By Tanya Malse
On day one of the Mind-Body Medicine Professional Training Program, our first large group modality is shaking and dancing. “Oh no,” I think, “I get to shake this body I usually ignore, in front of 250 people I don’t know. How silly will I look and will released energy make me sick in some way like throwing up or hurting my legs or my replaced hip joints?” A breath of relief comes as Dr. Gordon says we are to close our eyes. What was I thinking anyway? I am in a room of professional health care providers, with a doctor standing right next to me.
The music starts and off we go, shaking, shaking, and then it happens: I feel a huge release in my first and second chakras with pent up tension and fears from childhood trauma releasing. For the first time in recent memory my abdomen muscles feel relaxed and loose and tears of joy stream down my cheeks. I cannot believe this actually happened and with a room full of strangers! Now I am a believer in shaking. I shake and dance every day for 10 to 15 minutes.
Weeks later I go to my annual gynecological exam. I am not too keen on seeing my new doctor. The first visit last year was very cool, impersonal; I felt she had no interest in me as a whole person and was not listening to my words and acknowledging they are my truth for me and my body. I am sitting on the exam table in my paper gown and the door opens and Dr. KB stops short with her hand on the door knob. “Wow! You look great. You are glowing,” she says. I am surprised that she even remembers me from last year’s 15 minute visit. “Well,” I say, “I took a 5-day training in mind body skills with The Center for Mind-Body Medicine and I am doing the work each day for self care.” “Look at me,” she says, as she walks to the mirror on the wall, pushing up at her cheeks with both hands, “I look 40 years old this morning. I was up all night delivering 5 babies. I hardly slept and I have all day to go here.” Seeing her distress, I say to her, “I can show you a shaking exercise that will help you release all that tension, relax, and feel energized. It will help you get through your day.” “Okay show me,” she quickly agrees. I get off the table holding my sheet around me with one hand as I slightly bend my knees and start to shake gently because I have no bra support. Dr. KB starts to shake too. “Oh, this feels good,” she says, “I like it.” Still shaking she continues to say, “I have 2 little boys and I see them shaking sometimes at night. Now I know why they shake. It feels so good. Now I can get through my day!” Suddenly she realizes why I am here in her office exam room. “Oh, I am being so unprofessional, you came here for a doctor’s visit and here I am asking you for help. This is your visit not mine.”