So I don't know if I mentioned it here at all, but I've been getting Reiki treatments for the past six months or so. Reiki, at least as far as I understand it, which isn't very far, involves energy manipulation, and s sort of like a massage only with gentle touch and rubbing your energy rather than your muscles.
(No, rubbing energy is not intended as a euphemism, shush.)
There is a part of me that thinks, stubbornly, cynically, that it's Woo. Kind of like the book my maternal grandmother sent me, when I was first diagnosed with FOP, about using visualization to do everything from curing cancer to getting your dream job/home/whatever, as long as you visualize hard enough and so it every day. Or like the "pray to Jesus and He will cure everything" thing that Christians do, based on the "if you have enough faith you can move mountains" scripture. Both of which are extremely victim-blaming: if you don't get magically better, you just didn't try hard enough.
But. Reiki ... well, it's not a magic cure-all, but it also wasn't presented to me as one; there are local people who use it for cancer patients but less in a "this will magically disappear your tumor" and more in a "this will help you get through the effects of chemo/radiation" way; and I fully believe there are things that science doesn't really know about yet, and "science can't explain this" is not a *validation* of alternative techniques but it isn't a contradiction either -- but regardless.
Even if it is pure woo, which I don't think it is? The touch aspect is huge for me. Most of the touch I get is functional, like my aides wiping my butt after I poop, but it's not really the level of touch that I crave; a lot of the remainder is my mom touching me, which is as awkward and fraught with complications as it is helpful. I can't cuddle. I can't hold hands. I can't lean against someone. I am massively touch-deprived, massively isolated because of both the wheelchair and the position I'm fixed in, and *even if Reiki is entirely woo it is a way I get meaningful touch*, and that is hugely significant.
It's also really interesting ... I know that priopreception is a thing and that we are aware of our own bodies, but usually my perception of my body is very dissociated and very blobby, kind of this:( Read more... )
Somehow, especially with the person I've done most of my sessions with, reiki gives me back a sense of my body. It's related to the touch thing, I'm sure, but -- a few months back she was doing stuff with my lower legs and feet, and I was connected with them as leg- and feet-shaped objects; even though my feet are blobs, IRL as well as in my self perception, for that while they felt like normal feet-shaped feet.
And mostly I don't want a sense of my body, because all my body brings me is pain and/or immobility, but it's nice just feeling like I get plugged back in. Like I'm actually a person and not a blob.
And that's a significant thing too.