Disclaimer: I am not an expert by any means. Not a therapist, medical or mental health professional. I do not diagnose, treat, or tell people what to do. The main purpose of this website and blog is education and support. If you are unsure how the suggestions and resources here may affect you, please discuss any changes to your existing treatment plan with your medical and mental health providers first.
Integration is an important part of my personal health and wellness philosophy. I struggle with feeling whole instead of separated into parts because of my trauma history. My mind and body separated when I was a child. Emotions and spirit separated into dissociative parts after my mind and body separated. This was beneficial in surviving my past, but caused problems later on as my recovery progressed. I struggled (and still struggle) with finding resources to help with my muscle and movement issues.
Western doctors and specialists told me to give up and learn to live with the pain because they couldn’t figure out a solution and physical therapy didn’t work. My regular exercise (taekwondo, power walking, active yoga, martial arts) was off limits. Maybe (at most) some gentle yoga or swimming might allow me to exercise without pain because I was too young (22) for joint replacement surgery.
As you can imagine, that was frustrating and depressing. It did not help my mood, and I was lucky to already be in mental health counseling when I got that news. My counselor at the time encouraged me to continue trying different kinds of movement exercises and looking into holistic health options.
That sparked my curiosity…
put me on a journey that started with chiropractic and branched out into other paths…
Movement vs Exercise – A Lifestyle Concept
Eventually, I learned that yoga, qigong, tai chi, exercise classes/routines, sports, etc. all cause panic attacks and body memory pain these days. Incorporating different kinds of movement into my daily routine became my workaround. Laundry, cooking, cleaning, food shopping, even my daily commute and meditation practices became movement and exercise opportunities.
That kept me relatively happy and active, but did not help with the chronic pain and body issues that triggered panic attacks and flashbacks. Chinese medicine and aromatherapy helped with pain relief and overall improvement (i.e. vitality and general health). Herbal studies and working with plants have become part of my overall coping strategy plan because they take me outside and into nature for relaxing, fun time. My instructors encourage movement and offer in-person movement classes at their physical location too.
I learned about Body Dynamics through my western herbalism classes at the CommonWealth Center for Holistic Herbalism podcast about chronic pain. The podcast is free and full of interesting information about how herbs can support wellness goals. They believe in a holistic and integrated approach to health and wellness with movement being a large part of bringing our selves back to optimum health. Movement is encouraged as part of daily routines; study routines; and lifestyle philosophy.
So when they suggested this book, I looked it up on Amazon and put myself on the hold list at the local library. I finally got the book this past week and am at chapter 3 right now. But I have been using the foot exercises in chapter 1 since Monday or Tuesday and already noticed a difference in foot/toe flexibility and stability.
No, I am not recommending you go out and buy this book or take classes from my instructors.
Yes, I am sharing an interesting resource who is helping me with the part of my recovery that is most challenging and anxiety-provoking.
Maybe it will help you too.
The quote to my left certainly changed my life and validated all the questions, frustrations, and struggles surrounding my body challenges.
Reflection Question: How does movement (or lack of it) impact your every day life choices?
Love and Rainbows ~ TJ