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Awakened at Needle Point

Awakened at Needle Point

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Published by John Jay Harper
This is the true story of my amino acid therapy for addiction, pain, and stress disorder at Mind & Body Works in Durango, Colorado in September 2010.
This is the true story of my amino acid therapy for addiction, pain, and stress disorder at Mind & Body Works in Durango, Colorado in September 2010.

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Published by: John Jay Harper on Oct 16, 2010
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10/16/2010

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Awakened at Needle Point: A Shamanic Journey into Body-Mind-Spirit WellnessBy John Jay HarperIntroductionIt was late Friday afternoon February 26
th
, 2010; a cold, snowy mid-winter day in the PacificNorthwest when this unresolved childhood conflict surfaced again. Indeed it was thebottomless pit of hell seemingly, the source of symptoms, mental and physical, that controlledmy entire life story until now.The original catalyst for my crash and burn was the abandonment by my father in Seattle at age5. He left my mother, Catherine, and my two brothers, Ron and Steve, homeless and penniless,so he could hire on with a fishing fleet as its chief marine mechanic trolling in the deadliestcatch waters up and down the coastlines of Alaska, Canada, Washington, Oregon, andCalifornia. I never saw him again until I was 32-years old.In fact, as I shared in the Second Edition of my book,
Tranceformers: Shamans of the 21
st 
 Century 
, my perceived reality since the 1950s was nothing but the symbolic cutting down of myfamily tree reenacted through me, and my heroic efforts to stop it from happening to those Iloved, again and again and again. Clinically, this is a borderline personality disorder known topsychotherapists as third degree emotional burns. In short, I felt a swarm of toxic emotionssting me that evening and I reacted as a helpless child alone in the dark wouldnot an adult.I truly did not have a life yet, an authentic
sense of self 
that was symptom-free and able toengage the world on its terms. But the scenario that led to my sinus symptoms was Claritinclear enough. My beloved 20-year old granddaughter, Kathryne, who had been living with usfor the past 3 years, was embarking on her first solo cross-country road trip from Spokane,Washington to Jacksonville, North Carolina, and I was deathly afraid for her safety. Katie wasen route to Andrea, a girlfriend she had known since 14, to share a recently purchased home.Andrea was a proud U.S. Marine stationed at Camp Lejeune, awaiting the return of herhusband, high school sweetheart Joshua, likewise a soldier but now fighting the Taliban inAfghanistan until summer 2010.Specifically, in a panic-stricken spur of the moment decision that gripped my head and heartlike a steel vice, I decided to drive our gas-miser Honda Civic in front of Katies car for the initialone thousand miles of this four thousand mile journey to the East Coast. I wanted to blaze thetrail, so to speak, make certain she, and co-driver Jody, got safely through the snowy mountainpasses in Idaho, Utah and then into the first city they planned to stop on Saturday afternoon:Las Vegas, Nevada. I even paid for a deluxe room-in-advance at the Luxor Hotel for my wife,Connie, and myself, before we departed Spokane.However, my optimism overstretched my capacity to drive around-the-clock anymore, as I dideasily in my pre-retirement years, and we never made it. For I collapsed from emotionalexhaustion early Saturday morning while driving on Interstate 84 through Boise, Idaho and was
 
