Radical Transformation through Dance

By: Loolwa Khazzoom, Founder, Dancing with Pain

July 3rd, 2009 • Dance for Natural Pain ReliefPrint Print

I woke up today feeling extremely distressed.  This past week, I had to interface with doctors twice — once for dental work and once for some scary symptoms following that dental work. As part of these interactions, I once again got to see the dark side of the health care system.  Nothing extreme, just your garden-variety insensitivity and carelessness that leave me feeling emotionally anxious and physically in pain.

I also had to get bodywork for the post-dental work symptoms.  In these sessions, I experienced some boundary violations that left me quite upset.

So this morning I was just feeling so sick of everything — the pain, the major limitations on my life, the judgments, the struggles, the isolation, the financial insecurity, all of it. Things were feeling bleak, and I just wanted it all to end. I called my mom for help. She ended up pushing her own agenda and upsetting me more. So I called my best friend, who was helpful at first but then started pulling her own craziness on me as well.

So I hung up the phone, did a little bit of blogging (despite my eye pain), then danced.  And danced and danced and danced. For an hour and a half.  Within minutes after starting, I was already smiling.  By the end, I was leaping in the air, my pain levels drastically reduced or altogether gone.  About half an hour into my dancing, I even took off my ankle brace. Physically, emotionally, and spiritually, I was transformed. It is truly magic every time it happens.

Through dancing, I came back to faith in my path, to an understanding of where I am heading: Perhaps I cannot change the entire system or even specific practitioners.  I can, however, offer an alternative for chronic pain patients in need and for healthcare practitioners who are open to a different way of doing things. I can use every single fucked up experience to be that much more aware, sensitive, and competent in my own work – creating truly safe and healing space and teaching others how to do the same.

I can commit and recommit every time to being that much more courageous, bold, and self-loving in my own interactions with the health care system. I can juice every experience as material for this blog, offering an alternative voice and vision to those who have had similar experiences and need the validation.

As one of my meditation teachers says, “Trust yourself and keep going.”

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