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Showing posts with label rehabilitation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label rehabilitation. Show all posts

Wednesday, 11 December 2019

It’s back. And wrists and ankles and hips.

I had a period of about three months where my pain was all but gone. It happened after a break up that seems had been perpetuating issues and patterns from my childhood. He’s not a bad guy, he just wasn’t great for me. Or, he was, in terms of how much I learned about myself while we were together. I digress.

My body seems prone to side effects of medications, and I’ve had some of those get worse over the course of this year. Since my pain had started dissipating and stressors had changed, the doc and I made a change to my meds. Aaaand the pain started coming back. I now seem to have tendonitis in my wrists, ankles, knees and hips, and from today, in my SIJ. The link with the medication is my (and my physio’s) guess. It may also be because I haven’t been using the same cannabis treatment. I’ll keep you posted. It may be in five months time when the blog urge peaks again, or it may be in four weeks time once I’ve, a) Started on CBD tablets again, and, b) Gone back onto old meds if the CBD doesn’t help.

In the meantime, I’m staying positive, because CBT (Cognitive behavioural therapy - read here) does have its place, and because I’ve attained two new clients who are/ have been going through the same autoimmune/ chronic pain ordeal that I slogged through, and I cannot tell you what a massive difference it makes to have people around you who understand. Me for them, but so much them for me, too. If you guys are reading this, thank you :)

Fibromyalgia Treatment (2)
JUST FOUND THIS AMAZING ARTICLE ON FIBROMYALGIA!! And it has a cool picture, too.

Also this picture from here about fibromyalgia. It isn't just one thing.
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New concepts

So, turned out that LETTING GO of some of the 'baggage' that I was holding on to actually had a massive impact on my pain levels. A LOT of therapy had gotten me to start realising and dealing with childhood stuff, and then some alternative healing sessions got me to a space of actually letting go of said issues, and then my pain all but vanished. For a while (but more on that here).Image result for yoga quotes
(update to New words)

So, turned out that LETTING GO of some of the ‘baggage’ that I was holding on to actually had a massive impact on my pain levels. A LOT of therapy had gotten me to start realising and dealing with childhood stuff, and then some alternative healing sessions got me to a space of actually letting go of said issues, and then my pain all but vanished. For a while (but more on that here).

Insert new word:



Well, not new, really. Just a very necessary clarification.

Psychosomatic means that there is a link between mind and body (I love my ‘business’s’ name), but it doesn’t mean that any pain experienced as a result of stress is in the person’s head. It is, in the sense that all pain is an interpretation of stimuli by the brain, but it isn’t in the sense of being ‘made up’. I struggled with that for YEARS. I had specialists (the ones who charge R1600 for half an hour ‘consultations’) tell me to go to therapy for my lower back pain. Yes, CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) has its place in pain management, especially in learning to cope with chronic pain, but it isn’t going to heal your pain, because the pain isn’t all in your head, it isn’t made up. And only if you’ve been in that situation would you understand how frustrating and infuriating it is to be told that. And to have to pay that much to be told that crap.



This can all sound contradictory, I know. And it took me a long time (about four years from the first real ‘sign’) to admit and acknowledge just how strong the link between mind (in this case mainly chronic stress) and body (chronic lower back pain) is. It seems that having dealt with past stress and having let go of situations that were perpetuating that helped my brain let go of the overwhelming pain stimuli. I still have degeneration in my lumbar spine. I still have arthritis in several joints. The autoimmune stuff is still there. Stress had a physical effect on my body. The physical effects were triggered by psychological issues, but I have not made up the pain, I did not consciously decide or choose to be in pain, and I cannot just ‘let it go’ or ‘get over it’.

*deep breath*

Years of CBT has helped me get up in the mornings, and years of psychotherapy has gotten me to a point where I can acknowledge and let go of shit. And that has helped me to retrain my brain to not over react to pain stimuli. It took YEARS of work. As for the psychosomatic side, stress caused physical harm to my body*.

So if you come across someone who’s experiencing chronic pain, be nice to them, k? Thanks.



*derived from a process of elimination, with no other possible explanation besides, perhaps, an unknown/ undiagnosed autoimmune disease (most of which are still impossible to diagnose properly, and the etiology of which is vastly unknown


Image result for yoga quotes
Dunno who said this initially, but it rings too true
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Friday, 6 December 2019

About Celeste

My fascination with the human body started in high school when I developed and recovered from an eating disorder. I did my undergraduate degree in Dietetics at Pretoria University where I then started to develop an interest in the psychology behind eating. As I started with my postgraduate Masters degree at University of Cape Town I was introduced to Yoga (thanks, Mom!) and my passion for movement took off. I was immediately hooked, and delved into the connections between the body, the mind, and movement. I did both my 200-hour and 500-hour advanced teacher training courses at the Wellness Connection in Hout Bay, under the incredible guidance of Catherine Wilkinson. The strong focus on anatomy and alignment from both of these courses blends perfectly with my Pilates teacher training qualification, which I use to help clients with rehabilitation from injuries, as well as building up appropriate strength to avoid injury in more advanced yoga asana.

My fascination with the human body started in high school when I developed and recovered from an eating disorder. I did my undergraduate degree in Dietetics at Pretoria University where I then started to develop an interest in the psychology behind eating. As I started with my postgraduate Masters degree at University of Cape Town I was introduced to Yoga (thanks, Mom!) and my passion for movement took off. I was immediately hooked, and delved into the connections between the body, the mind, and movement. I did both my 200-hour and 500-hour advanced teacher training courses at the Wellness Connection in Hout Bay, under the incredible guidance of Catherine Wilkinson. The strong focus on anatomy and alignment from both of these courses blends perfectly with my Pilates teacher training qualification, which I use to help clients with rehabilitation from injuries, as well as building up appropriate strength to avoid injury in more advanced yoga asana.