forced to exit the freeway prematurely and pull into a Hampton Inn at approximately 3:30AMPST. Connie called Katies cell phone and explained what had happened to me and wished herand Jody a fun weekend in Las Vegas, but without us. We would rest a few hours we said andchart a new course back home via western Idaho, eastern Oregon and central Washington,avoiding the mountain passes we had crossed in the middle of the night.Only with hindsight, I recall that my grandfather was born in Salt Lake City in 1890 and mygreat-grandfather actually helped lay the stones on The Mormon Temple I have been told.Moreover, my father in fact died at Las Vegas Medical Center on February 25
th
, 1991 so myadvice is pay attention to symbolisms for they are sprinkled throughout this autobiography.They of course are meaningful to me but let me give you a hint: Your life is an open book too!Clinical psychologist Wilson Van Dusen, Ph.D. (1923-2005), worked with the mentally ill all hiscareer but upon retirement wrote about the nature of existence, sharing his lifetime insights inmany inspiring books. The great spiritual adventurers found the whole of creation and everypart of it symbolic, he declared in one of my favorites,
Seeing Through Symbols: Insights intoSpirit 
. I also have investigated mystical and near-death experiences for over twenty years now.(Seewww.near-death.com/experiences/experts13.html)Anatomy of an IllnessIn the days, weeks, and months to follow, my symptoms increased from sinus to serious and Ilost the ability to control my neck muscles and it collapsed. A pinched nerve in the upper regionof my spine at the base of my skull became so painful that it demanded medical intervention.This bracing against pain 24/7 began a decline in my health with sleepless nights and even moremiserable days spiraling towards disaster; I no longer had a life really; rather I became awalking, talking set of symptoms constantly seeking a magic bullet: over-the-counter and thescheduled medications available only by prescription listed in the encyclopedic Physicians DeskReference (PDR).To my primary care doctors credit at Group Health Cooperative in Spokane, Tim J. Meyer, M.D.,and Jan H. Mueller, M.D., I began a course of drugs that did address the PAG (periaqueductalgray), the pain control center of the brain. So we started down the right track pharmacologicallyeven if I was to derail later.
Writing in Molecules of Emotion: Why You Feel the Way You Feel 
, biochemist Candace Pert,Ph.D., explains, Pain researchers all agree that the area called the periaqueductal gray, locatedaround the aqueduct between the third and fourth ventricles of the midbrain, is filled withopiate receptors, making it a control area for pain. It is also loaded with receptors for virtuallyall the neuropeptides that have been studied.Understanding neuropeptides is not easy since they act more as fields of energy says the lateFrancis Schmidt of M.I.T.; he called them information substances or messenger molecules.Dr. Pert proclaims, This complexity has led to their being classified under a variety of 
 
categories, including hormones, neurotransmitters, neuromodulators, growth factors, gutpeptides, interleukins, cytokines, chemokines, and growth-inhibiting factors.Ideally, these information substances give us a sense of bliss or euphoria and make lifeworth living in plain terms. But my brain quit making them, so I was prescribed the opiate-derivative equivalent drugs
hydrocodone
and
oxycodone
for that reason as I underwent acomprehensive diagnostic work-up over a 3-month period from June to August 2010. Thesetests included the cutting-edge in X-Ray/MRI for the spine, laboratory analysis of blood andurine for general health baselines, as well as cardiac enzyme function examination at SacredHeart and Holy Family Hospitals. This is where we shine in the West, our high-tech quantummicro-scopes save lives every single day because we can see into the living
brain-body-bone
matrix
 
now. Though in terms of psychopharmacology we have only scratched the surface of potential protocols and therapeutic non-toxic medicines known to the shamans worldwide.Equally, I was referred to integrative medical specialists in our community that includedacupuncture with Rebekah Giangreco, L.Ac., Dipl.Ac., at New Moon Family Acupuncture,chiropractic sports medicine with Ryan Johnson, D.C., at Pearson and Weary Pain Relief Clinics,and massage therapy with Marlene Sullivan, L.M.T. Indeed, I could not ask for a more dedicatedprofessional health care providing team: I publically acknowledge and give thanks to all of youtoday! I am blessed to live in Spokane, a word that means in the native language, Child of theSun!And while all of these skilled practitioners helped me cope to a certain extent, I came to theconclusion over the span of excruciatingly painful days and nights, weeks that stretched intomonths, that I was missing a couple critical keys to opening the locked gates to wellness: 1)Amino acids administered intravenously (I.V.) as well as orally; and 2) Applying Christ-centered,earth-honoring, energy medicine and meditations to my spiritual prayer routines: the mythsand rituals of native shamanism in particular. I had over the years come to the same conclusionas Chief Seattle did in 1854: I was the voice of the Earth. And its eyes, ears, arms, legs, brain,heart, and so on and so forth. Catholic priest Richard Rohr has captured the spirit of what iscommon to all traditions and teaches these truths at the Center for Action and Contemplationin Albuquerque, New Mexico. (Seewww.cacradicalgrace.org)Overall I needed to factor into the wellness equation the need to restore the communicationcircuitry and message carriers of the nervous system via the
ligands
: the precursors to aminoacids and proteins; the building blocks of cosmic consciousness itself I am quite convinced too.Anthropologist Jeremy Narby, Ph.D. told us as much from his field work with indigenous plantteachers, medicines of the Amazonian rainforests in
The Cosmic Serpent: DNA and the Originsof Knowledge
concluding that nature is minded!So had psychiatrist Rick Strassman, M.D. at the University of New Mexico in his clinicalexperiments in
DMT: The Spirit Molecule
. Since 1996, Dr. Strassman has been exploring modelsfor the DMT effect, and has focused primarily on the Old Testament concept of prophecy. Thisis a spiritual experience which takes into account the apparently external, free-standing nature

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