Tag Archives: Feldenkrais

What Is Feldenkrais?

Dear Audy,

Today I’m going to be writing about an alternative therapy that actually isn’t very far removed from mainstream physiotherapy, it just has a fancier name: Feldenkrais.

Feldenkrais is a movement therapy named after its creator, Moshe Feldenkrais. It sounds complicated and elusive to us Westerners, but that’s just because it’s a foreign word to most of us (it’s not “Feldenchrist”, but it sounds like that without the “t”).

Did you know what Pilates was before this century? It took almost a hundred years for the genius of Joseph Pilates to go mainstream. Pilates is now accepted as a valuable form of strengthening and maintaining health, you can take classes in gyms all over the world.

This sort of recognition, appreciation and widespread practise is the kind of future that I hope Feldenkrais is headed toward. It has helped me so much and is so simple, perhaps it’s simplicity is why it has spent so long in the shadows of other therapies. I mean, you know, aside from the fact that there’s no medication element and much of pain management research is funded by pharmaceutical companies.

Feldenkrais gives me hope, it gives me a degree of control over the functioning of my body. Feldenkrais helps to reduce my chronic pain, it helps to improve my everyday movements so that I trigger less pain flares. Feldenkrais enlightens me, it shows me my body and nervous system in a way that I’d never seen them before – clearly.


When I first started Feldenkrais, I needed mobility aids in order to get anywhere or do anything. I was on crutches/in a wheelchair/using a cane for years. Nowadays, I only need mobility aids if I’m particularly flared up. My regular posture is closer to ideal than it has ever been.

I find it easier to implement activities into my life when I can grasp the reasoning behind them. Let me explain Feldenkrais to you in the way that helped me to understand…

(I’d apologise for the length of this piece, but really, this is the information that I would have liked to have been able to google when I first heard of Feldenkrais. I ended up having to buy books, like an olden days person!)

First, meet this guy. This is Moshe Feldenkrais:

Moshe Feldenkrais

Click image for source



Moshe Feldenkrais was a physicist and engineer who suffered knee problems that inspired him to create a method of healing without surgery. He taught his body to work around the problem and in doing so, both walked freely once more and brought forth a new concept in healing that is based on the human nervous system’s ability to learn and evolve.

“There is the learning of a skill; there is the kind of learning in which we enlarge our knowledge or understanding of what we already know. And there is the most important kind of learning which goes with physical growth. By this last I mean learning in which quantity grows and changes to a new quality, and not the mere accumulation of knowledge, useful as this may be. Often we do not see this kind of learning at all; it can go on for more or less lengthy periods of time, apparently aimlessly, and then new form of action appears as it from nowhere.”
-Moshe Feldenkrais, quoted from The Case Of Nora


The easiest way to understand the type of learning that Feldenkrais is talking about is like this: lift your arm up above your head, or just lift a finger, or any body part if you are unable to do the arm thing.

OK, you can put it back down again. What sort of thinking did you need to perform this movement? Did you think, contract bicep 60%, lengthen tricep 20%, adjust angle of shoulder blade by 40 degrees, rotate radius red balloon degrees, or any other similar but less made up thoughts?

Higher level thinking and language based logic are not how movement works. However, movement does work and it is learnt, just not in the intellectual way that you learn grammar and mathematics.


Brains have evolved in a rather organised, build-on-what-you’ve-got, fashion. Here are a couple of images that will you give you an idea of what I’m talking about:

Click image for source



Click image for source



Different species of animals have evolved to require different amounts of neuromuscular learning when they arrive here on Earth. The lower down the evolutionary chain, the less training, or apprenticeship is required. Think of herd animals; a baby cow or horse will be able to stand within moments of its birth, which is beneficial to species that needs to be follow its family or be left behind. Think of a mountain goat, born atop the jagged rocks of a cliff face…

“Obviously all the connections, the wiring in the nervous systems of these animals must be made before they are born. In short, it is the species that has handed down the learning, the evolving, the reflex organisation, the instinct that enables them to survive in precarious conditions. However, most birds, dogs, kittens of all sorts, even tiger kittens, have to have some kind of coaching by their parents to finish the wiring in, establishing functioning patterns of their nervous systems. What makes this pattern reliable, autonomous, or automatic is an apprenticeship of a few weeks.”
-Moshe Feldenkrais, quoted from The Elusive Obvious


Human beings are the most effectively evolved species on the planet, if you define effective as a capability to take over the planet with our adaptable bodies and nimble minds (If you define effective as just plain lasting a long time, then we’ve got nothing on crocodiles)…

“The human infant has the longest apprenticeship of all the species, to my knowledge. Although everything necessary to maintain life and growth is already connected in the nervous and glandular systems at birth, the specific human functions are not wired in at all. No baby was ever born who could speak, sing, whistle, crawl, walk upright, make music, count or think mathematically, tell the hour of the day or night, or know what it is to be late. Without a very long apprenticeship lasting several years none of these functions has ever been observed.”
Moshe Feldenkrais, quoted from The Elusive Obvious


Really think about that for a moment. We learn just about everything. Aside from instinctive bodily functions such as breathing, digesting and circulating blood, all of our behaviours are the product of learning. This is why every person is just a little bit different from the other people. Learning behaviours is the product of both capability and experience, things that are exactly the same in no two people.

Earlier this month, I wrote about neuroplasticity and the ever changing brain. Everything that you learn is done so by your brain putting together a pattern of synaptic impulses. It’s all produced by patterns so complicated that science can’t fully comprehend them yet.

“Complicated” is defined as consisting of many interconnecting parts or elements. In relation to learning, there are a lot of moments where the signals could take a slightly different path and create a different result. There are also a lot of crucial parts in the pattern where changes can be influenced; changes that can lead to an improvement in function.

The techniques that Feldenkrais taught seek to improve movement through improving the underlying patterns of the nervous system. He believed that the human body is capable of adapting to any conditions in which life can exist. His method searches for the deepest, most reflexive patterns of movement and strengthens them through awareness and practise.


Simply put, Feldenkrais figured that if there were so many different possibilities during the development of movement patterns, then they could logically be improved by re-learning those movements from scratch and discovering the movements from their smallest beginnings, kind of like a baby does.

Chronic pain in the case of CRPS is a malfunction of the nervous system. The Feldenkrais method is designed to improve nervous system function. It’s not hard to see how this therapy could theoretically be helpful for a person managing CRPS.

