I’m a 37-year-old mother of 3. I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis at the age of 14. I have suffered greatly over the years with swollen & painful joints. I took Ecotrin (coated aspirin) for about 10 years only to end up with an ulcer. Then I just learned to live with the flare-ups, taking anti-inflammatories & lots of heat/ice. At about 18, I started having problems with my neck. I went to chiropractors for the next 2 decades on and off. They said I had a pinched nerve in my neck. Then the pain went from my neck to my shoulder down my arm and back and felt as though my trapezius muscle was wrapped around my collarbone. It was incredibly painful. I soon learned that nobody could tell me what the problem was, never mind help me. At 30 I was in two car accidents within one month. After that my neck, shoulder, trapezius muscle, whatever it was, was unbearable. The doctors said I had whiplash and soft tissue damage. On my own I went back to the chiropractor. That did nothing. Then a muscle specialist sent me to physical therapy, four times a week. At that time I could not raise my arm over my head & had no range of motion in my neck at all.
After 10 weeks of physical therapy there was no improvement. I decided to try HotCore (Bikram) Yoga. At first I still had a hard time getting my arms over my head, but after only 6 weeks I could do it with almost little to no pain. At my most recent class I tried to reach my neck to my chest? It worked! I have not been able to move my neck for so long I couldn’t believe it!
I’m having far fewer flare-ups from the arthritis and I really feel so much better. After all the tests, muscle specialists, doctors, chiropractors, and physical therapy, the only thing that has truly made my pain subside is the yoga. So anyone with neck, back, shoulder, or arthritis problems, please try this yoga. It really is a remarkable thing. I will always find the time in my very busy life to give a little back to my own body. To finally not feel constant pain is an incredible thing. I can finally practice baseball & basketball with my children & not suffer afterwards. I thank my sister for introducing me to yoga. It’s the best thing I have ever done for my mind and body. Thank you to Peter for showing me the way.
D. Sherry Lynnfield, MA
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