The Body Never Forgets
In 1988 I acquired a fatal, incurable, disfiguring, and wildly painful disease, one that most likely my body had been harboring for a long, long time. In 1990, serendipity put me in the right place at the right time and I was accepted into a study searching for a cure or a treatment, anything that might offer the mostly women who acquired this disease — progressive systemic sclerosis — some sort of reprieve.
The study, a complex procedure known as extracorporeal photopheresis, was on its last legs and in 1992 the funding finally ran out because the human guinea pigs were dying like flies; I had been the only one on record to have been healed by the process. And of course, no one knew why that was. When they set me free from the hospital, everyone there fully expected the disease to return and kill me quickly as had happened with everyone else who’d left the program. That’s why I was still on it.
My father had died the day before and I’d felt tremendous relief for him. He’d had a stroke years prior to contracting the colon cancer that ultimately took his life and, bedridden, no longer able to function as a pathologist… or anything else for that matter, he’d been miserable. Between the two events, I felt as if I’d been freed from a great weight.
But I went home confident that I had, in fact, been fully healed by this strange process that seemed to have healed no one else. One of my sisters came over to congratulate me; we had a brief conversation in which I told her something she didn’t know and she told me something I didn’t know and both those things were about childhood sexual abuse that we had endured. The thing I had remembered was that my grandfather was, among other reprehensible things, “a dirty old man.” He would snap my bra, tease me about my tiny, growing breasts, and grab my bottom whenever he got the chance. The thing I hadn’t known, the thing she told me, was about my father…
The next thing that I knew, my sister wasn’t there anymore, and I was standing in my kitchen, spellbound by what seemed to be a series of movie clips that were unfolding in front of my eyes. In those movie clips I saw many, many strange little puffs of memories that I’d had been experiencing randomly for as long as I could remember and I watched as each of them unfolded into full-blown 30 second to 1 minute, full-color videos. By the time the show was over I was reeling (no pun intended), and I collapsed. I lay down, and allowed what had just happened to wash over my conscious mind and find someplace to rest. All the memory snippets had expanded into full blown incestual memories
The whole experience was not dissimilar from what happens when you drop small dried sponge animals into a glass of water and they blow up to four or five times their size, becoming completely recognizable as very specific animals. My body had known for decades what my mind had so successfully kept from me and it had decided to let me in on it. Why it chose just then, I don’t know. Maybe my body sensed that I was feeling free and strong and could take it… and I could.
I called another sister on the phone and told her what had happened; she hadn’t forgotten anything.
Over the course of the next couple of years I visited numerous therapists and energy workers and practitioners of all sorts of modalities in an attempt to “get clear” of the emotional impact of the memories. I didn’t want to forget them — far from it — I wanted to know as much as I could because I wanted to know what had happened to me. I wanted to know what had happened to me because right up until scleroderma had claimed me I was out of control. I was a hot mess. “Faithful?” I didn’t know what the word meant. And I hated myself for my behavior. It had cost me a lot. It cost me being able to raise my children… but that may have been just as well for them.
Many of the therapists and practitioners I worked with insisted that I had been gifted with an ability to help others with their healing but I didn’t want to hear that. I was busy enough with myself. After a number of years, though, their messages began to sink in as I began to attain something like a normal mindset. I ended up as an ordained metaphysical minister with a specialty in spiritual counseling, an honorary doctor of divinity degree, and masterships in at least three different energetic healing modalities. I developed a thriving practice and felt, for the first time in my life, useful. I was frustrated by something though: the people that were coming to me, seeking relief from their pain, be it emotional or physical, did not seem to have the same sort of interest in healing themselves as I had experienced. They didn’t seem committed to changing anything in their lives that would really need changing if they were to heal. It was as if they came to see me as some sort of diversion; my treatments were a way for them to feel good for a while, but they refused to take responsibility for their own lives and no matter how I stated the facts to them, I could not get most of them to see that.
