Game Boy

On February 19, 2017, our Jester, Neil Fachon, crossed over into another realm. The first condolence letter to arrive was from Neil’s friend Trey, whose mother, Gail, was our home care nurse. Trey captured memories of Neil’s love of game play in a long letter. He placed the letter inside a note card. On the face of the card was an original photograph Trey had taken of flowering dogwood. The image was fitting, as every spring a dogwood tree would bloom outside the bedroom window where Neil sat at his computer.

Although Neil and Trey grew up in different towns and attended different schools, they had a friendship that began with recreational soccer when they were grade-school age and continued on into their college years.

So, what does one say or write to a bereaved family? How does one find the right words? Trey just allowed the words to flow and filled two folded sheets of lined paper, with his neat all-caps style of handwriting. His thoughts and memories poured out onto the pages in a fluid stream of consciousness…

DEAR MR. FACHON, MRS. FACHON, AND EVIE,

I WOKE UP THIS MORNING AT ABOUT 7:45 A.M. AND JUST LIKE ANY OTHER DAY, I CHECKED MY EMAILS, LOOKED AT THE NEWS, AND PEEKED AT MY FACEBOOK ACCOUNT. I STARTED SCROLLING DOWN MY HOME PAGE, STOPPED SCROLLING ABRUPTLY, AND SAW “A WISE OLD SOUL HAS RETURNED HOME… NEIL PASSED AWAY JUST AFTER 7 P.M. LAST NIGHT.” OVER THE PAST 6 MONTHS OR SO, I HAVE BEEN GETTING CONSISTENT REPORTS ON NEIL’S WELL-BEING (NEIL WAS THE FIRST ONE I STARTED CHECKING IN WITH, AND THEN LATER MY PARENTS WERE UPDATING ME)…WHEN I SAW THAT FACEBOOK POST (HAVING ALREADY KNOWN NEIL WAS NOT DOING WELL AND WAS IN HOSPICE CARE), I DIDN’T KNOW HOW TO REACT. I WAS SAD, DISTRAUGHT, PERPLEXED, AND FRUSTRATED WITH MYSELF (FOR NOT HAVING BEEN ABLE TO HELP, BEING HERE IN PENNSYLVANIA). HOWEVER, IN THE MOMENT, I DECIDED TO BE CONSTRUCTIVE AND TO BROWSE OVER MY HISTORY WITH NEIL. FOLLOWING IS A LIST OF SOME OF THE BIG THINGS THAT HAVE STUCK WITH ME: PLAYING DODGEBALL WITH NEIL’S FRIENDS AND NEIL IN THE BASEMENT OF THEIR HOUSE ON ASHBROOK RUN, PLAYING H-O-R-S-E WITH THE BASKETBALL HOOP OUTSIDE YOUR HOUSE (NEIL WAS ALWAYS VERY TALENTED AT IT; I WOULD SOMETIMES