Corpse Pose. The name itself denotes death. So why the surprise when, lying on her back, April felt a sinking sensation sweep through her body? Her loss overwhelmed her.
“I don’t want anyone else to die,” her tears came slowly at first.
Then, the rivulets became rivers threatening to sweep her away. She sobbed. Despite her grief, crying offered April a welcome avenue of release. Relieved to be shedding some tears, April told me that her body always felt heavy, sluggish with sorrow.
“It feels good to let go of some of the sadness,” she told me, wiping at her eyes with a balled-up tissue. “I’ve lost so much; but, I rarely ever cry.”
“What are you afraid of losing?” I asked her. “Who have you lost already?”
The answers surfaced in a torrent of memories.
Her losses had been many and April spewed out her answers without pause: “My grandpa. He raised me. My dad. I never knew him. My mother. She moved away when I was still a little kid. My baby brother. He died when I was four. My husband. He passed away last year.”
“That’s a lot of loss.” Sympathetically, I handed her another tissue.
“There’s another one. A big one,” April whispered softly, her words muffled by the tissue.
She hesitated. Usually, when a client hesitates, it’s a sign that he or she has hit upon a revelation. I’ve learned to wait out these uncomfortable pauses.
“Last year, I had a double-mastectomy. It was right after my husband died. I’d already been diagnosed with breast cancer before Larry passed. His death really shook me up. Even though I probably didn’t need to do anything so radical, I was scared enough to go through with the surgery. Is it terrible that in some ways losing my breasts was harder than losing my husband?”
“Of course not,” I replied gently.
April told me that she hadn’t felt at home in her body since losing her breasts.
Inviting her to move into Sleeping Pigeon Pose, I asked her to access her grief around having relinquished her breasts. “What are you mourning most?”
“I feel fake. I don’t feel like myself anymore. I don’t feel like a woman. My breasts aren’t my breasts. These implants are a constant reminder of what I used to be and of how I’m not myself anymore.”
In April’s case, like with many of my clients, she came to see me believing that she needed help overcoming one issue (the loss of her husband) and, during the course of her session, her body revealed that it was grieving an entirely different loss (that of her breasts).
What could she do about her body-based grief? April and I used EFT on the issue.
For more in-depth information about the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://www.emotionalyoga.info.