In 2015, my business partner and fellow therapist Jessica and I had been in our own clinic for 4 years, practicing for 15 years, and though we were very successful as therapists, we were struggling with our roles as bosses, mentors, and administrators. This ad past through my emails about this Be Activated course coming to Montreal, and on a whim, I booked us for the four days in October. We needed to re-connect as partners, stimulate our brains and hands, and try to get out of our funk.
As we looked around the room, we began to get nervous; there was quite a motley crew of people, obviously from all different professional backgrounds. I got the “what the hell did you drag me into” look from Jess, and I started to get nervous. Then a guy struts in, barefoot, of course, asking about his breakfast and roaming around the room trying to find the best ‘spot’ because otherwise he cannot teach. A throng of ladies run around us, making sure this person is fed, watered, and settled in a manner he desires, and I get another look from Jess. Everyone around the room begins to share why they are present, and it quickly turns very touchy-feely, and by the time the teacher gets to us, we both say, ‘Athletic Therapists, and we are simply here to learn a new technique’. A small smile and a glint in the teacher’s eye made my stomach turn over, and I knew at that moment we were in so much trouble.
Within the first 30 minutes, there had been a disagreement about a box of kleenex (the teacher did not want Jess to offer tissues to a crying participant) and the determination that we had a true zero among us. Though I avoided his gaze, he patiently waited until I made a sweep of the room to tell me to get on the table. I consider myself pretty tough, (I’ve had two babies with no drugs) but as soon as I turned inward to control the pain, he rudely shook me out of it so that I fully felt the worse pain I have ever experienced. I got up from the table, not sure what had occurred, but I felt dizzy and nauseated, and vulnerable.
As the day progressed, we learned the theory and we started to mess with these activation points. The results were kinda cool, but we felt a little like we were doing a magic trick rather than actual therapy. The teacher came over to show us a move and started asking us some questions about ourselves. He looked conflicted for a bit, then told us that he never lets partners work together in class, for many reasons, but especially because they could not be objective in the work. But, he said, I feel that this is exactly what the two of you need right now. We did not understand what he meant, but we were grateful to keep working together so no more was said.
As the course progressed, we learned that Jess had absolutely no defenses and let everyone and everything in, whereas I guarded and defended myself and her at every turn. We learned that our connection was our strength , and when the energy flowed, our entire clinic glowed with it. Our patients loved being in our space, and this was the reason why. Our light had dimmed with the stress of being bosses and managers, and our own health issues had a bigger influence on us then we had realized.
As Jess performed the Glute activation at the base of my skull, I suddenly felt two sharp wack!, wack!, so loud and hard that I felt my skull had been smacked into the wall. I was immediately disoriented and confused, and all I could see in my mind’s eye was 10 months ago, I had slipped on the ice walking around my car, and when my feet slipped out from under me, my head hit the bumper of my truck, then the icy ground with two big Wacks! Then darkness.
I have been an athletic therapist at that point for 15 years, so I knew when I woke up and crawled to my front door that I had concussed myself, and though the headaches lasted a few days, I felt that everything was fine rather quickly. What I did not see was that the concussion had caused a black cloud to settle over me. It influenced my abilities as a therapist, my relationships with family and patients, my patience and morale, and my overall sense of worth. I had not really felt like myself in almost a year, and I had not even been aware of what was going on. All I knew was that I was searching. And finally, I was finding.
The next horror was the calf point and its influence on the adrenal system. Thirty minutes of uncontrollable sobbing later, I wanted to run around the room yelling “I am Me, I am Me!”, but instead chose to sit and contemplate the previous year and its effects. Jess had her own Aha moments, and by the fourth day, we were spent, we were drained, we were exhilarated.
After lunch the last day, the teacher casually sauntered over, smiled with a Cheshire cat-like smile, stared at us for what felt like hours, and just said, “how do you feel?”. To be honest, I do not remember what or if we answered or what he said, but I remember just looking back and forth from Jessica’s eye to the teacher’s eyes, and everything that had to be said was said, and everything that needed to be understood, was understood.
Our clinic regained its glow,and though the last five years have brought all kinds of drama and disruption, we always manage to bring each other back with our little magic tricks. I use Be Activated in my therapy every day, or some hybrid of it and want to keep learning and discovering its magic. I have seen amazing things that would make great stories to add here, but before I do that, I wanted to share our story, the partner’s story. The best partner’s story.