Theory is lovely, but experience is even better. I have experienced enormous improvement to my CRPS symptoms and ability to function around them since beginning Feldenkrais practise almost two years ago.


When using Feldenkrais to manage chronic pain, it’s helpful to remember that the technique is not designed to cure (even if it effectively does sometimes) it is designed to improve. In the instance that Feldenkrais practise leads to total relief of pain or other symptoms, the body was not cured, it was simply improved enough so that you’d hardly notice the difference.

“Posture can only be improved and not corrected. Only the concept of an ideal posture might be considered correct, but such a posture can exist only with an ideal brain and nervous system. Ideal models like this do not exist in reality. They can be approached more or less, but only approached, and there are almost as many directions of approach as radii in a circle.”
-Moshe Feldenkrais, quoted from The Elusive Obvious


Practising Feldenkrais and expecting to be cured in a short amount of time is unrealistic. It takes a lot of hard work and dedication to change the patterns in your nervous system. Thankfully, it’s hard work that requires little physical exertion.

The mental dedication side of things is more difficult to maintain. Feldenkrais requires time spent in a relaxed but aware state that is rather like meditation. If you have tried to use meditation as a pain management technique and not found it helpful, Feldenkrais might be a good option for you.

In my experience, having the tiny movements to focus on makes it easier for me to shift into a meditative state than trying to clear my mind using other mindfulness techniques. I think it’s because I feel like I’m doing something useful while I’m meditating, you know, more useful than just meditation on its own.

What does practising Feldenkrais mean?

Feldenkrais therapy exists in two separate, but related forms.

Group classes, or exercises practised at home using lesson recordings, are known as Awareness Through Movement classes. One-on-one sessions with a practitioner are referred to as Functional Integration.

Awareness Through Movement is a nice a descriptive name, these exercises seek to discover exactly what they are titled after. ATM is often conducted in group classes, but can also be practised at home using recordings, or even freestyle once you have a good understanding of what you are doing. Instructions are often gentle and vague, allowing each person space to fill in their own gaps in understanding their own movements.

Did you know that just imagining your body doing a movement sends a few signals through the nervous system pattern that would be activated in order for you to actually do that movement?

This is why people who are learning to play music can find themselves improving even if just going over the lessons in their mind. They are practising the nervous system patterns associated with playing their instrument at a very low level, just by thinking about them.

ATM sessions are not exercise classes. The movements are most helpful when performed in the slightest manner possible, with the most relaxation and without increasing pain, but with a heightened level of attention from your conscious mind. Sometimes, this means just imagining a movement if the execution of even its tiniest incarnation is too painful.

When I write about practising Feldenkrais as a method of pain management, I am talking about practising Awareness Through Movement sessions at home. These are hugely variable in both length, intensity and which part of the body they are targeting. I’ve been at it for a while now, so I have a fairly good idea about what sort of ATM session will help with whatever symptoms I am experiencing on any given day.

Functional Integration sessions are much more passive for the patient. When I think of FI sessions, it is like picturing a massage of the nervous system. My practitioner will move my body in tiny but varying ways that help it to realise that all its parts are connected to one another.

No part of the body exists in absence of the rest of the body. We can accustom ourselves to moving things in isolation, however this is not the way that a well organised nervous system functions.

“Things learned can be half learned, and they can even be badly learned. Hence the great variety of human postures which are obviously not all as good, one as the other.”
-Moshe Feldenkrais, quoted from The Elusive Obvious


Functional Integration allows the practitioner to teach the patient’s nervous system healthier patterns of movement. The practitioner is trained to observe the flow of movement and connectedness of the body and work to create improvements. When the body is well organised and connected, tension and pain can be dissolved.

What does practising Feldenkrais feel like?

When I feel Feldenkrais reducing my pain, it is almost like shifting into an alternate nervous system. It’s easy to slip back into the patterns that I’ve learned on top of the healthy ones, but repetition incites neuroplasticity and thus, the more I practice the healthy patterns, the stronger they get.

The more I practise ATM sessions at home, the more value is added to my FI sessions. My nervous system is learning throughout all of this and it remembers. Underneath the malfunctions of CRPS, my body remembers that there were movement patterns and that they didn’t hurt. Feldenkrais helps me to uncover those, but I have to do my homework.

Practising Feldenkrais involves a lot of focused attention, attention that is shifted off of my pain and problems. In this way, it gives me a meditative break without sitting still and trying to quiet my incessant mind. By focusing so intensely on what I am physically feeling, I give my brain a break from thinking too much about things in the words that I have taught it to use and the limits that such words can impose.

“If you are told that somebody cannot do something, logically there is nothing you can do about it. Every diagnosis in words inhibits the brain from thinking for itself. If words say ‘incurable’ the situation will not be changed by saying ‘curable’. But if you use your sensory ability to look, learn, listen, and touch you may find new data which will make you see what you can do to help.”
-Moshe Feldenkrais, quoted from The Case Of Nora


Feldenkrais is about improvement; whether or not your condition is curable is irrelevant as to whether or not your nervous system function can be improved. Even the tiniest improvement is an improvement and that is where it must always begin. Improving the connectedness of your nervous system and your internal awareness of your body can help you to improve any activity that you can think of.

Want to swing your golf club more effectively? Re-learn the technique from the beginning, pay physical attention to each part of the movement, practise each part of the sequence slowly and in order, and then feel as you swing more efficiently than ever before.

Just don’t expect it to happen in a hurry. You didn’t become an adult with learned behaviours overnight, it’s unrealistic to expect your brain and nervous system to learn things faster now that you’re older. If anything, that works the other way around. It’s easier to create patterns where there are none than to attempt to change existing ones.

Benefiting from Feldenkrais takes time, but that doesn’t mean it’s an uninteresting journey. I have been consistently surprised by my body along the way and amazed at parts of its function that I’d never paid attention to before. I have been blown away by the way my body increasingly responds more quickly to the same sessions, that’s evidence of learning that I can literally feel. I’m doing the same thing again and again, but filling in more details, realising more about the movement.

My Feldenkrais practitioner describes my body now as a completely different to the one that I first showed up in, she can see and feel the difference too.

The Feldenkrais method has opened up my mind to ways of learning that I’d never known of before and this has spread through every aspect of my life. I no longer see things that I can’t do, I see things that I haven’t learnt to do yet.


I recommend Feldenkrais to anybody who wants to know their body better, to anybody who feels awkward in their movements, to anybody who wants to improve a particular skill. All of the skills start with your brain and your nervous system.

