Kate: Achilles Pain

Kate’s journey: From enduring acute Achilles tendon pain to celebrating a pain-free 10 day trek

Kate Kate is an executive coach who is intelligent, vibrant, strong and committed to her fitness. Unfortunately, Kate started experiencing excruciating and persistent pain in her ankles and Achilles tendon when she walked. She spent over a year searching for a solution:

“I tried to resolve the situation by working with my personal trainer, physical therapist, and doctor. However, no one was able to help me. Most of their suggestions had to do with changing my shoes, which I did many times, but it made no difference. I became very frustrated. I feared that the pain would permanently prevent me from hiking and doing the activities I love.”

Fortunately, Kate stumbled upon Feldenkrais:

“I happened to go to a spa that had a Feldenkrais class. I felt so fantastic after the class. My shoulders and neck were relaxed in a way I hadn’t experienced in years. I thought that maybe Feldenkrais could also help with my ankle.”

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Kate and I began our work together by studying how she walked and we noticed that her shoulders and hips barely moved. For Kate, like many people, walking was something her “feet” and “legs” did and not something her whole self did. She propelled herself mostly with her ankles, which became stressed and painful. When I taught Kate how she could involve more of her body in walking, she experienced immediate improvement:

“What I found most memorable about our first few sessions was how quickly focusing on my skeleton brought relief. I learned how to employ the larger muscles in my torso so that the smaller muscles in my legs and ankles are not strained. When my hips, spine, sternum, and shoulders are all involved in walking, the pain goes away.”

After ten sessions, Kate and her friends went to England to celebrate her 60th birthday:

Kate Celebrates“We did a 10 day walking trek through England. We walked miles and miles and I had no pain. It was a wonderful way to celebrate my 60th birthday.”

After the trek, Kate enlarged her goal from walking without pain to learning how to move with less effort and more ease:

“I love learning how to move with less effort. Last week, I learned a better way to go from lying to sitting. For me, that had always been a clunky process requiring a lot of abdominal strength. Now I can do it in an easy, fluid way. The first time I got it, it felt so good that I laughed out loud. This week, I learned how to stay balanced and not put any unnecessary stress on my back when I bend down to pick things up. I’m hooked. Now, I’m curious about everything. Each lesson is really interesting and useful.

“For me, Feldenkrais is a perfect reflection of what I do in my work. When I do executive coaching, we are not looking at a small piece of my client’s life. We are inviting them to bring their whole self to the process of change that they want to make. The brilliant piece that Feldenkrais has taught to me (and that I want to steal) is that the positive direction of change is toward ease, grace, and efficiency. This is a challenging concept for people like me that have always felt effort was a key part of the path to success.”

Are you also suffering from pain, be it in your Achilles tendon, back, hips, shoulders, or knees?  If you would like to find your way toward ease, grace, and efficiency, then schedule your free Move-With-Ease consultation.