My chronic back injury (on and off for my adult life) has played a huge role in my quality of life and the shaping of my choices. At 32 years old, going on 33, I am sooooo ready to allow my back to NOT be a deciding factor in the way I shape my life.
dance instructor, choreographer, dancer, the injuries in their many
forms have been hard psychologically as well as physically. How do I do what I do when I can't move?
Of course, we all live with things. Some people have addictions, some
people fight their weight, some fight anxiety or depression, some are
faced with learning disabilities or family obligations. The point is we
all have "stuff" to deal with, and mine has most recently been my back
I had been going to a chiropractor whom I
really like and who has been very helpful in relieving my acute symptoms
(immediate horrible pain). But, I wanted to explore something else. What if the pain never returned? What if my "back issues" became a non-thing?
Enter CFR. . .
I was referred by my chiropractor to a physical therapist who practices a technique called Cortical Field Re-education
or CFR. It is a method of very, very simple movement explorations as a
means of waking up the entire body to its movement potential. It
focuses on the point of initiation and then the sequential paths to an
action. In my case my entire mid and upper torso was frozen and shut
down. My brain had shut off its awareness and sensation of the entire
area in order to protect it at some point. Thus, my low back has been
working overtime to compensate. Poor lower back! You were just trying to
help me out!
After the first session I had, I felt
completely disoriented and had a lot of discomfort and some pain in my
low back, but I also noticed my mid back for the first time in years. I
could feel the slightest twisting as I walked. My brain was waking up
to my body.
I went into my second session in acute
pain. I made the personal commitment that I would not trigger my
symptoms for the duration of the 1 1/2 hour lesson. I moved VERY slowly
and very small. But, at the end of the session, I was symptom free.
Meaning I could walk, sit and lie down without symptoms-- if I was
careful and didn't follow old patterns of overuse. This is when CFR
The third session was a continued
exploration of what I could do and how I could move without pain. I
found it so interesting and rewarding to move my body with the single
goal of being pain free. I am so trained from dance to "do the movement
right" that I felt great relief in being able to move without
My most recent CFR
experience was just on Saturday. It was a day-long intensive (8 hours).
We worked through incredible twists, and shoulder openings and circles
of the ribcage and pelvis. My midback was howling by the end. It was
like I woke a monster that had been locked up for ages. The pain is not
terrible, but the soreness is real and surprisingly deep, not the type
you get from doing too many reps at the gym. It feels like I have wrung
out the deepest and most subtle muscles possible. And, my low back is
doing quite well. So. . .
I'm sticking with it.
Because, I want to know what it is like to make my life decisions without
the chatter of my back telling me what I can and can't do.
If you are interested in more of the scientific and nitty gritty info on CFR you can go to this general website. But I prefer my practitioner's website which I found very informative and easy to follow.