Every now and again I would have really bad pain in my rt. hip and low back slowly becoming more and more frequent and debilitating. Then, one day, it came to stay and would not leave. I would suffer through, trying to take as little medication as possible so I could work and function. My quaIity of life was not good. After 3 yrs. or so of this suffering it got so bad that my quality of life became unbearable. I could hardly move or do much for myself.
Altogether, I had tried orthopedist, several cortisone shots, steroids, relaxing & deep tissue massage, trigger point therapy, acupuncture, ultrasound, chiropractic, nerve testing, and pain medications. Nothing gave lasting results. Still, I could not sit, drive, bend in any way, dress myself, bathe myself, use the restroom w/o excruciating pain or even lower my head at the bathroom sink to brush my teeth. I just grew worse and worse. It seemed like a really bad nightmare.
Also, I could not sleep much because of the excruciating pain in my low back/sacrum area and my rt. hip. Because of this I was exhausted at all times, which in turn compounded how hard it was for me to handle the stress related to all the suffering. All movements were very painful, requiring me to move calculatingly, and with great caution!
Most of my right leg was numb all the way down to my 3 rt. toes causing me to fall and stumble all the time due to poor balance and equilibrium. My leg felt like a tree stump I drug around with me since I no longer had feeling in it. It was at this point that I was diagnosed with bulging discs at L4 & L5 with nerve impingement, S1, S2, and sciatica. The last doctor thought I might have “drop foot”. I was told I would need a surgery that would require a 1.5 – 2 yr. recovery period and that I may not fully recover. The doctor said I would probably not be able to work again! Devastating news! I began picturing myself abandoned in a nursing home somewhere at the age of 50 and my granddaughter going into foster care. I was both terrified and desperate!
I remembered a friend who off and on for many years kept telling me about something called “Hanna Somatics”. She spoke of how gentle somatics was, and how she saw a few people she knew and loved get help. But it just sounded too good to be true to me so for 5 years I would politely change the subject and dismiss the suggestion thinking she didn’t really understand the kind of trouble I was in. But now, feeling so desperate, I asked if she would get these people on the phone for me. She not only got them on the phone for me but helped me to get to an “HSE,” “Hanna Somatics Educator” in California, since at that time there were none here in Louisiana. It took 11 “Aleve” and 5 prescribed muscle relaxers just to get me in the plane chair and the trip was still a major nightmare. Medication just couldn’t make much difference due to the nerve pain so I just had to suffer.
After meeting with a “Hanna Somatics Educator” (“HSE”) in Novato, California for a total of 8 visits, where we barely had any physical contact and I took no medications, I could once again bathe and dress myself, but with less pain, I could also sit in a chair for the 1st time in a long time, drive a car, brush my teeth at the sink with much less pain, and I could pick up my rt. leg and foot and walk! And that was just the beginning! So I learned to do these gentle movements by myself. During my return flight I had no need for pain relievers and could sit comfortably in the plane chair. I was shocked and amazed!The doctor could not believe how much better I was in such a short time w/o medication or surgery. We both skeptically wondered and feared it would not last. But it did, here’s how it happened.
Coming to an End
As long as I did “Hanna Somatics” every morning before I started my day and each night before going to bed I could function with mild restrictions and very little pain, and sleep soundly each night w/o pain interruption. I did these moves daily at home on my own for 5 months before all of the pain left my body and a portion of the numbness in my leg went away, affording me more control over my rt. foot/leg improving my balance and my ability to safely walk.
Again, by myself at home, I continued for an additional 4 months, doing these gentle “Hanna Somatic” movements every morning and again every night before bed. Over the next 4 months full feeling returned to my rt. leg, foot, and toes. I could once again walk, sit, drive, bathe myself, dress myself, brush my teeth at the sink, returning to a normal life. The nerve damage healed and to date I’ve had no residual affects of my previous problems.
At this point I reduced my daily somatics to one time per day. My total recovery time was 9 months. I now goal to do somatics a few minutes each day to be certain I keep myself fully mobile and agile. Physically I am now better than I was before. I’ve since hiked on mountains and even snow skied this past winter for the first time in my entire life at the age of 54. I am fully mobile, pain free, and experience more agility than before the nightmare began.
I then made the decision to change careers enrolling in the Novato Institute for Somatic Research and Training in Novato California beginning the 3 yr. clinical program to become certified as a “Hanna Somatics Educator.” There are only 135 or so “Hanna Somatics Educators” worldwide, with about 55% of those being inside the US.
We, here at “BR Somatics LLC” opened our doors in late August of 2007. It’s been so rewarding to see people like myself, that had no hope, recover their lives and bodies utilizing the tool of “Hanna Somatics.” Even though I know the person will be helped, daily, it is still AMAZING to witness it! A gift to the both of us!
My friend, a 12 year retired psychologist, became so amazed at what she witnessed in my recovery that she too enrolled in the training program and began a 2nd career. And it is this gift that my business partner and fellow “Hanna Somatics Educator,” Barbara Rathbone and I offer you today. Don’t wait 5 years like I did. Be courageous! Be bold! What do you have to lose besides pain?