One day, after a client left, I threw my hands up to the heavens in frustration and shouted out loud, “Please, please send me someone who can show me what I know that I don’t know about healing.” As the Universe would have it, about a week later, when I was attending a lecture on neurolinguistic programming, the man who was speaking — a compelling presence — mentioned something about dreams and the power of dreams and dreaming to expand one’s consciousness, for solving problems, and for creativity in general. I knew that this had certainly been true for me, especially when I’d been healing from scleroderma.
When I got home I nonchalantly asked my body if there were anything it could do to perhaps allow my hands to open up as they were the last part of my body still massively affected by the scleroderma. They still are. So you can see how well that worked. But what also happened was that, upon awakening the next day, I had boils, up and down both arms. My body had heard me! It did what it could, probably releasing toxins. I guess that’s all it could do. But it was proof enough for me that we could communicate and work together at that level. So the following night, I apologized to my body for making such a huge request and I thanked her for trying.
Later that week, sometime prior to my waking up, I heard a voice. The voice was in dream but the experience of it was as real and loud and clear as if it had been speaking directly to me in the flesh. The voice first told me that I might as well give up on my clients taking responsibility for themselves because they were unlikely to do so and then it suggested that, if I were in fact that frustrated by my clients, then a) perhaps I shouldn’t be working with them in that way, and b) perhaps I should consider teaching them a technique that this “voice” said that it would teach me and in that way I could support my clients if they were willing to make the commitment to do some of the work themselves and the work — as I would discover years later — is something tat amounts to Emotional Cellular Reprogramming.
The possibility of cellular reprogramming exists because every cell in the human body contains information which it has acquired from life experiences. And because cells divide and reproduce, that information gets passed on to future generations of cells. This is a necessary part of the survival mechanisms of the human body. If a cave person had seen a cave-mate get eaten by a tiger, or drop dead after eating a certain plant, it’s would have been critical to retain that information… deeply. The body remembers for as long as it lives. It remembers everything it has ever seen, heard, tasted, smelled or felt. The mind may not be able to readily ‘interpret’ that information, but the information is there. The body is “programmed” at a cellular level.
Just talking about something does nothing to get rid of cellular-level programming unless, by chance, a certain word or sentence has been “charged” with some kind of remembered emotional or physical energy so that it is linked to a physical response that the person once experienced. Talking may allow a hidden memory to resurface but it can’t make whatever effects the body is holding onto — for its safety — go away. Emotional Cellular Reprogramming can.
The two best books I know on ECR are Dr. Bruce Lipton’s Biology of Belief and Dr. Candace Pert’s The Molecules of Emotion. There are trained professionals who practice modalities like EMDR and some forms of tapping that can accomplish the task as well but the sessions are not cheap. That’s why, after seeing how amazingly my clients progressed, when I switched them from hands-on healing with me to what I came to call SleepMagic I decided to write a book explaining the technique.
When I’d been so horribly ill I was about as broke as I could be. One of my brothers had very generously offered my husband and I room in his home or I don’t know where we’d have been able to go. It’s a scary feeling to be both fatally ill and facing possible homelessness; it affected me profoundly.
Once I healed and we were able to move out and get our own place, and I began my practice which then turned into SleepMagic. My husband heard my reports of how well my clients were doing and decided that he wanted me to be like all those folks who do seminars and charge hundreds of dollars for tickets… so I did one seminar and let everyone in for free and he never brought it up again. He wanted me to self-publish the book I was planning to write so that I could make more money; I wanted to find a publisher with connections abroad so that the information could go out to as many people as it could… we divorced; I found my publisher… and found another husband by accident.
I make 10 cents on every book my publishers sell and my first book is selling just as well now as it did when they first released it… I’ve got two more books on the technique out there now since I keep learning more about what can be done the more I continue to use the technique myself. The revenue from those books will never support me and I don’t care. I didn’t write those books to support me; I wrote them for all of the people who desperately desire to heal and can’t afford private sessions with trained therapists.
Your body knows more about you than anyone outside of you ever will; your body undoubtedly knows more about you do than you do… mine certainly did. Bodies are grateful when they feel your respect and your trust in their wisdom and when you pay attention to their subtle messages. Your body will work for you and with you because you are both stronger when you are working together.