I have had problems on and off with my neck and back for years and over the past 2 years I have had persistent mid and lower back pain. This became much worse and I also developed severe, constant head and neck pain after spending two 18 hours days at the computer.
The severe head and neck pain was preventing me from functioning normally, so this caused me to search online to find someone who could help me. I came across Georgie’s website and felt that her philosophy was similar to mine in that she didn’t just focus on the physical cause, so I made an appointment with her. At the time I didn’t actually realise just how different her approach was, but after she examined me and explained how pain can be caused by stress, I was interested enough to look into it further.
I went off to listen to the SIRPA Recovery CD and decided to return for the full in-depth assessment a few days later. Even at this point I still hadn’t accepted that what appeared to be a physical condition could actually be emotionally induced. Having completed the pre-assessment forms prior to the appointment though, we went through this and discussed any current and past stresses in my life. Georgie questioned me to try and find any links and triggers to help me recognize and accept that my symptoms were a result of the stresses in my life.
I had already informed Georgie that I had had urgent heart surgery after collapsing with heart problems 2 years earlier, without which I had been told I could die in days. Although this was a shock, I had no choice and had obviously agreed to have the surgery. At first I couldn’t see how this, or any of the other quite common stresses I have had in my life, could have anything to do with my current health problems. Although I consistently work very long hours and travel in my job, because I enjoy my work, I also couldn’t see how this could be relevant.
During the assessment I had also told Georgie that for the previous few months I had been unable to write more than even an address because my hand would go dead and I would be unable to use it for a while. There appeared to be no reason for this, especially as I could type without any problem and had no other problems with it. I rationalised that writing must use different muscles and tendons and as I could usually get away with not writing, I had just ignored it.
Georgie explained that it is the same muscles that are used to write or type, so there was no physical reason for me only to have a problem while writing and that there must be an underlying reason for this. We discussed this to try and work out any links and triggers with any stresses in my life, but initially I couldn’t see a link, especially as I couldn’t actually remember when the problem had begun. At one point though, I suddenly had an insight and remembered that I had been writing in my office when I had collapsed with my heart problem. I then realised that I hadn’t actually been able to write properly since then.
Georgie explained that this had resulted in my body producing a maladapted ‘fight or flight’ response after my brain had connected writing with nearly dying. In other words, this extreme reaction was preventing me from writing because my brain was automatically ‘protecting’ me from dying. At first this seemed a bit far-fetched, but I was prepared to follow Georgie’s advice and see if I could overcome this.
Within a couple of weeks of my appointment my headaches, neck and back pain had resolved and within 6 weeks my arm problem was significantly better.
P.S. In an email to Georgie 4 months after his initial assessment, this Yorkshire GP told Georgie; “I am fine thanks – all of the symptoms seem to have vanished!”