You wouldn’t build your home on a shaky foundation, would you?

Find out more information about Feldenkrais at The Australian Feldenkrais Guild.

Would you try Feldenkrais if sessions and practitioners were readily accessible and affordable? Or, have you had experiences with Feldenkrais that you’d like to share?


Thanks so much to everybody that has been supporting me in the NHBPM challenge! If you like what I am doing, please share these posts with the people that you share things with or click that little thumbs up. It’s CRPS Awareness Month, which is why I’m choosing to disclose a little more about my health on a daily basis. The more awareness that we can raise, the easier it will get for people who are navigating the choppy waters of chronic pain.

Love & Laying Down Carefully,
Caf
WEGO, CRPS Awareness Month, #NHBPM


This post written as a part of National Health Blog Post Month, run by WEGO health. Check out what people have been contributing via #NHBPM on Twitter, or joining the NHBPM Facebook Event.

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  • All These Things That I Have Done

    Dear Audy,

    Hello again. I’ve missed you. I’m sorry that you haven’t heard much from me lately, the days keep spinning by and I do things and then I don’t do other things and then I do more things and sometimes I watch two seasons of Weeds in two days. It’s OK, I’m all up to date on that now, so you can stop with all that worry that Caf hadn’t seen all seven seasons of Weeds.

    And now to tell you about the things!

  • I bought an iPad. So, that explains a significant amount of the time I have not spent blogging. I was playing Lego Harry Potter and choosing the prettiest RSS reader (it’s Perfect RSS, if you know of a prettier one, please be kind and share).
  • I have been procrastinating about dealing with the necessary paperwork for being me. BORING.
  • I have been dealing with some sudden rising and (thankfully) quickly departing flares. The last few weeks have been more riddled with them than the months before that. It’s OK, nothing that I can’t handle, however the handling part does take up more time and effort when there is an increase in the amount to be handled. Funny that.
  • I have been learning to extend, in a Feldenkrais sort of way. For most of my treatment, I have been teaching my body to move forward. Now, it is free enough that I am capable of starting to teach it to move backwards, a direction that it simply has not known for years. It’s harder to work on this when I am dealing with flares as I find the ATM (Awareness Through Movement) tracks that I know by heart are like little safe zones for my nervous system. It has learnt to feel comfortable through these movements and I can use them to lower my pain, whereas doing a new track involves more learning and a little bit less relief.
  • I have been looking after myself and the doggies whilst my prince was off on a mission. Taking care of us solo is a big job for me and cuts into my energy supply extensively.
  • I had my first treatment with Scenar. I’ll explain more about this later, once I have a chance to really evaluate how it has effected me. It definitely effected me, which is a good thing. I have had some rather odd sensations in the following days. I’m heading in for a second treatment tomorrow and rather curious to see how I respond this time!
  • I have been developing a survey for Chronic Pain Australia that will be the launching point for a series on the (coming soon) CPA blog. More on this later…
  • I have gotten a bit boring in the food department, I might need to spice things back up with some new recipes! I have continued making cookies from nuts regularly, they are too delicious to stop. I can’t publish the recipes because that would be plagiarism, but you can buy the same ebook I did here, or wait until I’m bored with these recipes and start to make up my own, which I will be able to publish!
  • That said, I did roast a surprise chicken, which was the opposite of boring. This was a first for me on two fronts. Firstly, it’s the first time anybody has ever given me a chicken so that my flarey self wouldn’t have to go shopping, thank you ever so much Emmie. Secondly, I had never cooked a whole chicken before, ever. It went fabulously and was delicious, thanks also to Mr Oliver and his awesome recipes.
  • I have gotten skinnier. It’s quite fun, this whole Paleo thing. I love the fact that I keep losing weight even though I’m really not capable of more exercise than a short, brisk walk a few times a week. It feels like my body is just slowly righting itself now that I am putting in the right fuel. I don’t actually know how much weight I’ve lost because I don’t own human scales and I am too lazy to recharge my Wii batteries. I’m only mildly interested in discovering this number, which I’ve taken as a sign that the weight loss really has been secondary to just getting healthy. If I were fooling myself with proud teenage girl lies and going Paleo was all an elaborate plan to get Leonardo DiCaprio’s attention, then I would be caring a lot more about the numbers. Which is good to know, because it’s pretty easy to unconsciously fool myself about motivation. The mind is a sly fox.
  • I have been buying clothes, because of the see above. Shrinking out of clothes is as confusing as bursting out of them, but with less self hatred. I have a really strange sense of my size and I’m still regularly surprised that things I thought would fit me don’t fit me anymore. Some of the things in my wardrobe were unworn because they were too small to begin with. Now, they are too big. Of course, I still have clothes sized 8-14, because the heavens forbid that the size on women’s clothing actually mean anything. The 8s are a new addition, I’m quite happy with those regardless of their insignificance.
  • I have thought about a lot of blog posts that I haven’t written. I’m trying to improve this practice. I just keep working at the pace of my days and activity levels and pain management and sparse commitments and slowly, ever so slowly, I get better at things and fit more in. I used to do very little and time to blog was easy to find, I actually think it’s wonderful that I’ve been able to progress past those times. I might not write as much right now, but I do more and what on Earth was I going to keep writing about if I never did anything?
  • That’s about it, really. A few social outings here and there, always with preparation and recovery time built in. I’m currently recovering from Lisa Mitchell’s Heavenly Sounds tour, which I attended in Melbourne last night. SUCH BEAUTY. It was wonderful. Church acoustics are stunning, much more impressive than a bar gig. Also, there were one page programs and a signed gift of the Spiritus single for everybody, plus one special prize winning note for a lucky attendee. Having attended countless gigs where the only souvenirs were overpriced, ugly, merchandise company efforts, I was very impressed with the spirit of this gesture. If Australia has a sweetheart, then Lisa Mitchell is it.

    See how pretty!!



    My plans for the weeks ahead are just to continue. I’ll keep pushing forward and see just how far I can go… and, at some point, I’ll be back to write about it. Stay tuned, Audy! Oh, and you are wanting to stay tuned to Facebook also, please be sure to add Rellacafa to one of your lists so that you receive the updates. Facebook now expects people to pay to have their updates seen by Likers & Friends, but you can personally manage your subscriptions by customising lists (less work than it sounds, I just have a list for all my pages and receive most updates).

    Have you been doing exciting things while I was gone, Audy? I’d love to hear about them!

