As I have watched others complete vision therapy successfully, I have wondered what I am missing. One of the things I have done to facilitate whole body healing for myself is bodywork, specifically structural integration. (See the end of this post where I mention some other modalities that seem to be working for vision healing.)
So, what is bodywork? I’m not talking about car repair here! I originally thought that bodywork was a term reserved for the structural integration that provided the cure for my pronounced feet problems. But bodywork actually includes a whole range of energy work and other physical bodywork modalities.
Wikipedia says: “Bodywork is a term used in alternative medicine to describe any therapeutic or personal development technique that involves working with the human body in a form involving manipulative therapy, breath work, or energy medicine. In addition bodywork techniques aim to assess or improve posture, promote awareness of the “body-mind connection” rather than the “mind-body connection,,” or to manipulate the so-called “energy field” surrounding the human body and affecting health.” Wikipedia goes on to list various non-touch forms of bodywork: reiki, yoga, pranayama, breathwork respiration techniques, therapeutic touch, Bates method for sight training, qigong, and t’ai chi. Forms of manipulative bodywork include: the Alexander technique, applied kinesiology, Bowen technique, chiropractic, Feldenkrais method, hakomi, postural integration, reflexology, Rolfing, shiatsu, structural integration, somatic experiencing, Trager approach, polarity therapy and re-balancing.
The article also mentions that “deep tissue massage therapy and the terms massage and bodywork are often used interchangeably.”
Over the years, I actually had an aversion to many of the types of “body work.” They seemed a little too “woo-woo” or “out there” for me. However a few years ago probably around the same time I first did structural integration, a friend of mine did training in Reiki. She was looking for her niche and exploring lots of hobbies and activities.
The Reiki phase didn’t last long, but she told me after our session, that she hadn’t felt that much energy from anyone before. (Of course her experience was quite limited). I felt like it was productive and positive healing. But I didn’t seek out more treatment.
I have tried the traditional and non-traditional or holistic/naturopathic approach and I believe both have a place. However, I have often received more bang for my buck (in time and energy as well as money) with the non-traditional approach.
I am convinced there is a connection between body and eye alignment. I haven’t been able to find the article again, but I came across something that made the connection between crossed eyes and crossed feet. This is very personal for me because I was born with pigeon toes. When I was an infant, the doctor put me in casts to correct my feet. After the treatment, the doctor said that even though my feet still turned in slightly, I would correct the rest myself. I recall entering a building with windowed doors with my parents when I was about five years old and noticing my feet weren’t straight. I must have asked my mom about it and she told me what the doctor had said. I made a conscious effort after that to point my feet straight.
When I was in high school, foot pain led me to seek help from a podiatrist who prescribed orthodics, which I would apparently always need. X-rays showed that every bone in each of my feet was in the wrong place. The podiatrist said it could be corrected with surgery, but there was no guarantee of success. Imagine them trying to move each of the 52 bones in my feet!
As a result, I wore orthodics for the next 28 years. Then I discovered bodywork and had the full 12-week session of visits with Ruth Young Bodyworks. After my structural integration practitioner, Ruth, worked on my feet, my extremely high arches were lowered to normal, the hump on the top of each foot was gone, and I threw away my orthodics. They no longer fit my feet anyway! And my feet felt great! Ruth also taught me some exercises to do to keep my feet well. My whole body was aligned properly at last.
There are probably people out there who will say this is an impossible result, including my podiatrists (one who retired and one who I never returned to visit). I am not an isolated case, however. My oldest daughter experienced the same result. She went through foot braces and corrective shoes as an infant, wore orthodics from the time she was 5, and tossed them after structural integration in high school. IT WORKS!
I recently discovered a blog where they used a combination of energy kinesiology, chiropractic and vision therapy to treat their adopted 2-year-old daughter’s strabismus. (offkltr.com is the website: http://offkltr.com/?s=vision+therapy&x=-1038&y=-374). Apparently she hasn’t updated in the past year, but it sounded like a rather novel, whole body approach to healing.
I also came across a man who healed his strabismus through the Alexander technique combined with the Eyebody method by Peter Grunwald. (http://see-movement.blogspot.com/2011/07/strabismus-part-one.html).