The first time I received healing treatment in a dream was two years into my myofascial treatments. Speaking with others, it seems it is not uncommon. Therapists or anyone else appear in dreams and treat you. It feels real. On waking, the benefits of the session are felt just as they would in a waking session. Here was my first treatment dream . . .
I am in a dark hallway that appears much like a school hallway – sterile floors and walls. John Barnes is there. He says “come with me” and takes me aside as if there are other people there and he is herding me to a place where we won’t be disturbed. He has me sit in a chair and has me hold up my leg. He applies pressure to the sole of my foot and my right leg starts to unwind, pushing out against his pressure, shaking and moving. “That’s it”, he gently encourages. He does this for my left leg next and again it unwinds and pushes outward. I notice that a recent strain in my calf in real life is releasing as I do this.
I feel some relief (my legs have felt weak and shaky since my last MFR session four days ago). Then John sits on the chair and directs me to sit on his lap, my back to him and proceeds to wrap his arms around me – pinning my arms to my sides in a bear hug. He applies pressure and I immediately feel uncomfortable – trapped. I start to resist and then feel a tremendous surge of energy pouring out of me and I feel John pulling it out of me too. He is whispering in my ear “come on”, but with some urgency in his voice like a combination of ‘get out of there you dang stuck energy’ – and – ‘keep doing what you’re doing and don’t stop.’ I feel the energy exiting and trailing off. Then he says “okay” and I get up. We are done and walking side by side.
Someone in front of us calls him and we are interrupted. He stops to speak with this person. I turn, put my head down, and walk the other way. I think to myself ‘why can’t you stick around to say thank you.’ I am feeling a very familiar dejected feeling – I don’t deserve any more time – it was right to be interrupted. Just then John calls to me and says, quite matter of fact: “if you don’t tell them, no one will know how you did it”. He smiles playfully almost – like a challenge. Right then I get a thought that says “of course!” Your experiences of suffering and healing can be an example for others, so they can create their own maps.
I woke up and felt stronger and more relaxed. My legs felt great and my purpose fully energized. Cemented in my mind was the feeling of the pressure of John’s arms around me and the surge of energy being freed from my body. To me that is the essence of this work: re-starting stalled self-healing by engaging the client’s barrier and gently encouraging them to let go into their own internal healing process.
NB: This dream came when I was debating whether or not to take my first series of John Barnes’ Myofascial Release seminars. I had felt alienated at my first seminar as a student and was having serious doubts about conforming to a certain way of doing things that was not my own.
What the feeling in the dream helped me realize, was that I was going to need the experience of being in a safe community of people coming up to my barrier, gently sitting at it and not swallowing me up so I would become lost. Holding gently, then setting me free. I would need to feel a sea of unique people connecting in synchrony – creating something powerful that could not be done solo. I would need to experience the sense of a community healing together.
Second, I realized that I had an unrecognized need to share my experience of healing – specifically to help encourage others to engage in their own experiences of healing. The way John says this “if you don’t tell them, no one will know how you did it” – he is matter of fact about it. In an “of course this is the next step” kind of way.
At the time of this dream I had only met John once. I have had very few dreams where I have felt like it was physically real, so when I do, I listen to them. It’s my mind’s way of telling me – listen up! This is really important!
What’s most important for me in any dream is not the analysis of the content. It is the feel that drives what I do when I wake up.