    Love & Adventures,
    Caf

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  • Driving Past Limits And Through Lessons

    Dear Audy,

    This week has been all about recovery. I can’t always stop an activity from flaring up my CRPS symptoms, however I can choose to focus on reducing the recovery time, rather than not doing the trigger happy activity. It’s all a part of the mental games that I play in order to cope with chronic pain; the benefits of messing with my own perspectives on things have been too great for me to dream of stopping now.

    Driving is my biggest challenge as far as improving my speed of recovery goes. Being able to travel independently opens up so many options in my otherwise quiet and homely life.



    I have pushed my limits quite a bit in the past week. I travelled solo to my Feldenkrais appointment last Thursday, which is a good 40 minute drive either way. It’s so wonderful to be having sessions with my instructor after an extended break, she always manages to give me something new and inspiring to think about.

    She mentioned that Moshe Feldenkrais defined health by how quickly one recovers after a blow (physical or emotional). Being that that topic is exactly what I have been focusing on lately, it felt like one of those little moments when the universe randomly shows a connection that makes you feel as though you are, in some way, on the right track.

    We can’t stop challenging things happening, but we can choose to let them disrupt our lives as little as possible.


    The drive to Feldenkrais left me exhausted, but not so much so that the benefits of the session were voided. This has always been my main concern with taking myself to these appointments, I don’t want to undo the good work just getting home again! Thankfully, my body is responding well enough to the treatment that it can cope with a little vibration without forgetting the good stuff that my instructor just taught it.

    The second and third pushes to my limits were so that I could go out and enjoy sweet sounding musicians with guitars and fun percussionists. Friday night I went to see Luke Thompson and Tim Hart at The Grace Darling Hotel. This was a lot of fun as the gig was my friend’s choice and so all the acts were new to me. I do love the atmosphere of a low key pub gig! Plus the discovery of new, sexy voices for my tunes collection.

    On Sunday afternoon I went to see Holly Throsby play at The Speigeltent. I hadn’t been there in years, so that was a nice adventure. The afternoon light inside the mirror filled tent created a delightful atmosphere and the music was divine. Holly is one of my favourite performers to see live; her voice and performance style are just so darn likeable!

    So, that was a lot of driving for one weekend. Pushing my limits this hard at one time allowed me to make some observations that will help me to continue driving and recovering.

    I am sorest the morning after, it’s like a hangover of the nervous system. There is a lot of widespread nerve tingling pain and a massive sense of fatigue. This is in part because going out usually involves a later night than staying in. I have needed to take painkillers on a couple of these mornings, which is something I would like to work toward not needing. The lesson? Never have plans the day after I have plans.

    I also learnt that how I drive is super important. Any extra tension that I hold onto will result in further pain the next day. I have to breath deeply, stay relaxed, continually scan my body (especially my thighs) for work that doesn’t need to be happening and keep checking that my hands are only lightly touching the wheel (you don’t need to cling to it in order to be in control of the car).

    In that way that people can sometimes manipulate immeasurable energies, I try to imagine the vibrations from the car passing all the way through my body. I try to breathe them out, to let them go in a meditative kind of way. Visualisation can be a powerful tool and I find that simply imagining the vibrations dissipating helps me to stop storing up so much stimulation that will only torture me later.

    The final important lesson? Three drives in fours days might just be a bit too much, for now. My driving ankle developed quite an intense flare on Tuesday night. My legs have been exceptionally sore and I am having little lightning pains in the joints of my hands.

    The past day has seen Melbourne swamped in humidity, so it’s impossible to tell how much of my pain is being caused by that and how much is the activity hangover. I’m going to assume that the ankle/leg pain is probably caused by driving and the rest is just being amplified by the weather. Giving myself reasons that they exist can help with not being freaked out by flares and help me remember that they are temporary.

    I have noticed a rise in anxiety in the past 24 hours. Things like waking up with thoughts circling and getting all worried about things, even though I know how little worry actually helps anything.

    Last night I had and “AHA!” moment when I realised that my pain and my attempts to keep getting things done were stressing me out a little. Noticing this process is the first step to undoing it. I can still feel those evil thought monkeys nattering about the edges of my mind, however they are merely inspiring me to overcome them, rather than wrapping me up in their lies.

    For the rest of the day I shall take a little extra special care of myself. I will stretch, eat healthily, practise Feldenkrais and watch me a girly movie or two. Wow, if this was the 1950s, “girly movie” would probably have a whole other meaning, but this is the 20Teens and so it just means Breaking Dawn and maybe something that’s terrible and full of Katherine Heigl.

    So basically, “girly movies” are now “bad movies” that for some reason speak to my inner teenage girl. What can I say? She’s a teenager, she needs constant validation despite the fact that I’ve grown up and locked her inside.

    Do you manage to keep driving despite chronic pain? Any tips on how you cope with this on a continual basis?


    Love & Left Hand Turns,
    Caf

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  • My Mind Is A Deep Blue Sea…Or Something

    Dear Audy,

    Even though the pain has been phenomenal, I am actually coping better with late Summer than I have in previous years. I can recognise that these flares are seasonal, they come around every year with the humidity and they will recede into Autumn.

    I’ve been concentrating on the physical so much that my mind has felt like it’s straying off in all directions. I haven’t been up for much writing or communicating (look, I’m not even convinced this post makes sense, but I’m giving it a go). Real changes do take a lot of effort. I have noticed lately that I’m just not thinking all that much. I am purposefully expelling negative thoughts but kind of not focusing on other thoughts either.

    It’s fairly easy to stop focusing on thoughts that only lead me down rambling roads, through crazy tangents filled with random associations and usually end in a pool of WTF.


    Lion face, RARR!


    If the thought isn’t about how I can best handle and lower my pain, or feel happier in a moment, then out the window it goes.

    My brain feels kind of muddled, which I guess is not surprising, considering how much time I have been devoting to Feldenkrais and messing with the patterns in my nervous system. It’s all connected. It feels a bit like I ripped up my brain and threw the pieces in the air and now I am just waiting for them to reassemble as they settle back into more helpfully organised working order.

    Motivating myself to spend hours doing Feldenkrais actually gets more difficult when I’m doing well. I spend so much of my time feeling unwell, that feeling well makes me want to run out into the sunshine and sing at whatever I can find (flowers, birds, park goers…you’ve seen Enchanted, right?).

