My Birth Story: Part 1 Pregnancy
So truthfully, the actual pregnancy for me was pretty uneventful. Now the fact that I was actually pregnant came as a shock. After being told a few months prior that my body wouldn’t be ready for another 5 to 10 years, I was pretty shocked. 4 pregnancy tests to confirm shocked. You know, science, you need multiple tests to confirm statistical significance that the positive readings were indeed positive. (sarcasm).
Anyways, I didn’t have much morning sickness, no throwing up except for when I got the stomach virus and ended up in the ER. Go big or go home. My second and third trimesters were equally as uneventful. I continued to teach, go to school and do my clinical rotation all the way up until the weekend I was due….something I whole heartedly would do again in a heartbeat. I think it kept me active, mind in a good place, and goals for moving forward. I had the stress of fighting to stay in school, but I’m thankful for the many voices of support, encouragement and advice that I received.
Nothing really happened until week 38. Up until then my doctor would just say how great baby and I were doing and how everything was going perfectly. She mentioned she thought this baby would be littler from the beginning seeing as I was fit and not exactly very big either. But then 38 weeks hit and she told us she wanted to order a growth scan to make sure the baby was getting enough nutrients and that he was growing. Ok, great….kinda worried us, but I knew he was growing as I could tell just from my size and body changing plus how active baby was.
I had previously told her that I wanted a natural birth, no episiotomy (something she was known for doing without asking), and labor at home as much as possible. I told her due to an antibiotic allergy, IV fluids weren’t wanted either as sometimes they like to mix those in as well. I remember her saying “well I hope we can give you as close to that kind of birth as we can but you never know.” I remember saying with my healthy history it was very important to me and that I wanted the baby to come naturally without any interventions unless extreme circumstances arise. She said sure. My gut was yelling at me even at that time.
Then she told us week 39 appointment that baby is 8% weight of normal weight and needs to be induced by Friday…the night before my due date. When I asked her why, she said because anything under 10% they induce and my amniotic fluid was low. I looked at the results myself and saw that the radiologist said it was decreasing…which happens naturally as you move toward labor…and that the 8% was an average of all American babies born. So naturally I began to question being induced as the heart rate was great, scan scored 8/8, and contraction to heart rate recordings were perfect. Then after then test, she calls me on the phone and still pressed for me to induce Friday, saying my baby was in danger.
I asked her why would we be inducing before the due date and why couldn’t I wait until after the due date to consider the induction with everything going ok. That is when she said she didn’t want my baby to die in the womb.
My reaction to what she said was controlled …however, I was steaming inside. WTF….Just not abbreviated and with more colorful words after that. This woman had the nerve to tell me my baby would die if I didn’t induce… I told her as politely as I could that I would be discussing it with my husband and I wouldn’t make my decision until then.
I called her Thursday, (I remember the day because I made myself wait a few days before talking to her as I didn’t wanna completely go off on her as upset as I was), and told her I would not be there Friday for an induction but would set up one for Monday in case. She reluctantly agreed.
Monday rolls around, and to my displeasure, no baby. It isn’t like I didn’t try literally everything possible to try to induce naturally, cause if I read it might help, I tried it let me tell you. Jumping, squats, walking, massage, acupuncture, chiro, stairs, tea, spicy food, etc etc etc…..I tried it.
So I called Monday morning and scheduled scans to see how baby was doing. Again, 8/8 on scans and heart rate with contractions were perfect. My heart was so happy, I felt like this burden of forced labor was lifted because my baby was ok. I was told I could be “stretched to a one” dilation and they striped my membranes.
Then my doctor walks in and tells me my baby is still 8% weight and the umbilical cord was included 95% and my baby wasn’t getting enough oxygen and my placenta wasn’t going to support him…..
I was heart broken and terrified.
See I knew all the risks with induction. I knew the C section rates, the stress it places on the baby and I, and all the studies coming out about OBs forcing moms to have planned labors. And yet she was telling me my baby boy was dying in my womb, not getting enough oxygen or nutrients from the cord or placenta… I was even told by a confidential source that my OB SCHEDULES INCUDTIONS ON PURPOSE AT 39 WEEKS WITH ALL OF HER PATEINTS.
What do you do with that? My mind knew the stats, knew the motives, knew the facts. But my heart had heard my baby was dying inside me. My heart heard that my body was again failing m and was now failing to support my baby. I felt had no choice but to do what she said. So, with Alex sitting next to me, I called my doula and let her know what we would be having to do…and that was that.
