On Friday afternoon (26th Jan 2018) I had the insightful and also unfortunate experience of partially dislocating my left patella.
I say insightful, because thankfully I was talking on the phone to Penny Croal at the time. As a result, Penny and I were able to work through this excruciating experience step-by-step over the course of about 45 minutes to get me to a space of normality again.
Some of you may be asking why I didn’t just go straight to the hospital? And a very valid question that is too, because dislocating a joint like that is pretty serious. However, and again unfortunately for me, this is not the ﬁrst time this has happened. But, on the bright side, I knew what I had to do in order to relocate the patella again.
What’s important to understand here in terms of the dislocation, is that it is only a partial subluxation. What’s the difference I hear you ask? Well a partial dislocation, is where the kneecap has moved maybe a millimetre or two out of the groove in the knee cap which holds it in place in the joint and is not visually obvious. A full dislocation is a lot more serious, a lot more painful, is visually obvious and would require specialist hospital treatment.
So there I was, happily chatting away to Penny, sitting on my bed at the time…so no crazy dance moves or contortioned yoga positions going on. I think I may have just been stretching my legs out in front of me because I had been sitting on my butt for maybe an hour by now. So again, it wasn’t like I was sitting on my haunches or anything like that. This is why it is so important to understand the nature of what our body is trying to communicate to us at that biological level.
We actually don’t need to be doing something of high intensity like skiing down a mountain side in order for huge physical trauma to happen.
Transforming physical trauma
Thankfully as I said, Penny was on the end of the phone, therefore in that very moment she was able to talk me through each sensation as it was happening and unfolding at that biological level.
First of all the pain. It was through the roof. So we immediately started tapping on the pain, with Penny getting me to imagine different things like what kind of animal it represented, to help me channel their energy and release it. I chose a roaring lion and I kid you not I was certainly making a lot of very loud noises, along with tears.
Also my breathing. Penny got me to focus on my breathing, because she could hear that my breathing was very shallow and often I was holding my breath. So she also made sure that I was breathing deeply to help calm things down while we were also tapping at the same time.
Penny kept me talking all the way through too, asking me what was happening and how I was feeling, what the pain was feeling like and any other colours or symbols which resonated with me at the time. She also encouraged me to really let out some energy by getting me to shout out loud a vowel, of which I chose ‘A’. This helped heaps in terms of releasing the energy, while at the same time still tapping.
We kept an eye on the pain level which was a big fat 10 when it started. We did manage to get the pain down though. And I was able to measure this because I was able to get a greater range of movement in my left knee once the pain started to subside a bit. From my experience of having done this before, I knew that with the tiniest movement which I could cope with pain-wise I would be able to relocate my kneecap if I gently gently moved the joint.
To begin with, I wasn’t able to move at all, because the pain was so intense. So my leg was actually suspended in the air and I had to do my best to hold it as still as possible. Even resting it on my other leg was too painful. Thankfully, once we had reduced the pain down and I was able to get a very small range of movement, I was able to relocate my kneecap and in that second, I let out this huge cry, at which point Penny wondered if I had just given birth!
You can actually hear the joint as it clunks back in. And with that, along with my own yelp, I can only imagine what it sounded like on the other end of the phone.
Throughout all this, I was acutely aware of the different changes my body was going through from this shock and trauma.
I started to get very cold, particularly the extremities of my hands and feet. Once the pain reduced and we’d relocated the patella, I then felt myself getting very dizzy with blurred vision. My body also started shaking.
Thankfully I know Penny pretty well now and we were able to joke about the fact that it was a shame we weren’t videoing this because it would’ve been a great addition to Robert Scaer’s videos showing animals in the wild going through this process and here we were with a live human being. Dam it!
As I was going through these latter bodily experiences of shaking, blurred vision and dizziness, Penny kept talking to me and as best as I could, I kept tapping.