TELL HIM IT WAS LUCK, BUT HE’D KEEP MAKING THE SHOTS), PLAYING RECREATIONAL AND COMPETITIVE SOCCER WITH NEIL (INDOOR/OUTDOOR) THROUGHOUT MY YOUTH (NEIL WAS ALWAYS A TEAM PLAYER; ALWAYS ONE TO PASS THE BALL AND GIVE SOMEONE ELSE A CHANCE), PLAYING SOCCER FOR PRACTICE IN OUR BACKYARDS, GOING OUT FOR SOME SAILING ADVENTURES ON “QUANTUM LEAP” IN POINT JUDITH POND (NEIL WOULD ALWAYS LOVE TO PLAY HEARTS (AND OTHER CARD GAMES WITH ME IN THE CABIN AND SEE IF HE COULD “SHOOT THE MOON” AGAINST ME), PLAYING “BACKYARD SOCCER’ WITH ME ON HIS COMPUTER (WE WOULD ALWAYS BE OVERJOYED AND OVERCOME WITH LAUGHTER WHENEVER WE SCORED SOME ‘IMPOSSIBLE’ GOALS), PLAYING POOL IN MY BASEMENT (WITH LIMITED ROOM TO MAKE A SHOT AND WITH SOME BENT POOL STICKS – NEIL DIDN’T WORRY ABOUT THOSE SMALL THINGS; HE WAS JUST GLAD TO BE DOING SOMETHING FUN FOR BOTH OF US). THOSE ARE SOME, BUT NOT ALL, OF THE MEMORIES THAT HAVE DEFINED MY FRIENDSHIP WITH NEIL. HE WAS ALWAYS A LEADER, ALWAYS AN ACTIVIST, ALWAYS ATHLETIC, ALWAYS A TEAM PLAYER, ALWAYS THOUGHTFUL, ALWAYS BOLD AND ADVENTUROUS, ALWAYS STRONG, ALWAYS PASSIONATE, ALWAYS FORGIVING, ALWAYS CHEERFUL, ALWAYS CLEVER, ALWAYS ABLE, ALWAYS WELL-READ, ALWAYS A FIGHTER, AND MOST IMPORTANTLY TO ME, ALWAYS A FRIEND. EVEN THOUGH THERE WAS A TIME WHERE ADVENTURES LED US IN DIFFERENT DIRECTIONS, THERE HAS NEVER BEEN AND NEVER WILL BE A TIME WHERE I HAVE FORGOTTEN OR WILL FORGET NEIL, AND ALL THE JOY AND HAPPINESS HE HAS BROUGHT TO MY LIFE THROUGH OUR FRIENDSHIP. NEIL WILL FOREVER BE WITH ME IN SPIRIT. I WOULD LIKE TO SINCERELY THANK ALL OF YOU FOR LETTING ME KNOW AND BECOME FRIENDS WITH SUCH A CARING AND GENUINE MAN. I WOULD LIKE TO GIVE THE MOST SINCERE OF CONDOLENCES TO EACH OF YOU. WHAT GIVES ME COMFORT IS KNOWING THAT NEIL’S LIFE AND EVERYONE’S MEMORIES OF NEIL SHALL NEVER FADE. EACH PERSON WHOM NEIL HAS TOUCHED IN HIS LIFE WILL BRING NEIL IN SPIRIT WITH THEM IN THEIR EXPERIENCES AROUND THE WORLD. NEIL WILL BE LIVING VICARIOUSLY THROUGH EACH AND EVERY ONE OF US. JUST BECAUSE NEIL HAS PASSED DOES NOT MEAN THE CELEBRATION OF HIS LIFE IS OVER. RATHER, THE CELEBRATION OF HIS LIFE HAS MERELY HIT A NEW PHASE, ONE IN WHICH MEMORIES OF HIM AND WITH HIM WILL LIVE ON FOREVER.