I was told to sleep, eat, etc….. there was no way. I was being forced to do something I knew deep down wasn’t needed, yet that was my new reality. Screw my natural birth plan, screw peace, screw my body’s intuition…it was out the window with any control I felt I had.
Labor and the Truth:
I know I am posting this story late. I wanted to be as honest as possible with this whole birth story, so I wanted to make sure all my interactions with my OB were done and that I had time to process. I haven’t stopped being angry everything I think about my story, maybe someday. Because I want people to learn from my story. Learn from my mistakes. Learn from my experience.
Some might not think my birth story is traumatic....that's ok. But for me it was.
Monday night Alex and I walked into Bailey Medial. I hadn’t slept. I had been stressfully trying to induce labor all weekend and crying all day. But I couldn’t sleep. Or eat much for that matter. I felt sick walking into the hospital. I felt forced and I felt terrified.
One thing about induction is it takes away all freedom. Freedom to move. Freedom to choose things. Freedom to eat. Freedom to walk out of the 10 yard hallway of the L&D. All gone. Here’s an IV in your arm and monitors around your waist, enjoy. You get a 3 foot of cord and that’s your leash unless you want to pee. Then you get to call a nurse, be waddled over to the restroom, pee, then right back in bed. If you know me….it’s like my living hell.
Anyways. I was hooked up and strapped in. I was given Cervilid, a drug to soften my uterus. Still at 1 cm by the way, my body hadn’t changed a bit. It wasn’t ready. But hey, that’s what drugs are for right? Let’s shove something up there. Funny fact, the nurse told me my doctor had a special type of Cervidil brought in from another hospital. No one knew why, they just knew it was the only one and she had never used it before. Great.
Side story: my nurses at Bailey were the best thing God ever give to me during my labor beside my family and my doula. One of them who was there for my first night (of 3) even told me she knew that this wasn’t what I wanted and she was sorry. But then she told me this: “I am going to do as much as I can to help you feel like you have more control over what’s going on. Tell me if you feel you need anything ill see if I can do it within protocol. I support natural birth and I know how important it is to you. I’m here to do what I can. I am sorry this happening but soon your baby will be in the world, take heart in that”. That meant so much.
So. After one hell of a first night in the hospital (no sleep, contractions starting, constantly being monitored and readings taken), they started the Pitocin at 8am. Pitocin is drug to help contractions begin or increase, therefore inducing the patient into labor. They started me on a low dose and upped it by 2 every hours all day long. Another few things about Pitocin is that it makes contractions more intense….so it is more painful, more intense, and just overall more sucky as you can’t move more than your leash allows. Also, the thing that really worried me, Pitocin can place stress on the baby. My worry was if my baby was actually dying then the drug would cause his heart rate to go to dangerous levels or that my body would reject it like it tends to with many drugs.
They checked my cervix and inserted a Foley bulb (think of a water balloon up where the sun doesn’t shine, sounds fun right?) to help with the dilation. We did this because…guess what, still at 1 cm even after the Cervidil. Sure it wasn’t the dilator but most women at least respond to it a little bit. Me, no, my body wasn’t ready.
During the morning my doctor came in and told me something that… I will never forget. “Alright! Let’s have a baby! Now don’t worry, try to relax and we will take our time getting this boy out. We will start the Pitocin and you never know how long it will take so just settle in! I have a feeling I will see you tomorrow!” WTF…………………….. You tell me my son is dying in my womb, then you tell me to relax and that you are going to take your time….which is it? Is my son dying or are you just getting a scheduled birth? I got so mad…..I’m proud I didn’t punch or cuss out anyone, but it was going down in my mind alright. I might be a yoga teacher….but in that moment there was no thoughts of love, zen, or peace.
So from 9 until about 2pm, I labored with intense contraction, increasing Pitocin and my water balloon. I used an exercise ball and swaying next to my bed to help me not go completely crazy and to help work through the pain. At 2, the bulb fell out (it is supposed to) and I was told I was at a 4! Ok! I thought alright, this is good, progress, maybe this will actually work! Haha o you silly girl.
Around 5pm, my nurse came in and told me that my doctor had called and left instructions to take me off of Pitocin for the night. She said the doctor wanted me to get a sandwich to eat, take a shower and that they would put me back on the Pitocin at a steady state level of 4 all night and then ramp it back up every 30 mins the next day.
I asked why they were wanting me to take a break if my baby needed to be out now. The nurse could only reply that the doctor wanted to give me a little break. She didn’t seem concerned about this 8% bodyweight and cord that she was telling me would kill my baby. Ok then..
