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Summer Road Trip 2004

First Report From the Road

Trip Update – Thoughts and Observations

Well, today marks day number 16 since we headed out from Seattle. In that time we have passed through 15 states (Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Utah, Colorado, Wyoming, Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas and Tennessee), although sitting in an RV park at Graceland in Memphis hardly constitutes “passing through” Tennessee yet. Major stopping points have included Salt Lake City, Grand Junction, Omaha, Kansas City, Sulphur Springs, and Houston. And now Memphis, which is a personal tourist stop for Darlene as opposed to a “working” stop for me.

We have put on just under 3800 miles so far and have been pleased with both the mileage and gas prices. After our initial shake-down trip in May, I had estimated getting about 12 miles per gallon on average on this one. We are at 12.3 overall right now. I expect that to improve because of the amount of flat-land driving over the next month. I had also estimated having to pay about $2.50 a gallon for gas. It has been has high as $2.18 in Oregon and as low as $1.66 in Missouri. The farther East we have gone, the better the prices. Overall average right now is $1.909 – a pleasant and welcome surprise.

My best estimate using 50 MPH as an average is about 65 hours so far in driving time. I have also put in over 45 hours of hands-on treatment work along the way. Between driving and “working’ for about 110 hours over two weeks, I guess you can say we haven’t taken much time out along the way yet to stop and smell the roses. We will do a bit of that over the next couple of days before starting back in on the heavy punching.

That 45 hours of treatment time was spent on a total of 15 different people, with as little as 5 minutes to adjust a fellow traveler’s low back whose path we crossed at a road side rest stop in Missouri, to as high as 14 hours over multiple days elsewhere. Average per person has been a bit over three hours total. My “sessions” have generally run between two and three hours, although the time spent with Lana was split into two separate five hour stints. Lana holds the record for the most time I have ever spent on anyone in a single session. In answer to the question I keep getting asked, no, it does not tire me out to do this if I am doing energy work and doing it while seated on a rolling stool at the side of the table.

And along the way, I have had the opportunity to not only “practice” virtually every modality I know how to do, but to blend them together as needed in individual sessions. I don’t have any major proofs yet, although I have been able to test and prove (to my satisfaction) the effectiveness of using an energetic approach instead of a manual method in a couple of specific cases. There is no question that my “power level” has gone up in just the last couple of weeks. I have also been running into a wide range of conditions, which has been very helpful as well as interesting. In some instances, the results were immediate. In others, it will take time and subsequent reassessment or testing to tell.

In cases where someone either posts themselves about the sessions (such as Lana, Linda or Mark) or gives me direct and specific permission to post on their behalf, I am comfortable discussing treatments and mentioning names. Absent those two specific exceptions, however, it is a violation of my professional code of ethics to discuss any work I do on anyone by name.

So – what was I doing in that 45 hours? (And incidentally, that 45 hours is for actual hands-on work and does not include time spent on teaching or explaining things. I probably put in another 6 hours along the way “teaching.”)

Well, lets’ see. Probably 80% of it was basic Jin Shin Do Acupressure, simply because I tend to start all serious treatment work with a one hour, full body, acupressure release and balancing routine. Depending on what I ran into and the work that needed to be done, I also used Polarity Therapy, Craniosacral Therapy, Lymphatic Drainage, Directed Energy, Myofascial Release, Visceral Manipulation, Muscle Energy, Passive Positional Release and good old-fashioned Swedish. And in a couple of cases, just because I had the time to do so and felt like being nice to someone, I tossed in a two hour, Swedish, Fluff and Buff relaxation massage.

Some of the conditions? Serious, major motor vehicle accident whiplash, Acid Reflux, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Fibrotic breast disease, abdominal scars and adhesions, sciatica, low back pain (generally associated with chronically tight PSOAS, Quadratus Lumborum and/or Piriformis muscles), shoulder dislocations, rib and vertebral subluxations, trigger points, Fibromyalgia, prolapsed bladder, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and of course the standard stiff muscle stuff. Those are what come immediately to mind.

All things considered, there has been a little bit of the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly on the trip so far. The Ugly is primarily a very cantankerous server in Seattle that has stymied my attempts to get email or posts at least once or twice every other day. Darlene running the tank down to less than 3/4ths of a gallon remaining in Wyoming followed by my missing an exit ramp later the same day and putting us into a really nice, fishtailing skid on wet pavement, were certainly on the high end of bad if not downright ugly.

The Bad is a combination of things, some very minor and some not so minor. When I tried to use the power inverter to make some coffee yesterday morning, I blew the fuse that controls not only the cab cigarette lighter but also the dash lights. Not good. You all already know about the first flat tire just outside of Omaha and the second one just inside Texas. The pilot light has also been acting up on the refrigerator so the last couple of days it has been more of a wall mounted ice chest. That works fine except the necessary ice really cuts into already limited space. Basically some minor shake-down glitches that would have been spotted and taken care of before we ever left home had we been home long enough between trips to do so. Oh well, maybe before the next trip.

The Good? Where do I start? How about the blown fuse? We stopped at an RV repair place right next to the park in Shreveport this morning. When I asked “how much?” I was told “It’s no big deal. Have a safe trip.” Scenery has been spectacular, particularly the canyon and mesa country of northwestern Colorado. In 16 days, we had our first actual delay for road construction this afternoon in eastern Arkansas – probably sat for 10-15 minutes. Traffic has also been surprisingly light for this time of year. And I have already mentioned the pleasant surprise of decent gas mileage at a price per gallon considerably lower than expected. But the really good has been the people along the way. We have run into nothing but friendly people wherever we have been – helpful, courteous and smiling like their teeth hurt.

But what has really touched us has been the reception from our CEDA sisters and brothers. Being welcomed with open arms has not just been a figure of speech. It has literally been a dispense with the handshake – give with the hugs - all along the way. How much this has meant to me really sunk home a couple of days ago. We stopped someplace for gas or lunch or something, I don’t even remember what. After we left, I realized that when asked what we had been doing in our travels, I had said “seeing friends.”

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