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My Story

In 2022 I read a book that changed my life. I don’t mean “I read a really good book.” I mean I read a book that literally changed my physical experience of being alive forever.

 

Here’s what happened.


Until 2022, back pain had been a constant in my life. I started struggling with upper back and neck tension and pain in 2011 and spent years trying different treatment methods. I never found full relief and came to accept the pain as a part of life.

 

In March of 2021, I started to feel a dull aching on the left side of my lower back. I assumed it was because I had moved into a new apartment and was sitting in hard wooden chairs while I worked from home. I got a more ergonomic setup and used a hot pack in the afternoons to alleviate the pain.

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The Diagnosis

In mid-May, I took a flight from SF to New York and ended up in a middle seat. Throughout the flight, the low back pain went from a 4 to an 11. I thought to myself, "something is going very wrong in my body."

After finding a bulging disc in an MRI, my doctor reassured me that back pain and sciatica are their “bread and butter.” But after steroids and a month of lying on ice, I was still in excruciating pain and could not sit for more than a few seconds.

Over the next year I saw multiple specialists and tried physical therapy, acupuncture, massage therapy, hour-long meditations, expensive massage tools and foam rollers, dry needling, and ultimately took medical leave from work.

Discovering Neuroplastic Pain

One day, my partner excitedly handed me a book that a friend had recommended called Healing Back Pain by Dr. Sarno. “Great,” I thought. “Another thing that worked for someone else that’s not going to work for me.”  


But I was desperate, so I spent the next Saturday reading the whole book. Within 5 days I was in 70% less pain. I was so excited that I gathered my whole family to tell them the news.

 
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Deeper Transformation

 

A couple months later I was on an 8-hour flight to Iceland with my family, giddy with excitement at my newfound ability to not only sit but go horseback riding, hike, spend hours in a bumpy van, and generally do every activity that I had thought I would never do again.

After my lower back healed, the upper back tension and pain I had experienced for 10 years beforehand came rushing back. I hadn’t even noticed that it had gone away during the year that I was consumed by my lower back pain.

 

I realized that both the upper back tension and a skin irritation that I had assumed was related to allergies were both neuroplastic (brain-generated), just like the low back pain. A chronic pain recovery practitioner guided me through deeper transformative work. Her coaching enabled me to overcome the rest of my neuroplastic symptoms and I ultimately became certified myself to help others heal.

An Ongoing Journey

 

I sometimes have mild sensations in areas where I previously felt pain, but they no longer bother me. I understand that they are neuroplastic, I know how to address them when they arise, and I live my life completely normally. I see these lingering sensations as helpful teachers throughout my work with clients and the lifelong process of building the tools I have learned into my life.

After healing I wondered... why everyone isn't talking about this??  Well, they’re starting to. More and more research is confirming that my experience is far from anecdotal. The latest neuroscience is showing that in up to 85% of cases chronic conditions are generated by the brain, not the body. ​

 

Learn about neuroplastic conditions:

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[image] MindBody Syndrome Practitioner (

Certified Chronic Pain Recovery Practitioner

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Certified Pain Reprocessing Therapy (PRT) Practitioner

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International Institute for Complementary Therapists Member

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200 hr YTT Certified Yoga Instructor and Yoga Alliance Member

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