I remember way back in kindergarten, one of the girls came in with a bandaged limb (I don’t remember exactly which one it was). I couldn’t bear looking at it; and ended up feeling the pain in my body, long after I had left the class.
I didn’t think much of that.
Stray dogs into bones
Until last year, I had just left my girlfriend’s cottage going to the other end of the country, when the next day a stray dog ran into her and knocked out a knee that she had previously injured (and had “fixed” by an osteopath) six times in various sports accidents, with the injury getting progressively worse each time the knee got affected. She was in agony and unable to walk for a day, and the knee was swollen to the size of a small melon, but she refused to see a doctor for reasons of bad experiences. When the next day she was even worse, obviously suffering and staying in bed, I couldn’t hold back anymore and “tuned in” with my newfound energy skills.
This experience was reminiscent of the one I had in kindergarten (and many times since, which basically made me avoid people with any sort of injury or illness), except that this time, I was doing it consciously and deliberately for perhaps the first time.
“Becoming the knee”
What happened was much more intense than usual. I felt not just pain spreading throughout my whole body, but a kind of nausea twisting everything in me out of shape, into weird directions, smashing, squashing, pulling it apart into a completely deformed way.
If I had not been in love with that person and wrenched by her pain and fearing that for that reason she’d have to cancel her visit and we wouldn’t meet for who knows how long (she said that from the previous injury she’d had to stay immobilised in bed for two weeks without walking, not to mention traveling), that would have been it – that nauseous feeling would have “kicked me out” and I wouldn’t have touched it anymore.
However, this time, something in me pushed me to push through it. It was like the nausea got worse, my whole body twisted and turned and rearranged inwardly like it’s being tossed around and crushed in some giant washing machine. Something deep in my core, deep inside my being and my torso shifted around. Suddenly I made sense of it – at least I got the thought that possibly, my whole body was taking on the “shape” and feel of that knee; its “felt shape” so to speak. My whole body was feeling like jumbled bones and squashed connective tissue, probably.
The weirdest thing was that as long as I could tolerate the utter discomfort and dislocation / deformation, and somehow “digest” it – I felt my body entering into some “autopilot” state of rearranging itself inwardly. It’s like I sensed it gradually, very slowly, and sometimes painfully “shifting into place” with the tiniest, but still clearly felt “micro-movements” taking place as if all through me, in my torso, belly, chest, being, even in the “energy egg” surrounding my whole body, everywhere.
I don’t know how long this lasted, but I stayed in this state as long as I could maintain it, for some reason, instinctively. Until the nausea ceased somewhat. I really didn’t know what I was doing, but something in me kept doing it.
Only after the fact I realised I should have asked for permission, and did it retrospectively (with a late night text message). The next morning the swelling was much less, and at noon she was taking a walk. She said this would have taken at least two weeks to heal normally, and credited whatever I was doing with having accomplished that effect. She also asked me to continue doing whatever-it-was for the pain to fully disappear.
I did that for perhaps another 2-3 days. But I didn’t feel that my whole body was taken up by the pain / nausea / dislocation anymore; gradually the feeling localised and I felt it in my knee only. When I felt the knee wasn’t “calling for attention” anymore, my attention shifted to the whole leg (especially the ankle), the other leg and ankle, and their connection through the hip – it’s like I felt the imbalance there and as I sensed it, I felt it inwardly balancing “through me”.
The day after I worked on the ankle-hip connection, my friend suddenly got red, hot spots on the knee and ankle (she sent me pictures), which appeared spontaneously and disappeared after a short time. After another day or two, she was virtually pain free. She went hiking on the weekend and also claimed that her movement range in the knee was larger than before the injury (she could sit cross-legged now, which she couldn’t before).
I thought the whole story was crazy. In my scientific mindset, I would have ascribed it to chance if she had not insisted that what happened was utterly inconsistent with her experience with her six previous injuries in that knee. It had never fixed itself spontaneously in a day or two. She even kept telling people about it.
What on earth was that?
That whole episode puzzled me a lot, but also pushed me in the direction of actually exploring what is going on here and whether it’s a possibility that these “physical empath” states I go into are more than imagination and possibly have a function. My friend pushed me into that forcefully, and I have had a few similar, though less dramatic experiences with it since.
Instinct and emotion
Overall I have to say that the episode – diving into these states for probably several hours per day for a few days – left me deeply exhausted at the end. And I don’t think I would or could have done it without the emotional and instinctual sense of urgency that accompanied it. I wouldn’t have kept at it.
At the same time I wonder whether this situation activated some deeply held instinctual (or perhaps ingrained in body-memory) script on how to use this type of physical mirroring for healing, somehow.
After having seen it a couple more times, I do now accept that it’s a possibility that it’s real. Even though part of my mind keeps telling me that I’m crazy for that. Still, I have on some level committed to exploring this possibility with people who ask me to.
Having tried this more than a few times now, my intuitive sense of what is happening here is that some kind of “entanglement” can happen between the psycho-physical (sometime very physical) states of two people, in which somehow what happens in the one mirrors back to the other. Both ways. I would have never thought that this is possible on a physical level, but I’m at least open to this now, without insisting on anything.
It does evoke a sense of mystery in me.