The other day, I helped a woman whose toe had been broken in a car accident. The doctors told her that it was a bad break in a tough place and that it might require surgery and pins. They sent her home with a boot and told her that they would reassess it in a week to see how it had healed. I happened to call her (she’s a friend), heard about the trouble, and offered to help. What follows is an abbreviated account of the treatment I did:
When I came in, the toe seemed to be smashed and misaligned. There was a lot of bruising and swelling, so I had to be gentle. Luckily, working with connective tissue requires a light touch.
I started by clearing some of the inflammation with an IMT technique that calls for connecting the swollen areas to the ureters, which help drain. Then I responded to what seemed to want to happen next, which just to “ask” the smashed area if it would like to reconsider its current state. (I feel like I should use quotation marks for that whole sentence, but that is exactly what the process is like for me, which I want to reveal. Note that much of this treatment is happening “in my head” or “with intention” or “on a different plane.”) I felt the toe start to “move” or “talk to itself.” I waited for that process to feel complete and then re-assessed. The toe felt more integrated, so I moved on.
Next, I perceived a big tear at the base of the toe at the vascular level. It felt like some blood vessels were still bleeding. Using another IMT technique developed for what they call “bone bruises,” I again gave that area the opportunity to heal, which it seemed to take and started to “process” again. When I felt that the tear had closed up, I moved on.
To help with the misalignment, I used an Ortho-Bionomy technique where you gently exaggerate the pattern of injury. Following my perception of “lines” of stress, I held the tarsals at the angle at which they had been traumatized and waited. After about twenty seconds, the reflex to heal finally kicked in and I felt the bones correct.
At the end, I put in needles in a simple pattern that helps move qi and blood. At the end of the week, my friend’s x-ray showed that the bones were healing nicely and in place. It never ceases to amaze me, but the body knows how and wants to heal. Often, all that it needs is the opportunity to do so, to relax into its true state.
Stella Osorojos Eisenstein, L.Ac.
Stella Osorojos Eisenstein, L.Ac., is a writer and acupuncturist who collects healing stories.