BY YOUR SIDE IN THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS,

TREY 20 FEBRUARY, 2017

This letter brought immediate comfort and some laughter. Trey mentions “SHOOT THE MOON” and ‘IMPOSSIBLE’ GOALS. Shooting the moon is what one tries to do when dealt a really lousy hand of cards in the game of Hearts. It’s risky, yet fun. One plays to win all the hearts and the queen of spades. He who successfully shoots the moon is the biggest winner. If Neil’s life was just a game, shooting the moon was the best metaphor to describe his approach to that game.

Neil was named, in part, for Neil Armstrong, the first astronaut to step on the moon. At the time of his naming, we were unaware that the name Neil means champion. He had a strategic mind, which he used to his advantage in competitive chess and tennis, however, he was game for any game.

Neil’s playful spirit reflected the rhyme from a favorite story book, The Jester Has Lost His Jingle: “But one was still happy and bubbled with joy, for he played with life as you play with a toy.” We continue to honor Neil, by raising funds in his memory to The Jester & Pharley Phund. which delivers Jester books, dolls and joy to pediatric cancer patients and other children facing a wide range of other serious life challenges.

Explore, Experience, Explain (Part 3)

The human body is like an electric battery; all of the cells within the body carry voltage, the electric charges necessary to maintain optimum health. The average human body is comprised of approximately 37.2 trillion cells! Within the cells are mitochondria, bacteria-like organelles which produce the energy that fuels the cells and regulates cellular metabolism. Aging, injury, nutritional deficiencies, toxic exposure and disease damage mitochondria, depleting energy, blocking energy flow and bringing on the decline of cellular health. Bioregulatory medicine uses a variety of evidence-based energy technologies to help repair cellular dysfunction.

I began exploring and experiencing some of these new therapies at the BioMed Center in Providence, in order to learn how they work and to better explain them to others. In Part 2 of this blog series, I explained the lymph system, shared a problem with lymph blockage (frozen shoulder), and presented some movement strategies to improve the flow of lymph. In this installment, I start to explore the added benefits of energy therapy.

Hemo-Sonic Lymph and Tissue Light therapy uses light, sound and biofeedback from the body to synchronize and improve blood and lymph circulation. Blood and lymph are fluids. Blood carries nutrients and oxygen to the cells, while lymph and blood carries metabolic waste away from the cells. Lymph contains infection-fighting white blood cells, which bathe the tissues and carry toxins out to the bloodstream to be eliminated from the body. When applied to the outer surface of the body, light emissions from the hand-held Hemo-Sonic device are translated into the sonic range of frequency. The device transmits its energy and information in the same way that dolphins communicate under water. The resulting vibrations assist human physiology at the most fundamental level, detoxifying the fluid mass of the body.

The therapeutic effects of this method promote normal fluid equilibrium, re-polarizing blood platelets responsible for transporting oxygen. This helps to maintain the aerobic state of energy production at the intracellular level. The therapy also destroys invading antigens and removes toxic chemicals and heavy metal contamination, and it optimizes a body’s immune function. Once detoxification is accomplished, the higher functions of the endocrine system can begin to heal tissue at a deeper level. Hemo-Sonic therapy is a gentle, highly effective detoxification therapy which is relaxing and supportive to the immune and endocrine systems.

In Part 4, we will explore Structural Energetic Therapy® (SET) is a head-to-toe bodywork treatment that addresses musculoskeletal problems with a combination of techniques.

Learn more about bioregulatory medicine. The BioMed Center is hosting an open house on Wednesday, March 20, 4:30-6pm at 111 Chestnut Street in Providence.

Jingle Bells, Jingle Shells

Walking Rome Point beach during low tide today, Dean and I noticed lots of iridescent Toenail Shells sticking out of the sand, shiny in the sunlight. These paper-thin hinged shells belong to a small mollusk. The upper half of the shell is convex and movable, while the lower half stays fixed in place. Byssal threads, secreted by a gland near the mollusk’s foot, pass through a hole in the bottom of the shell and anchor the creature to a rock or other hard substrate. Mollusks, which include scallops, clams, oysters and mussels, are filter feeders, taking in water and filtering plankton and other food through ciliated gills – gills with hairlike projections.

Toenail Shells we found scattered along the beach

Measuring 1-2 inches, the coin-shaped yellow-gold or silvery-colored shells of this mollusk are a treasure from the sea. I knew the Toenail Shell by another, a more fanciful, name. What was it? I couldn’t remember. Oh, well. Then as we continued walking along the shore, I spied a ball – a very odd ball. It was metallic-colored and perforated with two rows of oblong holes, like a big jingle bell. I picked it up, only to discover it was a plastic wiffle ball that had acquired a tarnished gold appearance from a thin coating of algae.

Jingle Ball or Jingle Bell?

Then I realized that in my hand I held a clue to answer my question. It was as if I were playing a game of charades with some unseen team mate. Sounds like… “Jingle Bells…” Jingle Shells!

Jingle shells are a favorite find for beachcombers, often used to make necklaces or wind chimes. The shell is named for the sound made when several shells are strung together as a chime. The jingle sound is also heard when waves beat down upon beaches strewn with shells, and it is the sound of lose coins shaking around in a money pouch.

