Re: rehabilitation, healing, training & chi kung
When I was 13 years old, I was in an accident involving a semi truck. My legs were seriously injured and, to date (Feb 07), I have had 13 surgeries to repair them.
I had an experimental nerve transplant and was one of the first human-to-human knee transplants of both bone and soft-tissue. I am also one of the youngest people in the world to have had two total artificial knee replacements. It has been a very painful and traumatic 13 years.
When I first started Tai Chi with Master Bracy three years ago, I wasn't even sure that I could participate.
At the time I was recovering from reconstructive surgery of my left ankle. This left me with nerve damage which would cause me crippling pain with even the slightest pressure. I was on a myriad of painkillers just so I could walk. When I first spoke to Master Bracy I told him of my injuries and my concerns of being able to fully participate in classes. He assured me that I would be able to participate and that he believed I would find relief in Tai Chi and Chi Kung.
Eight months after I started training, I was no longer taking the powerful painkillers I had come to depend on and the constant pain in my foot and knee had lessened considerably. In time as I found more relief, greater strength, and greater confidence in my legs. Eventually I had the courage to try new challenges. I began to practice the Yi Family Drunken Boxing
Below: Ryan eight months after knee replacement surgery
Through the challenges of training and especially in the Drunken Style, I found I was able to do things that I never thought would be possible for me. I surprised myself, my family, my friends, and other students. Just a year and a half after starting Tai Chi I had, for the most part, conquered my pain and even begun to teach other students Tai Chi and Drunken Style kung fu.
I was even feeling so good, that occasionally I would forget that I was even injured. I could run again!! (I hadn't ran since I was a child). I was more active than I had been since my childhood encounter with the semi, and my overconfidence eventually got me in trouble.
About six months ago, forgetting just how fragile my artificial knee was, I was playing around on a mini motorcycle when I crashed and damaged my artificial knee. I went through another replacement surgery and again I am working with Master Bracy. My doctor is amazed at my rate of recovery.
My strength and confidence are returning. I attest my amazing healing to diligent practice of Master Bracy's posture and standing training, balance beam training that we do in class, Tai Chi, Chi Kung, energy healing sessions, and acupuncture. Meditation and Taoist breathing taught by Master Bracy has also been a key element as well, but one of the most important has been my state of mind. I have learned that I cannot stay in negative thoughts whatsoever that they affect the body's strength and connection. When I slip, my legs begin to ache immediately.
I believe that my recovery occurred because I allowed it to. I had to believe. After my initial accident my mother taught me how to meditate. She taught me to visualize the healing of my own body. I visualized electricity going through my nerves, muscles growing, and tissues reattaching themselves. I have used this method of meditation after every surgery and highly recommend it.
To this day, doctors are still amazed that the experimental surgeries worked, and at how fast I continue to heal.Ryan D., 26 years old