When I looked it up, the term evolution had a different meaning than I expected. The second definition, “the gradual development of something, especially from a simple to a more complex form.” is almost right when it comes to my journey with my body and my healing practice, but I do know that with the complexity has come more understanding.
In 2011 when I found Restorative Exercise, I was suffering. And I do mean suffering. I was in so much pain and agony that my mother felt that she couldn’t leave me alone at night. When my back and leg spasms would kick in, I would have conversations with God where I would tell him it was okay to go ahead and take me. I figured I had lived a pretty full life, and the pain I was experiencing wasn’t worth going on.
I was 35 years old.
That’s way too young to be begging The Powers That Be to save me a place in a pain-free Heaven. Thankfully, I had wonderful friends in all facets of the bodywork field, and chiropractors, massage therapists, and a reiki master descended upon my basement apartment to work on me throughout the months that I was literally disabled. I spent hours researching my options (other than surgery or a lifetime of pain meds) and this is how I found Katy Bowman and Restorative Exercise (Now Nutritious Movement™.)
As I began to do the correctives and apply some of the anatomical principles I learned from devouring Katy’s blog and youTube videos, I started to unravel the story of what I had once believed to be an isolated incident. Here was the TRUTH of my situation:
- I had experienced lower back pain and debilitating migraines since I was 9 years old
- I had been a ballet dancer, a cheerleader, and at times a recluse who holed up in her “fort” to read books for hours and hours
- I had been in a car accident at 6 years old where I was tossed around a van as it flipped over multiple times
- I had low thyroid function since I was a teenager, and standing up and moving around became too much activity and I began to sit whenever possible (outside of school, where I sat for 4-6 hours at a time)
- Due to some emotional trauma, I developed a heavy drinking/drug problem by the time I was 16 years old
- After receiving help for my substance abuse problem, I had a job as an administrator and behavioral health technician with a drug abuse program where I sat all day
- In my 20’s I started to have issues with my weight; I started working out daily even though I was drinking 2 pots of coffee and smoking 2 packs of cigarettes daily
- I ate CRAP. Because it was cheap, and my (painful and sluggish) digestion reflected that
- My back pain got worse; I developed hemorrhoids in my mid-twenties
- I was in a high stress, high pressure career until 2009
Is it any wonder that in 2011, my back gave out? After one trip to an urgent care where I got X-rays of my spine and found out that I had a compressed disk in my lower back, one of my bodywork buddies explained that the issue had probably been developing since childhood. The muscles around my lower back and pelvis had all been tightening and shortening in order to protect my spine, and this is what finally resulted in the spasms and unbelievable pain I was experiencing. Since 2011, I have studied everything I can about human anatomy and why my body works the way it does (cultivating in a certification in Restorative Exercise which I now use to help others) and what I can do to alleviate my symptoms, and live a full life with increased mobility and energy. Along the way I have learned that all of my “issues” from poor digestion to hemorrhoids, to that one time I sneezed and peed myself, can be addressed through better movement. I have become VERY sensitive to our culture’s obsession with “diet and exercise” despite the truth: We are getting sicker.
This is why I do what I do. This is how my practice has evolved. It has evolved into something more complex, but my understanding of the root problems of my past suffering is more clear now than ever. I write this so people understand why I am so passionate about nutritious, all-day movement. We don’t need to just move more; we also need to move better.
My lower back is pain-free most days, I don’t sneeze-pee anymore, and my digestion and other symptoms thereof have cleared up. I have definitely changed what I eat, I don’t smoke anymore, and I only drink 1 cup of coffee in the morning, but that in and of itself is not all it takes to clear up pelvic floor and other issues that are so obviously mechanical. I AM human, so I definitely have days (or the entire second half of 2015 when my hormones went all wacko, and someone very close to me died and I descended into soul-crushing depression. But that’s ok, I’m back now) where I DO NOT move. The beauty of knowing how my parts effect other parts and the proper alignment of my body is that I can always do the simple work to get back on track.
I hope that by sharing my movement practice, it will give you hope that you, too, can move more, and move better to improve your overall health.
Over the next few months I will be writing more about the day-to-day movements you can add into your movement nutrition protocol. Our bodies need nutritious movement just as much as they need nutritious foods! I teach Beginner’s Alignment and Foot Health movement and education classes once a week. Click here for more information. I also work with people privately to help them restore their bodies to natural strength and mobility. Click here for more information.
I hope you love being in your body and enjoy health and mobility for years to come! Thanks for reading.