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Success story: freedom to breathe and effortless walking


Jennifer is a vibrant, active woman in her 60s with hobbies that include camping, boating and singing. She came to see me on the advice of one of her best friends. ‘You just have to go see Holly’, she said. Jennifer was preparing for a very physically demanding backpacking trip and wasn’t feeling stable on her feet. She wanted to successfully finish the trip without worrying about falling (more on that later!)

When I saw her she told me her whole body ‘feels like a big carapace’, like a crab or a lobster stuck inside a rigid shell. I could certainly see why. Jennifer had trouble with a lot of the movements I asked her to do in her assessment. Most notable were her spinal movements and the ability to get onto her feet with confidence.

I started by giving her spine some movements its been missing and teaching her to go from one leg to the other and back with more confidence. I helped her move her feet better so she could find the ground with confidence.

Off she went on her hike, excited to be moving better. I got a message from Jennifer before her hike was meant to be over. She had stepped off a rock and broken her ankle and got airlifted to hospital! Not the magic ending she was hoping for.

After she healed up she came back to me and we got to work making sure her ankle and foot were working as best they could. Zings and twinges that she was getting got cleared up as we taught her foot to move better and push her forward properly.

Most recently we’ve been working on clearing up a very stuck left hip and teaching her to breath without using her neck. A tough strategy to break for someone who loves to sing.

I’ve been seeing Jennifer alongside a physio who works on neurology and Jennifer’s regular pilates instructor. We’ve worked on a large number of things and, as you can see from her smiling face, we’ve cleared her out of the carapace she has been living in. She can breathe with more freedom, stands much taller and has a spring in her step again. There have been some other quite fascinating improvements to other body systems that she’s shared along the way. No wonder as we’ve finally gotten space for things to move and breath.

Jennifer isn’t totally out of the woods yet. She has some other patterns in her body that require other specialists to work on; notably her teeth. Who knew that all of these stiff areas and twists that come back between visits might be because of how her teeth don’t come together?

Want to hear Jennifer in her own words from a few years ago? Check out the chat we had on my YouTube channel.