    It can be a surprise to realise that I’ve modified my pain management efforts as things have gotten easier to manage. I was doing a lot of freestyle stretching and movement, however that is not as effective as a disciplined Feldenkrais session.

    Each day, I choose a Feldenkrais ATM (Awareness Through Movement) track from my collection. I work my way through that and then through further tracks if I feel it necessary. Feldenkrais is all about listening to your body and learning to be your own guide.

    I had been so out of practise that I had forgotten how helpful these sessions can be. It’s like massaging the nervous system and the relaxation and pain relief seem to have little to do with the actual movements of the session.

    Trying to marry the thoughts of working with the brain via movement is a vast task. Just when I think I’m ready to kiss the bride, an old habit will sneak back in, an old pattern that I then need to unlearn again. This past week, the lesson that I have been focusing on is that I will always feel better after a Feldenkrais session (provided that I keep the movements small and easy).

    I will also feel better after this down time from thinking creatively. Well, that’s not exactly it…my rambling tangents in which characters, actors and cartoons mix for wild adventures with household appliances are plenty creative, it’s just not that useful to me when I don’t have the presence of mind to moderate it. With my moderator just throwing things out instead of providing them with meaning or deconstructing the nuttiness, I kind of feel like I’m on a bit of a trip. It’s not quite ketamine, but it’s not quite a usual state of consciousness either.

    I am keeping calm, I am taking pride in each small action and I am working through areas of pain, one at a time. I definitely miss being able to think, however I am extremely confident that once my body settles, my mind will return… and it might even be working better than before!

    “That’s all, folks” – Caf’s Tuesday Brain

    Love & Images of Lucy Hale ninja fighting Freddy Krueger (just stop it, brain),
    Caf

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  • Toes & Sunshine

    Dear Audy,

    It has been a very exhausting week in my world. I now have the keys to my new house! I shall be moving over the coming weeks which means that the exhaustion probably isn’t going away anytime soon. That’s OK, I can be exhausted and still get things done.

    This week, I have been thinking a lot about toes and sunshine. Not about how one effects the other, but about how both have such powerful effects on our quality of life.

    I have had some issues with my feet over the years. Many issues. Long before CRPS, at about the age of 15, I began having severe and seemingly unexplainable knee pain. This went on for months in one knee and the day before I was scheduled for an arthroscopy, the other knee decided to join in the antics. Thankfully, I avoided being cut open.

    I was, however, told that my feet rolled too far inward and this was causing my knee pain. This diagnosis came from a chiropractor (I shudder to think I ever bought into that practise) and then a podiatrist. I was given enormous arch supports and suffered through the pain of changing the alignment of my posture over the next year or so, before life seemed to return to normal.

    I truly wish that I had been aware of Feldenkrais back then, with some movement coaching I might have avoided such forceful methods of treating my knee pain.

    These days, I don’t actually believe there was anything wrong with my feet or my knees, I think it’s much more likely that I simply didn’t know how to use my body properly. Chronic pain has forced me to become aware of such oversights in what I understand to be healthy and that is one of the hidden benefits of the treacherous journey to overcome the owies monster.

    But back to the story of my toes…

    These are my toes. You see how the pinky curls under the fourth toe? You see how the fourth toe is kind of deformed, like its mass doesn’t line up with the nail or something? Yeah, those things don’t look right to me.



    Side note: I am wearing Suncoat Water-based nail polish in Copper. I am so utterly impressed with this stuff. It doesn’t have many of the nasty and potentially harmful chemicals found in solvent based polish and, in my experience, it is actually more hard wearing. It also doesn’t feel like my nails are covered in plastic, it feels like they can breathe. Since discovering this water-based polish, the idea of using the old whiffy kind just seems toxic and unpleasant.

    I don’t think the following facts are unrelated: I spent years adjusting how I walk to be more on the outside of my foot in order to stop the “hyper-rolling” that I had been told I needed to stop; I now have toes and feet that appear deformed in the direction of this compensation; I am still suffering from chronic pain that began in my ankle, which is very near to and effected by my toes.

    My Feldenkrais practitioner has done a great deal of work in getting my toes back from the completely de-conditioned and hindering state that they had developed after years of chronic pain. This can happen anyway, even without the history of hefty orthotics.

    Toes often curl or tense in some strange manner as a reaction to pain. Often a person is not even aware of this, probably because of that agonising pain causing it, and so the pain causes the tension and the tension contributes to more pain and those poor little piggies on the ends of our feet are left mangled and stomped on in the cyclical battle.

    I have been doing a lot to work on reversing this. The Feldenkrais sessions have been absolutely fantastic for getting the toes moving at all, they now sit much straighter and are less buckled (except in the instance of the CRPS flare). I have also spent a lot of time just playing with my toes, wiggling them this way and that, teaching my brain that I have toes, that toes have joints and can move, that toes can be wonderful and helpful.

    I have read some interesting things about feet in recent times, notably that the brain map (the amount of brain used to represent a body part) for human feet greatly diminishes over a lifetime spent in shoes. It makes perfect sense, the brain is very resourceful and isn’t going to waste time maintaining awareness of a body part that we constant disrespect and restrict the movement of.

    When thinking about improving the function of my toes and feet, I am referring to both the actual limbs and also my brain’s perception of them.

    Toe socks have been a great help. Seemingly a novelty item, they actually carry a lot of therapeutic value. When I first started wearing them, I felt like my pinky toes were alien objects stuck to the sides of my feet. It was a nice reaffirmation that I was right in investing time and energy getting to know my feet…I really should recognise all my toes as parts of myself!



    With the weather warming up, it has been getting easier to go barefoot more often. I am not wearing any shoes or socks much at home. This is not something that I could have coped with in my earlier days of CRPS, the stimulation of absolutely everything used to cause pain. It can take years and a hell of a lot of determination to de-sensitise that kind of fragility in a body part.

    I would absolutely love to get my hands on (or my feet into) a pair of Vibram Fivefinger toe shoes. I am hesitant to buy them without being able to try them on, so I am hoping they will be stocked in a store near me soon.

    In the meantime, I will keep shoes and socks off when I can. I have also found that my developing awareness of my posture and movement is making it possible to wear thongs easily, I am able to utilise more of my toes and feet and I believe this will help in my ongoing striving for better function.

    If I keep at it, maybe I can even get my pinkies to line up again. They once did, after all, I wasn’t born broken.

    Along with focusing on my toes, I have been getting as much sunshine as possible. I don’t want to burn, so I have been trying not to spend too long out there at once and switch between sun and shade quite often…because I also don’t really want to cover myself with sun repelling chemicals on a regular basis.



