Updated: Nov 21, 2018
It has been just over 2 years since I thought I was the female version of Superman.
It was only a fleeting moment of borderline stupidity but it had a profound effect on my ability to be me.
Throwing my 44 year old self onto a 20 x 10 foot ‘cushion’ that formed part of an inflatable water park was not my finest moment. Wanting to show my 6 year old daughter that ‘Mum could be fun in the water too’ was admirable but probably ill conceived given that I had waved goodbye to my former extremely sporty self some 7 years previously when morning sickness kicked in.
And so, here I am, having received numerous forms of physical therapy, scans and medical consultations yet still harbouring a niggling shoulder injury that, until recently, would absolutely NOT leave the building.
Over that period my injury has hindered my ability to work, to play with my daughter, to engage in sport. I even had to give up a new but burgeoning interest in yoga which by all accounts should have helped. Even Tai Chi was quite uncomfortable for a while.
Sleep deprivation from the pain imitated those first long months of motherhood we would all rather forget and I became quite sedentary, frustrated and emotional at times because I couldn’t do much around the house when it was me that usually held all that stuff together.
On top of that, my self image was really messed about with and all because of a downright daft leap into the air.
On a positive note, each complementary therapy I have introduced has gently edged me on a slow and steady path of improvement but I admit, that still nothing has seemed to nudge me completely over the brow of the hill....YET.
I have no doubt that having been desk bound for the greater part of 25 years of my working life with a mouse steadily forming an attachment to my right hand has had a significant influence on my shoulders stubborn stronghold on the word “no”.
Interestingly to me, but apparently less so to the medical world, during this time, I have moved steadily into another phase of the female lifecycle....perimenopause.
The application of my knowledge of human health and nutrition to managing my personal perimenopause experience has highlighted the fact that being female is playing a significant part in the shoulder story as well. Observing and analysing the frenetic peaks and troughs of hormonal surges has enabled me to recognise a pattern of sorts and to implement some dietary and supplemental changes that are finally bringing things under a little more control.
Even more interesting is the fact that improvement in my shoulder pain came when I began to accept the injury as something transitory that I could learn from, rather than seeing it as a burden I was having to carry.
Being able to recognise the link between right shoulder pain, liver detoxification pressure, oestrogen surges and mood changes is not necessarily a skill unique to me but it is a skill that is limited to a few, in my experience. Being able to recognise this and similar such links is a skill that has arisen out of my personal and professional experiences, learnings and interests to date.
(Amputating the mouse/trackpad from my right hand is going to take more detailed analysis and some serious planning as I am most definitely not an ambidextrous Superwoman. That said, my plans to excise it are already underway...)
My point here is that we all have very personal influences on our wellbeing. For me, those influences involve how well I metabolise and detoxify oestrogen and it’s effect on mood, concentration, inflammation, pain and joint function. (Look out for a future post on oestrogen's effects and the joys of being female!)
In finding our path to optimum wellbeing it is important that we can engage with professionals who will listen not just to the words we say that fit with their own area of expertise, but people who can acknowledge the potential for influence from things outside of their current level of experience. We need professionals who can take a look at the bigger picture and know when there could be other influences we could tackle that might improve our success.
I like to think I can do that in my consultations, and that I continue to do so on an ongoing basis. I aim not to hold on to my clients but to keep them progressing on their path to optimum wellbeing and contentment. My focus is to be a super-listener. To make sure that I can hear their story, not just the words I currently understand.
I take great interest in considering the wider view whilst being able to drill down to the detail in my areas of expertise. If I feel there is another therapy that is likely to progress you on your path more quickly than I can, you can be assured I will send you nicely on your way (with the promise that you can always come back to me for a review at a later date of course).
If you would like me to consider the bigger picture with you, against the backdrop of a solid understanding of human health, nutrition and emotion, get in touch.
Two heads could well be better than one and I promise not to suggest any huge leaps...!