9 things to soothe your pain, asap
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I pretty much knew medical school was a no-go when the application asked “What’s the last book you read?” and all I had was Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince 😳
So I doubled down and refocused my efforts on PT school. I’d already been through physical therapy as a high schooler after ITB syndrome dropped me like a fly in the middle of the field during soccer practice. I knew I liked people, sports and helping others…so PT school it was.
Every choice I made was to get me closer to becoming a physical therapist. Internships, classes, jobs – I did everything I thought I should do.
But the universe had other ideas for my future, none of which I was privy to. (As a side note, the universe is constantly trolling us, and this was no different.)
Universe joke #1 was that the application process boils your entire life down to a single number. The GPA. The lessons learned and experiences lived don’t matter as much as that single number. My athletic training internship, observational hours at the UCD Medical Center and work experience as a PT aide didn’t matter. What mattered more was that my number was low in comparison to those who spent all of their time studying.
Universe joke #2 was that the USPS was (and I’m not entirely convinced isn’t still) transpiring against me. I had taken 1 community college class while I was still in high school and now my physical therapy application hinged on getting those transcripts. Which, of course, then got lost in the mail and were delivered late. My application was considered incomplete and trashed.
I was devastated.
But I’m stubborn so I set my sights on the next year. In the days between applications, I studied yoga, started teaching, worked in a PT clinic and interned in the fitness industry. It was in fitness that I found a life of freedom, autonomy, no insurance billing BS and spandex 24/7.
The people I worked with in PT wanted to be fixed – and the people in the yoga studio wanted to know how to fix themselves.
And that’s when I realized that I didn’t really want to go to PT school.
I’ve never wanted to be the hero of the story – I’m perfectly happy being the guide of yours. I’d rather teach you how to harness the magical healing properties of your body then heal you myself.
Looking back, the decision to not go to PT school, was one of the best I’ve ever made. Even if it wasn’t entirely my own 😜
You can be the hero of your own story – you can heal yourself and get out of pain. You just have to be ready and let the universe know that you’re ready.
PS Ready to get out of pain and get back to your life? Here are 3 ways I can help you right now:
1. Want to start a self-care practice but always feel too busy to get started? Join me for a week of reconnecting with your less frazzled, grounded and calm self on my 2019 Adventure + Wellness Retreat. There’re only a few rooms left…get all the details and request to book here.
2. Join me for my next online class, 5 Secrets the Doctor Never Told You about Getting Out of Pain.
If you’ve tried all the things (pills, people, and procedures) – and your pain still isn’t going away, join me for this free class and I’ll teach you the 5 secrets to getting out of pain that doctors didn’t’ tell you. You’ll leave with a solid plan in place on how to get stronger, more flexible, and out of pain (and stay that way!).
3. Work with me privately.
If you’d like to work with me personally and learn tailor-made strategies to get stronger, more flexible and start trusting your body and without injuring yourself – let’s talk. Do you need accountability so that you don’t start and stop something…again? Just reply to this message and put “Private” in the subject line. Tell me a little bit about your current movement and self-care situation, what you’re struggling with, and I’ll get you all the details.
In 2013, I did something super weird. I spent $2000 to spend a week with a brilliant teacher in a room full of cadavers.
At the time, this was the most expensive training (outside of college) I had taken. And unlike college or yoga training, there was absolutely no guarantee of job opportunities at the end.
I headed to San Francisco to spend a week with a bunch of people I didn’t know and attempt to learn something I thought I already knew: human anatomy.
My first exposure to anatomy wasn’t until my 3rd year at UC Davis – I spent the entire winter quarter in the same stinky clothes (formaldehyde soaks into everything) and staring at a textbook, hoping the names and locations of every single part would stick just long enough to get me through the next test.
And even after all that, the 6 days in SF changed my life forever.
For the first time, the human form I thought I knew so well was completely unknown. The textbook images burned into my memory were nothing like the real thing. I was getting lost as we peeled back layer by layer and exposed more and more.
The human body is complicated beyond your wildest dreams. There are simple things, like the structure of a shoulder, knee or hip. But standing there, with someone else’s brain literally in my hands, was an experience unlike anything else.
We give so much power to our physical body. We give it names like “the good knee” or the “bad shoulder”. But there’s so much more that illuminates your experience on this earth. That brain, which actually isn’t all that large when you’re holding it, is infinite in its ability to imagine the impossible.
I took a risk and it paid off 1000 fold. Even though I spent lots of time and money and missed a week of work, this will forever be an investment I will never regret.
I learned to appreciate the human body and its infinite capacity to heal and grow around whatever comes its way. I also realized that no matter how much I think I know, there’s always so much more to learn.