So I ate a Chick fil a wrap, grabbed a shower, was told I would need to be back in bed by 9pm which turned out to be 8:30pm so before I knew it, I was back in bed hooked up to drugs.
That night……sucked monkey balls. There’s no way I can say that kinder. It sucked; night two of no sleep, lots of pain, headache, and lightheadness. I remember ripping off my blood pressure cuff monitor and my nurse comes storming in. I told her if she put it back on, I’d rip it off again. I told her to give me at least a few moments to use the restroom in peace. She waited right outside the door as I was crying for a good 10 minutes in the bathroom, long enough for her to ask me to come out a few times.
The next morning, I was in so much pain, tired, in pain, hungry and dizzy, I told Alex I was scared I wouldn’t have enough strength to push.
I had wanted natural and well it was already everything but natural.
After waiting a few more hours, having them check me and finding I hadn’t dilated at all, I decided to get an epidural and have them break my water.
Epidural was placed after a few failed attempts due to my loving scoliosis and then the doctor came in and broke my water.
I fell asleep a few moments after for the best two hours of sleep I’ve ever had in my life. Alex said I didn’t more and was totally out. Can you blame me? I hadn’t slept and been in labor for over 35 hours already.
I woke up around 12:30pm and we found out I was fully dilated, effaced and just need to drop a bit more and I would be ready. Thank God. I remember looking at Alex and dopily saying “drugs were finally good for something, let’s do this thing!”
Alex took them saying everything was good to go, as that we were doing this right that second, so his 4 cups of coffee kicked into high gear. Poor guy soon found out we would need to wait a bit more before the show started haha.
By 1:15pm he had dropped and I started pushing. I had to figure out how to push to get progress. The way I was taught didn’t work. But pretty soon we started seeing progress when I held my breath. I knew this was dangerous but for the damage it would do to my body and my tendency to how low blood pressure. But I knew if I didn’t do something, I would be facing a C section.
So I pushed for 45 minutes, Alex feeding me ice, my doula encouraging me beside my ear and the nurse trying to coach me from my feet.
I need to take a moment to say how amazing my husband did. He was right there, never left me side, fed me ice chips, let me turn his hand blue from squeezing, rubbed my back, encouraged me, and never stopped. My doula was in my other ear telling me to breath, encouraging me throughout and giving my added support to push. Without them, it wouldn’t have been possible. I encourage anyone who is or will be giving birth to have a support system you can count on. It means and is the world.
Nurse told me to stop trying to push when baby’s head crowned because they needed to call the doctor and get her in there. I told her I would NOT be stopping pushing and that if my freakin doctor missed the window, she missed the window.
I was having this freakin baby. They told me to stop pushing to catch my breath….I was stubborn and kept pushing. Alex says my blood pressure tanked so bad a few times that he got worried. I’m glad I didn’t pass out.
At 2:15pm, Baby Ethan came into this world screaming with a set of lungs that rivals a 6 month old. 6 pounds 14 ounces of pure healthy baby boy.
I can’t describe the relief, surprise, love, happiness and so much more that I felt at that moment. Truthfully….yea I mean I had a whale size belly going on but you just don’t even realize to the scope of the fact that a living being is in you. Yes it kicks your ribs, slams your bladder and climbs your diaphragm….but nothing prepares you for seeing your baby come out and be handed into your arms.
And that’s what matters. My baby was in my arms.
So postpartum wise…….it has had it’s ups and down. The love I feel for my baby is unlike anything I have ever known.
I looked up my scan results when I got home. I just had a hunch. The scan I had taken on Monday did have the baby’s weight percentage….as 12%. Not 8% like she has claimed. And the umbilical cord? Yeah, normal mild degeneration…the amount would have been occurring at 40 weeks but not endangering the baby…. The moment I read that, I’m pretty sure my blood pressure would have read in a tachycardia range… There is nothing like lying to pregnant lady…..karma lady, it’s gonna be a bitch someday.
Complications have surfaced as of late….
Baby Ethan had issues latching from the start, leaving me in pain and marked, with gassy and colicky moments from him. I went to a lactation consultant at 6 weeks and found out he has multiple ties! So we were able to get that fixed and can’t wait to see the changes for the better in our loving Ethan.
