Beyond Chronic Pain: a Personal Journey to Create Healthier Habits

Jodie Krantz in class 2010

Finding Vitality and Joy in your life

Physiotherapist Jodie Krantz shares her healing journey towards a more satisfying and comfortable way of living within with her own body. Retracing her steps, Jodie invites you to join her on a challenge to improve your own quality of life and perhaps that of your nearest and dearest.

I reached the age of 50 with my body in a condition better than many my age. Being a Physiotherapist I had always done some form of exercise. My weight was in the upper end of the healthy range for my height. I didn’t smoke or drink to excess – ever. I’d always watched what I ate and ‘listened to my stomach’, stopping when I felt full. I considered myself very fortunate to have completed my training as a Feldenkrais practitioner in 1999. This was a profound learning process which gave me access to the tools to keep my body moving like a much younger person, even into old age.

Yet the small aches and pains had accumulated over the years to the point where there was never a day without some sort of pain. Headaches were frequent and although not severe, made me nauseous, fatigued and thick-headed. This very unpleasant feeling would last 2 to 3 days or more. Foot pain made it hard to walk for more then 20 minutes. My lower back twinged frequently, especially after sitting and in bed at night. I often complained to my partner about being tired. Worst of all, severe episodes of lower back pain had seen me bed-bound and off work for up to 5 weeks.

I knew what I had to do, but it was hard to do it. I had to change some fundamental habits I had formed in over 50 years. The intentions I set for myself were:

  1. To allow myself the ‘luxury’ of getting treatment when needed
  2. Improve my diet and rid myself of ‘addictions’ – sugar, coffee and alcohol
  3. Shed a few kilos
  4. Reduce my stress levels
  5. Increase my cardio-vascular exercise
  6. Get enough sleep on a consistent basis

There was no point changing everything at once. The body doesn’t like radical change and it’s usually not sustainable. The biggest challenge I faced was finding the extra time required, a challenge I know that many of my friends, family, colleagues and clients share!

Next birthday I turn 57. In the past few years I’ve turned my life and my pain around. Fatigue as I once knew it, is but a distant memory. I simply feel the happiest I’ve ever been in my life.