It was January. The hustle and bustle of the holiday season had come and gone and I was back to work at the start of the new year. I wasn’t feeling great, as I had some ear and throat pain. After a quick run to the doctor to confirm it wasn’t strep, I was right back to work. I chalked it up to being a little run down and probably stressed out from the holiday season.
I made it through the week. When I woke up on Saturday morning, the right side of my face was completely frozen. I couldn’t close my eye, blink, smile or move my cheeks. My face was numb. I thought I was having a stroke. However, the ER confirmed that it was in fact a condition called Bell’s Palsy. Needless to say, my fears and worries were running rampant.
After seeing my primary doctor and then a neurologist, the consensus was, “Don’t talk and don’t stress, and this will probably go away. However, there’s no way of knowing how long it will take.”Being that I talk for a living, I was less than thrilled with the doctor’s orders. I felt there was more I could do. That’s when I began to research alternative healing methods.
I am a meditation teacher. My practice is strong and has helped me in a variety of ways throughout my life. I turned to meditation to help maintain a 78-pound weight loss. It has also helped me find balance. My practice would be a strong component in my healing, but I knew it would take more than that. I just wasn’t sure what else I would need.
Years ago, I had met Dr. Nan Lu when I tried Qigong for weight loss. So when I googled sites for healing, I wasn’t surprised when his name and website popped up on my search list. I began reading every resource on tcmworld.org. I bought his book and read it multiple times. I learned that according to traditional Chinese medicine, Bell’s Palsy is a result of inner anger and stress. I began learning about Qi stagnation and how deeply it can affect health.
I had to learn more. I signed up for the week-long Winter Cleanse, joined phone calls, Facebook pages and was actively engaged in the content. I was so intrigued with this wisdom Dr. Lu shared. It was so profound yet so simple. I began cooking differently, looking at food differently and practicing the Dragon’s Way Qigong moves every day, sometimes twice a day, to help improve my Qi flow.
I’ll never forget the day I posted on Facebook inquiring about a Dragon’s Way Qigong teacher in my area. I received one response. A certified teacher lived 30 minutes from me and the course was starting next week. I couldn’t believe that it might be possible to gain access to this ancient tradition of healing that I now so deeply believed could help me.
Since I couldn’t drive or even close my eye, my mom joined me, and drove back and forth to the class every week. When we entered that first week, I wanted to cover my face and run back to the car. I hadn’t been out of the house in weeks and was embarrassed by how I looked, but my instructor greeted me with warmth and acceptance.As the other members arrived, I was reassured by their understanding and support and began to feel comfortable to share my story with them.
Each week I learned more about traditional Chinese medicine and I was deeply fascinated. After just one week, my first facial movements came back. I will never forget the emotion of seeing my cheek move again on its own. There is no doubt in my mind that this new movement was a result of Dragon’s Way Qigong and my continuing acupuncture treatments.
After the weeks progressed, I healed. I could close my eye, most of my smile returned, and I could blink. My doctors were amazed at how quickly I had recovered. The Universe works in seemingly mysterious ways. However, when you stop to slow down and listen, it makes a lot of sense. The body is always whispering what it needs to us. It’s up to us to listen.
I used to hate Winter, but now I see that it’s a time for rest, hibernation and internal growth. I understand how the cold can impact the body. I now dress in layers, cover my ears and protect my skin from the wind. There is a little part of me that fears Bell’s Palsy will visit me again, but I know that following the principles of traditional Chinese medicine and Dragon’s Way Qigong will provide me with the means to live a healthy and vibrant life.
Inspired by Melanie’s story? Learn more about Dragon’s Way Qigong and how to apply its healing principles in your life.