As a teen and young adult I was often in pain. I had quite a few horse accidents and a car accident but nothing in particular was injured badly. A few fractured bones in my lower spine and some whiplash was the worst of it. These injuries did not explain all of my pain though, and most of the time no one, my regular doctor included, believed that I was in any pain at all. Even though my doctor didn’t believe me she tried to help by sending me to specialists. I saw neurologists that pretty much put me on harsh drugs and kicked me out the door, a rheumatologist who said nothing was wrong and to come back when I was an adult and I went to a sports medicine clinic where they lost my file multiple times and gave up on me because the exercises that they had me doing were making things worse. I also received multiple bone scans (pretty neat tests) that revealed minor Ankylosing Spondylitis, but they told me nothing about it or what to do for it. Still, all of these doctors couldn’t explain the actual pain I was in or take it away.
To clarify how I felt back then:
- stiffness in my joints – especially upon waking up
- muscle tenderness and pain
- migraines and headaches
- fatigue, weakness
- trouble getting to sleep and staying asleep
- low back pain – sharp stabbing pains as well as a constant aches
- Poor circulation
- Loss of feeling in legs – pins and needles as well
- Constant ache in my body and random sharp pains
Wow, that’s a lot now that I see it typed out. All of this started when I was around 13 and continued until recently. I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia when I was 24. I was glad to have an answer, however this diagnosis is not something I truly believe.
Now here is the best part of my journey:
I’m all better!! Well I still have some issues but not nearly as many as I had before.
Before what? you ask…. Before PILATES, YOGA, and PROPER NUTRITION!!
Let me explain
YOGA & PILATES – well this is where everything really changed!! Once I was taught how my body really works and how to use my core muscles properly by my Pilates Instructor here at Balanced Motion, I could already see a difference. For my body the Pilates classes were too much so I started slow with Yoga. I used the knowledge about my core muscles in my Yoga classes, which for me was the best thing. I have been doing Yoga as much as possible for the past two years now and WOW!!! My body is completely different. Don’t get me wrong, I still have some joint problems and I adjust for those when doing Yoga. You would be amazed at what proper breathing and posture can do for your body. I would not be the person I am today or the person I will be a year from now or 5 years from now without Pilates and Yoga…Thank you Sherry Morton-Jibb and Lisa Goddard!
NUTRITION – now for the hard part! I LOVE FOOD, I love the taste, texture, smell…everything. Food, especially sugary food is my addiction…and addictions are hard to quit. My sister is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist so of course her voice is always in my head when I’m eating crappy food (which I still do from time to time…I refuse to give some things up). But she has helped me alter my eating habits for the better. Once you learn about what certain foods do to your body, especially in excess, you’ll be amazed. Once I cut out red meat (causes inflammation), limited my dairy (also an inflammatory food) and wheat and of course reduced my sugar intake drastically I physically, emotionally, and spiritually felt different…better…new!
I must admit this is hard and I slip up from time to time and don’t take the time for myself that everyone requires to stay healthy and sane in this world but I do what I can and I am determined to do better.
Yoga and proper, real food have changed my life and got me through the pain I was in, and will continue to change how I feel physically, emotionally and spiritually.
By: Liz Cowell