When I went into see the OB post 6 weeks, I asked about a prolapse that I felt like was there. She assured me during our appointment that she saw no issues at all. Well….I don’t trust her for obvious reasons, so I went to see my pelvic floor physical therapist. Sure enough, I do have prolapse that was causing my pain. In fact, I have two grade 2+ prolapses….. And it has progressively gotten worse. I am now a candidate for surgery and additional intervention.
People are always asking me " O how are you doing? You look great! Keep it up!". All I want to say is, I am not great you guys, my insides are coming out and I can't do anything else about it.... But on the outside I look fine so I say thank you and move on.
So now I am not working out, praying it heals, praying I didn’t make it too much worse when I took my OBs advice to begin working out., and hoping I can someday return to the activities I love.
But I am thankful. Baby E came into the world and is amazing. I can’t believe it….my baby boy. I’m a mom…even now it just blows me away! I’m thankful. I’m blessed. Now let’s hope the healing for us both is successful.
Why do some people have dooming in their abs? Some cases can actually be fixed or prevented by exercise and breathing.Did you know most Midwives, OBGYNs or General Practitioners do not check to Rectus Diastasis during the 6 week postnatal visit?
Did you know that Postnatal women ARE NOT the only individuals that can potentially develop Diastasis Recti? Many individuals, postpartum moms and everyday athletes alike, don't realize that they have DR. If they are told they do, then they wonder what in the world they are suppose to do about it.
Here is were having an experienced rehab specialized professional, pelvic health physical therapist or Post Natal Fitness Specialist can really make a difference in your life!
Let's take a super basic look at what Diastasis Recti actually is and how it can affect your health, everyday life and performance.
See that white space running down the center of the first body pictured above? It is between the abdominal muscles running vertical on the front side of the body. Well that is Diastasis Recti! Basically it's a separation of these muscles along a line called the linea alba which is a lovely strip of fascia connecting the rectus abdominals in the midline of the body that stretches out for numerous reasons.
Have a CERTIFIED fitness or rehab professional measure your DR to get an exact picture on if/how much of a DR gap you might have. Depending on the size of the gap, he or she will be able to guide you on the proper course of action. What will you notice on your own? You might notice a belly "dome" running down the center of your tummy when you do a mini crunch or workout. Also, some other signs include a pouch that won't go away, back pain, constipation, unexplained bloating, inability to maintain good posture, difficult breathing patterns, multiple injuries, and many more. It truly depends on the person, as EVERY BODY IS DIFFERENT.
Why does this happen? Each case is different. Every body is different; however, there are some common causes we can pinpoint through an exam. Most of the time there is just too much pressure on the abdominal muscles. Whether it is happening normally, like for instance when you are pregnant and notice the rapid growth of your belly during the third trimester, OR it could occur from improper breathing mechanics and weightlifting, age, genetics and much more. So it goes back to EVERY BODY IS DIFFERENT. That's why you seek out a professional to help you figure out your specific issues and tailor a plan to fit your needs.
So how to do we work to heal DR?IT'S A HOLSTIC APPROACH TO ACHIEVE HEALING.
We work on rebuilding intra-abdominal pressure, improve/restore gut health, release facilitated muscle and then strengthen the proper musculature to get you back to good. But guess what, with that foundation, we can launch your health and performance into being better than you ever were before!
Specifically, suction cupping with patient movement during pregnancy.
What: So first we are going to take a look at what exactly cupping is. Traditionally, it was used by the Chinese along the meridians of the body and they use a method called fire cupping. Nowadays, many clinicians and professionals use what is called suction cupping to help with a variety of issues. Suction cupping draws air out of the cup, which lifts the skin and creates space underneath the tissues.
Who: Who can benefit from cupping? Benefits can be found when cupping is used for muscle soreness, muscle strains, inflammation, pain, tightness, and issues such as headaches and arthritis.1 Just like with anything, this isn’t a magic cure all and should be utilized with other modalities and exercises. Also, what works great for one person might not do anything for someone else. Every Body Is Different.
How: According to the literature, there is no set definition of what cupping specifically does; however, there are many scientific journals and recordings of what cupping sessions have done for patients. Some of these records show patient improvement in pain threshold, blood flow, reduced inflammation, improved local anabolic metabolism, and changes the skin’s biomechanical properties to name a few. 1
Early/Post Pregnancy focus: When a woman is pregnant, her center of gravity is shifted as her belly expands anteriorly. This shift can lead to several things such as SI joint pain, Femoral impingements and much more discomforts. Also we see something called lower cross syndrome (AKA Pelvic cross syndrome) develop which is a reference to the poor posture and muscle imbalance cause by many things, including pregnancy. Tight/shortened hip flexors and QLs, along with lengthened/stretched abdominals and glutes lead to a forward or anterior tilted pelvis. So what does all this mean for real life? It means due to this syndrome and the baby’s pressure, pregnant mama begins to develop lower back and front hip tightness and pain, as well as, weakened glutes and abdominals. Usually accompanied by upper crossed syndrome issues such as forward head posture and rounded shoulders, many moms can tell you that this leads to discomfort and pain long after pregnancy.