A hand full of sea treasure

Jingle Shells, Jingle Bells… The jingle shells scattered around the beach made me think of the jingle bells we had strewn around the church reception hall after our son’s memorial service, almost two years ago. The bells were a token of remembrance for guests to take home. Each golden bell was tied with a gold ribbon, the symbol of childhood cancer, and sparkly pipe cleaner twists, our family’s symbol of spirit (jingle token shown in banner up top), which has a special story behind it…

When Neil was about five years old, he opened a bag of sparkly pipe cleaners, twisted them into odd shapes and scattered them on window sills and tables around our home. It was Christmas time, and he told us he was decorating the house with “spirits.” The setting out of spirits became his annual tradition, which we continue to do in his memory.

So, is it coincidence that I had written about a “lost jingle” in my blog just the day before?… “One unforgettable character in The Jester Has Lost His Jingle is a little girl lying in a hospital bed with her head wrapped in a bandage. The jester visits her room, talks with her and tries to cheer her up. It is the most precious moment of the story.” This page is where the Jester finds his lost jingle – his ability to bring joy and laughter to others. Maybe it is just coincidence.

David Saltzman’s illustration on the book page where the Jester finds his jingle

Is it coincidence that the only other piece of plastic trash I found on the beach was a red cap? A red cap with a crown insignia on it (the Jester wears a red cap)? A symbol that I interpret to mean the jingle ball was a secret divinely-timed message from the King of Fools? Maybe it is just coincidence or it is just me finding my own meaning in something silly.

The red cap

And, is it coincidence that I posted the following appeal on facebook yesterday? “We’ve raised over $20,000 for the Jester & Pharley Phund over the past two years in memory of our son, Neil, and we’re asking for your help to raise awareness, and $20,000 more, this coming week. Please share this story, and help send the ripples of love further outward. https://wendyfachon.blog/2019/02/15/be-a-difference-maker/

Is it any coincidence that today’s story reflects the section of a manuscript I was also working on yesterday, trying to explain my spiritual practice of Story Walking?… “Story Walking is best described as a spiritual detective reality game detective reality game that leads players into mystical encounters with Mother Nature and creative Spirit. Imagine opening the front door, stepping out onto a giant game board and into a storybook life… In Story Walking, players walk, look, listen and follow subtle clues that appear, usually at their feet, to guide the action forward… Players choose where to go and which path to follow in order to get there… Players make new choices based on what happens as the game advances forward. In other words, each player writes the part of the story over which he or she has control, while allowing the rest of the story to unfold as it will, asking that it do so for the higher good of all… Story Walking is learned through the sharing of stories that provide examples of where to walk, what types of clues to seek and how to interpret codes and signs. By sharing their own personal stories, Story Walkers teach others how to engage in the mysterious game.”

And, is it any coincidence that in the afternoon of the same day, as I was taking another walk around our neighborhood block, I found what appeared to be a little coin pouch? Something to hold a red cap and a few jingle shells or perhaps something to help collect coins? If you believe in the magic of a jingle, please consider giving $10 to The Jester & Pharley Phund , so that the Phund can send the Jester’s joyful story to a child facing a serious life challenge.

A pretty pouch

Be a Difference Maker!

Student Leadership Training Program (SLTP) founder, Jim Fitzgerald emphasized service, “A big part of everyday is spent building character and those efforts culminate on Friday with our service project. For the last few years that project has been to decorate hats to provide to hospitals to give to kids.” The service project centered around David Saltzman’s magical children’s book, The Jester Has Lost His Jingle. which has been a part of the SLTP program since it’s publication in 1995.

Saltzman was an English and art major at Yale University, diagnosed with cancer during his senior year. For the next year-and-a-half, he kept a journal of his thoughts and drawings while completing The Jester Lost His Jingle and other stories. David Saltzman died 11 days before his 23rd birthday. Five years later, his parents published The Jester Has Lost His Jingle and printed 10,000 copies to give to hospitalized children. The book imparts lessons of hope, humor, encouragement and charity. David’s parents also established the Jester & Pharley Phund, a non-profit dedicated “to bringing the joy of laughter and the love of learning to all children, especially those who may be ill or have special needs.”

