It can be challenging when you are in pain for years and it continues to get worse. Deb made it through the frustration and challenges and got her life back, including a half an inch in height! Please help me celebrate Deb by reading her story and leaving a comment on the blog. I think you might find some of your story there in hers.
Deborah Gardner Walker
Writer & Photographer
I have suffered chronic back problems since my late 20’s when I first began seeing a chiropractor to address pain. I have mild scoliosis, slightly externally rotated hips and a bit of a bowed right leg (all passed on from my mother’s family, such nice gifts). It sounds worse than it is (I can assure you that I do not hobble with a cane, my challenges are not visible to others), but it has made it necessary for me to attend to my spinal health.
Shortly before the terrorist attack on September 11th, I began having tingling in my right hand and neck pain. Apparently I had blown out several discs in my neck while being macho and shoveling several yards of mulch and staining a whole section of our fence by myself. I was also walking a neighbor’s 100-pound Samoyed (he was overweight!) and the dog sometimes pulled and I didn’t know how to hold the leash safely so he practically pulled my arm out of the socket.
In addition to the tingling, I began to have significant pain and was sent for physical therapy. I began to feel better, until news of a plane hitting the World Trade Center broke while I was in my physical therapy session. Then another plane hit the other tower and I became terrified. After the Towers collapsed, I relapsed and suffered acute pain and various neurological symptoms for the next five months and was about to undergo surgery when the discs receded and the nerve pain began to resolve and my arm strength returned.
In addition to three ruptured cervical discs, I have cervical stenosis, which thankfully has not progressed since first discovered on MRI in 2001. All of this presents great challenges for me in managing pain and longstanding muscle spasms in my neck and upper back, as well as my hips being off kilter, which results in low back pain and stiffness.
I began practicing yoga regularly four years ago and it has helped a lot, both in terms of physical strength, balance and flexibility, as well as quieting my mind and reducing stress. However, I still had some stiffness that made it difficult to touch my toes in a forward fold or get my heels to touch the floor in the downward facing dog pose, and other poses could be restricted as well from achieving the full expression of the pose.
Physical therapy, massage, acupuncture and chiropractic helped, but did not fully solve the problem. In fact, my relief from chiropractic was temporary as my body was not able to hold the adjustment. It was frustrating.
I had heard OB-Gyn and Women’s Health Specialist Dr. Christiane Northrup talk about myofascial release and how it had saved her from needing hip surgery. I kept that in the back of my mind. This past spring, I was at North Shore Pain Management to see if we could resolve joint inflammation and pain in my lower back and get me moving well again. I was being evaluated by the nurse practitioner when, fortuitously, the universe intervened. I saw a flier on the door for North Shore Myofascial Release. I asked about it and decided I would give it a try first.
More synchronicity – that night after yoga, I mentioned being interested in MFR and the yoga instructor said that she was in a group with Jessica and just raved about her. Twice in one day North Shore Myofascial Release was presented to me. I heeded the message and called the next day. I had a free 30 minute exploratory call with Jessica, explained to her what was going on, and she said I would be a perfect candidate for the 90-day comprehensive treatment and coaching program with unwinding session.
It sounded good. I paused when I heard the price, but I thought I needed to give this a try to see if treating my fascia was the missing link that held me back.
Wow! Am I so glad that I took the risk and made the investment of money and time. Jessica and Cindy are both incredibly talented healers and Jessica was so helpful in educating, guiding and supporting me in our coaching calls. It has truly changed my life, reduced my pain, increased my flexibility and moved my lifelong pursuit of health and wellness a quantum leap forward.
Jessica also guided me through meditations to reduce stress and “soften” during treatment so the fascia could become unstuck. She also explained that I needed to release old traumas, to let go emotionally, as those traumas were stuck in the fascia. I had heard about trauma being buried in the fascia several years ago when I first learned about MFR from Dr. Northrup.
Halfway through the 90-day program, I was thrilled to discover that I could do a full forward fold and I had greatly improved in my seated forward fold in yoga (I could barely bend forward from a seated position before, my lower back was so restricted). So my pain was greatly reduced, my yoga practice improved and I learned how to do self-treatment at home, so I was taking responsibility for releasing my fascia, not just expecting Jessica and Cindy to work miracles. I also was delighted that my chiropractic adjustments hold.
Five or more years ago during my annual physical, I was dismayed to learn that I had lost an inch of height. “That’s typical with age,” I was told. About year or so ago, by stretching out my body with yoga and Pilates, I had gained back half an inch.
What joy I felt when my height was measured this month, on September 11th and it turned out I had gained another half inch. I was once again the height I had been most of my adult life! Releasing my fascia was the important link that fully decompressed my spine. What a different experience from that fateful September 11th 17 years ago, when I was in physical therapy, debilitated by pain and spinal deterioration.
My hope for everyone is… the awareness of where you are, and what you need to move forward into health and wellness. I can help you get started on that journey.
There are 10 spots for Pain- Free and Joyful Life Session for the next two weeks. Deb started her time with us with a Pain-Free and Joyful Life Phone Session. That was the beginning of her quantum leap in pain relief and mobility.
This call will give you great insight on what might be missing in your current health care for pain relief and what the steps you can take to start feeling better.
Click here to answer some helpful questions and start the process.
Taking one step at a time to living in better health. I am here to support you.
Committed to supporting you on a path to better health,
Jessica Kaloutas, LMT, is an expert Myofascial Release therapist and teacher for those suffering from chronic pain, acute injury and trauma. It’s her calling to facilitate the body’s natural ability to heal. She’s known for blending the ancient wisdom of Myofascial Release with empathy and compassion to offer powerful, mind/body education and treatment, resulting in personal empowerment, long-lasting pain relief and an amazing, joyful life! She is the creator of the Pain-Free and Joyful Life Program.