Some of my most memorable treatment experiences from Nepal will definitely be from the Tibetan Settlement.
One will be treating one of the Settlement nurses. Her story was that until about age twenty she was fine, but then her body started changing and now she could barely walk. I asked her to show me by walking across the room. Having up til then only seen her behind the desk helping us with our other clients, I was stunned to see how compromised her walk was even with a cane. My initial concern was a neurologic problem that could take a long time to treat, but Lissa helped me quickly diagnose a descended brainstem and sacrum (which would be pressing on and disrupting her nervous system).
When I finished gently helping them return to more normal positions, and got her up to walk again, she was able to walk across the room much more steadily and without her cane. There’s plenty more treatment she could use, but nevertheless she was so stunned with the change that she couldn’t ‘take it in.’ I had to spent a good bit of time reassuring her that these changes could last.
My last and favorite client was a cute but very bent over, 80-some year old woman who had left Tibet years before, was clearly not interested in being at the clinic, and didn’t even provide a reason for treatment. The day before, Lissa and Will had both treated folks from this same generation and assessed that their bodies were still holding the emotional effects of having left their homeland years before, affecting their physical health. My lady was the same, so I treated that first, and by then she had rolled over and was facing the wall. I felt she was completely uninterested in anything I was doing. So I thought to myself, well, her back sure needs help, so that’s what I worked on diligently for the rest of the time, and when she stood up, her posture was completely different and she was smiling. It was clear that the change from being bent over to almost ‘straight’ allowed her to breathe better than she had in a long time, and this also made her feel much better emotionally. For a minute we all just stood around and looked at her in awe. Another miracle.
Time will tell how much these changes hold, but I think that with our diagnostic training, and ability to identify and treat what the body wants in the order it wants it, a lot of what we did can stay.