By Gloria McCahill, EEM-AP
I have had the great pleasure of working with my client Ian Cali for the past several months -- first for three sessions each week and now for one to two. At the age of 5, Ian was diagnosed with fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva (FOP). FOP is one of the rarest and most disabling genetic conditions known to medicine, as it causes muscles, tendons, ligaments, and other connective tissues to form into bone.
Ian first became acquainted with Eden Energy Medicine (EEM) through his aunt, Angela Cali, who was a Certification Program student. Ian responded so well with Angela’s energetic interventions that she decided to contact me so I could offer him more advanced work.
With FOP, bridges of extra bone develop across joints, progressively restricting movement and forming a second skeleton that imprisons the body in bone; 95% of people afflicted with FOP have an abnormally-formed great toe that is visible at birth. Spontaneous flare-ups of the disease arise in defined temporal and spatial patterning, resulting in ribbons and sheets of bone that fuse the joints of the axial and appendicular skeleton, entombing a patient in a skeleton of heterotopic bone.
There are approximately 700 known cases in the world with this disease, which progresses through spine, chest, shoulders, elbows, wrist, hips and knees, ankles, jaw, and other areas of the body. Muscles of the diaphragm, tongue, eyes, face, and heart are characteristically spared. Flare-ups can occur spontaneously or following bodily trauma such as childhood immunizations, falls while playing, and viral illness.
This condition is often misdiagnosed as cancer in a majority of cases. Surgery makes the condition worse because the body recognizes surgery as another form of trauma. There are no known effective treatments.
I first met Ian while he was in the middle of a flare-up that had been going on for several months, causing him great stress, difficulty sleeping, pain, and even more limited movement. He is a handsome young man in his early 20s and, at that time, was trying to finish his last year of college. My observations were that he was slight in stature, extremely thin, and his body curved.
He walked on the balls of his feet, which could only be done for brief moments of time. His left arm was ossified and rested against his thigh. The fingers of his left hand had free movement. The right arm was ossified across the chest out about two to three inches in front of the heart, and those fingers also had free movement. His head was tilted to the left, jaw slightly ossified.
His legs were bent and could not be moved. His back muscles have almost completely ossified into bone. His right hip had been bothering him a lot, and he was suffering with a tremendous amount of edema in that region. His muscles were extremely tight to the point of feeling like concrete. Neither of his feet could be placed flat on the floor. His left leg was weak, and his right leg was experiencing an extreme flare-up. He could not lie on his stomach.
Ian was gently placed on the bed for me to work with him. Energy testing was not possible initially because of his condition, and I found it challenging to maneuver around his body due to the ossification. I sat with Ian and listened to what he felt was important for me to address during our session. I then began with a Hook-up, Figure 8s over K27, and then offered many Figure 8s over the body as needed, based on my intuition about his body’s energies. It was as if his energies first “needed to trust me,” and I intuitively received information not to move in too aggressively.
I cleared the hand and foot gaits and immediately noticed a toxin release. I then offered a Belt Flow, traced Central meridian, and offered a Crown Pull. I then felt it appropriate to offer the Black Pearl technique so I could get an even deeper “feel” for his energies. Spleen meridian presented on both the left and right sides as sluggish and erratic. On one side and the other side, it took a long time to start pulsing. Triple Warmer was like a baby, barely noticeable and perfectly in sync! This was a surprise to me because I would have expected Triple Warmer to be in overdrive.
An interesting note: Ian has a remarkable immune system, which makes me think of TW in its primal state. Stomach meridian would “start” and “stop,” and Liver meridian produced a great amount of heat. I also cleared his chakras.
Ian responded delightfully when I used a stainless steel spoon on his back, and he reported that this felt really good to him. We were both surprised he could feel it deeply through the bone! I used the spoon and offered very slight “forking” and tracing on the hardened muscle of his thigh. It started to soften. I also used some gentle holding and rocking on the muscle of the thigh, treating it as if it were a baby. The swelling decreased and the muscle tightness lessened a bit after the first session.
