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          Sunday, May 27, 2018


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Blue Morphos Butterflies
in the Colombian Jungle:
Success Story with CAM

By  Kimberly Burnham, PhD

I am Kimberly Burnham. When I was eight years old, near a waterfall in a Colombian jungle my father helped me catch a blue morpho butterfly. Its huge, iridescent wings were the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. A few years later I was photographing lions in Ngorongoro crater in Kenya. Then a great horned owl in Shinjuku park in downtown Tokyo. By the time I was 28, I was working as a professional photographer and journalist in Toronto, Canada.

And then……I found myself in an ophthalmologist’s office with a diagnosis of Keratoconus, a genetic condition of the eyes. Arrogantly, coldly he painted the bleakest possible picture of my life, of my future, of my eyes.

“You should consider how your life will go if you become blind,” he said, pushing me towards despair.

“It is genetic, so there is nothing you can do,” he encouraged my hopelessness.

“Your corneas can rupture at anytime, leaving you blind,” he said, scaring the sense out of me.

I believed him.

Life is about moments of impact and who you choose to believe.

A few years later I entered massage school, in part because massage therapy is a profession you can do whether you can see or not.

One day, while taking a test, I moved my head from side to side as slowly and quietly as I could. I had to finish the mid-term exam and I couldn’t read the paper clearly. Two hours earlier I was telling myself, “You shouldn’t have skipped lunch but this isn’t a migraine. This is just missing lunch.” I call it migraine denial. Have you ever had that, where you know it is a migraine but it is not severe enough for you to go home and lay down.

Now there was a big black hole in the middle of my vision and I had to move my head from side to side in order to be able to read the massage therapy test questions. I took the subway home with my head in my hands and laid down in a dark quiet room, gently pressing on the back of my neck. “This is not okay! There has to be something I can do. I have to find a solution to the migraines and to the vision loss. Five or six severe migraines a year for ten years is too long.”

About finished with massage school at Sutherland-Chan, one of the best massage schools in Canada with a 2200 hour program, I started taking CranioSacral Therapy and SomatoEmotional Release classes from John Upledger at the Upledger Institute; Cranial Therapy from the Milne Institute, plus Cranial Osteopathy classes in the Canadian College of Osteopathy’s five year Toronto, Ontario program. I studied Specific Osteoarticular Adjustment & Soft Tissue Technics with Harold I.Magoun, Jr. His father is famous for his book Osteopathy in the Cranial Field.

I studied other things too like, Lymphatic Drainage from French Osteopath, Philippe Druelle, DO; Process Acupressure, Endermologie, Paul Chauffer’s Mechanical Link and Visceral Manipulation with Jean-Pierre Barral, Frank Lowen and Sharon W. Giammatteo and then hundreds of hours of Integrative Manual Therapy classes with Sharon W. Giammatteo, Tom Giammatteo, Kris Albrecht, Carol Gordon, Nancy Ortolani, George Giannoni, Frank Gentile, David Berenbaum, Sue Leger, Kris Godiksen, and many other wonderful instructors.

One year, 1999, I literally spent 100 plus days in class, but the studying, training, self-treatment, manual therapy treatment exchanges with friends (and my friends have amazing hands), has totally been worth it, because in the last 12 years, I have had one migraine. And that one, was four years ago so I have invested thousands of hours of training, tuition dollars and treatment costs but ……. migraine-free – priceless.

Along the way, I learned about nutrition, about Traditional Chinese Medicine, acupressure, Reiki, Matrix Energetics, Craniosacral therapy, Tibetan eye exercises, qigong exercises.

For ten years I was the director of vision services for a large complementary and alternative medicine clinic. I would tell people, “I am the director of vision services because no one can tell me it doesn’t work.”

Today, my friends take its power by call my eye condition “carrots and begonias” and I have better vision than when I was 28 with a diagnosis of keratoconus. I have better vision than when I was eight catching my first blue morpho butterfly.

I can heal myself and you can too.

More of my story is in my chapter, The Eyes Observing Your World in Pebbles in the Pond: Transforming the World One Person at a Time and at my website .


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