Healing & Self-Defense

Something interesting happened today, my last day as Camp Nurse at the Bridgeport location.  Near the end of the day, I had three kids come visit me in quick succession with somewhat similar, though unrelated injuries.  One girl came in after slipping and hitting her legs on the bleachers, and I gave her an ice pack.  She also told me that one of the boys had tried to hold her hostage, but she kicked him and escaped.  She pointed him out, a boy in a purple shirt, through the window over-looking the gym.  Shortly afterwards, the boy in the purple shirt showed up, first I thought just to pester my patient, even saying “I’m going to get revenge!” which I tried to discourage “No getting revenge in the nurse’s office!”  and that the nurse’s office was a place for the injured.  But then he said his leg hurt from being kicked, plopped down on the cot and asked for a bag of ice.  At that exact moment I get a call on my walkie-talkie – another kid with an injury, hit in the head with a door and was on his way up.  I get a third bag of ice with paper towels ready.

These are all fairly typical camp injuries, whether I’m working at Bridgeport or Southport I’ll go through several ice packs every day.  Still, it was a bit unusual having three kids together in the nurse’s office, and though sitting they still had all the energy they had in the gym.

Thus, it wasn’t long before the one boy tried to hold the girl hostage again, and I’m thinking, great, how can I stop this now before we have more injuries?  I didn’t need a mini judo match in the nurse’s office.  But I saw that he grabbed her wrists, and that sparked an idea.

I said “Do you know there’s a way to escape from someone grabbing your wrists?”  I tried to explain in words – when someone grabs your wrists, you move your hands in an outward circle and escape.  The other boy had been paying attention, and he now moved to try it out.  I warned that I hadn’t done it in a while and wasn’t sure it would work.  They didn’t get it from my poor description, so I then thought I’d have to demonstrate.  I asked the girl to grab my wrists, and then I actually remembered the movement – circle the wrists first inward, then up, out & down.  The other boy showed understanding and was eager to try it again – he got it right away, and for the next minute all three of them were occupied by practicing the move.

They still had loads of energy and chattered away, but they were no longer trying to take revenge/take each other hostage as before.  The distraction had worked.  Success!

And it surprised me, too.  I learned that move when I was about their age from an Aikido class, and was about that age when I stopped taking Aikido and thought I was done with martial arts.  Until, that is, two weeks ago, when I signed up for a year’s worth of karate, and have been thinking about karate & the martial arts ever since.  So while I was surprised this Aikido move came back to me, maybe it’s not so surprising given my recent interest in the martial arts.  And you’re likely to find karate a semi-regular topic here, as I figure out where this new pursuit fits into my life as a nurse and a dancer.

Postscript:

How could healing & self-defense be related?

The human body is remarkably engineered for self-defense – to protect from foreign invaders and fight off disease.  When something goes wrong with our body’s defenses, we get sick.

Healing and self-defense work together to keep the body whole.

I got to share a little of both today

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