    I woke up flaring all over this morning, dragged myself out of bed and spent a good hour or so outside relaxing and being outside. I followed this with some stretching and I am feeling a whole lot better. I’ve even gotten some housework done. In the past, a morning flare that intense would have had me discount the day as basically useless (which, of course, it then became).

    How much I underestimated myself.

    I am looking forward to settling into my new place and actually getting outside a bit this Summer. It finally feels like I am making progress toward better health that I am actually retaining. The future used to look fairly bleak, now it looks bright and sunny.

    I am loving the change.

    Love & Vitamin D,
    Caf

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  • Five Years Of Pain Comes With Plenty Of Gain

    Dear Audy,

    It’s that time of year again…my painiversary. It’s been five years since CRPS completely changed the course that I had planned for my life.

    I am not sad. Usually, painiversaries have been days of regret and misery. Not this year.

    This year, I am excited. I have come so far since the early days of my illness. I have learnt more about myself than I ever thought I would; I have learnt that the things that I thought psychologically limited me can be broken down and rebuilt in such a way that the whole experience of living seems more enjoyable and less harrowing.

    My CRPS began after I attended Derby Day (part of the Melbourne Cup carnival) in 2006. It was the first time that I had ever been to the horse races. I actually won some money, that was nice. I also won a malfunctioning nervous system, that was less nice. The pain began with a sprained ankle that came about from spending a day drinking in impractical high heels…I was rather naive.



    Blissfully unaware of the changes that day would bring…


    How chronic pain distorted the life of an otherwise happy young woman.

  • Confusion. This began after the ankle seemed to heal normally and then suddenly started shooting me with pain that quickly became constant and agonising. Doctors couldn’t find anything wrong with it and the confusion cloud only became thicker as I searched for an explanation for my chronic pain. Unfortunately, being diagnosed with CRPS (called RSD at the time) is not much of an explanation for anything, it’s more like a guarantee of more confusion to come.
  • A slow reduction of capabilities. Life didn’t stop happening all at once. For a long time, the pain was restricted to the area from just below my right knee to my toes. I kept working, socialising and expecting to get better. My activities at work were adjusted around what I could do and I mostly got around using a pair of crutches.
  • My left hip went bang. It took about a year of crutching around in confusion before my left hip gave out. The pain was mind-blowing. I spent the next few months completely incapacitated whilst I waited for an arthroscopy. This was the end of my days of still being able to go to work. Following the operation, my hip healed, however the pain never stopped flowing. I was in pain from hip to toes on the left side and knee to toes on the right side. I needed a wheelchair to get further than a few metres.
  • With such a restriction on my mobility, I started exploring new ways to occupy my mind. In the beginning, there was no pain in my hands. I played around with some forms of art that I hadn’t visited since school and discovered that when I put my mind to it, I actually have something of a knack for drawing. I also spent a lot of time getting back in touch with my sewing machine, which I hadn’t shown any love since high school.
  • I started blogging and engaging with people using social media. This was a wonderful way to feel connected to the world even though I was stuck at home. During this time, I was living in a tiny, one-bedroom flat near the city. It was on the first floor with no lift, so even getting to the mailbox was a huge challenge. To get anywhere else, somebody needed to help me. Without assistance, I was housebound and spent so many days in a stiff position on the couch that I am surprised I did not turn to stone.
  • Whilst I was waiting to have paid enough health insurance for a ketamine infusion (being touted by my pain specialist as the best chance of recovery), the pain spread further. My hands started to tingle one day. Then, they started to burn. Things were never the same. Along with the loss of hand function, I also suffered a couple of jaw subluxations and extreme pain resulted from these.
  • All of the methods of occupying my mind with creative activities came to a halt with the rising fire in my hands. I could do very little. I was heavily medicated and spent my time waiting for the days to be over. I spent a lot of time grieving, crying, longing and feeling as though the pain would just lead to more pain and then to death. Life was very bleak back then. I felt like I had been put away from the world and would never be able to re-enter it.
  • The ketamine infusion came and went. It was not the solution that my doctor had led me to believe it would be. Things seemed to work and I experience a great amount of relief, however this quickly turned to an increase in pain all over my body after I left the hospital, ten days after I arrived. The specialist ended up dismissing me as a patient when I was still in agony at the follow up appointment, a month later. “CRPS doesn’t spread, I don’t know what’s wrong with you”, is what he told me.
  • Life got very dark for a while. My biggest hope for recovery had only made me worse. Following the extreme pain of coming off the ketamine (and an assorted drugs cocktail), I began to experience the widespread pain associated with central neural sensitisation. Not that I knew that’s what was happening. Back then, I could hardly concentrate thanks to the medication and overwhelming pain itself. I couldn’t retain information that I read, which made it very difficult to educate myself.
  • I started seeing another doctor who seemed to have a modern understanding of pain and sensitisation. I attended inpatient pain rehabilitation and made a lot of progress. Despite my progress, I still had a lot of setbacks and eventually the doctor that had seemed so openminded, closed his mind to the possibility that my pain was as bad as my experience of it. His turnaround in attitude was heartbreaking. He had seemed like my saviour and he turned out to be even nastier than the first doctor that had disregarded me for not fitting into his box of expectations.
  • I spent so many nights unable to sleep due to pain and anxiety. I spent months in a mental fog in which I would cry at least once daily. I couldn’t see a way out of my suffering. The pain seemed to get worse as the weeks went by and there was no light at the end of the tunnel, there was no hope of recovery from the perspective of modern medicine.

  • How a hurt and broken girl finally began to heal.

