When Your Body Talks, LISTEN!
There was a very loud bang that scared my seven-year-old dog, causing him to jump up and over, landing on my new puppy, who screeched and ran around my feet, tangling my ankles with his leash. I fell to the ground on my right knee and onto my right hip, like a sack of rocks, onto the hard pavement. People ran over to me to help as I lay on the sidewalk in West Hartford Center. As they helped me up, I got myself centered and continued our little walk. I felt okay, with just a bruise on my right knee, and basically forgot the incident.
About five or six weeks later, I woke up with severe pain in my right hip and was nearly unable to bear any weight on my right side. I couldn’t walk or stand, so I did some stretches and managed to get upright. The next few days were filled with hip pain, limping, and soreness all over my body. I am not a person who experiences daily pain in my body and generally feel rather well, but I had to acknowledge that I was feeling rather out of sorts. I was very confused—what had happened seemingly overnight?!
Putting lotion on my legs after a shower, I saw the slight leftover bruise on my right knee which had faded over time. It hit me—the fall I had taken a month and a half before had finally, acutely, made me aware that something was wrong. Something had gotten seriously out of whack when my right knee slammed into the sidewalk and then my right hip hit as well. As a Rolfer who works with many clients who suffer from old falls and injuries that they never addressed, I admit I felt a bit stupid. The fatigue I had been feeling I believed was due to the change of seasons, or the stressors in my life piling up, or not getting enough rest. The truth uncovered was that for six weeks, I walked around with my body slowly shifting until that morning, when it became loud and intolerable. Being the only Rolfer in Central Connecticut and not being able to work on myself, I had to rely on other allied professionals. My massage therapist friend tried to help me; I got a bit better but kept sliding back into pain. My weekly five-mile hikes with my dogs became harder and I was sore and in pain some—if not most—of the time.
How can people live like this, I wondered? Pain reaches into every moment and every movement. During a wellness exam, I asked my doctor to send me for physical therapy with a PT I really love, respect, and admire. So far, I have only had a consultation with her and am doing a few things to help me through until we start our sessions in a couple of weeks. I feel blessed to have these incredible women on my team and blessed to have a strong, healthy body that will recover. I only wish I could clone myself because as a Rolfer, I know just where to go and just what to do to make myself feel better. But I must rely on others to help me get back into balance. But what about those who don’t know where their pain comes from, or who to go to address their situation?
Pay Attention to What Your Body Is Telling You
The message to those reading this: Don’t ignore the issues at hand because they don’t really go away—they are just driven deeper and will resurface sometime later, becoming chronic pain. As with me, I have felt tired and achy, but that was really my body calling for help. We so often ignore those signs, sometimes for years, and then it can be too late. If this pain in my hip were to continue for a long time, I would eventually need a hip replacement as the space deep in my socket would become too narrow. Thankfully, I know about this and can do something to help myself.
Therefore, I urge you to take a good look at what ails you and take some time to explore your options. In my work as a Rolfer, the body is seen as an aggregate of blocks that are out of balance—some are forward, some are back, some are twisted. We feel all that, but don’t know what good feels like! Over the ten sessions of Rolfing, we work all the connective tissue or soft tissue—the muscles, tendons, ligaments, and fascia—to rebalance the segments of the body. When we are stacked up, we feel strong and organized and have the ability to move with ease. That sounds so good to me—I can’t wait to get back there!
Sharon Sklar is in her 41st year of private practice as a Certified Advanced Rolfer. State licensed and the only Rolfer in Central CT, Sharon works with direct manipulation of the soft tissue of the body and movement re-education over a ten-session series to help her clients feel freer, get more balanced, and reduce chronic pain. Great for athletes, children, and adults recovering from the stress, injuries, or traumas of life. Inquiries are encouraged! Call 860.561.4337 for more info or to schedule a consultation.