For example: When utilizing suction cups along the lower back in configurations such as the one shown in the picture above, we are trying to reduce the tension in the lower back/QL areas. Combining the cupping with patient movements such as cat/cow and hip pendulums, can help many women find relief from their pains. Again, this is just one tool that needs to be used in addition to exercise and other modalities, but this combination of techniques helps a multitude of populations.
If you, or someone you know, would like to learn more about cupping for early or post pregnancy, pain or injuries in general, check out the links below to cited sources and other fun resources that you can review. Maybe check with your local massage therapist, chiropractor, manual therapist, or health professional to see if they offer cupping and get their opinion. I can attest to the relief I have personally felt using cupping therapies, as well as, the benefits my clients feel after we utilize suction cupping during their sessions. Research it, consult your medical team, read about and if it looks like something you would like to try (if ok’d by your doctor), I encourage you to TRY it and find out what works for you and your body!
As always, I encourage you to ask, research and discover on your own! Don't take my word for it, formulate your own educated opinions!
Cassandra McCoy A. A. T.
NKT & Rocktape practitioner
RYT 200 & Essentrics Instructor
Aboushanab T, Sandas S. Cupping Therapy: An Overview from a Modern Medicine Perspective. J Acupunct Meridian Stud. 2018;
Something I like to do on New Year’s Eve is look at my past years focus and create my next New Year’s Focus. I don’t do resolutions, or goals, or what not. I like a focus.
2016 was Stand for Me: I did well with this… however, I did still let some people tell me to unfriend others, quit places,go here, etc etc. My gut feelings were strong in 2016 and I’m thankful for the strength and confidence it has given to me.
2017 was Getting Back My Homeostasis. I wanted to focus on health, work, business and learning that would bring me into a Homeostasis. Now as humans we are constantly in and out of Homeostasis. It’s kinda like gravity, always pulling us in and out of a set point. This year I work on finding a way to live a more balanced life. I worked on putting family first no matter what, something I always did but this year about not feeling like I should apologize for it. Also, I was able to shut out the noise of extra voices. Sometimes listening and gathering advice and inspiration from others was exactly what I needed, but sometimes I needed to go with my gut more and in 2017 I had several experiences where I was able to do such. Lastly, 2017 was about challenging myself to do new things. And I did! New Workshops, public speaking, creating health and fitness programs, creating and hosting a Getaway, creating a new class format, talking myself to NYC, and pursuing my passion of learning to a master’s degree.
So let’s see…….2018?!?! What’s you got for me.
In 2018, my focus is Enjoying the Confidence, Change, Memories, Learning, and Growth. I’ve always been focused on what others thought, said or did aligning with what I thought said or did. Did it align? Did it not? Would I make someone upset by doing this? How did so and so think I did with this? So and so doesn’t like this person so I better not get to know them otherwise it will upset them. I don’t think this (insert subject here) is right, but if I speak out, will I be ostracized? And so on and so on.
Not any more. I’ve been thinking about it these past few months. I’ve always been humble and willing to learn from all experiences. However, now I need to take that knowledge I have learned, invested in, fought for, and love……and start giving it a voice and shape. I have learned so much and yet I still have so much to learn….
Now I want to share that will others!
I’m thankful, humble, and ready to learn even more in 2018. Look for more posts as I share new experiences and changes in 2018!
What’s your focus?
When you think back on your life, what were some of the hardest decisions you have ever had to make? Buying a house? Choosing a major? Deciding how to pursue your dreams? Accepting or rejecting a job offer?
What decision gave you the most uncertainty while making it, and yet after the smoke cleared, gave you the most joy?
We have all had those decisions that force us to take a step back and look at the bigger picture.
I just went through this myself a few months ago. Leave a job I love and pursue my passion in grad school……..or stay safe at my comfy job and be comfortable yet not challenged?
It is a hard spot to be. We never know what challenges will be thrown at us after our decision, yet we know we have to make one in order to move forward.
How do we know we are making the right choice?? Do we ever really know until it is too late?
What is too late?
