Pain Free After 21 Years!
What inspired me to developing my business as a Reflexologist and Wellness Coach was my own amazing recovery journey from long standing chronic pain.
I know it seems difficult to believe: that one can recover after 21 years of chronic back pain. Pain that sometimes had me crippled, reduced me to tears, had me lying in bed all day, unable to be the mother I wanted to be, robbed me of so much freedom to live a normal life. But it is true. And something I could never have imagined when I was living in that experience.
My pain commenced when I was just 19 - a fit and healthy 19 year old - yet one day my back ‘ went out’ suddenly whilst I was vacuuming, rendering me immobile. I was diagnosed with a ‘slipped disk’ on the basis of simply a physical examination. “Take 6 weeks bed rest and painkillers”. That was my treatment protocol. Eventually the pain eased off and I resumed normal life. Only now I became the lady with the bad back. I never stopped to reflect on why the pain came in cycles or why the intensity would change: sometimes mild pain hovering all day long, at other times, usually when I was under huge stress, it became excruciating.
Sitting, standing, exercising, housework…all became a huge challenge and activities to be dreaded. Then at times, usually when on holiday, I would have some respite from the symptoms. But I failed to connect the dots. There was always some sort of justification in my mind for the eruption of the pain: I must have overdone the exercise; the bed mattress is too old; the office chair is too low-backed; the car accident I had a year ago has permanently damaged my spine….and so on and so forth.
I sought out alternative medicine, investing thousands of pounds over the years in acupuncture, osteopathic and chiropractic treatment, herbal medication, injections, not to mention special chairs, orthopaedic mattress, back supports, neck supports and all manner of gadgets that promised to rid me of the pain forever. Whilst these alternative treatments certainly helped, the relief was only temporary. I now understand this was due to the placebo effect. The underlying emotional root cause of the pain was not being addressed. Everything else was masking the symptoms.
I visited numerous doctors, took increasingly stronger pain medication and finally had an MRI scan that revealed a severely herniated disc in L5-S1 region. I was advised surgery was my only recourse, otherwise I would be wheelchair bound in years to come. I began researching the relative merits and risks attached to spinal surgery and it was then that I came across the work of Dr John Sarno and how he was successfully curing people from chronic back pain without medicine, injections or surgery.
I ordered his book: ‘Healing Back Pain’ from which I commenced a new journey that led me to my ultimate recovery! I learned, with fascination, the true cause of my pain and other MindBody symptoms I had been plagued with: years of chronic stress, trauma and repressed negative emotions. It became apparent how these had commenced during my childhood years and continued into adulthood with my increased life responsibilities and adversities. Other factors that maintained my pain included the relentless fear of my pain and the frustration and suppressed rage at how my pain had overtaken my life. Over the course of just 12 weeks I was fully recovered! Pain free! And have been for 14 years now!
Life is full of everyday challenges but I have a new perspective now on how to face them which stops small niggling stress-related pain from becoming full-blown. Knowledge therapy has given me an understanding of why these mind body symptoms manifest which allows one to controls the fear aspect, thereby calming the nervous system. I have also learned the power of self-care, self-compassion and learning to let go - to let go of what you cannot control, so as not to create unnecessary resistance within you.
I resumed my running, hiking, fitness training and re-trained to enter a new profession, dedicated to helping others now who are on the same journey as I had experienced. I too had been convinced that a structural problem diagnosed by the doctors was the cause of my chronic pain. Years of suffering robbed me of the joy from my life. But all that does not matter now. Not now that I am pain free.
Shaheen Jaffary is a Clinical Reflexologist and Mind Body/Wellness Coach helping people to attain emotional and physical health through various holistic therapies including relief from chronic pain through the Pain Free Programme. If you are suffering from chronic pain (pain that has lasted beyond 3 months) why not book a free consultation by clicking the following link:
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