……. Do not try this at home
I have just woken up from a deep sleep ( jet lagged slightly ) with a vivid memory from my early days as a teacher of the technique. In fact I am not sure, even, if I had started ‘practicing’.
With my gap year over ( on completing my AT training I went off on a bicycle for a year to practice on myself and let go into the unknown ) I returned to live for a period in my shepherd’s hut.
This was in close proximity to dear family friends.
The following spring, Sean had had a very traumatic experience with his new hip.. he had fallen on his second post-operative day and a few days later when he was back at home, the tiny, shiny new femoral head popped spontaneously out of its little acetabular socket, not just once.
On this particular occasion, he had done nothing more than walk carefully across the grass. ….perhaps his foot had caught and caused a rotation at the hip. We don’t know.
In response to Mary’s anxious phone call I raced over from my hut to see him rigid with pain on the sofa, barely able to draw breath and unable to move.
I found myself kneeling beside him with his foot cradled at the floor in one hand and the other supporting the outer side and just behind his knee.
My intention was to do no more than attempt to enable him to give me a little of the weight of his leg and facilitate a release somewhere, anywhere, in order to be able to breathe a little more freely, in the hope that this might alleviate the pain. I remember asking him a few questions as to where the pain was most severe.
As well as thinking of his own length and width, especially along his thigh and within his pelvis, I was directing my own back and neck as it was so distressing to see him in such pain and I was sure I did not know what to do for the best bar call an ambulance.
I may have suggested he consider width behind his lower back.
There was a sudden, palpable jolt as his hip thudded back into the socket and we both nearly jumped out of our skins. “You should have seen your face” was his comment.
I do not know exactly what happened, but I do know that over the years of friendship, and the sharing of several life-changing events, mutual respect and trust have been forged. I am honoured by that trust.
I could guess that perhaps for a second, the awful muscle spasm had a moment of reprieve and that the body was clever enough to spot the opportunity and slip the hip back in where it needed to be. I was absolutely not planning on any kind of heroic manipulation…. that is not my department. ….the right thing simply did itself, all by itself.
My thoughts are that moments of intentional release combined with a willingness to be present, even in what can sometimes be a most uncomfortable unknown, can bring about the very unexpected .
Whatever else, it makes a great story for a novice!
( names have been changed )