CASE STUDY - Vivian: Headaches and Back Pain

Vivian was a 75 year-old woman who had advanced osteoporosis that had resulted in compression fractures in three of her spinal vertebras. She had also fractured five ribs, one shoulder, and an elbow. Her bones were very brittle and she had to be careful and avoid falls. She also complained of headaches that had been with her for over twelve years. She mainly wanted relief from her musculo-skeletal pain and her headaches. She was on all the necessary medications for osteoporosis that was prescribed by her family physician. Although she was a mother and grandmother, her energy felt more male than female. She liked being in charge and enjoyed conversations with men more than women. She was proud and she wasn’t one to apologize for her mistakes and accept accountability. Her will was as strong as a warrior and she loved a good argument about religion or politics.


The oldest of three children, Vivian suddenly lost her father when she was 15. She quickly left school and began to work with her mother to help out with finances. She lived in a tough neighborhood and she had to be tough, quick, and alert. Her life was an exercise in doing and more doing and it was very difficult for Vivian to slow down and be. At 75, her energy was wired and rapid. Her body was crying for stillness and rest, but being still was very scary for someone like Vivian. Her head and her body had to be on the go in order for her to feel safe, complete, accomplished. Due to the hardships of childhood, she had identified with the harder male energy and lost the softness of her feminine nature. Her bones were now becoming soft and brittle and pleading with her to be less hard in her character.


On the treatment table the work was to slow down the overactive mind and bring in more feminine energy in her aura. Vivian resisted, feared, and did not trust the feminine energy. I asked Vivian to write a letter to her deceased father expressing to him both her gratitude and anger. In time the letter connected her to the loss of her teenage spirit that loved to sing and dance. I asked her to sing as often as she could to feel her softness and essence. The sadness in her heart center was profound. The loss of her father and her femininity was a pain she had replaced with incessant activity. For three weeks we focused on lifting the weight of the sadness from her chest and filled it with the energy of hope.

A sweetness came over her and she began to sit still and sing. The singing was taking her out of her head and helping reduce her headaches. I asked her to drink eight full glasses of water a day to help reduce the headaches (the brain is 85% water). Her musculo-skeletal pain reduced because she was doing less and not feeling self-critical about doing less. She was doing less and being more. She can now just be and feel the moment. The chattering mind was slowing down and her body was enjoying the softness of stillness and being.


We cannot feel ourselves if we are not still. Activities that take us out of our feelings and fill our days with overdoing interrupt the body’s flow of normal energy thus creating disease. We all need the energy of the feminine and the masculine. The two together help create the balance between being and doing, work and play, and activity with stillness.


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