From Migraines & Magazines to Body Stress Release: My journey back to health

February 23, 2013 in Uncategorized

For long as I can remember I wanted to be famous.  As a child I’d spent hours dreaming of being a ‘doo-wah’ girl in Bruce Springsteen’s band, but soon discovered that I didn’t have the voice or moves for Rock-Star status.  I was forced to set my sights a little lower and I focussed on ‘mini-fame’, a quest to have my name  in lights somewhere public. I guess at the time that was my bench mark on ‘making- it’ in the world.

Well “mini-fame” all happened faster than I’d imagined: my name soon appeared on the credits of the Big Brother TV Show, in the mast head of some well- known magazines, and in the TV credits of a travel series … I was managing magazine events, working with big brands, doing radio interviews, living a very fast pace and clocking up my fame points one after the other … but my body wasn’t keeping up.  More to the point I felt a million years old, I felt like hell.  That’s the media industry and the corporate ladder.  Eventually the years of burning the candle at both ends,  managing work and a social life, seem to catch up with you.

In my 20’s I thrived, I was running on passion, adrenaline and caffeine. By my 30’s I’d become an expert juggler, but my body started to take some strain.  I found I needed more sleep, I was less resistant to infection and I had mild aches and pains that I put down to ageing. I’d been plagued with hormonal imbalances from my mid-20’s (which was likely as a result of living in flight or fight mode) and stress slowly started to  wreak havoc in my system; gradually eroding away enthusiasm and energy and replacing it with various mild afflictions.  I had frequent tension headaches, jaw pain, constant tight shoulders, upper back and neck stress, constant sinus problems and a dull pressure cooker in my head …. until… BAM!! One day I started suffering from frequent and severe tension headaches which turned into regular debilitating migraines.

I didn’t have time to take time-off, so I found myself in a mad cycle of trying to find quick fix solutions, medicating symptoms where I could.  At this point I was living on pain killers; I’d tried every technique that I knew of.  I was at the chiro and physio weekly, I’d been for electro- balancing, needling, alignment, magnetic therapy. Some things had helped, but nothing had seemed to give me long term relief. I’d been referred to a neurosurgeon and had the standard brain tumour brain scan.  I’d tried mind power, positive thinking and get well mantras, deep breathing (in between bouts of violent headache vomits).  You get the picture? Things weren’t going too well for me.

I went away on a diving holiday.  By this point I’d been put on a strong drug at night to try and “relax my muscles”, it didn’t really help with the neck stress but left me feeling groggy and vague.  Even on my stress-free holiday my tension headaches were so severe I missed out on some of the dives.  There were days that I felt I couldn’t lift my head off the pillow. I was desperate.  I didn’t know where to turn.

I was fortunate to stumble across Body Stress Release through recommendation from a friend. I’d never heard of it and I thought it sounded a bit “away with the fairies” so I was sceptical to say the least.  I was surprised to learn that it was a technique developed by two local ex-chiropractors who’d studied internationally, and even more surprised to hear it had been around for 20 years and was practiced in 18 countries worldwide.

At that point I was running out of options, so I figured I had nothing to lose by giving it a go.  Now, make no mistake, Body Stress Release (BSR) was not an instant fix, I had to give my body a chance to recover, re-align, adapt and heal. BUT I can say that BSR was the start of my body’s gradual healing process and unbeknown to me at the time, also the start of a brand new direction in my life.

While most of the previous health care professionals I’d seen had focussed only my head and neck, from manipulation to x-rays, massage and migraine meds – with BSR I discovered that the root of my problems came from my lower back as well as my neck – working together as a unit.  The nerve supply from the spinal area not only affects the muscles and limbs but also influences our vital organs and entire system.  Muscular stress in the lower back, coupled with a few old whiplash injuries, falls and a fast paced life had literally pushed my body into coping mode and my body was battling to adapt.  It had been shouting at me for years with the warning signs and I was desperately trying to drown out the its voice with pain killers!

Body Stress Release didn’t focus on the symptoms, my practitioner simply nudged my body into restoring its natural communication and by doing this so many other things fell into place. I went from being a headache zombie to a more energised and positive person with a lot more respect for my body! By releasing stored body stress one automatically upgrades the body’s entire communication system (nerve pathways), allowing it to focus on healing and getting on with key activities rather than having to focus all its energy on “protective” or “splinting” action.

It was only after a couple of years of seeing my own gradual transformation back to health that I realised how much I’d sacrificed for “success”.  My body had some serious recovery to do and I’d inadvertently stumbled on something that inspired me so much I realised that this was the path I wanted to follow.  My migraines had led me to a new vocation and at age 37 I announced to the world that I was tossing my media career and the job security that came with it and embarking on a new adventure.  Most people thought I was a fruit-loop, but it was the best decision I’ve ever made!

I realise now that I had to go down this path of pain to get out on the other side … and while I may not have the flashy name in lights, the glamour, the perks or the security of a monthly pay cheque; I am wiser, healthier, and far more successful than I’ve ever been by the benchmark of happiness.

Now I’m truly blessed to wake up every day looking forward to helping others.  I work with babies, children, corporate high flyers, pensioners, and often even their pets.  So many people come to me in a frenzied mess and it brings me such joy to see them evolve as they slowly start recovering.

Perhaps the biggest privilege I have is in this work is to witness the transformation that takes place when clients realise that they have a unique ability to regenerate and heal and discover that their bodies are finally worth trusting once again.

For more on Body Stress Release: www.unlockingtension.co.za or mail me on sarah@unlockingtension.co.za

3 responses to From Migraines & Magazines to Body Stress Release: My journey back to health

  1. What a great post, welcome to our blogs, we look forward to reading more!

  2. Hi Sarah
    I don’t know if you’ll remember me, but I had a few sessions with you last year. I enjoyed reading your story in this post, in particular, the bit about chucking up your high-flying media job and everyone thinking you were nuts. When I came to you I had just quit my very stressful marketing job, was about to embark on a 6-month visit to the US and try and find my way to working in the writing field. It was all quite overwhelming and rather than everyone else thinking I was nuts – I thought I was probably a bit nuts to give up a secure stable job!
    Fast forward a year later. The trip was awesome! While I was there I started writing for a new startup online news website.
    Got back to SA in December and have started up a freelance writing business. It is slow going but so far have managed to land 4 clients so that’s promising. Financially things are challenge and will probably be so for a while until things take off a bit more. But I cannot stomach the thought of working for a boss again, so I am going to persevere. I believe eventually I will make a decent living doing what I love.
    Enjoyed the BSR sessions – keep up the good work!

    • Yes Deevra – of course I remember you, you were off to the US! Congratulations on following that dream and keep persevering, it will be worth it in the end. I always love the Primi Shirts … “Work is LOVE made visible” … because that’s how I feel about what I do! Best of luck and keep in touch!
      Sarah

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