Will nature photography be your path to healing?
By Dr. John Allocca
I live in Suffolk County, New York, the Lyme capital of the world. It is where Lyme was originally named “Montauk Knee” disease.
Some 30+ years ago, I began to suffer from knee pain, headaches, and fatigue. As a medical research scientist and biophysicist, I knew a lot about diagnostics and I had written many medical diagnostic software programs. Yet even so, I couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me.
Nor could any of my medical doctor colleagues. I usually use my own blood to calibrate my microscope. One day, during a calibration, I noticed spirochetes in my blood. Finally, a diagnosis of Lyme disease.
I immediately started a course of antibiotics. In addition to my work in medicine, I also had a nutrition practice. I increased my supplementation of detoxification and anti-oxidation. This all helped, but the fatigue remained. I also developed a tremendous amount of food allergies. The food allergies combined with being an ethical vegetarian left little variety of food to eat. Life wasn’t easy.
One day, I got a flash of inspiration to begin a “vision quest” using photography, which has been my passionate hobby for more than 60 years. I’m not sure how much this helped my Lyme disease physically, but it helped me to deal with it emotionally.
Over the years, I did several more vision quests using photography and wrote the book called “Photography – A Path To Healing.” It had several previous titles such as “Self-Discovery and Healing Through Photography.” I also wrote more than 60 books in medicine, physics, nutrition, and photography.
A second tick bite
In May of this year, I noticed a deer tick on my back with a rash, and my previous Lyme symptoms returned. I had knee pain, back pain, headaches, fatigue, nausea and vomiting. The addition of nausea and vomiting was from the new form of Lyme disease caused by the bacteria Borrelia mayonii. I immediately began a course of antibiotics.
The back pain was probably an exacerbation of the two spinal injuries I experienced in the past. One was from falling off a ladder and hitting my back on the corner of a brick step. The second spinal injury was from a motorcycle accident. Currently, I am at the point whereby the pain, headaches, and vomiting have subsided. However, fatigue and occasional nausea continue.
I had thought I was safe by wearing long pants when I go hiking, but I was wrong. Now, I have learned the hard way to use insect repellent. I didn’t want to use DEET (N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide) because of the toxic effects it may have. Someone told me that “Buzz Away” was natural and very effective. I haven’t found any ticks on me since I’ve been using it.
Currently, I’m hiking a specific trail in Sunken Meadow State Park, which is about 1.3 miles long. I hike slowly. I meet a lot of wildlife there and photograph them. I cannot explain how exciting it is to have wildlife let me get close to them and for them to come out of the woods to greet me. I completely forget all of the pain and hardships, at least for a while.
Let me share a story of healing that came from the group I was leading about 35 years ago called “Spirituality Through Photography and Art.”
The group met twice a month. Originally I suggested to the members that they should meditate and find a topic to photograph. The group didn’t have success with this and asked me to give them assignments.
One of the members of the group asked if she could bring her sibling to the group because she suffered from alcoholism and with my approval, she did. The sister appeared as if she was dragged off the street. She sat quietly without interacting.
I gave two assignments to the group because the holidays were upon us and we would be skipping one meeting. The first assignment was to represent in photography or art what the year has been for them. The second assignment was to represent, in photography or art, what they want the next year to be like for them.
After four weeks, the group met again. The sister of the group member was nicely dressed. She had her hair done and wore makeup. The members of the group displayed their photos. The sister chose to present last.
First, she presented a photo of whiskey bottles on a sheet and said this is what the year has been for her. Second, she presented a photo of broken whiskey bottles and said this is what she wanted her year to be. The moral of the story is that the woman stopped drinking from that point on.
Free class in “Photography–A Path to Healing”
I am currently offering a free course and group in “Photography – A Path To Healing.” We have free monthly meetings on Zoom. There are no fees and no contests. There is only one rule: be kind to each other.
We usually render in art what we relate to the most. In the course, you will explore the relationship of photography to issues of yourself, your relationships to others, and the world around you. These issues are a part of us and will be present in our creative artwork.
If you don’t know anything about photography, you can use a cell phone to take photos or you can sketch, paint, draw, arrange music, or any form of artwork that calls to you. The focus of this program is to find expression for your authentic spiritual self.
If you want to advance your photography skills and/or learn astronomy, you can read my book “Introduction To Astronomy and Photography,” which is available from Amazon.
I can also provide further instruction. If you want to take the course, which is not required for the group, you will need to purchase the book “Photography – A Path To Healing” from Amazon. You don’t need to purchase any books to participate in the group or the meetings. Email me if you are interested in joining the group.
There’s an adventure out there waiting for you…
John A. Allocca, D.Sc., Ph.D., founded Allocca Biotchnology, LLC., in Huntington, New York. Click here for information about his photography class.