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Back Pain

Have you ever been in pain? The kind of pain that keeps you awake at night and not able to breathe or move.

I had an experience with back pain. I lifted some heavy weights (set up by my son) to remove the heaviness and felt this little twinge. I had a very heavy menstrual period at the time and didn't hold my abdominal muscles in as well as I would normally be able to.

I had continued my workout because this was the only time I had available. Little did I know at that moment that that twinge was a "warning sign" to stop. Being an aerobic, weight and Pilates instructor for many years and being strong, I really thought I could handle this.

Well that Monday night as I am teaching my Pilates class I learnt the meaning of pain. Day 1 was not fun, but if I kept my back arched and didn't move I could teach while sitting on the ball.

Day 2 and the pain continued. Something totally new to the way I view life. I phoned my massage therapist and got in right away. She gave me an acupuncture treatment and some massage. After that treatment I felt a little more relaxed, but still in pain. So I also phoned a colleague and fellow Feldenkrais practitioner to see if I could arrange an appointment later that evening. It was late, but she made room for me. More relief, but not cured.

To top all this off I was to have my career talk at my businesswomen's club on the Thursday at noon. What is my career? Pilates instructor, strong core!!

I saw my massage therapist friend again on Wednesday. Still in pain. The kind where just rolling through your side to sitting creates more pain.

Thursday morning before my talk I had an appointment with another friend and massage therapist. Still in pain. I gave my talk without anyone knowing about my pain! It went well with all participating in the little movement lesson!

Friday I had made another appointment with a women that does spinal touch. I lie there on the table as she gently touched my spine in different areas. Finally whatever was holding the pain, let go, relief at last.

That was my first experience of pain. 5 days was enough for me.

Fast-forward 5 weeks at my Anat Baniel Method training in California. Seated on the floor giving someone a Functional Synthesis lesson. Just lifting a small leg and the back pain arrived again. Now this time I know it was the position I was sitting in. I was not using my low back powerfully, but was rounded using my abdominal finding not much strength or support there.

Day 1, I was given a lesson to calm the nervous system by my small group leader. It was a start in a process that would be very powerful.

Day 2, I had changed my lesson with the practitioner, for this day. She worked with very light gentle touch. Still in pain. I took it very slow and easy after the session being very careful how I moved.

Day 3, we were all now getting an extra lesson during the course of the training and I was one of the participants to receive that extra lesson this time. I had arranged to receive the lesson on the 3rd day of my back pain. Now this was not really a small lesson, but a powerful lesson in movement. By the end of the lesson my back pain had dissipated and I felt great!

I really honor and respect those that live in constant pain. My request is everyone lives a life of no pain or short-lived pain. I have found for me the combination of treatments from Massage, Feldenkrais Method (R), Anat Baniel Method(sm), Acupuncture and Spinal touch to be of great value.

Karen Toth is a Certified Pilates instructor, Anat Baniel Method Practitioner (SM) Anat Baniel Method for Children practitioner (SM) Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement Teacher for more information

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