Pain is a motherfucker. Apologies if that offends you, I know it’s not a polite way to start a blog post, but pain isn’t polite. It can come from nowhere and knock you sideways. It can mess with your head, and make you question your sanity and beliefs. It can drive you to do things you wouldn’t normally do. It can affect your ability to work, damage loving relationships and prevent you from enjoying activities which you usually enjoy.
I’m about to break the rules.
When you train as a therapist, you’re told to keep your own shit to yourself; “make it all about your client, not you”, and I agree with that, most of the time. When you visit me for a session, it is your time, not mine. In this space though, I’m saying “bollocks to it”. So many people ask me about how I came to this work so I’ve decided to be upfront: Here’s my story.
I have spent the best part of twenty years dealing with period pain.
Crazy. I didn’t realise till I started writing this post that it’s been that long. The pain was there right from the start, lessened when I was on the pill (but feeling depressed and having no libido didn’t exactly work out for me) and increased severely in my twenties to the point of being debilitating.
- Once, I passed out from the pain … and fell straight into a bathtub full of hot water. Ouch.
- I have had to lie down in public places because I couldn’t stand up or face getting home. People looked at me like I was a drug addict.
- I have been unable to lie down, stand or sit. As a consequence I have looked like a woman in labour; on all fours gently rocking my hips from side to side, moaning and groaning.
- I have regularly woken up in pain and run baths at 2 /3 / 4 am whilst impatiently waiting for painkillers to kick in.
- I have felt like my coccyx and hips were about to snap open with pressure.
- I have burned my skin to the point of causing blisters, THREE MONTHS IN A ROW, because the extreme heat of a hot water bottle was all that was helping to mitigate the pain, and the pain was so bad I had no awareness that I was also in pain from the hot water bottle.
- There have been times when I have been close to calling 999 (911 for you yanks) and begging for morphine. Seriously, it was that severe.
I have spent ten years healing that pain.
Massage, reflexology, homeopathy, CBT, acupuncture, menstrual cycle awareness, osteopathy, yoga, Chinese herbs, Western herbs, flower remedies, psychotherapy, “hands on” healing … I have tried them all. I have begged for drugs, in my head and out loud. I have prayed to any and all of the gods available. I have taken copious amounts of painkillers and smoked small amounts of weed, and let me tell you, all hail the power of painkillers, be they natural or pharmaceutical. I don’t know what I would have done without them.
I’ve got it sussed now.
Amazingly, I’m now down to taking one painkiller per period, yup, you heard me, one, and that’s probably more a psychological crutch than actual physical need. Combining acupuncture, menstrual cycle awareness, Arvigo therapy and Homeopathy has worked wonders for me.
What this means for you.
This is why I’m so passionate about the work I do to help women with menstrual issues. I get what pain can do to you: I know the places it can take you, I know how it can interfere with every aspect of your life. There’s no judgement from me about how you manage, or attempt to manage it. I can handle the gory details, should you want to share them with me, in fact, details are helpful when it comes to treating you.
More than anything, I know that pain can be healed. I have faith, even if you’ve lost yours.
Do you know someone struggling with painful periods or menstrual issues? Send them my way. It’s time for us to stop suffering in silence. From my own experience I know how menstrual stuff can suck the living day lights out of you and it doesn’t have to. Contact me over here and we can get cracking.
What’s the worst pain you’ve experienced? How did it affect your life and what helped you to deal with it? feel free to share your tips and resources below in the comments section.
Shameless plug: I’ve just started treating out of The Shala, a brand spanking new yoga studio in West Norwood. To celebrate, I’ve put together an offer which is ideal for those of you looking for help with menstrual issues. Oh and because I’m lovely, it’s also on offer at Sadhaka in Camden.
A full consultation and six acupuncture sessions, plus one Arvigo massage so that you can get some belly love, and learn how to treat yourself on a daily basis in addition to the work we’re doing together. That’s seven appointments in total and I’m offering this package throughout February and March at the reduced rate of £520 (£65 off my usual price). I’m at The Shala every Tues and Thurs eve from 5pm – 9pm and look forward to seeing you all there, be it in the treatment room or on the mat. Holla!