Wednesday, April 25, 2007

My Magical Weekend - Part One

Someone wise said it is good for you to spend time in the company of people who possess different points of view to your own. Therefore I am trying to console myself that last weekend, despite being infuriating, was ultimately beneficial.

Let's start at the beginning. We had a small group of circa 45 - 55 years old (should I just say "perimenopausal"?) women. We brought horses. We brought food. We rented a beautiful cottage in gorgeous surrounds. There was a grassy paddock for our horses, picturesque gardens, a jarrah forrest and a vineyard. Magical.

Day one: arrival, settling horses, putting away food, and a short walk through forest to sample the fruit essences of the vineyard. Quince wine was fine but the strawberry champagne won our hearts and a place on the table that night. As we relaxed under the influence of berry essence, conversation turned to personal interests and ambitions. I had been invited by a friend who is a physiotherapist. In a strange lack of professional jealousy, she had invited other friends who practise (in varying combinations) Bowen therapy, reflexology, iridology, numerology, hypnotherapy, homeopathy, aromatherapy and herbal medicine. None professed to be psychic investigators or past-soul retrievalists, but The Secret was mentioned so I expect they covered all specialties.

Being horse owners, equine woo was foremost in our minds. Barefoot was a hot topic. They all endorsed The Movement, but one by one made shamefaced admissions of relying on conventional shoes as their horses were unable to sustain ridden work without them. The trail rides in this area cover hilly hard ground, and I had been told fully-shod was a must as last year's gathering had been spoilt by lame horses - turning the long ride into a misery of a long Barefoot limp home.

Now, my horse has good feet and doesn't need shoes on the sandplain where we live but I keep him shod (on the front feet only) so we are always ready for anything, as I take him out in the hills occasionally. As it transpired, my horse was the only one at this gathering with barefeet, albeit only the hind ones, and I don't even bother with Barefootology. I have an excellent, experienced farrier and my horse has never had hoof troubles. We leave shoes off his hind feet, but he gets trimmed and front shoes replaced monthly. I didn't bother putting hinds on for this occasion as he's managed similar rides without soreness.

The other women were tormented by their belief in the goodness of "natural" yet being unable to sustain the dream. They fretted on about how they might achieve this: designer yards with footsoaking baths, limestone crunch pads, beds of nails and obstacle courses. And still they'd need to call out the 4-point-Barefoot Podiatrist every week to gouge out their horses' soles. The inaccessibility of their dream drove down the strawberry champagne and we had to break open dark chocolate essential supplements.

Next we concentrated on hypnotherapy. I admitted an anxiety about difficult situations sometimes reduces my participation in events. For example, I was scared to attempt some of the higher jumps in crosscountry courses, which limited us to lower level competitions. It was tempting to accept the
hypnotherapist's offer of a session that would "deal with fear". But what about the consequences? If it worked, wouldn't my horse need to be hypnotised too? And what if our confidence overrode his ability to jump massive neckbreaking obstacles? "But there you go again", the hypnotist said. "I Can!" must replace "if only I could".

It was time for dessert. The coeliac served a gluten-free packet-bake. I wondered if she should get hypnotised "I can eat eat flour" and thereby share in the delectable plum syrup cake I had brought from home.

On full stomachs, the Bowenists commiserated about rates of pay. They said hypnotherapists received more than they did, and Bowen was badly under-enumerated for the skill involved. They complained health funds required accreditation in order to provide a rebate on a service. This
involved going back to study anatomy at TAFE or University, which meant long hours of application, memorising and recalling information. This was considered a waste as they already knew they could heal people. It was decided they should take up hypnotherapy instead - and direct patients to
stop feeling the pain, and to heal sore muscles/strained joints/blocked chi all by themselves (under weekly hypno-maintenance). The hypnotherapist said she used to feel guilty about taking so much money, but now she thinks of it as "energy transfer" so it's okay afterall. She also disclosed she dabbles in property development to further optimise energy inflow.

At bed time, having a limited number of double beds between us, it was a case of "sleeping with the enemy". I chose the safest option - and shared with my physio friend. It is strange going to bed with another woman when you are accustomed to a hetero lifestyle. We both lay very still on the outer edges of the bed, facing opposite directions, and hardly breathed, let alone slept.

To be continued...


  1. It's Liz from I Speak of Dreams.

    I lost a whole group of friends--my quadrille team--when they to a woman started insisting on Upledger cranio-sacral woo for both horses and riders on the team.

    It's funny -- I went along with it for a bit, but then the "therapist" started both charging more and insisting on more treatments. I couldn't afford it, and told my teammates so.

    I expected them to say, "oh well" and was stunned when the team leader said that I couldn't be part of the team, because of "lack of harmony".

    Pretty painful experience.

  2. Hi Liz. I feel for you - devastating - but ultimately their loss. Sounds like your friends' "harmony" is the same as my friends' "energy". Did you find a new team of lovely, warmhearted, rational people?

    This Upledger system is well named. Must keep the cashbooks boyant.


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