These are just a few of the many thoughts that have had scrambling around in my head, as I’m sure they have in yours too at some point or another.
What process do you have to go through to reach your good-for-you decision? What makes a good decision the right decision? I truthfully can’t answer that. All I know, is that I try to go with my gut and then work like hell to make sure that decision is supported by my effort and determination.
TRANSITIONS ARE HARD!!!
All of the decisions we make are transitions. Heck, even choosing what I want for dinner is a choice that will either helps or hurt me. I can choose a healthy meal of veggies, protein and whole grains……or I can go with fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy…..which one do you think will transition me into a better day the next morning?
You have to choose for you. I don’t make my decisions for someone else (unless its affecting family, then you need to take their advise and consideration into account). I didn’t just make a choice to not go back to grad school and stay at my job because I wanted to make my boss happy. In fact I did the opposite…BUT THE CHOICE AND TRANSITION WASN’T FOR HIM. It is for me. To grow myself and my family's future.
YOU DO YOU. Take a step back during your time of choice and decision. Look at the priority, the goal, the betterment that is coming to keep you strong during your moment of transition. Then go all in.
As a health professional (HP), I am expected to be a model of healthy living, free from injury and health complications. However, I have in the past experienced a string of injuries, sickness, and overall lack of health due to various reasons. This can cause some to look at what I have done or said, and question the validity of what it can do for them. All I can say to that is I am human; I am a human with error, flaws, complications, and vulnerability. Just as any health professional or living individual. Just because someone is in a certain field does not give them exception to complications, and in some cases can heighten the individual’s chances. I have seen others, not just myself, who have been ridiculed, for their own “methods” not working successfully on themselves. This has caused me to take a moment to chat about a few aspects people should try to understand: health professionals are humans who work a job, every body is different, and even trainers need trainers.
Back in June 2015, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that health professionals were number 1 when it came to on-the-job injuries. These injuries were brought on by multiple causes, but mainly patient handling caused them. With one study citing a 20.7% 1-year work related injury rate, physical therapists assist clients in exercises, movements and numerous situations throughout their workweek. Nurses have a wide variety of possible patient handling situations such as hospital transfers, nursing room settings, private residencies and much more. Even your personal trainers and group fitness instructors are at risk for the same on-the-job injuries associated with their professions. Just as a construction worker faces concerns on a site, so does a health professional.
It is not just injury, which the health professional (lumping anyone from PT to group fitness in this category) will face. A doctor, pharmacist, nurse, chiropractor, etc all have something in common with a truck driver, it is called being made up of cells that are not immune to disease. Just because they have a fancy doctorial degree hanging on the wall, or spend half their day teaching on a yoga mat, does not mean they are immune from the human aspect of life. However, there is a sort of unspoken assumption that these individuals should be health problem free, as they are the ones with “all the knowledge”. Any disease or illness will not discriminate with a negative diagnosis; I have met with many health professionals who have face cancer, depression, among many other conditions during their practice. Forms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is common among physicians and others alike, as they take in suffering daily, yet still have to go home to their families after their shift is complete. Health doesn’t come automatic and illness will not discriminate.
Onto the claim that the HP must not “practice what they practice”, don’t know what they are talking about, or obviously “don’t have what it takes”. I have heard all of this to either myself, fellow professionals I network with, or have read it on other articles. First of all, every body is different, what I prescribe Client A, probably isn’t what I am going to do when I workout that night. It probably won’t line up with my goals, objectives, weaknesses, or personal body type. I might be leading Client A in a private yin style yoga session to release their body from a chronically tight, high stress day; whereas I am already a hypermobility individual who must focus on strength to maintain a healthy, functioning body. Let’s face it. Life would be very boring if every person wasn’t unique, it is the imperfect aspect that makes life so interesting.
Just because an individual is sick, doesn’t mean they brought it on themselves, were not living a healthy lifestyle, or his/her philosophy to health is wrong. This reminds me of one of my yoga instructors in RYT 200 training, who developed lung cancer without warning or cause. She was a healthy, young yoga instructor who had been practicing for quite sometime and lived a health lifestyle. I remember specifically that she joked about her diet being perfect with the exception of her favorite Doritos being a treat every now and them. She would always have to tell people that she hadn’t smoked, wasn’t an alcoholic, and did not have a profession that exposed to her to what people would typically assume. Yet it happened, she had to have part of her lung removed and most importantly she recovered, and still teaches today! Disease won’t discriminate, it happens.
