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Meet Kris Anne
A personal trainer and yoga instructor in CT. I struggled with pain symptoms years ago and these symptoms took everything from me. I could not longer do my job or live the life I was used to. I had multiple surgeries to correct various issues but the pain still remained. It wasn’t until I took a mind-body approach and began following the teachings of Dr. John Sarno that my symptoms began to dissipate. I was so used to chasing down a physical reason for my pain that shifting gears and using a mind-body approach to treat my pain was foreign at first. This was the beginning of my healing and I am so happy I was able to switch my mindset and gradually get my life back.
Tell me about your life while you were at the height of your pain experience.
My life revolved around physical therapy, doctors appointments, acupuncture treatments, chiropractic appointments, surgeries, pain meds…you name it. I was 30 years old and lived like I was 90. This was a far cry from the former athlete, group fitness instructor and personal trainer I was only a few short years prior. As the pain got worse, the more and more of my life I lost. I was in pain for nearly 7 years before I began to heal.
What finally changed?
Since I had lost everything in life, I knew I had to change or I wasn’t going to make it. As a last ditch effort, I started researching TMS (tension mysositis syndrome) theory and applied it to my life. I was young and needed to get my life back or my future was bleak. I also found myself saying “I used to be able to do that” and decided those were words I no longer cared to use. I decided I would get my physical health back and instead of saying “I used to…” I would be saying “I CAN!!”.
If you could share one thing that changed in your thinking and headed you in a new direction, what was it?
That I am not broken, fragile and incapable. I needed to block out the dire warnings that every little thing was going to hurt me, or knock me out of alignment or cause pain. I needed to push out the noise that I needed to be careful at every turn or my fragile (formerly healthy, strong athletic body) was going to crumble if I picked up a pencil wrong. I needed to try to make the connection between my feelings/emotions and my pain levels. I needed to trust that my body had the ability to heal and it would if I let it. I needed to completely overhaul my outlook on pain and constantly read, study, integrate anything that would keep my mindset on track.
What does life look like now?
My life is a complete 180 from what it was before. I am back to personal training and teaching fitness classes. I do whatever I want because I know that physical activity will not hurt me and that I am strong, healthy and capable. I still have some issues but they are background noise at this point. I just don’t give the remaining issues any attention or power in my life anymore and for this reason they stay in line. If I were to focus on them and let them control me (like I used to) I would be right back to square one. Life is good and I do whatever I want because I know that I am ok. It feels GREAT to be free from the constant constraints and fear of chronic pain!!
What do you want others experiencing pain to know?
I want others to know that there is more of a link between mindset and pain levels then we realize. That emotions, beliefs, etc. play a HUGE role in how we heal and if we get better. If you think of yourself as broken… you will be broken. If you think of yourself as strong and capable, you will be strong and capable. The mind and the body are far more interconnected than we may think!!
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