It took me a long time to say this out loud. It wasn’t really noticeable at first, just a small patch of rough, waxy skin on my left cheek. Now, as of 7 years later (2013), this autoimmune disease has spread, hardened, and deeply compacted the whole left side of my cheek into my mandible. The best I can describe it is a sort-of-4th-degree-burn-scar-tissue-like-situation in this area. And it’s still going. Like the damn Energizer Bunny, this thing.
The consequences of this physical transformation, well, for lack of a better word, they just suck. The thickening and atrophy of the muscles has resulted in my jaw continually spasming, causing me to bite my cheeks and tongue (this is the reason for me often sporting my clear mouthguard). As the disease spreads, it painfully locks down everything in it's path making it feel as though the soft tissues are being pulled from their osseous attachments (they are). Scleroderma also gives me the gift of concrete joints on many days and complete exhaustion on others. Yup, it’s as fun as it sounds. The good news is, I’m in the business of ameliorating, if not eliminating, funky body afflictions. Isn't it interesting how the world works?
It has literally taken me blood, sweat, tears, and HELP from outside sources to learn how to live well both emotionally and physically with this affliction. And not just well, I’m thriving and very happy! I was able to draw from all my different avenues of education (as well as learn new things) to find tools that help me achieve a healthy body and sound mind. Not to mention, how to have fun and feel empowered while I do it!
It’s true that I’ve had to change some things in order to achieve the quality of life I desire. But in the end, it’s been worth every moment of vulnerability, discomfort, and occasional failure. I’m coming out the other side stronger than I went in.
I'm still not always 100% comfortable with saying that I have Scleroderma, but the more I work with what I’ve got, the more comfortable I am in my special skin and the more prepared I feel to enjoy life each day.
This, along with my education and experience, is why I get many referrals from the medical community in Southern California. I have the background knowledge, personal context, and an intimate appreciation of the effort involved when attempting to live well in the face of pain and/or a nasty disease.
I work with many autoimmune and chronic illnesses as well as varying medical conditions including, but not limited to:
*Sciatica and/or Piriformis Syndrome
*General Back Pain
*Pre and Post-Surgical Rehabilitation
*Other Physical Issues Associated with Aging
Using my unique set of somatic skills, I’ve had loads of success helping my clients find their balance (literally and figuratively) to elevate their quality of life. I customize effective personalized strategies that will improve, increase, and enhance:
*Functional Movement Capabilities
*Spinal Organization, Coordination, and Posture
*Balance and Proprioception (Body Awareness)
*Dexterity, Flexibility, and Joint Range of Motion
*Muscular Strength and Endurance
*Cardiovascular Strength and Endurance
*Stress Management and Breathing Exercises
*Mind Body Connection