Lastly, even those who teach, treat, and train need someone to teach, treat, or train them sometimes. I remember going to an NeuroKentic Therapy seminar in North Carolina and being amazed at some of the chiropractors and physical therapists describing nagging injuries, auto immune diseases or certain illness that they had experienced in their own lives. Just because a chiropractor can put their patient back together after injury, does not mean they will not need an adjustment or two to keep their bodies in check.
The other day I met up with a fellow personal trainer to double check my squat, deadlift, and kettebell swing form just to be sure I was executing them properly. Sure enough, she was able to pin point a few errors I was making, and a few minutes later I was doing the movements with ease and no pain. Afterwards, I help her open up her pectoral muscles, release through her upper back, and improve her posture, after she had been having tension headaches causes by lack of postural alignment. We helped each other, we learned from each other, neither of us being wrong or right, but helping one another perfect our respective abilities. That’s what makes a good HP, getting and giving help when needed.
Health professions are looked up to in society as a wealth of knowledge and ability. Yet, sometimes they can be put on a pedestal so high, that when injury or life happens, people tend to stake fault in their skill as a HP. Human error and vulnerability is apart of life no matter what vocation you have chosen to follow. Be kind to your health professional, understand they have dedicated their life to helping you become a healthy individual free of injury and illness, but don’t expect them to be an angelic little butterfly that floats around without issues of their own.
As always, let me know what you think! Discuss, Comment, Enjoy!
Cassandra Hewett A.A.
B.S. - Health Education Promotion and Fitness
Certified Essentrics-RYT 200 Yoga Instructor
FMT Rocktape, NKT Practioner
Facebook: Positively Balance - Essentrics and Health
Health Care Worker Injuries Due to Patient Handling Continue to Rise. (n.d.). Retrieved June 28, 2016, fromhttp://www.apta.org/PTinMotion/News/2015/6/24/PatientHandlingInjuries/
Spector, M. P. (n.d.). Your Doctor’s Health Affects Your Health: Latest Reports on Physician Health Alarming. Retrieved June 28, 2016, fromhttp://www.huffingtonpost.com/paul-spector-md/your-doctors-health-affects-your-health_b_8987102.html
When I used to run half marathons, I didn’t get many injuries, if any. However, after an impact injury, I began to search for different methods to help me recover from knee surgery. Enter Rocktape AND NKT. After just one session of using this techniques, I could feel the difference and decide to pursue certifications in order to take these modalities to my clients.
Rocktape and NKT are used by many fitness and rehab professionals across the world, helping their clients heal and perform optimally. The uses of each are too numerous to put here in one post, so I’m going to highlight each modalities and then tell you when I have incorporate them into my sessions with clients.
Let’s Rocktape, because that’s what I fell in love with first. It can used to increase the utilization of a muscle, to help relieve pain, reduce inflammation and help achieve proper form in sports. Now that’s just a basic list, I’ve seen Rocktape used for some amazing things. It all comes down to using the bodies’ largest organ, the skin. When the Rocktape is applied to the skin, it is applied in a specific manner so that the tape can help lift the skin away from the underlying muscle and fascia, creating a nice decompression. Also, Rocktape uses the sensory input from the skin to basically turn your brain’s attention to that area or motor pattern. The results can be so quick, it is just amazing.
Applications can last for a longer time than other types of taping due to the adhesive material Rocktape uses. It is the highest quality that I have found and used. Most flake up after a day, whereas Rocktape can last weeks. My personal record is 3 weeks for a knee taping I applied on myself.
I have a few cool experiences with Rocktaping clients that I’d love to share with you!
First up is my dad! He was my first official client taping. Sure I had taped myself hundreds of times as well as my friend Melanie who offered to be a guinea pig, but this was my first specific case I had been approached with. Dad told me that he was struggling after he had just severely sprained his left ankle. His ankle was about the size of a softball when I did the first application and he was in a lot of pain when walking. Using a basic taping (as shown above) I covered several problem areas, as well as, gave a bit of support to the ankle. There are many many ways to tape an ankle; however, this one fit his specific issues the best. When he moved his ankle you could automatically tell a difference by his range of motion; then when he stood up, his face said it all. We left the taping on over 2 weeks (yes the tape lasted 2 weeks even with showers and activity!) and by the second week all of the sweeping and soreness had gone down.
