Two days ago I went skiing with the individual I highlight below.
On our way up the hill we were chatting about recovering from injuries and how her outlook on healing – as well as her pain – changed after she starting working with me.
We are good buds now and it is always a nice reminder that she is still totally pain-free and that this work really does last!
Meet, Christine Harrison!
She came to me in 2005 when I was practicing as a student.
Her story is a testament to the power of the body to heal via learning, awareness and a personal willingness to re-design her body and its movement so new habits and patterns could emerge.
If you’ve been struggling with an injury or a chronic pain (or pains) that just won’t go away and you are sick and tired of not getting better with our commonly known modes of physical therapy, I’d recommend reading her story and maybe sharing it with others who have the same story.
“I had chronic, grating pain from whiplash in a car accident. Twenty-four hours a day, for four years.
“I kept getting physio, acupuncture, and massage. But it wouldn’t go away.
“You go to physio, you feel a bit better, you think you’re on the mend, you start doing stuff, and then the pain just comes back full force.
“Nothing was helping. It was a little depressing.”
“Irene and I both worked at the Rec Center. One day she took me aside and said, You don’t look very comfortable. Can I show you a few things that will make you feel more comfortable?
“I said, Sure. So, she came down and did a few minutes of work with me. I felt so much better after just five minutes.”
“Irene taught me to change the way I thought about my injuries. Was it really an injury, or was my body just telling me I was still sore? She opened my eyes to a new type of healing I could do myself.
“I think my a-ha moment came when I just stopped feeling my neck pain. It didn’t even cross my mind that my neck would be in pain.
“I haven’t had neck pain for quite a few years now.”
HOW IT’S DIFFERENT
“I always feel good after each session. Grounded, but like I’m floating. Even getting out of bed is easy, because there’s a way you get out of bed. I’m having more fun. I feel more alive.”
HOW IT WORKS
“You don’t think about what hand you’re using to pick up your purse. You just grab it and go, and it’s always the same way.
“Why do we do that? I think it’s the same way with sore muscles.
“You don’t have to be forceful. You can just gently move, and then allow things to move even farther. Gently. You’re engaging the opposite side of the brain than what you normally would. It’s brain training.”
ADVICE FOR SOMEONE LIKE ME
“I live in a super-sporty town, where everyone is into just going for it, whether or not it hurts.
“We need to be gentler. I always tell everyone about Irene. I think it would enhance any other practice you decide to do—whether it’s a sport, yoga, meditation, or even just the way you sit. I think if you can take an hour once a week to do something like this, and incorporate that into your every-day life, you will feel better. And you’re more productive because you’re comfortable.”