I had been a regular massage client of Katherine Kawana, a massage therapist and acupuncturist operating in Kaneohe, Hawaii. I was fairly active — swimming, running in excess of 20 miles a week and playing other sports. Then came the case of sciatica that was severe enough to sideline me. Visits to various practitioners, including medical doctors, were futile. Back traction, adjustments and medication brought no relief.
Surgery as a remedy for body ailments dates back to ancient times. But it has only been within the past 150 years that general anesthesia has been on the scene.1 The use of anesthesia has become a double-edged sword for the medical profession, contributing to a perplexing problem known as PONV, or post-operative nausea and vomiting. Although several factors may contribute to PONV, anesthesia is a major player and its effects on the patient continue to thwart attempts for a pharmacologic panacea.
I am lying face down on a massage table. My ears are tightly covered, so that I’m deep inside a loud silence of rushing blood and muffled room tones. Explosions of pressure twang against the back of my skull and reverberate through my brain and being, over and over. I feel at first shaken apart, and then, oddly enough, powerfully relaxed — safe.