The beginning of Evolve Manual Therapy
At the beginning of a new year can be really exciting to look forward! The energy of the clock ticking over to 12.01am on the 1st of January can feel like a reset on the challenges and exhaustion we often feel at the end of a long year. For me, early January is also a time to pause, reflect and look back for a moment – to appreciate everything that has happened to get me to the moment I am in right now.
This year even more than recent years, I felt this need deeply. I found myself reflecting not only on the year just gone, but on the year leading up to starting my own business – 2008! The thing I remember most about 2008 was how tired I was. Exhaustion that felt bone deep….. and the migraines! Migraines so debilitating that I spent many, many hours on the bathroom floor just hoping that the cold tiles might ease the pain a little. I was working long hours 6 days a week, many of those days trying to be present for my clients through the fog of the migraine pain and aura. Part of me loved my job, being able to help people felt like a wonderful purpose for my life! Part of me was losing my passion fast. Yet another part of me wondered why I couldn’t show the same compassion to myself that I showed to my clients. Slow down a little, do the little self-care things I told my clients to do, receive regular treatment for my own chronic pain.
The turning point
I remember being called into a meeting one day with my boss (who was a wonderful boss!), but I was feeling dreadful from a migraine that had lasted almost 6 weeks at that point. My boss offered me a promotion and I heard myself resigning in response, telling him that I had decided to start my own business! Driving home I wondered what the hell I had done, but I also felt a sense of freedom I hadn’t felt for a long time. Within a couple of hours of getting home, my migraine started to ease – a good sign, right?!
So, on a whim I started Evolve Manual Therapy. Since then, Evolve has been my passion project, my space for both personal and professional growth and is now an evolving platform for practitioners and students to find their passion. Above all, it is a space where everyone that chooses can start to find their own creative path toward health, wellbeing and fulfilment.
What happened to the migraines?!
I would love to tell you my migraines stopped then and there, what a great story that would be! The even better story is…..starting Evolve gave me my inspiration and passion back. This then enabled me to start taking care of myself, investigate the causes of my migraines further and start carving a path forward where I felt well. This path was complex, as the treatment for most chronic pain is. There was no one thing and no linear path, but a constellation of approaches and people to support me. As I tell my clients constantly, I could see 100 people suffering from migraines and there will be 100 different approaches needed.
CranioSacral Therapy was a huge part of it, perhaps even the foundation of it all. Something I teach my students is to feel for the overdrive in the nervous system. The “fight or flight” response that is so commonly switched on in people. Stress, chronic pain, trauma…..all of these things can make it hard for our nervous system to feel calm and rested. This was certainly true for me. One of the first things that CranioSacral Therapy did for me was give me an opportunity to experience a level of calm in my nervous system I didn’t think was possible. When I first experienced that calm, I also experienced a significant reduction in pain. I was hooked!
Things that have helped me
Once I began to feel a little better, I felt more able to seek out other treatments. These are the things that really helped me:
Working with a really skilled Naturopath was a game changer for me. Understanding how food was triggering my migraines, but also how I could use food to reduce my pain was key. My go-to girl is Margherita Officer, and you can find her at Natural Health Medicine.
We know in theory exercise is good for us, but when we are experiencing chronic pain it can feel next to impossible. I have done many things that have been super beneficial – Yoga, Pilates and Crossfit. Yep, you heard me…..Crossfit! The combination of high-intensity cardiovascular exercise and heavy weightlifting has been the most amazing thing for my body, my chronic pain and my mental health. My go-to guy is Nath Wiese, and you can find him at CrossFit Zenith.
- Emotional and Spiritual Health
For me, looking at my emotional and spiritual health has been the glue that connects everything I do. Not only for dealing with stress and trauma, but also for supporting a search for purpose and meaning. I have found this in many spaces – working with a skilled Psychotherapist, finding a creative outlet and making sure that what I am doing in the world feels purposeful and aligned with my core values.
And last but not least, getting out in Nature. We can become so disconnected from our natural rhythms due to a fast-paced life and the influences of technology. For me it is imperative that I get out into nature regularly, preferably mountains and preferably somewhere really cold!! But that’s just me 🙂
So, I share a little bit of my story with you in the hope that there might be a little piece in there that helps you in your own journey. I’m certainly a work-in-progress, I think we all are until about 7 minutes before we leave this earth!
My sincere wish for everyone I meet, whether it by on my treatment table, in my classroom or out on the street somewhere in this big, beautiful world is that you experience moments of joy and connectedness every day. That you feel as though you are able to thrive in your life and that you feel a sense of purpose that fulfills you.
If I or the Evolve Team can ever help, please feel free to reach out.
In peace and health,