunk, or one leg longer than the other.
- That my range of motion continues to be very limited.
It's about the journey
How often do I have to be reminded?? John suggested I enjoy this process of healing. Which started me thinking that it's kind of like a reverse pregnancy. My surgery could (with much less required from me) be likened to the trauma of childbirth. I need to spend more than nine months caring well for my body. Each month will bring more ease, rather than less. My work is accepting each day for the challenges it brings, and having faith in the process.
Being reborn into a body that moves fluidly, painfree - I think that's worth waiting for. For that, I can do my best to live each day consciously. To eat well, move well and rest well. To care for my spirit and my soul, opening space for emotions to flow. I can choose patience, with that shining light at the end of the tunnel.