So what about me? ….. From there to here
People often ask me, how I got into therapies, especially when I was in IT for years. Simple, I had to learn what helped me to cope with chronic pain from a young age and turn it to my advantage and just went from there. It has been some journey but I actually feel lucky for the path that was chosen for me, makes me who I am today.
So when did the back trouble begin?
Honestly, I don’t know. I was asked this when I was first diagnosed, why hadn’t I complained sooner. From the start of secondary school, I do recall being very stiff and sore in the mornings. By the age of 21, my lower back pain really started to grind me to a halt, getting severe spasms. I was shocked and devastated to be told it was disc trouble …. sure I only had a bad pain in my hip, not my back! But it was true and by 23yrs old, several MRIs, CT scans, injections and consultants later it was confirmed, I had severe degeneration in 2 discs my lumbar spine and told this was the reason for all my pain.
What possibly caused it?
Again I don’t know and neither did the medics. Like many people with back trouble, there isn’t always a clear reason as to why. My Mum, like me isn’t exactly a giant and my birth was a forceps delivery. My first consultant reckoned it probably was congenital and my Mum recollects, as a baby I didn’t curl up my legs to eat my toes but ‘always passed hip tests’ so possibly always there.
As a teenager I worked with horses, the love of my life from the age of 5 and still to this day. Doing such heavy work at a young age may also have contributed but who knows, this may also have kept me strong as it was only when I stopped exercise and started to study trouble really began. During my finals in college I ended up in a 36hr spasm and 3 weeks in hospital almost unable to walk. I was in the horrors for months after trying to get the simple things done. No one could give me any real answers and only help with medication.
What was the attraction to the Bowen Technique?
I think I had tried virtually every therapy, bone setter, doctor, physio, you name it but none of which really helped. As for medications, hand on heart I have never taken illegal drugs but I was a prescription junkie, morphine/valium cocktails when required interspersed with NSAIDs and other analgesics that left my digestion in bits. One of my Aikido teachers, Sensei Alan Ruddock introduced me to Bowen, he felt this could really help me. From the first treatment I was blown away by way my body released and just thought wow I could do this even if I was in agony and in spasm plus with horses too J And so my therapy journey began. I studied and qualified with the Bowen technique for people in 2005 with Julian Baker, ECBS, considered top in his field and also qualified as a Equine Bowen Therapist in the UK.
So what next?
I was very happy with the Bowen Technique as my primary tool for treating clients for many years. For me, learning how the body works was far more important than learning more therapies. Not much point having a large toolbox of therapies without truly understanding what it is you are working on. I studied with several well known people in different therapy fields including Tom Myers, author of Anatomy trains as well as medical seminars in the area of the spine. But this wasn’t enough, I wanted to understand more, at a cellular level of how pain and other processes in the body actually work. I’m a scientist at heart. In 2009, I completed my MSc in Biomedical science with a strong emphasis on Tissue Engineering and Microbiology, incorporating aspects of the human spine wherever I could. Yes I am obsessed with the spine J After all, it is the central column of our being.
Wasn’t the Bowen Technique enough?
In 2010, I decided to qualified as an Emmett practitioner. Up to this, no therapy came close to the results I was getting with Bowen but combined with the Emmett, my results improved further and faster. Ross Emmett (founder of the Emmett Technique) actually has Tom Bowen’s notes (founder of the Bowen Technique) as Tom’s family felt Ross’s work was closest to their father’s. They work very harmoniously and give me the results I strive for.
Back to me.
After the only real relapse in 12yrs due to a fall in 2011, after I got the all clear to exercise again, I have shown myself and others I can come back from severe pain and difficulty walking to completing my 1st half marathon in 9mths! Medically I’ve never received any answers except measures telling what I know already, it’s there and it hurts … everywhere, some places more than others! I live with some level of chronic pain everyday but have managed myself to dramatically reduce it and I control it, it doesn’t control me. I do have to mind it though, it is part of me, therefore cannot be ignored. Saying that, it doesn’t stop me anymore, I live life to the full and has brought me fantastic opportunities and doing something as my job that I love passionately.
From the business I have created, as you can see, this is about me, all the lessons I have learned along with all the strategic qualifications to bring to others what is required from their side in managing pain. As managing pain isn’t solely about treatments, doctors or medications but also requires individuals to learn how to manage their pain themselves. Because of this, I have added more aspects to what I do including Meditation facilitator, Pilates instructor and soon NLP practitioner to encompass all elements affected by pain, the inner body, the physical body and the mindset. From this, I am bringing pain management workshops to the fore in conjunction with some local doctors. My aim, my life purpose, is to help people manage their pain and continue to live their lives. As it is all about living at the end of the day J
So here I am, this is me and how I ended up doing what I do. I’m always open to share, chat, of course treat but most of all support and understand so anytime you need me, just say 🙂