Day 12: Eighteen Healers — Part 1

June 1st, 2015

Joslyn Hamilton, freelance editor and writer, Salt Lake City, Utah

I’m taking part in a 30-day writing experiment. See Kale & Cigarettes for details and the Facebook Group to read stories by other 500-words-ers.

The frantic, the desperate, the disparate, the fraudulent, the meh, and the generally just ineffective.

Yoga is a gateway drug to the healing arts. Once you start down that path, it’s easy to slide into a narcissistic state of healing rapture. The possibilities are endless.  And where I lived on and off for the last 15 years, in Northern California, every bystander is eager to throw their personal opinion into the  mix. “Pardon me, but I overheard you say that you are experiencing a mild ennui. You have got to try my cranial-sacral therapist! She truly is a miracle worker.” And so, in a quest to be a better, shinier, happier version of me, I have gone down the road of trying just about every single alternative healing option at least once.


The Chiropractor

My very first toe-dip into the healing arts happened in conjunction with my move to the Bay Area and my immersion into its rarified yoga world. I had never had any issues whatsoever with my back. Nothing ever hurt. I did yoga every day. I felt amazing. But I happened to meet a chiropractor, and he offered me a few free sessions. I was curious. Soon enough, he had me sized up, x-rayed, and analyzed, and the verdict came back: everything was all wrong. My sacroiliac joints were out of whack, rendering my pelvis and hips dangerously off-kilter. My cervical spine was stunted and lacking in proper curvature. My vertebrae were already showing signs of compromised structure bordering on scoliosis. In short, I was 25, and I was skeletally fucked. The only remedy? Chiropractic treatment three times a week for the indeterminate future. I stuck with it for a while. Until my knees, hips, and back started to hurt. When it became apparent that chiropractic treatment was actually causing pain to both my body and my wallet, I moved on.


The Weekly Shiatsu Massage

A friend introduced me to “the world’s best and cutest massage therapist,” and so began an indulgent routine I liked to call “Self-Care Fridays.” He had the Midas touch and knew the Chinese pressure points associated with acupuncture… and he was terribly cute. Unfortunately, weekly massage is not a sustainable way of life for a marginally employed fledgling yoga teacher. I eventually had to give up Self-Care Fridays. Life went on.


The Charming Clairvoyant

Visiting a psychic was not really in my genetic makeup. But I trusted the person who recommended that I talk to this clairvoyant. I was saying yes to things.  She operated out of an art space in Berkeley. She was pretty, charismatic, and adept at putting her clientele at ease. We spoke for an hour, and I left feeling understood. Now, if you ask me what she told me, I’d have to really think hard to remember. She gave me a cassette tape of our discussion, but who has a cassette player anymore? Reassured by her perfected balance of intimacy and propriety, I visited her a second time at her home in Oakland a year or so later. But Jody was now going through a messy divorce, involving infidelities and tempers, that I probably wished she hadn’t told me so much about. The bubble was broken; I never saw her again.


The Enneagram Expert

The Enneagram is a psychological system loosely based on ancient Christian mysticism. A nine-sided shape is associated with nine inborn personality types, and each of us belongs to exactly one type. To my 20-something yoga teaching self, this sounded like something that would perfectly bridge the gap between my newfound spiritual yearnings and my Virgo nature, which likes things in their perfect categories. The expert I consulted took one look at me and sized me up as a SIX. This meant that I was fear-based, anxiety-riddled mess of a human being desperately clinging to security and an authority outside myself, totally incapable of making even the most trivial decisions and prone to rebellious outbursts when cornered. Yes, he nailed it. But, I already knew these things. Next…


Landmark Forum

A was dating someone who insisted that I go to Landmark Forum  so that we could relate and take our relationship to the next level. I had heard that Landmark Forum was a cult, and, honestly, I had no desire to go. But he offered to pay for it, and once again, I said yes. It wasn’t terrible. It did feel vaguely cultish, and honestly, was sort of boring, but it resulted in a surprisingly enjoyable conversation with my dad. When it was over, I thanked the guy for treating me to this illuminating experience, and he informed me that while I was busy over the weekend, he had left me for someone else.  


The Molesty Rolfer

A pansexual rolfer in my yoga circle offered me a gratis session. I said, yes. I’d heard rolfing was intense. By now, I was starting to develop knee and neck issues from all the extreme yoga. I thought, I can use a good push-around.  Rolfing was intense—but it turned out that the intensity was mostly of the psychological nature. I also felt like I was being molested. All in all, probably not something I would pay for.

More tomorrow…

Share Button

3 Responses to “Day 12: Eighteen Healers — Part 1”

  1. Brie says:

    OMG you are hilarious.

  2. [...] Part 1 I told the story of the chiropractor, the weekly shiatsu massage, the charming clairvoyant, the [...]

  3. [...] In Part 1 I told the story of the chiropractor, the weekly shiatsu massage, the charming clairvoyant, the enneagram expert, Landmark Forum, and the molesty roller. In Part 2 there was the colonic irrigation, my first acupuncturist, the Ayurvedic consultant, the Solstice workshop I could not make up, the nutritionist, and the biofeedback therapist. Here are the last six.  [...]

Leave a Reply