Strait backs, flexible hands

Body Recall a la Afrique!

It is another hot day in north Ghana, though all natives would call it cold, it being about 88 degrees by mid-morning. Lisa Revell, my wife and a Body Recall instructor, hops on her bike to travel the 2 miles to see her early patients needing chiropractic care before starting the 9 A.M Body Recall class (Lisa is a retired chiropractor). I, with volunteers Lou and Marilyn, arrive at 9:00 to partake.

As with most things African, we actually get started late at around 9:20, as chairs and benches need to be set up for a class larger than anticipated. The students are mostly women, most past mid sixties, some into their early 80s. The majority of them are no longer capable of hauling large water containers on their heads from the well to their home, though some say they can still make two trips with a bucket in the morning. Lisa stands by with her translator ready to teach!

“Let’s take off our shoes, and put them underneath the bench …sit tall, straight back,…… feet flat on the floor….. “ and then raising the arms, and without verbal directions, the class collectively takes the traditional Body Recall deep breath. Class begins.

I am one of the students, but sometimes divert my attention to admire the focus of other students. I am so struck by the scene that I ‘snap’ a few pictures, and even do a bit of video. Like in the USA, it is clear the lesson will do good, as the leaning to the right and left, the raising of legs, and the straight backs all improve as the class progresses.

We start the music …. it is a c.d. of a Ghanaian musician who just debuted his music. People know it well here, and it is an instant hit for the class! It is sung in Nab’t, a language with fewer than one million speakers, and accompanied by catchy African drumming,. They watch Lisa carefully, but now with bright-toothed smiles. Many are starting to add varied gyrations to the movements Lisa makes. The song is long, giving Lisa the idea to start a more impromtu-styled activity. It seems the older and least flexible now become the most creative and happy dancers! It is quite the scene! Lots of laughing and satisfied smiles as the gyrating moves become more enhanced. Everyone, for this moment, is happy in what is going on in their life. Somehow it seems to be the most powerful thing that could happen on this African day, and as the day is now over, I can tell you, that, for me, it was. Body Recall …good for the world.

David Stone

Nov. 25, 2011