“I know exactly what the problem is,” she said as I was laying face down on the table.
I had just explained that my lower back on my right side had been sending out painful messages, and I didn’t know why. She had walked down by my feet.
“Are you going to tell me that one leg is shorter than the other?”
The only reason why I said this was because a friend of mine who is very intuitive had told me this months prior after I had sent out a text explaining that I had to crawl out of bed one morning as sharp spasms gripped my entire lower back.
“Yes. Your right leg is shorter than your left.”
For three months I had put up with it figuring it would go away after awhile. Simple tasks became horrible as I would lock into a certain position when trying to put on a sock or grab a pen that had fallen to the floor. Things I had taken for granted now were difficult to perform.
Many hot packs and Epsom salt baths later, I was ready for the truth to set me free.
“This is something that we can fix today.”
The only reason I had finally gone to the chiropractor was because my youngest daughter had complained of stiffness and aches in her lower back. When it comes to the kids, I will go in immediately, but for myself, I will wait. I had reluctantly put myself up on the table out of necessity.
She came back up toward my head and began to run her thumbs along my spine. The familiar humming of a tune began. The first few times I saw her for treatment this struck me as odd. Just before the snap and crunch, she would hum a melody that usually consisted of long drawn out notes that made me relax.
“Okay, I need you to lay on your left side facing the wall.”
This was something we had done before, so I was well versed in flipping over. She pulled my right leg across my body. This also was usually part of the procedure, however, she did something different this time. When she performed the maneuver, I let out a surprising,
My eyes must have gone wide and my face pale because my daughter who was observing said,
“Mom, are you okay?”
I did a mental check of my body and realized that she hadn’t caused me pain, but she had taken some of the oxygen out of my lungs. Whatever she did felt like my right hip had been relocated to its natural spot. I no longer felt the grabbing twinge on my right side.
Afterward, she took out a plastic skeleton and showed me that when a person has an injury on one side of the body, later in life it can cause that side to become shorter than the other. I left the office feeling so much better now that I wasn’t walking a crooked path.
When I returned home, I checked my home phone for messages and saw a number from a local technical college. I clicked the button to listen.
“I am calling to see if you would like to come in for a free massage at our school in the next month. Please call us back and let us know.”
The year before, I had been looking for places that gave massages and found that I could volunteer for students. I had put my name on the list but hadn’t heard anything. I dialed the number and spoke with a student.
“Sure. We can get you right in here. Oh, the other thing is, if you want, you can actually have three free massages over a period of three weeks.”
“Really?” I said astonished.
She booked me for two hot stone massages that would last an hour and a half per session and an hour Swedish massage. I got off the phone in slight amazement as I was suddenly realizing how small actions can lead to blessings.
Four days before this, I had splurged and sought out a massage therapist close to home who specializes in pain therapy. I was drawn to this particular spot after reading online that it wasn’t just about the massage but the idea that healing could come to my body. I felt I was to spend some money on myself as there still are times I catch myself worrying about my finances. It was to be a two fold mission. One, to seek out pain relief, and two, to make myself a priority.
I was greeted by a woman who had a calming, welcoming demeanor. We made our way to a dimly lit room where she and I talked for awhile. It became clear that she wasn’t just a therapist, but a person who took interest in her clients. I had given her very little information to go on in my paperwork other than where the location of my discomfort was.
She suddenly said,
“Are you concerned about money? I sensed that when I said hello to you.”
I smiled but I actually could not hold in my tears. Whether it was the pain taking its toll on me or the soft spoken words of truth, it hit me emotionally enough that she had to hand me an entire box of Kleenex. I explained a few of my underlying fears revolving about money since my divorce and how eight years later, with my youngest graduating from high school, I felt uncertain about my existence in general.
She openly confessed to me that her marriage was in a shambles, and she was trying not to consider divorce.
“I made it this far,” I said gulping down another round of tears.
“Then, you will make it even farther. You are a strong person. I can see that from only you being with me for such a short time.”
We proceeded on to the most wonderful ninety minute session where we spoke very little. At the conclusion of our time together she said.
“When I treat people, I often pick up on things that they are feeling or thinking. It’s just part of my job. I feel like you have a lot of pain built up that you need to keep releasing. I usually will feel a tingling sensation with people, but with you I felt a large amount of burning almost as if a fire is trapped inside of your body. This can cause inflammation as well. Just let things go and get it out of your system. Don’t hold things in so much. So what if people know you aren’t happy all the time? Let it out either through laughter or crying. Whatever makes you feel better.”
To some, her words would be nonsense, but to me they made sense. I felt relief not only on the outside but on the inside as well.
When I went to pay my bill, I knew that the charge was going to be an amount that I normally would have balked at. But, this time, I had made up my mind to take care of myself. In addition, I felt led to give a tip that would bring honor to this person who had just helped me so much.
As I got into bed that night, I wondered how I could get another massage. Where would the money come from to enjoy such an experience again? Each morning after, I contemplated how I could ‘afford’ to have another treatment. Not so much by the same person, but to allow myself the indulgence because it made me feel so much better. Little did I know that by allowing myself the treatment ,and giving her a tip, that days later I would be the recipient of three more free treatments. Along with the care of a wonderful chiropractor, I felt like I was being offered more help to resolve my painful problem.
I attended my first free massage the other day. I was assisted by a woman who looked at least ten years older than me. She didn’t fit the description of the typical ‘student’. I wondered as I got prepared for the session how her hands would hold up because it was to be an hour long. Gently, she went over all of the instructions, made sure I was doing okay, and at one point while lying on my stomach I started to drift into a dream where I saw myself and my daughters laughing. It was so real that when I snapped back to reality I didn’t know at first where I was. She leaned down and said with a smile,
“We are all finished. What do you think?”
“Thank you. That was great.”
She smiled brighter, and I could see that she loved the work.
Am I totally healed at this point? No. I still have moments of residual pain across my lower back that requires an ice bag or two and an occasional adjustment. But, what has this done? I listen to my body more. I don’t blow off the signals that tell me something is amiss. I rest when I need to. I sleep and don’t force myself to stay awake. And, I have become more mindful of the word ‘short.’ You see, when the chiropractor said my one leg was shorter than the other, I began to consider how many times I have worried about being short on money. Each month I have fought a small amount of fear that this could be the ‘big one’. I could be one of those people who suddenly find themselves destitute, so I limit doing nice things for myself because there are more important expenses to take care of. There is an inner system of judgment that says: “If you can afford this, then why aren’t you paying this particular bill faster?”
There has to be a balance between obligations and taking care of oneself. In John 10:10 it says: “The thief comes only to kill and destroy. I have come to give them a rich and satisfying life.” (New Living Translation) I am the one who robs joy from myself through my worry and unfounded fears. When I limit help, I limit God. But, the desire of heaven is for all of us to live our days in health and peace. I am grateful for the people who have been put on my path to show me this.
Take care of yourself because it brings honor to your Creator and it stops you from selling yourself short.