The balance, peace, and harmony that comes with a regular yoga practise has been invaluable in my own life

I approach yoga with quite a bit of playfulness and lightness, with the aim of letting go of any seriousness, strain, or competitiveness that hinders the development and evolution of your yoga practise. The balance, peace, and harmony that comes with a regular yoga practise has been invaluable in my own life, and I wish to pass that on to all of those whom I have the pleasure of teaching. I enjoy combining elements of various yoga styles, but emphasise correct placement and posture in each asana, specifically to prevent injury, but also to help each yogi to achieve poses to the very best of their abilities. My interest in alignment emphasis stems from my own injuries, which have, retrospectively, been my greatest teachers. Not just for myself, but also in terms of how I approach and see other bodies, and my capability of understanding and guiding people through whatever it is that they are going through – be it good or bad.

The knowledge, experience and talents that I have to offer makes me greatly suited to guiding and educating any body to a better, more balanced body, mind and lifestyle.

Qualifications & experience

  • B Dietetics (TUKS)
  • MSc (Med) specialising in Dietetics (UCT)
  • Trained in Nutrition counselling for disordered eating
  • Advanced 200 and Advanced 500-hour Yoga Alliance certified yoga instructor (10 years of practice and 6 years teaching experience)
  • Certified 200-hour Yoga Teacher Trainer (5 years of teacher training experience)
  • Certified Pilates Mat instructor (6 years teaching experience)
  • Movement rehabilitation (4 years experience)
  • Certified Aerial Yoga instructor
  • Certified Yin Yoga instructor
  • Massage therapist (5 years experience

If you'd like to hear more of my ramblings about my life with yoga, check out some of my recent blog posts!

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Tuesday, 5 December 2017

The bright side of pain

Sigh. The past two weeks have been horrid. Or, at least, the pain has been horrid. Which kind of makes the day horrid. Which makes a week horrid. I'm sure you get the picture.

I am, once again, on the verge of being diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylosis (Ooh! I found out: spondylosis refers to the disease state, while spondylitis refers to the inflammatory flare, or specifically to the inflammation of the joints). My most recent scan shows severe inflammation in my lumbar spine, and, to a lesser degree, in my cervical spine, hips, SI joints, and knees. On top of that, I've been in a wrist brace to immobilise my wrist, so that it hopefully heals from an injury that I sustained two months ago, whilst ice skating. Or, more accurately, whilst falling, while ice skating :-p



On meeting a new client, I explained to her about my injuries (I had the brace on and she asked), and I also explained to her that, while several of my injuries are yoga related, I feel that that has contributed to making me a better teacher. My non-yoga related injuries have done the same in the sense that I know very well what to look out for, how to modify, and when to back down. I realised, while explaining this to my client, that being a chronic pain sufferer myself, puts me in a unique position to relate to people in similar situations. I know from experience that no amount of explaining or empathy can fully reveal what someone in chronic pain is experiencing, so it's super useful to have an instructor who already knows first-hand what you're likely experiencing.

While my pain and awareness of injuries may make me a little hyper cautious, I have overcome so much in the process of dealing with my own pain that I have grown my determination and confidence in my ability to help others with the same problems. Coupled with my thorough understanding of anatomy, I help people get into those show-off-y yoga poses too. Because I'm a pretty awesome yoga instructor, for people on a broad spectrum of levels and abilities.

And that is my bright side of pain!

Laughter is the best medicine. As is movement.



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Friday, 27 October 2017

New words

Some of my clients, and all of my friends, are aware of my ongoing struggle with pain. Again something that I'll probably go into in more detail as time goes by, but, for now, I thought I'd share a little bit of my current frustration with you.

Fibromyalgia: widespread pain that is present for at least three months; must occur on both sides of the body, above and below the waist, and along the length of the spine. There must be pain in at least eleven of eighteen specific points in the body.


I've been diagnosed with fibromyalgia. It's still largely a mystery to  health professionals, and used to be used as a I-don't-know-what-is-wrong-with-you-so-let's-diagnose-you-with-this thing. There have been some advances in the understanding of fibromyalgia, like, they can now prove the brain involvement with special MRI scans which would show that the brain perceives pain differently in someone with, as opposed to without the condition. Essentially your body becomes hypersensitive to pain.

The average person takes five years to be diagnosed. This is seriously painful... in more ways than one; going for that long without knowing what is causing your often constant discomfort, having no treatment for it, and usually being told to just 'get over it', is awful.

Because fibromyalgia is still a relatively new diagnosis, and because it's such a vast disorder (symptoms vary from pain in specific tender points of the body, to IBS, to insomnia, to depression), it is often misdiagnosed (for approximately five years). Similar symptoms appear in Rheumatoid arthritis, polymyalgia Rheumatica, Lyme disease, restless leg syndrome (aka Willis-Ekbom disease 😳), ankylosing spondylitis, chronic fatigue syndrome, systemic lupus erythematosus, major depression, thyroid disorders, myofascial pain syndrome, and multiple chemical sensitivity... If you understood all or most of those names, then you're either a well-trained physician, or you've been through the diagnoses wars.

If you're the latter, then my heart goes out to you. I feel your pain. And I wish you a speedy diagnosis, and a very wonderful and friendly doctor that understands your pain, too.

So far, smiling, laughing, and playing around as much as possible has been my best medicine. Doing (and sometimes teaching) yoga helps me to deal with the constant bugging annoyance of pain. Testing my limits every day, to see where my body is at, and, MOST importantly, listening when my body really just needs to rest, even if I feel like I'm just being a lazy poop, or like I'm over-reacting to the pain.









K, I've had enough of talking and typing about pain for now. So, my leaving message: just be kind to your body, dammit. And smile.



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