At my personal session with Courtney today we went straight into energy work. No small talk or stretching first. I had been experiencing pain in my left leg, and I guess she could sense the urgency there. After the session she explained that our left side is emotional. And it’s no wonder, that side is the keeper of the heart. I was moved to hear that meaning because during our left-side work, I felt myself travel through four emotions very intensely.

Almost as suddenly as she started the work, I experienced eruptions of old anxiety, as if seeing a flashback of something I had worried about last week. Just as quickly as it overcame me, it was shrunken away by a blanket of light which looked like staring at the sun through closed eyes on an impossibly bright beach day. (Or like closing your eyes after prolonged computer-screen staring). A combination of blackness and light all at once which was warming; it forced me to smile outwardly. I felt my lips move. Next came sadness over nothing in particular, and phew, the light came in again. I saw the darkness shrink down like the black hole of a camera shutter getting smaller and smaller until it was gone completely.

When Courtney worked on my right side, my experience was utterly physiological. I felt tingly coldnessall over my most superficial fascia (underbelly of the skin), much like the sensation just before goosebumps. This sort of happens whenever I bite ice (probably the feeling you get when scratching a chalkboard, squeezing a cotton ball, squeaking styrofoam, etc.). The tops of my arms become aware of something happening elsewhere on my body, and the awareness spreads like wildfire until my whole self is a nerve ending acutely experiencing the same thing. I was attuned to the chanting playing in the background in chorus with the frog soundtrack in our room. My body felt like a harmony of disparate noises.

We pushed on the fascia at the connection of my thigh and pelvis, which elicited a great twitch in that space. Courtney explained that twitches are the body letting go of something, and calls this big one a victory. I’ll take it. The intensity of the day’s work left my legs feeling a little weird afterwards, which Courtney predicted. The experience was almost like a phantom limb. Entering the subway, I found my left thigh tightening at the stairs, bracing against a twinge of knee pain that wasn't there. I released the tense thigh standing on my right foot to find that the pain still wasn't there. It wasn't there.

My homework is to pay attention to this type of pain. When I sense it, draw a big virtual circle around it and look there. Every pain starts as a tiny seed somewhere inside that radiates to a larger and larger area. So if we zoom in around the leg, then down to the knee, then down to the top, middle, bottom, left, under layer of the knee cap, we can find the seed that started it all. Better yet, that seeking might help it dissipate. And in the case of those left-side pains, It might illuminate an emotional experience bringing on the ick. Thus begins the healing process. Or at the very least, a beautiful feeling on the subway stairs.


Written by Laura Norkin
Body Banter