Originally Posted in Our Community of Humanity at Inner Child Magazine
Jiggling Eyes, Genetics and The Potential to Recover
"My eyes jiggle when I jump up and down like this ..." The six year old boy demonstrated in my clinical treatment room.
"He can't tell the difference between orange and red or between purple and blue, since the accident." His mother voiced her concerns, explaining the details of his fall two days earlier. "He hit his face on a chain link fence and bruised his elbows."
In Integrative Manual Therapy (IMT), a kind of hands-on alternative medicine, there is a reflex point at the hard tip of the elbow that when rubbed, pressed or needled is said to influence the rods and the cones of the eyes. The cones, gathered in the center macula of the retina are responsible for color vision.
I didn't always know how to help people like six year old, Jack or the 82 year old woman losing her vision to macular degeneration or the young woman with inflammation of the eyes due to multiple sclerosis. But my appreciation of beauty, of light and color started practically from when I was born to an artist and an international businessman. Perhaps my connection with Eastern healing philosophies, like acupressure, Qigong and meditation started with the energetic line connection me to my father who was on a US Naval Ship in Japan, the day I was born.
When I was eight years old my family and I lived in Latin America. One day near a waterfall in a Colombian jungle my father helped me catch a blue morpho butterfly. Its huge iridescent wings were the most beautiful things I had ever seen.
By the time I was twenty-eight, I was working as a professional photographer and a freelance journalist. I had seen Paris from the top of the Eifel Tower, climbed to play around the Belgian Lion of Waterloo, walked the halls of the Hermitage in St. Petersburg, ridden a train through the Siberian summer, hiked along the Great Wall of China, enjoyed the lush green vegetation of the Fern Grotto in Kaui, and peered out of the highest windows in the world across Toronto and the Golden Horseshoe of Southern Ontario.
And then that trajectory of my life came to a screeching halt. In his stark white coat, with impressive degrees on the wall, the ophthalmologist said to me, "You need to consider your life in case you become blind. It is genetic, so there is nothing you can do about it." He diagnosed me with Keratoconus, a genetic condition of the cornea.
For a time I believed his pronouncements about my potential and the world seemed a little darker. I went to massage school, a profession where you don't necessarily have to be able to see to continue working.
One day in massage school with a big black spot in the middle of my vision and a wicked bad migraine, I literally had to moved my head from side to side to see the test questions. On my way home on the Toronto subway, I reached a new low and something about hitting the bottom changed my trajectory again.
"This is not okay. There has to be something I can do for myself," I said as I tried to block out the subway car sights and sounds crashing about my head.
That set me on a journey through alternative medicine approaches, with names like Integrative Manual Therapy, Matrix Energetics, Qigong, Acupressure, Craniosacral Therapy, Visceral Manipulation, Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT Tapping) and many more in search of solutions for my own vision problems and migraines.
Today I have a clinical practice where I get to work with and see the positive changes in people like Jack. I get to put my hands on his neck and head, relaxing the muscles, mobilizing the joints, improving the blood flow and drainage as well as press on reflex point that results in ... after a couple of hours of acupressure-like therapy, he is vigorously hopping and exclaiming, "My eyes don't jiggle anymore!" Within a week he has reclaimed his rich and vibrant universe. When I speak to groups, I share this story because it illustrates how easily nerves can heal.
At 55, my own vision is better than when I was 28 and probably better than when I was eight years old catching a blue morpho butterfly. I am migraine-free and enjoy consulting in physical therapy, chiropractic and massage clinics around the world.
One of the things I love to ask people is ... "What if it is just that easy? What if you can increase the vibrancy of your world by putting one hand over your eyes and the other hand on a reflex point, for example, an Integrative Manual Therapy synchronizer at the hard tip of the left elbow, or a point at the back of the neck along the Traditional Chinese Medicine gallbladder meridian? These reflex points can be touched, pressed, or rubbed, and then connected with the eyes for a few minutes to enhance your potential. Is it worth trying to see, literally, if you can use your hands and mind to heal your brain and your eyes?
Brain science shows that it is easier for your mind to strive for what you desire than to let go of what you don't want. What do you want more of? What do you want to see in your life? If truly anything can shift concerning your health, life, or your relationships, what do you want? How does "better" look and feel to you?
They catch on my tongue, roll around in my cheeks, cause my skin to turn green or orange as I desperately try to blend in with the answers to difficult questions. Common questions send me into hiding or delay in an effort to figure out how long I have for the answer, how much I should say, gauging the situations, the environment, the person asking the questions. Easy questions like, "Where are you from?", "Okay, where were you born?" ,
"Where did you go to school?", "Where do your parents live?" Straightforward questions are unbearable tricky for me. The answers, the intersection point between my straight laced Mormon past and my activist lesbian present.
I was born in Provo, Utah, where my parents have returned to live. I graduated with a BSc. in Zoology from Brigham Young University (BYU), so simple cocktail party questions once answered, usually lead to, "Are you Mormon?"
I am, five generations back and yes, there were polygamists but then Prop 8 destroyed what was left of my relationship with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter--day Saints (Mormons), the part of the relationship that wasn't already difficult because I kiss a woman, while still at a Mormon university.
So, sometimes it is embarrassing, in the circles I run in to admit to being a Mormon, especially with Mitt Romney, running for president of the United States. Simple questions, "Where did you go to school?" send me into a chameleon panic of does this person really want to know all the details or how can I answer truthfully without giving way too much information.
It is the same way I feel when someone finds out I speak Japanese, which I learned as a Mormon missionary, although I later returned to Japan to teach English with my girlfriend. There are lots of intersections in my life, certainly between the religion of my childhood and my sexual orientation but lots of others as well. What I have learned from navigating these canyons, like the red rock of Southern Utah, is that the part of my life that I want to hide also connect me to amazing communities, if I can just keep the self hatred at bay. If I can be comfortable in my own unique skin and share myself openly and honestly, and unapologetically, there are ways in which I can connect with anyone, not because we are the same but because we are unique but have some over lapping edges.
Kimberly Burnham, PhD (Integrative Medicine)
860-221-8510 phone and what's app. Skype: Kimberly Burnham (Spokane, Washington)
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Kimberly Burnham helps authors get their books out into the world more broadly by improving their free Amazon Author's page and book pages, posting a book review on her blog and on her LinkedIn Pulse blog (over 12,000 followers) Promotion packages start at $50. Contact her at NerveWhisperer@gmail.com. See her Amazon Author's Page.
See her list of publications including her latest book of brain health meditations, Awakenings: Peace Dictionary, Language and the Mind, a Daily Brain Health Program.
Designed to enhance memory, creativity, and inner peace, Awakenings: Peace,Dictionary, Language and the Mind, a Daily Brain Health Program is available free of charge as a Kindle eBook on February 14-15, 2019. [Click Here].
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I am looking for guest blog opportunities and a position as poet-in-residence. My current project is writing dictionary poems using words in different languages for the English word "peace." You can read some of my poems on Poemhunter .
As poet-in-residence I would write poems on different words in different languages and broadcast them throughout the social media blogosphere. Each poem would link back to your site where the word or language appeared.
I would expect some sort of stipend and a six month to one year placement. Please contact me for details if your organization is interested in having a poet-in-residence to help get your message out. Nervewhisperer@gmial.com
Buy the print or eBook, review Awakenings then contact Kimberly for a free 20 minute brain health consultation. Email or Phone
(Regular rates $120 per hour or 10 sessions for $650.)