How I Solved My Chronic Back Pain And Reversed My Scoliosis at age 29
This is crazy... I actually changed my scoliosis
In April 2014 I suddenly experienced a lot of pain. It made everything in my daily life a challenge and a job wasn't something that I could handle on top of everything else. I was 26. Every specialist I met, didn't had a clue what to do with me. Basically the first advice I got was 'to wait it out'. 'Come back in 3 to 6 months'. I was in excruciating pain and wasn't expecting such answers. I felt desperate. I also felt like the specialist weren't hearing my pains as if they thoughts I was just imagining it all. Well, I for sure wasn't. I wish. Luckily, I am not the type of person to give up, instead my mind went 'why do I always have to fix everything myself' *super huge sigh*. So I started my own healing journey, which has had it's ups and downs until I found Yoga for Scoliosis and a specialist that helped me with my overall health.
A little background info
Scoliosis diagnosis at age 14
Boston brace for a year
Since age 14 up until age 28 measured a 47 degree curve
April 2017 at age 29 measured a 35 degree curve
The Ups and Downs
Since I noticed no specialist knew what to do with me, I developed an urge to understand my body. So I set everything on to finding a way to do so. I remember already coming across Yoga for Scoliosis articles, but since I am in the Netherlands this wasn't an option (just yet). Especially since I was barely functioning on a day to day basis. However, I did decide that a Yoga Teacher Training would help me a lot in connecting to my body and might give me some sort of future. So I enrolled as soon as I found a school that had a little interest in scoliosis and didn't have a too strenuous program. Since my body and mind couldn't handle a lot at the time.
For 2 years, I tried find my path to healing by going the normal western medical route and researching other options. The normal western medical route entailed going to a rehabilitation center, where I worked with a physiotherapist, ergo therapist and social worker. Because this program had a 6 months waiting list, I also had started seeing a psychologist. Since (now) being 27 and not being able to work or even think about a career of future was pretty scary and stressful. I had 6 months of rehabilitation under my belt, but barely noticed any changes in my pain. Basically they pointed out that I was overstepping my bodies boundaries and that I had to learn a better way to keep my pain at a more consistent level instead of having major crashes all the time. As it did help me with understanding my pain and body a little more, it wasn't the end goal that I had in mind. I was too young and ambitious to just give up on life and stop believing in the possibility of getting better. I don't mind hard work as long as there is some progression. But it was hard to figure out what worked.
In the mean time, I had obtained a book about the Schroth Method, which is specialised in 3D treatment for scoliosis. There weren't any Schroth therapists in my area (that I knew off at the time), so I set out to just teach it myself and bring my physiotherapist (at the time) in it. However, this was quite the challenge. In general training physiotherapists learn next to nothing about scoliosis. One of my best friends was actually graduating as a physiotherapist and told me what she had learned so far and was showing a lot of interest into my insights. Herein, we both noticed the big gap in what is taught about scoliosis and what actually is going on in reality. Therefore, my physiotherapist found it hard to see past what was taught and I perceived it as a big struggle to show otherwise. This wasn't the best playing field for recovery for me. It actually amounted in a lot more pain in other areas of my body, because of the stress the gap in knowledge brought and lack in specialised scoliosis training.
Besides the scoliosis, I also always had had other health issues. Like my digestion and skin, for instance. So I was also looking into other aspects of the body in order to figure it all out. Because I do believe that everything in the body is linked together. Therefore, I had already changed some eating habits and tried to be conscious of my habits in every area of my life in order to see where I could bring better support to my body's needs.
As the Yoga Teacher Training did offer me a space to connect to and discover my body, I noticed it didn't necessarily influenced my body in a positive way and that I needed more specific guidance for my asymmetrical scoliotic posture. When I finally participated in a Yoga for Scoliosis Workshop, I knew that the non-specific Teacher Training wouldn't bring me what I needed and I decided to not finish the final year.
When I Found My Path To Healing
My first ever Yoga for Scoliosis Workshop was mind blowing. Even how I came to attending it. Together with a girl, I had met only once, we went on a 6 hour drive and a night in a hotel for a 4 hour workshop in March 2016. As I wrote in a previous blog post, this experience was a major turning point in my life. It was a catalyst for my New York City adventure to attend Yoga for Scoliosis classes at YogaUnion. And the reason why I am now enrolled in the Online Home Practice Series for Scoliosis on which I also wrote a blog post.
In July 2016 I also started working with a new specialist that focuses his treatment towards the nervous system. I had finally found someone that understood how I thought about the body and mind. Until that point I had felt, I had to figure it out all by myself. But with the help of my new specialist and the wonderful Yoga teachers I had met in NYC, I finally felt heard and that I was receiving the type of support and guidance I needed in order to really start my healing journey.
I really believe in the healing powers of the body and the ability for it to get better. And for any back issue, I know that Yoga for Scoliosis/General Back Care can do a whole lot! I have noticed it myself within 2 weeks of taking classes and now I can even show some results through a scan. Since I know the struggles of being in pain 24/7 and barely being able to function, while not getting any acknowledgement from the outside world, my heart breaks whenever I hear someone else's story. I do not wish that much pain and discomfort to anyone and I think everyone deserves a chance for a pain free life. Of course there are never any guarantees, but the tools provided by Yoga can have a powerful impact on someones life. As they have in mine.
At this moment I am working really hard on sharing my story in the hope to raise more awareness for scoliosis and chronic back pain. I use my blog and social media, but I also meet up with people or email. I do everything I can. Especially in the Netherlands where I live, because I notice there are so many people still struggling, who I hope to be able to help in the future. I work hard in order to be able to go to New York City to get the Yoga for Scoliosis Certificate. My biggest challenge right now is how to make this possible, and I can still use all the help I can get.
On my to-do list are: founding my own foundation; finding funds through crowdfunding, writing/online marketing assignments, posting on this blog and Instagram; finding ways to be in NYC September 2017-May 2018 as cheap as possible; and meet a lot of people who have any interest in scoliosis or general back health. Feel free to reach out to me, if you think you can help me out in any way: firstname.lastname@example.org
I have written a business plan. A precondition for this business plan is to study at YogaUnion NYC for the Yoga for Scoliosis Certificate. After that I want to start helping people in the Netherlands with Yoga for Scoliosis. I would love to be a speaker about my experience or possibly hold lectures or workshops for anyone interested in learning more about scoliosis.
Step 1 - 2017
Study at YogaUnion NYC for the 500 hours Teacher Training and Scoliosis Certificate. Also assist Rachel Jesien with Yoga for Scoliosis Classes.
Step 2 - 2018
I would like to provide private sessions, so I can tailor the practice to the specific student's needs.
Step 3 - 2019
After maybe a year or less, I would like to start teaching larger classes and workshops for groups.
Step 4 - 2020
I want to create my own Yoga Studio that will welcome all inspiring soulmates and their healing journey.