Second, is my good friend Kimberly who is a fellow Certified Essentrics Instructor. At training in Colorado, she was telling me about how her ankle was injured a long time ago and she had to be super careful of how she walked to allow falling. Looking at her feet just sitting in staff pose (sitting on ground, legs straight in front but modification of toes pointed) you could see her left foot just collapse in at the ankle, big toe touching the ground. She told me “this is my normal, has been for years now”. Challenge accepted.
Pictured above is her feet AFTER taping and some NKT testing. Look the big toe of her left foot. IT’S NOT COLLAPSING TO THE GROUND! For years, her ankle ligaments were so damaged that her foot wouldn’t allow her just relax her foot forward. Her brain was in complete disconnect. Now, after some arch reminder and lateral calf taping, BAM. She said she couldn’t remember the last time her foot felt like this and she felt a huge difference during Eccentrics training the next day.
These two examples are just a few of the stories I could tell. One time, I taped a dear friend who was pregnant and in her third trimester. She was having severe pains under and on the side of her belly that was keeping her up at night and making it difficult to move. I put a basic sling style and a few additional tapings to support her belly and received a long thank you text the next morning saying how glorious it was to get a complete night’s sleep with no pain. SCORE.
Now let’s talk performance.
When I took my Rocktape certification course, I went with a good MT friend and we were able to use each other as test subjects for the applications we were learning. During that we covered this giant application. So this might look like just a random amount of tape on my back; however, I promise it has a purpose. Specific applications were needed to help specific things and they could be mixed and match depending on the issue. All in all, this was a great lesson in ways to help with posture, stability, relaxation and many other applications to our specific clients. I have worked with a lot of XC runners lately who LOVE some of these applications to improve their posture during runs and release tension in the upper traps.
I’ve had my own stories with my injures and Rocktape. The brain/connection is huge. The swelling and inflammation reduction is huge. I can’t imagine my few surgeriy recoveries without some Rocktape utilized sometime during the process. It has helped my clients and I in so many ways and I look forward to helping YOU as well!!!
Hope you enjoyed this run down of Rocktape, look out for an NTK write up soon!
Warning: If you are currently suffering from an eating disorder (ED), please discuss this topic with your health team before reading this or watching the movie we discuss. I personally would not have wanted to watch this even just a year ago, so please seek professional guidance before you make a decision to watch.
I have been receiving several messages from individuals who have watched To The Bone on Netflix, and are curious as to my opinion as someone has been through an eating disorder. Truthfully, at first I wasn’t even going to watch it, as I thought it might be too much for me during this time in my recovery journey. However, a few days ago, another friend reached out. She has a daughter who is struggling with an eating disorder and she wanted to know if this was what life would be like. Ok. Here we go, Ill watch it. I’m actually super proud of myself for watching and glad I did. Disclaimer: This is my OPINION, please share yours and if it is different than mine, beautiful! This is going be long but please read it all.
Here’s the overview without spoiling the movie: 20 year young woman with anorexia has been in and out of in patient treatment over 6 times. She can’t remember the last time she had a menstrual cycle, is pushing everyone in her life away, and is nearing what could be the end of her life if she doesn’t turn things around. In a last ditch attempt to get Ellen help, Ellen’s stepmom finds an unusual ED specialist who is known for his successful, yet unconventional methods.
Should I watch this movie if I am currently suffering or have in the passed suffered from an ED: If you are currently in your ED journey, I would IMPLORE you to speak with your medical professional team before watching this movie. Some images and topics could be triggering and a medical professional would better help guide you in this matter. I believe anyone with an ED history should take a serious look at his or her mindset before watching this movie. Be sure you are in a good place and if you have ANY doubts at all, consider visiting with your medical professional for advice. Like I stated earlier, it took me awhile to agree to watch it. I did so due to my personal current mindset, amazing support system, and counseled advice.
Overall, what’s the verdict: Well it was hard to watch from my perspective, yet it showed me just how far I have come from just a few years ago. I used to be like Ellen, bruised spine from crunches, calories were measurable on site within seconds, passing out in the bathroom, and always having everything is fine attitude. Craziest thing for me was when I saw Ellen wrap her fingers around her arm as measure of “success” (watch the movie for more understanding) as I used to do the same thing with my wrist and leg. It is a great look into this world many seemed to just think a hamburger or two could fix. I believe this movie isn’t perfect (what movie is), but could be used as a tool for family and friends of ED individuals, as it could help you see another side of the situation.
I will state this again, I don’t believe this should be watched if you have ED before seeking professional advice.
If you have someone in your life who you believe has an Eating Disorder, I would encourage you to visit https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org for some helpful information.
To The Bone. Netflix. 2017.