I want to start by telling you a story based on an actual client I treated. This story illustrates some of the key concepts of Ally. It’s a simplified story, and your situation may be much more complex than this. But the same concepts will apply.
Susan (not her real name) had pain and no matter what she did to try to get rid of it, it kept coming back. At its best, it felt like a tightness in her right shoulder blade. At its worst, it felt like a knife sticking in her back. She was exhausted because the pain woke her up several times each night, and she was really struggling in her job as a nurse, barely getting through each day. She was worried about how this pain might affect her future, and at 59 years old she said “I’m too young to be feeling this old”.
She had seen several doctors, had x-rays and MRIs, and had tried all the medications and injections they could give her. She had been to a chiropractor and had tried physical therapy and acupuncture and massage. These things were able to help her temporarily, but the pain always came back. She had just about given up hope.
One day, during a bodywork session with me, I took her through one of the exercises I’ll be teaching you in Ally. I had her “tune into” the area where the pain was and allow an image to arise. She was kind of skeptical but was open to trying anything.
After a little while I asked her if she had received an image. She said she had but it didn’t make any sense, so she was trying to see if something else would come to her. I asked her what the image was, and she said, “a green bean”, and dismissed it as “stupid”.
I encouraged her to trust it, and to stay tuned into the sensations she was having in her body, and the image. After a few minutes she remembered something, and told me this story:
“When I was a kid, we lived next door to a family that had a garden in their yard, and they grew green beans. I remember watching the grandmother and her granddaughter sitting on the porch shelling those beans.”
At this, she got quiet. When I checked in with her, she said she was feeling sad and that the pain in her shoulder was getting worse. When I asked her about the sadness, she continued her story:
“My mother wasn’t a very affectionate woman. She was very strict and had really high standards for us. I always felt like I had to be looking over my shoulder, to see if she was watching me and if what I was doing was acceptable to her. She never told me she loved me, and I always felt like I was stupid and wasn’t good enough. I remember watching that grandmother and granddaughter being together on that porch, shelling those beans, and I wished I could be with them … they just seemed so relaxed and comfortable together.”
At this point, Susan was crying, feeling the sadness and loneliness that she had been unable to feel so many years ago. Throughout the session, her shoulder pain softened. And from that point on, Susan’s shoulder pain began to improve, and ultimately resolved completely.
Susan’s story illustrates the power of the process I am going to teach you in Ally. She had tried and tried, using external means, to solve the problem of her pain, to no avail. But with a shift in focus, she was able to get to the root of her pain, and by connecting to this, the pain was able to resolve.
The key concepts illustrated in Susan’s story that apply to you as you work with Ally, regardless of your specific situation, are:
- Susan was willing and able to slow down and listen to her body
- She allowed the information to come, rather than trying to figure it out
- She remained curious about and willing to explore what arose, even though the information she received was unexpected and didn’t make sense at first
- She was willing and able to trust the information she received (in her case, the image of the green bean)
By doing these things, this chronic problem that she had been working so hard to fix for so long was finally able to shift and ultimately resolve.