Our story for this issue comes from Susan Lee Bady, who on a visit to her chiropractor gets relief from more than just physical pain.
My father died in April of 2001 at the age of 88. His death was difficult for me. I was very close to him and knew that I would miss him terribly and mourn his loss for a long time, but I could not begin the mourning process right away because his passing on opened the door to an intense conflict between my sister and all her siblings, and especially with me.
In the past we had been able to push the animosity under the rug, but after my father’s death (my mother had already died 10 years before) it burst forth again.
My feelings flooded me like a tsunami. For a while I kept them in check by going through the necessary forms of mourning. My siblings and I went to synagogue for the funeral and to the graveyard for the burial. We sat shiva with friends and family . The structure helped but when it ended the fighting between my sister and her siblings escalated again. The arguing settled itself in my neck and shoulders.I felt intense physical pain and found it hard to move my neck from side to side.
I tried everything I could think of to relieve the pain – massage, hot showers, relaxation techniques. Nothing worked. There was nothing else to do but make the trip from my father’s home in New Jersey to my chiropractor’s office in Brooklyn.
I entered my chiropractor’s office and told her what was happening. I lay on her table. She adjusted me and the discomfort subsided somewhat. Then, all of a sudden I felt a total release of pain, both physical and emotional. It seemed as though there were clouds below me and clouds above me, comforting and caressing me. The only way to describe the experience is to say that I felt myself in a state of grace.
“What just happened?” I asked my chiropractor. She started to give me a technical explanation. She said that vertebra such and such had moved one way and vertebra this and that had moved another direction. Then she stopped in the midst of her discourse. “To tell you the truth, Susan, she said, “what actually happened is that I prayed to Jesus Christ and asked Him to help you find peace. I’ve done this for you other occasions, but this is the first time you have responded so strongly.”
The experience of grace did not repeat itself, even though I stayed with my chiropractor for many more years until she retired. And yet it is with me always. I am now in the midst of conflict again with my sister, and as we struggle to see if (and how) we can repair our relationship, the memory of that moment sustains me throughout the process as well as for many other moments of my life.
— Susan Lee Bady
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