By Jonathan Tripodi
“It’s ok, Jonathan! You have been hit by a car, but you are going to be alright.”
My mother was a blur to me but I heard her reassuring voice before I slipped back into unconsciousness, as the ambulance raced me to the hospital. I was five years old and had been hit by a car while walking across the road in front of my house. The driver was intoxicated and his car hit me going forty-five miles per hour. My body was tossed fifty feet and landed in the neighbor’s gravel driveway, where I laid unconscious. My mom heard the thud and instinctively knew it was me. Bolting out of the house, she found me unconscious and began mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. She saved my life.
After six weeks in a waist-down cast, followed by exercises to strengthen my legs and a period of re-learning to walk, I was up and running like nothing ever happened.
At age twenty-one, I became breathless from a blood clot that embolized from my right leg – the same leg that was hit by the car when I was five. After three days of medical treatment, the clot was dissolved and I was released. The doctors called the episode a fluke, declaring it would never happen again. Six months later it did. I developed massive clotting in my right leg and spent three months in three different hospitals. After extensive testing and no results, I traveled to one of the top diagnostic hospitals in the world – the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. A team of seven physicians found no answers and had no solutions for healing. After being evaluated by the best of the best, the explanation from the lead physician was, “We don’t know what caused your body to clot. What we do know is the damage to your leg is severe. The probability you could clot again is rather high unless you remain on blood thinning medication for the rest of your life. The condition in your leg is degenerative, meaning it will gradually get worse rather than better. In five years, the remaining vessels in your leg will become varicose from the constant swelling. In ten years, the circulation will be so poor that your tissues will start to die, requiring some level of amputation. You will need to wear a medical garment around your leg at all times except when you sleep to keep the swelling down. We have never seen a clotting condition so severe with such a perfectly healthy young man. We are sorry and wish you the best of luck.”
Given no guarantees and a dead-end prognosis, I took my life into my own hands and began to explore the world of alternative health and healing. I remained on blood thinning medication for six months, then replaced it with blood thinning vitamins and herbs.
Although alternative methods offered no guarantees, it did offer possibilities for improvement which inspired me to be open-minded and explorative.
By age twenty-five, I completed my degree in Physical Therapy. My leg remained swollen, nearly twice the size of my left leg. Activity other than walking and swimming caused my leg to swell more and become painful even while wearing a medical compression garment which I wore all religiously everyday. I had to elevate my leg during the day whenever I could and always at night while sleeping. A young colleague introduced me to a new physical therapy approach that was referred to as “voodoo” by the seasoned PT’s I worked with because of reports that it released stored memory from past injuries and emotional traumas. I took a weekend training seminar in this “voodoo” therapy and learned that there were years of documented clinical experiences dating back to the early 1900’s describing how the body stores stressful or overwhelming experiences. I also learned that the body is innately designed to release body memory as a means of achieving homeostasis or balance. In the class, students practiced techniques to support the release of body memory and on the last day I experienced my first release.
Tears poured out of me as the muscles of my belly and chest contracted, trembled and released suppressed emotion that accumulated over the years – all from a light touch held gently over the sides of my head.
I continued my training in body memory therapy and experienced many more releases, including the stored stress from the car accident when I was five.
With each release, I felt more alive, my senses heightened, my heart more open and compassionate. My body became more flexible and the swelling in my leg, which was medically fated to get worse, dramatically improved.
By age twenty-seven, my exercise routine, previously limited to walking and swimming due to painful swelling, now included yoga and mountain climbing. At age thirty, I went into private practice and became an educator of body memory – giving lectures and training seminars that enabled others to experience the extraordinary benefits of releasing body memory. In 1997, I developed an approach called Body Memory Recall (BMR). BMR incorporates various forms of touch, pressure and stretch that support the natural release of body memory. The BMR techniques are an integration and expansion of my training and are easily learned by healthcare practitioners and lay people alike.
While in my thirties, I had come to adopt a healthy lifestyle that included organic foods, yoga, a positive attitude and ongoing therapeutic bodywork that supported the release of body memory. Today at the age of forty I have no visible swelling in my leg. I still wear a compression garment but only during strenuous activity. There are no signs of varicosity and the circulation in my leg is healthier than most runners. From both my personal healing experience, and my professional experience, involving the use of BMR in the treatment of hundreds of people, I have learned a few things.
1. We are more sensitive than we realize and easily overwhelmed.
2. Suppressing stressful experiences, including emotions, has become epidemic and an unconscious habit in our society.
3. Stored stress limits the body’s ability to maintain proper alignment and experience inner peace.
4. The release of body memory magnifies the body’s ability to re-vitalize itself and is the body’s natural method of achieving inner harmony between mind, body and spirit.
5. Body memory is invisible to the untrained eye, which is why it goes undiagnosed and untreated by most physicians and therapists.
6. Our ability to heal and grow from trauma, stress or injury is just as natural and possible as our ability to survive it . In other words, if you have survived it, you can transform it.
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