I met her in 1969. At that time, her name was Helena Fielding, from Westwood, California. She lived and worked in Highland Park. I was referred to her by a gestalt therapist whom I was seeing at the time, Robert Martin. I was referred to Dr. Martin by a doctor in Pacific Palisades, Dr. Beck. The motivating factor behind all of this – severe migraine headaches. Dr. Martin suggested Helena because he knew she helped his clients with her type of bodywork. He said she did “Rolfing”. She studied the technique under its founder, Ida Rolf. Whatever. If Rolfing would help my migraines, so be it. In those early days of knowing her, Helena became a Muslim and changed her name to “Hadidjah Lamas”. All of it was foreign to me. I didn’t care. I just wanted help. It was supposed to be a 10 – week program. Expensive. I joined up. And, 10 weeks turned into 43 years. As my body began to change, I continued going. I was an actress. And, my body was my tool. I needed to be relaxed, my body pliable and able to do what the role required. As time went by, I realized that Hadidjah was special, renown among her peers and a healer of healers.
Hadidjah’s work helped my migraines. It helped my neck, my back, my legs, my shoulders, my face, my tight jaw. At first, treatments were painful because of extreme muscle tension. I learned how to enter the pain and allow it to flow out of my body. I went through a metamorphosis, so to speak. I got used to the pain and allowed my body to change. Periodically, if I got uptight over something or other, I would see Hadidjah. If I pulled my back or had body pain, I would see Hadidjah. In the 70’s, I had a car accident, broke my jaw, and had my teeth wired together for a month. I called Hadidjah.
Last week, December 5, 2016, Hadidjah died in a nursing home. She was 84. I last saw her in 2012, just before we moved to Encino. At that time, she had difficulty remembering things, but her hands were magical and filled with healing energy. After a session with her, I felt alive and young. She treated young and old, sick and well. She treated celebrities at their homes and visited European castles to treat clients in other parts of the world. Not a day goes by that I don’t think of her and miss her. My knees need help. My neck is tense. Stress and grief have taken their toll. Next year, maybe I will look around, see what the people here do for relief. There must be someone in Nice, affordable, who knows structural integration and its benefits. But, there will never be another Hadidjah. She was special. I am honored to have been her client and her friend. May she rest in peace.