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Shake it off...Shake it off...

Twenty-three years ago, an accident left me with triple fracture, second degree burns and wrist paralysis, followed by the whole school year of after class physiotherapy to regain strength and the use of my right arm.

At the time the surgeons told me I would never practice gymnastics again, but within a year and half I was back to training and competitions with some challenges. I had less flexibility in my right arm, which made balancing more difficult, but I managed for a few more years without any problems.

While dancing salsa five or six years ago someone pulled my arm too far and damaged the same shoulder. I paid no attention to that, but over time an 11mm calcification appeared on the tendon which resulted in a pinching sensation and pain each time I lifted my hand above my head and in certain directions. Some positions like the one on the photo were not possible.

A few months ago, an extremely painful sensation blocked my shoulder to the point of me being in tears every day for about 2 weeks and that is when I learned about bursitis. Without being sure it would work; doctors recommended a steroid injection that would probably need to be repeated every couple of years. Not keen on that outcome I had an x-ray taken, with no results yet as I am still waiting for an ultrasound and I cancelled the appointment for the injection that I had been booked for. I would not do anything until the results of the x-ray and ultrasound.

In the meantime, I did what I knew best: natural medicine and body work. For many years now, my way of looking at health is to always try the natural approach first which involves working with the body, the mind and the spirit.

I looked at anti-inflammatory food to support my body to heal including golden paste made with turmeric. I used essential oils to relax the muscles, asked massages of both shoulders from my partner, did meditation, danced on the rhythm of an online fitness dancing class four times per week, drank magnesium water from Slovenia and reintroduced fermented unpasteurised food as well as reducing my sugar intake to almost zero. Today, two months after my bursitis I am still doing all the above. Dancing classes are great because I miss dancing and at the same time I move muscles I did not in years and shaking my bottom, my boobs and everything else brings so much happiness and fun to the point that even my partner noticed a change in my mood.

I thought I was doing a lot of exercises with my jobs as a postwoman and therapist, but I noticed I always used the same muscles neglecting others and the dancing changed that. A couple of weeks ago, as I admired my weird moves in the front of our massive mirror in the bedroom, I realised I could finally move my arm in all directions and lay down like on the photo without pinching pain. My shoulder has regained the mobility to lift my arm and it feels great to feel the progress. I can dance, lift, lie down without pain and I did not need drugs for it to be achieved, which makes me feel empowered about my own health and my intuition. It is still a work in progress for other issues but at least this one is sorted, and it feels encouraging to pursue my health with what I eat, what I believe and what I do.

Our body has the means to heal when given what is needed and this has encouraged me even more to trust myself and my ability to heal. It is not because I get older that my body degrades, it is because for so many years I treated it with what it does not need and at some point it is bound to show it to me. It was not about eating healthy, because I do, but more about what my body needs and that is different from eating healthy and it also varies from a person to another but one key ingredient I found quite powerful is happiness. Joy in the dancing, shaking my butt and my boobs, feeling sexy and being flexible while sweating and stinking in my living room brought me joy and that was and still is one of the main ingredients to my recovery. I lost track of that for a long time now; doing things I enjoy. I became someone who do things because I have to and maybe now, I need to look at my life and bring more of that ingredient that definitely makes a difference.

Jenny Briard


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