Regarding the SLTP service project, Jim explains, “It is a defining time for our kids,and we celebrate their feelings by sharing David’s wonderful story about choices and the meaning of love. The group explores the concept of service and how to make it more meaningful and less of a chore.” At the end of the difference maker workshop, each student receives a large, decorative safety pin with a jingle bell to wear at future SLTP events. “We tell them,” says Fitzgerald, ‘When you hear the bell jingle, you need to remember: It’s up to YOU to make a difference. It’s up to YOU to care.’”

Many SLTP students returned to their high schools and implemented The Jester & Pharley Phund’s Reading To Give program in their local elementary schools. Neil Fachon volunteered to lead the program in East Greenwich. He teamed up with other SLTP alumni, planned meetings, coordinated the paperwork, helped present dramatic readings of the book to elementary classrooms and enrolled the younger students in read-a-thons to raise money for giving Jester books and dolls to pediatric cancer patients at nearby hospitals. He also helped thread beaded jingle bells to give out as a reminder of the Jester and his joyful spirit.

Four years later, when Neil was hospitalized for brain surgery and later pneumonia, I wore the jingle pin he had made everyday. One unforgettable character in The Jester Has Lost His Jingle is a little girl lying in a hospital bed with her head wrapped in a bandage. The jester visits her room, talks with her and tries to cheer her up. It is the most precious moment of the story. It is where the Jester discovers he still has his jingle – his ability to bring joy to others.

Many people are unaware that when a child has a serious illness, his or her life can become depressingly isolated. Some children are so sick they are unable to go to school and be with their friends. It is easy for the kids at school to forget about the friend who is not present. While siblings, parents and caregivers do their best to tend to the well-being of a pediatric cancer patient, that patient sorely misses the company of friends. Friends are special! Friends are the jesters of life!

Since Neil’s passing on February 19, 2017 from DIPG brain cancer, $20,401 in cash and in-kind contributions have been given in Neil’s memory to The Jester & Pharley Phund to help bring joy and laughter to hospitalized children. These kind gifts have resulted in the donation of 577 Jester books and 448 Jester dolls and 4 Jester Educator Enrichment Manuals to hospitals, as well as the donation of a Smile Cart to Camp Sunshine, along with 36 Jester books, 2 Jester dolls and 2 PhunBooks.

The Jester Has Lost His Jingle is Dream Visions 7 Radio’s February Kids Book-of-the-Month. For every $10 donation in Neil’s memory, The Phund will be honored to donate a copy of “The Jester Has Lost His Jingle.” The donor and Neil will be acknowledged in a bookplate. You may want to order a copy for a special child in your life; this book is inspirational for students or for anyone of any age who could use a mood booster. Donations and personal orders can be made online at www.thejester.org or checks may be mailed to The Jester & Pharley Phund, P.O. Box 817, Palos Verdes Estates, CA 90274. Donors may also contribute by calling 310-544-4733. Be a difference maker, give the gift of joy and laughter to someone in need.

The Resilient Heart

Raising a resilient child begins at an early age. Books give children a rich vocabulary of words they can use in expressing their own thoughts and feelings. My husband and I read to our children from infancy, beginning with picture books of rhythm and rhyme. Then we moved on to picture story books, chapter books, and children’s classics. At bedtime my husband would read to one child, while I would read to the other.

Reading requires looking, listening, and thinking, and develops all these skills through practice. Once children learn to see, they can see to learn. Once they learn to listen, they can listen in order to learn. And, once they learn to read, they can read to learn. These skills are empowering.

When our children were able to read on their own, we listened as they would read aloud to us. When they got tired of reading aloud, we would take over and read some engaging fiction that was well beyond their reading level, exposing them to more advanced vocabulary and emotional situations. By reading aloud, fluently and expressively, we were able to model effective communication skills to our children. Reading teaches empathy. Studies conducted at The New School in New York City show evidence that literary fiction improves a reader’s capacity to understand what others are thinking and feeling. Children learn from stories about how other children handle life challenges. By reading books that share the stories and beliefs of children raised in different cultures, we can expose our own children to a wider range of experiences and perspectives, and to higher levels of imagined and unimagined intelligence. These stories lead us to learn the more advanced vocabulary of empathy, compassion, respect, collaboration, and resilience, so we can model these practices for one another.