Which is why, even to this day, I never doubt anyone’s story about their body. No matter how far fetched someone else may have told them it was – the truth is, we don’t really know.
Every body is unique. Your experience is yours alone.
And while I suggest what the next best step is based on you, your history, and what I know to be true about the human body, there’s always a chance something else will happen.
And I’m ok with that. Because I’ve seen how forcing a fix hardly ever works. And how the simple things that you may have already overlooked, may be just what your body (and mind) are craving to heal.
After spending thousands of dollars on procedures, providers, and pills that didn’t work – I completely understand feeling hesitant to try something else.
Why should you spend more money on another thing that’s not going to work? The better question we should be asking is “why did those things fail”?
Why? Because most treatments are too specialized and passive.
You and your body are inseparable. Whole. Complete. And treating just a single piece (like your back pain, neck pain, or weak core) without addressing the rest of you is a guaranteed way to leave you playing catchup with injuries for the rest of your life.
Our medical system is full of specialists who focus on specific parts of the body. Neurologists for your nerves, internists for your organs, dentists for your teeth, dermatologists for your skin. But these things are all connected. YOU are connected!
Sectioning off pieces and expecting a change in your entire well being is like being focused on replacing your tires when your car is out of gas. Sure – it fixes something but doesn’t solve the real issue.
For a lasting fix, make yourself the most important piece of your healing puzzle.
When you become your own expert, YOU are the best advocate for your health. As an expert, you’ll be able to tune in and listen to the subtle cues of the body (and then do exactly what you need in the moment, instead of doing nothing and waiting for it to pass).
Reading books wasn’t enough for me. I had to pluck the theory off the pages and put it to test in the real world for things to finally click. And it took me almost 10 years – but it doesn’t have to take you nearly as long.
I now teach people in months what took me almost 10 years to figure out for myself – how to become an expert on YOU.
I am the body nerd guide for my clients and we work together on a personalized plan to get them stronger, more flexible, AND out of pain ASAP.
Stronger so they:
// No longer grunt as they get up and down off the floor
// Sit down with control – instead of plopping onto the couch
// Head out on the weekends for a hike with the fam and never worry if they’ll make it the whole day
Becoming your own expert is a scary leap into the unknown. But getting yourself in the driver’s seat of your health is a long-term solution. And one that isn’t subject to co-pays, office visits or out of network providers.
You are your own solution.
What’s the first thing you do when you open your eyes in the morning? You’ve hit the snooze a few times and you finally muster up enough energy to peel your heavy eyelids open and you…
Let me guess – check your phone? Because if your phone is the first thing you see in the morning, you need to stop. Like right now.
The tone of your entire day is set in the first minutes right after you wake up. And if you’re starting your day with an avalanche of anxiety-inducing news, artfully curated (and total BS) social feeds, and negative Nancy’s, there’s no time like the present to reevaluate your morning routine.
If you feel like you’re spending all day playing catch up and are physically and emotionally exhausted by the time your head hits the pillow every night, one super simple change is to break up with your phone in the morning.
And not to just talk about it, but to actually do it 😉
You’ll never be able to control what happens in the middle of your day…there will always be a text you didn’t want to receive or an email that sends you into a tailspin, BUT you can 100% control what happens in your morning.
Your morning routine gives you the tools and space to be able to roll with your day, instead of fighting every wave and getting pummeled into the sand.
Why is this so important? Because pain isn’t always physical – sometimes we hurt ourselves in more subtle ways that manifest as panic attacks, feelings of overwhelm or a twitching eye that never goes away.
Stress is just as detrimental to your health as a bum knee.
And when getting a handle on your day is as easy as spending 5-10 minutes in the morning doing something grounding and mindful, I honestly don’t see why you wouldn’t.
So, tomorrow morning, instead of picking up your phone, I challenge you to grab a piece of paper and write down 3 things you’re grateful for. It can be anything: waking up to another day, having a roof over your head, or the conversation you had with your best friend yesterday that you’re still laughing about.
And if you’re feeling extra ambitious – go on a walk around the block.
Starting your day with gratitude gives you the sense of calm to ride the waves each and every day. Let’s face it – life isn’t getting any easier, so we have to figure out how to navigate this mess while we still can.
Can you learn everything you need to know about the body from free videos on YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram?
As a YouTube Creator, I get this question a lot. There’s so much free content out there, that it makes sense to think that everything there is to know is already available on the internet.
I love learning – and do spend a lot of time reading articles, watching videos and diving into research – BUT this is after 12 years of study into exercise, biomechanics, and movement.
Does everyone need 12 years of exercise biology studies to be able to help themselves? Absolutely not, but I don’t think it’s as simple as watching 1-minute clips online.