I saw a cadaver dissection in which a man had heart surgery. As his body healed in life, scar tissue connected his heart and lung to his ribcage, so that when he breathed, they all moved as a single unit. This abnormal connection was a result of healing and contraction, connecting areas of the body that weren’t supposed to be connected, permanently restricting ribcage motion for the rest of his life. His heart beat, yes, but he sacrificed some freedom for healing.
It got me thinking. We all have wounds. Are mine healing in a way that I’m a bit restricted?
I’ve seen people survive incredible trauma to become wise, loving souls. I’ve talked with people who feel ten times better with replaced knees. There’s a way to heal a wound that allows for expansion rather than contraction.
How does this happen?
Bodies are piezoelectric and autopoietic. Fancy schmancy science words, eh? Pizoelectricity is the charge your body accumulates in response to mechanical stress (pressure, sound etc.) When your tissues contract, move, lengthen, they conduct electricity and generate warmth and power. Autopoiesis is the body’s capability to reproduce and maintain, heal, itself. Auto (self) poiesis (creation).
We’re walking talking oceans of electrical charge and self-creation.
When ignored, wounds create contraction. They pull back, glue together and restrict. Adhesions occur that limit movement of the injured tissue. And, though it’s our nature to contract, we have the power of creation and healing in our very tissues. We can do the opposite. Expand.
In a physical sense, I watch this kind of healing happen in Structural Integration. I see how bodies expand with touch, opening, releasing, relaxing, re-learning over injury. Scar tissue and fascia can change depending on the attention it is given. If given a kind of beautiful devotion - a loving and whole acceptance, gentle attention, laughter and the right touch, it can change.
The kind of touch I’m talking about is acceptance of what is and an invitation of what could be. It’s courageous. It’s wide-open, steady, strong and gentle, fearless and a little playful. When this kind of touch comes from another person, with a different electric charge than yours, and it’s given with love, it’s nothing short of magical.
Its healing quality comes from pure intention and faith. It reminds us, in a very real and physical sense, how much bigger and warmer we can be. It’s a loving touch. This kind of touch does not leave you feeling smaller in any way. It lacks bad aftertaste or regret. It’s safe and whole and leaves you glowing with a warmth and strength you forgot you already have.
Your body feels it. Your body knows this touch. And needs it.
Could it be that our job is to keep expanding? To keep relaxing into expansion? Even in injury. Expand into healing.