While referring to God in my children’s book, The Angel Heart, I must acknowledge and respect those who believe in different forms of spirit – god or goddess, guardian angels, Mother Nature, Father Sky, Great Spirit, The Force, or perhaps a collective entity. Some people think this is all hogwash, and so be it. Telling the story of a real, yet magical, flower, I provide clues that suggest the presence of a mysterious creative and benevolent source that provides for us and watches over us. Faith in this higher power helps us to cultivate spiritual wisdom, strength, love and peace within ourselves, which we can then share to help make a better world.

I am toying with the idea of more spiritually inclusive version of The Angel Heart, at a lower price point and with supplemental material for parents and teachers. Until then, however, my original book and e-book can be found for purchase by clicking here, and my Natural Awakenings magazine article about Emotional Literacy can be found here.

Dear Me

     Back in January 2011, Neil’s science teacher asked each of his freshman students to write a letter to themselves, to be delivered upon college graduation. Little did Neil know he would not live to read the letter he’d written. In May 2018, Mr. Rath contacted us, told us about the letter and asked if we would like to have it. At first, he had hesitated doing so, fearing the letter might contain something we might find painful, but on balance he thought we should make the decision about whether or not to read it. The following Sunday, Mother’s Day, Dean carefully slit open the envelope and handed it to me. I read it aloud:

“Dear Me,

“By the time I read this I better be a billionaire mechanic top class with a chauffeur and lots of nice stuff. JKJK. But seriously. It better be better than where I am right now though, cause where I am now is seems to be no friends, only Starcraft 2, Chess, in the fall soccer and whatever else I decide to do. My niche which is apparently the main thing I am supposed to be writing about, according to Mr. Rath, is small. I don’t have much of a niche at school. I go I learn take notes take tests, move from group to group, talk from person to person without any real close friends. Sept Andrew, but you probably don’t even remember him where you are somewhere in the future, Plus he changed schools to Hendricken so we can’t hang much anymore. My niche at home is fairly small. I help with yard work; raking, shoveling snow, mowing the lawn, picking up sticks, minny stuff nothing big. I just sit around playing Starcraft 2 all day. Which is probably going to cost me a bit, but hopefully it doesn’t cost you wherever you are. Hopefully you actually got a girlfriend and a group of friends you hang with on Friday nights. People call you regularly and chat. I know I don’t have it as bad as many others, but it would be nice to have friends to hang with after school that aren’t complete morons. I hope whenever you open this letter you find it of interest and not a peculiar annoyance, because if you found this to be an annoyance that would kinda be sad to me. It would mean you’d fallen farther into a slump than you are now. Well enough of this riff raff. You probably gunna think you were crazy back when you was me.

“Sincerely,

“You”

      I had to pause to wipe away my tears every time the text blurred before my eyes. We were aware Neil’s first semester of high school was a tough one, between soccer team hazing and disappointing friendships. When Neil chose to confide in us about his social challenges, he did so because he needed us to listen, yet refrain from becoming directly involved, and we learned to respect that.

     Dear Me. Ironically, the opening words are suggestive of an exclamation expressing surprise or distress, as in “Dear Me, how do I answer this question?” Describing one’s niche can be an intimidating writing assignment for a young person. A niche is a position, role, career or activity that suits somebody’s talents, personality and interests. How many kids struggle to figure out where they belong… how they fit in among their peers or how they find their special place in the world?

     Daunting as this may seem, questioning one’s niche is a tremendously valuable exercise in and of itself, because quite simply, it provokes deep thought. I sensed that, for Neil, this particular question sparked an urgent search for answers… Eventually, Neil’s niche became “friendship.”

If you were to write a letter to yourself, what would you write?

Explore, Experience, Explain (Part 2)

How might a dysfunctional lymph system effect the body? Can a lymph problem contribute to, say, frozen shoulder? And, if so, how? Doctors have differing opinions on what causes frozen shoulder (adhesive capsulitis). Some say sitting at a desk or laying down and resting the shoulder for long periods can aggravate an existing problem by limiting the use of the aggrieved shoulder.

