Today, Catalina worked on my spine. She warned me that the sensations in my back could be painful and deep, but I was game.
She started on the upper left side of my back and there was some discomfort, but the sensations were totally manageable. As she worked, I started thinking about my childbirth experiences and how powerful they were. I shared with Catalina that I have never been more connected to my body than during my labor and deliveries. The birth experience also felt much bigger than me — I felt connected to all mothers and that I was partaking in something primal and ancestral.
With each of my deliveries, when I felt the urge to push, the nurses and residents asked me to slow down and wait until my OB got to the hospital. Each time, I unequivocally ignored these requests because I had bigger forces telling me it was absolutely the right time to PUSH. It felt amazing to listen to my body and my instincts without any concern for what anyone else was thinking about me. I can see now that the freedom and power I experienced in my body during those delivery moments is exactly what I am now working to bring into my every day life.
When Catalina moved to the upper right side of my back, it was a whole different ball game. The points she pushed on ranged from painful to excruciating. I practiced my Bradley Method breathing (yes, there’s a whole birth thru-line here) so I could relax and not resist the sensations. I felt alternatively angry, hot, sad, flushed, scared and vulnerable as her fingers seemed to intuit the exact spots on my back that provoked the sharpest pain (A few times during this process, my exhale was accompanied by an unexpected and audible moan which I have only ever heard myself do in one other context . . .yep, you guessed it . . . during contractions). Finally, after about 15 – 20 minutes, the points in my back started to release and I had a brief coughing fit followed by sobs.
It’s hard to describe how I’m feeling in the aftermath of today’s session. I’m not quite far enough away from it to get perspective. But I have noticed that my communications in the past 4 hours have been very grounded, clear and confident — perhaps not quite as powerful and dramatic as declaring the arrival of a baby into the world, but nonetheless . . .