Subsequent sessions included a succession of Eden Energy Medicine and intuitive healing techniques including:
- Surrogate Testing
- Sara Allen’s Basket Weave technique
- work with a magnet
- work with acupoints
- sedating and strengthening meridians
- Three Point technique
- additional work with the Black Pearl technique
- various grounding techniques
- holding and rocking the muscles
- activating Triple Warmer as a Radiant Circuit
- Spleen meridian balancing
- tracing meridians
- Belt Flow
- pumping the Mingmen point
- pain chasing technique on the meridians
- Source Points
- auric field
- using selenite, hematite, color, and singing bowls
While clearing the gait reflexes of Ian’s feet during sessions, I began to notice the bottom of his feet would get wet. Ian would experience this dampness for days after. We both felt toxins were releasing.
It felt very important for me to empower Ian. I taught him the sounds corresponding with each of the Five Rhythms, encouraging him to practice those sounds often. As time progressed, I worked with his auric field and continued to do more chakra work. At first, Ian was under a lot of stress from the effects of the flare-up, and his face had a very “drained look” to it, as anyone would under the discomfort he was experiencing. Within a few sessions, the color returned to Ian’s face, and he started to sleep more soundly. His leg also started to become functionally better by the seventh session.
During sessions, Stomach meridian was now making itself known, at first almost sounding like a bear waking up. Initially it was just something we noticed, but then as time went on we realized it was a way of communicating. In the days preceding a session, Ian would start to notice the stomach would make a lot of sounds. It would proceed to quiet down after the session. Other times the sounds would be lighter and, in Ian’s words, almost “sound like a dolphin.”
The edema decreased, and Ian was able to start getting his left foot closer to the floor. I also did some work with Seed Points, and his head began to appear straighter.
To empower Ian further, I gave him one of Titanya Dahlin’s stainless steel massage rings, and he was able to slide it from one finger to another to keep the meridians open in his fingers. After a few months, I began to work with the neurolymphatic points, starting with a few at a time, to see how Ian could tolerate the pressure. I would have him lie on his side so I could offer spinal flushes.
About five months into our work, I began to notice some wetness on the top of the foot when I would clear gaits. The bottoms of the feet would still get wet (at times dripping wet). About this time, I finally figured out a way to test him by using his pointer finger and thumb.
Further exploration of his energies showed that employing the use of his Heart Electrics was incredibly effective. I used the Heart Electric Point and then carried that energy over to areas of hardened muscle. I also crossed energies by doing Figure 8s around his eyes and third-eye chakra and then pulled energy from one side of the body to the other.
After seven months of working two to three times each week, Ian was able to put both feet flat on the ground for about two days. This was very exciting! He also began to get more extension with his leg while lying in bed.
At first, Ian’s energies would only hold for a few days, and now we were seeing that they would hold for almost two weeks! I now started to see him one to two times each week. While attending the September 2013 IGEEM Convention, I learned about the use of neuroenergetic points, and we found this produced a noticeable improvement!
Ian has come a long way since we first began to work together! We are actively changing years of energy habits and introducing new ones. Above all else, I am most impressed of how aware and empowered Ian has become of his own body’s energies.
In a recent testimonial for my business’ website, Ian states, “There are no current treatments or cures for FOP, so many patients just deal with the brutal symptoms for lack of any options. Pharmaceuticals and other medications rarely have any lasting effect, and the dosage needed for noticeable improvement is often dangerously high. The energy work has given me more relief in a variety of ways than anything I’ve tried.”
He said he “felt more alert, relaxed, and generally functional. The energy work has undeniably improved muscle tightness and discomfort, stomach issues, stress levels.” He added, “I have worked with countless doctors, physical therapists, and other modalities to try and reduce the chronic pain and discomfort that comes with FOP, and none have worked as consistently as energy work.”
In conclusion, I would like to thank Donna Eden for her continued efforts to bring this work to the public. This is such a challenging and complicated case that has been incredibly responsive to energy work. As a practitioner, there is nothing more exciting! This continues to be a fascinating journey for both Ian and me.
As a footnote, Ian Cali wanted me to use his name in this case history with the hope that someone else with FOP will read this and choose to experience Energy Medicine for themselves. For more information on FOP, Ian and his family would like to share this link for the International Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva Association, an organization dedicated to extending awareness, support, education, and research for FOP patients and their families.
Gloria may be contacted at [email protected].
If you would like to see an update on Ian, you can read this 2019 case study which details the progress Ian and Gloria have made over the past six years.
(Compiled by Jennifer Mills, December 2013. Some information adapted from IFOPA.org.)