What gift(s) have you received from your particular mind-body illness?
For me, migraines provided escape. If I was feeling overwhelmed by life, a migraine gave me a reason to go to bed and stay there awhile. I was able to avoid facing whatever it was that felt like “too much.” Having a migraine gave me a valid excuse to be alone.
Though the answers to this question are varied and nuanced, I’ve come across some common themes in my work with clients.
Acupuncture. Chiropractic adjustments. Massage. Diets designed to heal various maladies.
What do all these have in common when viewed through the Mind Body Syndrome lens?
For chronic symptoms, they are only as good as the inner awareness we bring to the table.
Resources are the experiences, people and things that make us feel connected and cared for. When life feels bleak we turn to these resources, and resiliency blossoms. We develop an inner knowing that the challenging circumstances of our lives, past or present, do not define who we are. Resources help us develop our capacity for positive experiences, while weakening the neural networks creating pain.
Relief. Amazement. Sadness. Anger. These were some of the emotions I felt when I realized the migraines and neck pain I’d had for years were caused by neuroplastic pain. I needed to be able to feel all this and more in order to begin healing.
Migraines and neck pain were part of my life for 20 years. Regular headaches morphed into frequent and intense migraines, until being a migraine sufferer was fused with my identity. Eventually, my life felt like a whittled down version of itself. Almost every decision I made was filtered through the lens of how it would affect my head. Exercise was severely limited—even a vigorous walk could trigger neck pain and a migraine. I became a detective searching for clues. What triggered the tightness in my neck and the feeling I’d been run over by a truck?
It’s that time of year again, when the darkness settles in and prepares to stay. Does this fill you with peace and contentment or do you dread the darkness and its companions: cold temperatures, gray skies and precipitation that keeps you inside for days at a time? What sensations do you feel in your body when you think about “dark and getting darker?”
A beautiful girl, about 8 or 9 years old, showed up in my dreams a few months ago. She walked right up to me and tugged on my arm excitedly. She didn’t speak but looked up into my eyes with yearning, wanting us to share the joy of whatever had just happened, seeming to ask, “Do you feel it? Do you understand the fun we just had? Do you get how it works?” It wasn’t clear what big adventure we’d been on in the dream, but as I looked into her eyes I DID feel it…and then the dream meandered on to other strange events.
“There has to be more.”
These were my words in a late night conversation with my oldest friend. They just popped out but I recognized their truth soon as I said them. Her face registered surprise as she asked what I meant. I wasn’t completely sure, but the feelings that came bubbling up were filled with restlessness and a lack of purpose. There were elements of my life that were satisfying, and I felt like it should have been enough. But the whisper from my soul telling me I wanted more was clear.
For the past number of years I have struggled to maintain a consistent exercise regimen. When I was younger, this was not a problem. I would sweat it out on the stair master or treadmill at the gym, and spend an hour lifting weights with the grunters. I’d roller blade at the beach with friends, go on runs through my neighborhood, or swim laps at the neighborhood pool. I thought of myself as a physically active person. I WAS a physically active person, and I assumed I always would be.
Hi, I'm Karol.
I help individuals facing TMS issues such as chronic migraine or fatigue release pain and get back to the activities they love. Using a mind-body approach that allows them to heal on a physical, emotional, and spiritual level I help them shift into seeing pain as a pathway to greater self-compassion, resilience and self-awareness. I help my clients come home to the wisdom they carry within.
Ready to get started?
Together, we will navigate your path, uncover the changes you’d like to make, and clear away the thought debris that gets in your way.