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I'm Thinking Outside The Box- Anxiety/Back Pain

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  • I'm Thinking Outside The Box- Anxiety/Back Pain

    I have two major complaints in life: severe back pain, and anxiety.

    The back pain stems from trauma-induced scoliosis. I also have arthritis in my neck and lumbar area.

    The anxiety has always been around. As those with anxiety know, one of the fun parts of anxiety is the muscle tightening. Which feels absolutely wonderful when you already have back problems.

    Lately, I've had a lot of back pain. Which has made me anxious. Which has made the back pain worse.

    I have tried medication for both conditions to some benefit. Unfortunately, I am very sensitive to medication, so even the best options left me dizzy, disoriented, and for lack of a better descriptor, high as a kite. I have tried about two dozen types of meds in different dosages and combinations over the past decade. Four different doctors, three different counselors, and a weird shifting cast of support groups.

    I started a regimen of chiro, nutrition changes, Pilates-based physical therapy, exercise, whole-food supplements, and vibration therapy. There were several therapists involved, and I liked most of them, but it was hard having to explain things over and over. Then I changed jobs, which took me out of range for those folks.

    So I started chiro at a new place that promised the same things- instead of relief, they gave me a whole lot of grief. And migraines. And muscle cramps. And on days of "treatment," I'd have huge panic attacks out of nowhere. As in, "boy, I'm enjoying this sandwich... OH GOD I'M DYING."

    Needless to say, I quit going there.

    After doing some research, I've made an appointment for a Cranio/Sacro Treatment tomorrow with a Reiki healer and counselor. All one person, so I don't have to have a roomful of people, or explain the same thing several times.

    Am I making another stupid decision in my healing path, or does this have a chance of helping me? Anyone have experience with CST or Reiki? My gut tells me this is a better decision than a lot that I have made, but I'm not sure what to expect.

  • #2
    Craniosacral is awesome! It's all about working with the body to make small, seemingly subtle changes that make a BIG difference.

    Also, try massage. Not Massage Envy or a spa, but a certified medical massage therapist. (Or at least someone who advertises themselves as a medical massage therapist / chronic pain relief specialist, etc.)

    Obviously, they won't be able to fix/cure your scoliosis, but they CAN help you relax (which helps with the anxiety disorder) help with your muscle cramps, and generally help you feel better.

    If you have any more questions about CST feel free to pm me!


    • #3
      I've got some extreme back pain associated with a major accident I had several years. I recently started going to a chiropractor paired with a Reiki massage therapist.
      So far I haven't seen a lot of results, however I've only been there twice and I figure that they've done something because I am having some stiffness/soreness in my back and body (which is apparently normal/good as the body goes back to a "proper" state).


      • #4
        Ugh, I can relate with the anxiety/muscle tightness. Every time I get anxious/cry at ALL, my entire body tenses up and my jaw locks. Hello, TMJ.
        I find that my body is tense pretty much all day. Anytime I try to pay attention to it, im tense.

        I'll definitely try some of the ideas in this thread. Im sure my horses dont love when we're trying to have a nice hack and my body is rock hard because im so tense.
        Charlie Brown (1994 bay TB X gelding)
        White Star (2004 grey TB gelding)

        Mystical Moment, 1977-2010.


        • Original Poster


          Ok. So I did the CST/Reiki.

          It was AMAZING.

          I think it helped more with my anxiety than the pain, but here's the funny part- once I stopped being so anxious and clenching so hard... the pain released as well. I have had ZERO back spasms since my appointment Wednesday night.

          We had to have a rather intense, long session because I wasn't releasing the way the therapist needed me to. Apparently my body was holding on tight to some serious pain.

          Since my session, I have been more relaxed, more fluid in movement, more aware, slept better, and been able to articulate myself better. A lot of this, I think, is due to the fact that I'm not a giant ball of anxiety.

          SO. From my perspective, definitely recommend.


          • Original Poster

            Originally posted by Time Bomb View Post
            I am having some stiffness/soreness in my back and body (which is apparently normal/good as the body goes back to a "proper" state).
            Yes, this is a good sign. I hate to say it, but it's probably going to get worse. When I had my first round of chiro/rehab, there was a point towards the beginning where I couldn't walk due to the muscles protesting. I literally waddled/shuffled everywhere. With physical therapy and the vibration/massage, though, the muscles were able to relax into their new position and gain strength, so that I could walk upright.

            It did not happen overnight, though, but once it did, it was magical. I was able to run a mile for the first time in my life without pain, and stack hay for hours, and ride with a nice open frame, instead of clenching into everything. My horse had time off while I was rehabbing, and when I rode him for the first time, he decided to try me by getting behind my leg and giving a few cow kicks. He quickly discovered that I had come back stronger than ever.


            • #7
              I just sent you a private message. You need to read Dr Sarno's book Healing Back pain. You have already made the connection that your anxiety is making your back pain worse. It is called TMS (Tension Myositis Syndrome).
              I get TMS also, but I now know how to get rid of it in a matter of minutes and I no longer have pain.


              • #8
                I love Cranial/Sacral work!!
                Being in massage school right now I get to see all sides to bodywork and this has been one that really sparked an interest for me. One of my instructors is certified in cranial/sacral and done some sessions with me. For what seemed like little work actually done I got HUGE results.
                I am glad to hear that you have found the same thing for your own body.

                Hopefully with a few more sessions your therapist can get your pain to decrease more and help your back. Sounds like you found a good one, and I am sure if they think that your back needs another form of therapy they will refer you to the appropriate person.
                Free and Forward Motion through Massage Therapy


                • #9
                  What actually happened with the Reiki? My ex-brother-in-law claimed to do it, but when he tried it on my mom, he just waved his hands around.


                  • #10
                    I've been going to a chiropractor who does some Reiki massage type stuff. I absolutely love it, I feel so good after the treatments and I feel very refreshed. My back is definitely getting much better, I can actually stand up for a half of a day now without pain (before I could only last 5 minutes). My chiropractor is wonderful, it's definitely a highlight to my week when I get to go in.


                    • #11
                      additional possibilities

                      cranial is good if you get a good practitioner; you should also try osteopathic manipulation and acupuncture
                      breeder of Mercury!

                      remember to enjoy the moment, and take a moment to enjoy and give God the glory for these wonderful horses in our lives.BECAUSE: LIFE is What Happens While Making Other Plans


                      • #12

                        check out Feldenkrais, also
                        breeder of Mercury!

                        remember to enjoy the moment, and take a moment to enjoy and give God the glory for these wonderful horses in our lives.BECAUSE: LIFE is What Happens While Making Other Plans