Dr. Austin Oolo attributes the cause of frozen shoulder to a triad of physiological circumstances: a neck problem, a shoulder strain and a hormone imbalance.

Dr. Christiane Northrup suggests there may be emotional issues underlying shoulder issues, such as feeling one needs to carry the weight of the world upon one’s shoulders… or being too rigid in one’s thinking… or engaging in too much negative self-talk… or perhaps holding on to emotions of sadness which are associated with physical pain.

So what caused my left shoulder to freeze up?

Grief can be physically immobilizing, and I am certain grief was a key factor. In January 2018, less than one year after losing our son, age 20, to brain stem cancer, my shoulder began to stiffen. By May, the pain was so intense it kept me up at night. Had sadness and pain had come to settle deep within my tissues?

Considering my left shoulder, I recall sitting next to Neil, my left arm reaching around behind his back to support his weakening body, as he sat up to sip and swallow water, which he had to do often due to the high sodium content of his anti-neoplaston therapy infusions. Swallowing had become more difficult, as he was losing control of his muscles and mucous clogged his throat. We spent at least half an hour, every night, in the middle of the night, sitting together patiently on the edge of his bed, as he slowly sipped, spat, sipped and swallowed.

The cancer journey was full of unimaginable moments. First, the diagnosis (Wham!), and then the prognosis: He has three months to live (Bam!), followed by a year of intense battle. I buried the harshness of each and every heart-wrenching moment deep down inside, so that I could move forward, remaining strong and positive for Neil and the rest of the family. Had these suppressed memories and associated emotions become locked within?

Generally, frozen shoulder describes a pathological process in which the body forms adhesions of muscle fiber around the shoulder capsule, leading to restricted movement and pain. In the absence of movement, emotional and chemical toxins accumulate inside knots of scar tissue. While physical therapy (PT) and myofacial release massage therapy help to break down the scar tissue physically, recovery is a slow painful process. After seven months of daily PT and massage, I regained about 80 percent of my range of motion. Then I reached a plateau.

My residual pain and restriction compelled me to probe for a deeper understanding of my dysfunction, which is why I decided to undergo a full-body bioregulatory assessment at the new BioMed Center in Providence. In so doing, my open mind was exposed to new aspects of physical science, new non-invasive biofeedback therapies and new insights as to what was happening inside my body – physically, energetically and emotionally. The resulting information and associated possibilities astonish me.

Thermometry test results (explained in Part 1) indicated a lymph system blockage in my head and neck area. The primary role of lymph is to remove toxins from body tissues. While the heart automatically pumps blood through the cardiovascular system, the lymph system relies on body movement as a pump. It’s difficult to move lymph if body movement is restricted. I had never realized how important regular physical movement is for detoxing.

Among the BioMed doctors’ recommendations were movement therapy in the form of rebounding. Rebounding is a type of spring-leveraged low-impact exercise performed on a rebounder—sometimes called a “mini-trampoline.” The up-down movement of rebounding unblocks the lymph system and compels lymphatic fluid to flow and flush toxins. Rebounding is considered the most effective movement therapy for increasing lymph flow and draining toxins from the body. Basic rebounding movements include bouncing in place, jumping jacks, twists, side-to-side motions and running in place. Rebounding is fun, and gym trainers can guide people in doing rebounding safely and effectively.

For elderly people or people with restricted by balance or knee joint problems, rocking in a rocking chair is a good alternative. Children can move lymph by swinging on a swing, which requires pumping the arms and legs. My sister consciously jiggles to move her lymph and boost her mood. All of these simple and enjoyable activities activate the movement of lymph.

For patients looking to expedite the removal of a lymph blockage or for patients whose voluntary movement is restricted by a neurological disorder, the BioMed Center offers technologies which can assist in the process of moving lymph, expelling toxins and addressing emotional blockages and imbalances. More on this in Part 3.

Learn more about bioregulatory medicine. The BioMed Center is hosting an open house on Wednesday, February 13, 4:30-6pm at 111 Chestnut Street in Providence.