Eventually, as we’ve seen in nature, everything came back to normal – my vision returned, shaking stopped and the dizziness ceased. I also noticed myself starting to get warmer again. Although at the height of it my my whole body was goose bumps, with my feet being the coldest – I could see my toes turning blue. I also had a cold sweat under my arms, which I was also acutely aware of.
By the end of this, we had also managed to track down a member of my family who was able to come and sit with me until I felt ok again. They got me some hot water to drink and as we chatted, I realised I was actually sitting cross-legged on the bed. When my family member left, I asked them to just make sure I could walk down the stairs (I was in the attic bedroom at the time) and I did this with ease and effortlessness. Following some food too (because I’d missed lunch through all this), I wanted some fresh air, so I walked a short distance up the road and it was honestly as if nothing had happened at all.
This is wonderful proof of the power of working with trauma (physical or emotional) as close to the moment as possible or in the matrix otherwise, to facilitate the release of what’s just happened at that physical and emotional level as much as possible.
Tracking the root cause
After Penny and I had returned me to a calm space, where I could think clearly again, we backtracked our conversation to the moment when my patella did dislocate and were able to pin-point the moment of impact and what words and the exact subject matter which had triggered this biological reaction to occur in my left knee. It was about charging clients for my work with them…and upon further questioning, it was obvious this is a sticking point for me.
From a META-Health perspective, with this injury being part of the muscular-skeletal system, this generally relates to self-worth, strength, stability and movement. As a right dominant person, with this injury on my left side, this broadly relates to something on different eye levels, like child, mother, inner child. Knees relate to not being stable or ﬂexible enough. Not satisﬁed ambitions. Can’t run, jump or kick. My knees for me mean standing strong and carrying myself forward with conﬁdence. And as a person who has always had conﬂicts around competition with myself as well as being a very active and sporty person who competed individually and in teams, this is not very unusual injury for me to be experiencing.
I’ve yet to ﬁnd the root cause or UDIN moment where this all started in my life. However, I have a pretty good idea that it is related to a lot of the stuff I spent the very ﬁrst few years of my life being surrounded by from my Mother…and even some of what was going on while I was in utero, all speciﬁcally related to ﬁnances.
So I share this with you all to show you the power of EFT in action and what can be done in that moment when something traumatic happens.
I also share it to highlight how this is a very subjective experience and what my knees mean to me is a very different outcome for what knees mean to someone else. Had I experienced a different childhood, what was a trauma for me in this scenario with Penny could have been very matter-of-fact for me… in fact, would we have even been having that part of the conversation?
And this is the beauty of this work that we do and how it is so important to be really really speciﬁc with people you are working with, as well as working on yourself. Which brings me to my last point for sharing this story…it’s a reminder of the importance of working on your own stuff.
Walking your talk
Though my META-Health knowledge is a lot more recent, I have had my EFT skills for 10 years now. I have tapped on my knee stuff a lot on my own and I have done some work on them with swap partners. I know I’ve not worked on the deeper stuff though and this has cost me two surgeries, one on each knee and a lot of pain and suffering on many levels as well.
So I encourage you to work on your own stuff. Get a swap buddy or two whom you are conﬁdent and comfortable working with and clear your stuff. It is not worth the pain and trauma which we do to our bodies when it gets to this stage. And what’s more, when you have your own stuff piling up in the background, it’s my opinion that you’re not in a very professional space to be working with others and their traumas either.
NB Writing this two days after the incident happened, physically and visibly there isn’t any evidence that this trauma has happened to my left knee. No swelling, no pain, no discomfort. I’m able to walk several kilometres on it without any awareness that it was partially dislocated 48 hours ago. I am however not being foolish and I am taking things easy because I am especially aware of how fragile my knees are and the work that’s waiting to be done to strengthen them so that I can be as active as I have been in the past, with more mindfulness going forwards to be active on all levels.
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photos: Angelo Esslinger, Hans-Jörgen Poulsen,
Markus Wiemer https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/6a/Eft_punkte.jpg