  • Eventually, I realised that I had two choices; I could give up and suffer forever, or I could keep searching for a way to make life easier. I kept searching. I got off the heavy medications that were making it impossible to take in information, then, I began to read. I read as much as I could about pain, about the brain, about the body and about people in this world that have overcome crises on par with or bigger than my own. The more that I read, the more methods for pain relief and coping that I have at my disposal.
  • I found people online who seemed to be living much more fruitfully than me, even though we had the same diagnosis. I read blogs, found Twitter accounts and made Facebook friends. This online community has been invaluable for me in terms of providing support in dark times and inspiration in hopeful ones.
  • I started seeing a Feldenkrais practitioner. She became an amazing role model for me, having found her way out of her own chronic pain. It was such a different situation to seeing a doctor that has merely read a few books on the topic. My Feldenkrais practitioner understood what I was going through and was able to treat and counsel me effectively. There was no acceptance of the pain being permanent during these sessions, there was simply dealing with what was and discovering what could be.
  • I studied meditation and Buddhism. These have been invaluable tools for me to use on a daily basis. I have made huge progress in understanding my mind and limiting my suffering by doing so. I no longer accept that any level of physical pain needs to result in suffering. I have become proactive about observing my thought processes and learning to stop anxiety cycles before they take hold of me.
  • I saw a couple of doctors and found one that suits me. He’s not overly promising, or judgmental and his support has helped me to find the strength to be in charge of my own recovery. This support has allowed me the freedom to explore methods of coping and healing without the underlying assumption that nothing I do can really make an impact on CRPS. That assumption is nothing but a hindrance.
  • I let go of the idea that CRPS is a permanent condition. Sure, modern medicine might not be able to explain exactly why my nervous system is malfunctioning, but that doesn’t mean that I am simply at the mercy of the glitch. I started to focus on the small achievements as steps toward larger achievements. I learnt to take things day by day, listen to my body and give it what it needs in terms of exercise and nourishment.

  • What life is like, five years on…


    I am improving all the time. I don’t use walking aids anymore. I have drastically reduced the amount of medication that I take, with a progressive plan to cut out the rest. I can read and learn again and I enjoy the benefits of the knowledge that I absorb through this age old practice of writing and reading. I can drive. My capability fluctuates, but this is a huge step up on being stranded without the assistance of others.

    In the next few weeks, I will move into a new home where I can settle down and build a productive existence once more. The prospect of returning to work and study seems possible again, not immediate, but like something I could achieve in the next few years. This new home is the product of good fortune and a caring family, I can take no credit for its existence.

    I have a new perspective on suffering and pain. So much pain is able to be lessened through learning to change our perception of it. I have also greatly reduced my anxiety and stress response to the point that I am less stressed than I was before the whole chronic pain debacle began. I am no longer unhappy on a daily basis, nor do I accept that being unhappy needs to be a permanently inherent part of being in chronic pain.

    I am looking forward to the future. I am looking forward to continue regaining control of my body and to strengthening it. I am looking forward to discovering how much I can accomplish if I simply continue down this path of curiosity and learning. I am excited about the parts of life that seem possible again, such as finally taking that overseas trip that I was planning back then in 2006.

    This isn’t the life that I expected, but really, who has one of those? And who really wants one? That actually sounds pretty boring. I am enjoying all of the wonderful things I am learning because of a seemingly unfortunate situation.

    Chronic pain is a nasty, nasty bitch, but it doesn’t have to be all bad forever. It can actually be a rather useful tool for figuring out what actually matters in this strange existence of ours.

    Love & Reflection,
    Caf

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  • Getting The Ribs Right

    Dear Audy,

    It was bound to happen, really. Just a little injury. Just a little injury that hurts a lot. It’ll all be fine though, I am feeling better today.

    I had been having some extra stiffness in my shoulders that I couldn’t seem to quite work out myself, so I went along to see my osteopath. I had a ridiculous amount of tension, knots and knots of it in the area, along with a slightly rotated rib.

    Yee-hah!


    (source)


    Kind of hurts as though that tree were representing pain, only on my right side.

    It has been my experience that when things are rotated, rotating them back is more painful than getting them out of line in the first place. I used to suffer from a rotated hip frequently. It would go out every three weeks like clockwork and the osteopath would fix it up for me. Then it would be sore for a day and then fine again.

    After I developed CRPS, the hip would go out even more often. I was lucky to get through two weeks before it repeated its cycle.

    Despite having messed my rib up a little, I was extremely proud that my hips were all nicely still in place on this visit. I haven’t suffered from a rotated hip in at least six months, if not longer.

    The only explanation I have for this remarkable development? The improvements coincide with my beginning to practise Feldenkrais. It’s wonderful to see such dramatic results from all of my patience and hard work. Mostly fairly passive work, but hard work just the same.

    It takes determination to make things change and determination isn’t always a speedy fella, he’s just really consistent.

    So, back to the rib. It had most likely just sort of worked its way out of place thanks to my extra activity and the knots that this had caused. No big mystery. I had a heap of knots in my left shoulder that weren’t usually there, upon my osteopath’s query I realised these were because I hold Sam’s lead in that hand when I’m walking the dogs.

    I have been doing so much dog walking that the evidence was right there in my body! That’s actually a pretty exciting thing for me. You don’t just go from de-conditioned to re-conditioned in a magic moment; building up muscle takes a bit of painful work for anyone.

    Things that are painful for anyone hurt more for those with central neural sensitisation, that’s just sort of how it works. Everything painful is amplified. That applies to stimuli that isn’t painful as well.

    I’m currently dealing with the fallout by resting a lot and keeping my heat pack nice and toasty. It’s more crippling than I was expecting (because of course I expected some fallout, I’d be pretty naive not to).

    I once broke my collar bone in a dramatic crash at the bottom of a speedy hill, on my pushbike. My rib feels like a broken collar bone in the back. It’s difficult and painful to lift my right arm, especially above the elbow. It feels a bit inflamed and I’ve had some muscle spasm attacks, one that left me gasping on my back on the floor because it came on so suddenly. My neighbour knocked on the door to make sure I was OK, I guess they were pretty loud, wailing gaspy things.

    It passed though, like everything does…thankfully. Impermanence can be an unsettling fact of life, but geez, it can also be mighty merciful.

    I have plenty of books to read, shows to watch and a lovely bath to soak in. I really have nothing to complain about, but I thought it was important to let you know the kinds of obstacles that I encounter on my path to a healthier, stronger body. Just a little yang for my overall positive ying.

    Yee-hah.

    Love & Random Cowgirl Cries,
    Caf

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  • Perpetually A Work In Progress

    Dear Audy,

    Even after all this time, the absolute ridiculousness of my health can still astound me. One part of me starts to feel better and then another part starts acting up. I spend weeks hardly able to walk, finally get my foot (or whatever) functioning, only to spend weeks hardly able to use my hands.

    Any progress that I make towards healing is continually thwarted by this cycle; I must make the same improvements, the same functionality advancements, again and again just to make them stick. It gets….boring.


    (source)


    It’s like a job that never gets finished. I write it up, send it in and the editor always sends it back covered in red marks. So I make the changes and send it back in, only to receive it once again, yet this time the corrections required are changes back to the original. So I edit to the requirements and re-submit…but it never stays that way. It never stays submitted. It always comes back and I am never able to move on from working on it.

