I was going blind with fear. Literally. While watching the nightly news, I noticed a dark spot clouding my vision in my right eye. I made an appointment with my eye doctor, the one who many moons ago wrote me a prescription for jazz and put me on a path to music. The doctor didn’t want to scare me as he examined my retina, but said I needed to see a specialist, immediately. “What’s wrong?” I asked. He answered with his own question, “What are you stressed about?”
Everything. I was stressed and anxious about every single thing, especially when I watched the nightly news. “Stop watching the news,” he advised.
A week later I was diagnosed with central serous retinopathy, a medical condition where fluid builds up behind the retina and forms a bubble diminishing vision. Stress causes the body to produce a hormone called cortisol which leaks into the back of the eye. Lack of early treatment can lead to blindness. I had a few options - laser surgery, medication or lifestyle changes. I opted for changing my ways.
My self healing ritual began with tuning out the toxic energy coming from the media. I still kept myself informed, but I chose to read the news, rather than watching it and hearing the tone of the reporters who are trained to keep the viewer’s attention with manipulative marketing scare tactics. When we subject ourselves to bad news and negative images all day, we forget that there is indeed good news that rarely gets reported, because good news doesn’t keep audiences sitting on the edge of their seats biting their nails and wondering when the sky will fall.
I then scheduled acupuncture twice a week. My fear of needles was overshadowed by my fear of blindness. Acupuncture stimulates the body's natural healing abilities and promotes physical and emotional well-being. With each session, I felt more relaxed and receptive to the universal flow of energy. The acupuncturist, a jazz aficionado, unblocked negative energy hiding in the crevices of each organ, muscle and joint where years of stress and emotional trauma had been building up within my body. Each needle was like an antennae, as if she were turning the dial on the Universe’s radio station, helping me to clear away the static so I could tune in clearly to good vibes.
In addition to walking daily and paying more attention to the pace of nature, I also frequented my yoga class more which helps us focus on breathing and being present in the moment. One of my favorite poses is dancer pose. Can you remember the last time you danced? Dancing stimulates energy flow throughout our bodies and fills us with joy. Natarajasana, or Lord of the Dance, is a pose focusing on balance. When we lack balance, we lose perspective in all areas of our lives. Work must be balanced with play. Socializing must be balanced with solitude. Pizza and ice cream must be balanced with fresh vegetables and fruit. (You can insert “should” or “could,” but “must” is more immediate, and healing is more beneficial when practiced now, not later.)
After four short months of not watching the news, weekly acupuncture, daily nature walks, and restorative yoga, my vision returned one hundred percent. During that time, I also traveled for pleasure to Key West, London, New Mexico, and the Adirondack mountains in New York. Every place I visited, I practiced dancer pose to maintain my balance and express my new found joy. My eye doctor was amazed that I was able to self heal without medications or surgery. I was amazed to discover we all have the power to heal ourselves. I see that clearly now.