    Not even at the end of the day. Not even on the weekends. Not even on public holidays. I can never stop working on pain management because I am never not in pain.

    Even so, I am not doing a terrible job. I am getting better at just doing the things that are going to help my pain, such as stretching, heat packs, Feldenkrais, gentle exercise, rest, postural breaks… I keep doing them and I slowly make a difference.

    My foot is almost recovered from the fat pad issue. As long as I stay aware of it and don’t push it too far, it lets me walk on it again. My hands have been flaring and my upper back has been in all sorts of distress. There wasn’t a trigger that I know about for this, which doesn’t make any difference to how I manage the situation anyway.

    In the past, I would have been off to see an osteopath or masseuse for help getting the tension out, however these days I am much more inclined to try and help myself before running to practitioners. Feldenkrais is hugely empowering.

    For the first few days with this back pain, I was unable to make much progress. My movement and tolerance limits had been so greatly reduced that I felt as though I was working with somebody else’s body. I could barely turn my head to the side without pushing into pain.

    The little movements, though, the little efforts, they piled upon one another and added up to pain relief. I feel much better today than I did yesterday. Yesterday I couldn’t even consider typing, thanks to the sparking happening in my fingers. I’ll continue with my efforts today and tomorrow I will feel even better, I am as sure of that as I can be.

    Aside from working on improving my pain level, I am also hard at work keeping my anxiety and stress level at bay. So far, I’m pretty impressed with how I am doing. My life is in a kind of limbo at the moment, things are changing and I am alone a lot more than usual. I have been dreading this transition period, however I’m not as stressed as I was expecting.

    I don’t want this period of transition to be wasted time. Our society places a great deal of value on being productive and like many people, I can start to feel pretty awful if I feel like I’m useless and not contributing to the world in any way. I’m working on breaking down this conditioned way of thinking, because I don’t believe it’s conducive to a peaceful existence, but this is a big shift that will take many steps.

    One of which, for me, is acknowledging and enjoying the fact that if I successfully lower my pain level, or simply manage my day, then I am being productive and can let go of “bludger’s guilt” (OK, I made that up, but it works).

    Another step, for me, at the moment, is to stop thinking of this transitional period as a scary or bad thing. It’s just change. I don’t want to be somebody who lets change stir up enough fear that the fear begins to dictate my behaviour. Life never stops changing, I don’t want to let that inescapable fact make my decisions and control my mood.

    Life is gonna be alright.

    Love & Early Spring Sunshine,
    Caf

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  • Buggin’

    Dear Audy,

    I’ve been a bit broken down lately, almost like the layers of me have separated and I’ve been struggling to join them back up. Patterns are only kind of aligned, like on cheaply sewn garments. Both physical and stress related elements have been bugging me, but I’m starting to sort myself out now. Slowly and surely I’ll get back to coping again.

    Like most people in Melbourne, I contracted that evil cold bug that has been going around. The one that burns your throat and lungs whilst it wracks you with chills and fever. Good times. It also seems to give way to a kind of gastro thing which, naturally, takes one from good times straight into Party Land.

    The bug stole my sleep and when my sleep is gone, it’s harder to cope. Anything and everything that could bug me, takes a shot at doing so when there’s a cold bug to power it on.

    It’s harder to be in pain, it’s harder to let go of lamentations about life, it’s harder to understand that tough times are cyclical and will eventually lead back to happy ones.

    When my sleep is gone, tears tend to invade for any number of both understandable and ridiculous reasons. I wade through the emotional days as best I can, but I’d be lying if I said that this is any way an easy thing to do.

    Thankfully, I’ve gotten a bit more rest in the last few nights and I’m starting to feel like I’m on the up again. My fat pad has decided to join in the healing and I can get around much more easily than I could a few weeks ago. I can even drive my car to places that are about five minutes away, which is surprisingly liberating!

    I can handle riding my exercise bike for about ten minutes and I even managed to go to the park with my puppy dogs the other day! I walked on the squishy, mud-under-grass bits of ground and didn’t stay long, but it was so nice to be amongst some trees again.

    I’m still struggling with concentration, however I expect that to keep clearing up as I get my body functioning again. I made a slight medication change a week or so ago (I now take 50mg of slow release Tramadol instead of 100mg of the regular kind) so that is probably contributing a little to how unsettled I have felt.

    My pain has increased with the change, especially upon waking, however I think that I can get it back down through Feldenkrais, stretching, exercise and relaxation. Hopefully I can get the pain level back down without upping any meds.

    I am so tired of medication and the unknowns that go along with long term use. Did you know I need reading glasses? Nope, neither did I. I thought that straining, blurry sensation was just the result of medication and fatigue. Turns out, I am a little farsighted.



    I got my glasses yesterday and the difference is amazing. It’s like there was a knot of tension in my face that had been there forever and has finally been able to relax. I don’t mind being bug-eyed in order to wave goodbye to that tension. I mean, it actually fits quite nicely in light of all the different kinds of bugs bugging me lately.

    Interestingly, I’ve noticed that my jaw is falling into a more relaxed position since I have been wearing them. This does make total sense, if I was using extra effort to make my eyes focus and causing tension then I was likely also tensing my jaw in my efforts to stare at screens and pages for as long as I generally do.

    The next couple of months are kind of looming out in front of me like shadows of uncertainty. Logically, I know that moving house is not going to be that big of a deal, I’ll have help and eventually I’ll be in a place that I can really settle into and customise. But, you know, if anxiety responded well to logic then stress levels around the world wouldn’t be what they are.

    I’m trying to treat the anxiety as just anxiety so that it doesn’t grow into problems that I begin to believe are huge. Anxiety is just looping signals in my brain, it’s not actually the problems that it pretends to be.

    Getting past this ditch in my physical health should help me continue to get more effective at this. When I can get my body to feel better, my mind often follows and vice versa.

    Coping has been taking up all of my time lately. I very much want to get back to feeling productive and creative again, however I need to balance that in with still taking care of me as I build my strength back up.

    I honestly can’t tell you what I will do to stay sane over the next few weeks on wobbly ground. Right now, I honestly can’t tell you what I will do to stay sane for the rest of the day. I expect that it will include some exercise though, stretching, definitely some Feldenkrais and a whole lot of letting go of unhelpful thought patterns.

    Love & Life Bites,
    Caf

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