During the pushing phase of my 58 hours of labor with Violet (over five months ago...where does the time go?), I strained something in my left hip/glute area. When I received clearance 6 weeks postpartum and started working out again, I attempted to address this problem area via yoga. I also resumed running, and that, my friends, has been pretty torturous. I'm not a natural runner to begin with, and whatever was going on in my left hip/glute made for not so nimble runs followed by immense discomfort, including a searing pain that seemed buried deep in the bone on my left back side. So I slowed down on running and continued yoga, but felt pretty discouraged to feel no improvement over the course of a couple of months. I know these things take time, but still.
A couple of weeks ago, I decided to see Heather at Isis Parenting for a repeat postnatal massage. My first massage with Heather a couple of months ago was lovely and relaxing (she's trained in both traditional massage and craniosacral therapy and has a very warm disposition). On my recent visit, I asked Heather if she could identify anything wonky in my left hip/glute area.
Now, I wasn't expecting a miracle, merely exploration. I had been trying for over three months to stretch things out on my own. When I told Heather about my problem, she suggested that we do traditional massage followed by a realignment technique she recently learned. I was totally game for anything.
Heather gave me a traditional massage (which was awesome) and said that while my left side was tight, she didn't feel anything unusual. Then she had me get dressed and walk around the table a few times. I then stood in place and Heather sat behind me and put her hands on my hips. I breathed deeply and within a few minutes felt myself swaying then eventually regained my balance. Heather said that following injuries, our bodies accommodate to non-optimal movement patterns (like when you start bearing more weight on one leg if you injure the other). And that if you can get the body off its current track, it will settle into optimal alignment. She said she was asking my pelvic area to find a new way of movement.
I know this sounds rather woo-woo, but I'm totally on board with this kind of stuff so I just kept breathing deeply, welcoming the ask and hoping my body would be open to realignment. After Heather was done, she had me walk around the table again. I wasn't sure if I felt a difference. We agreed that I'd keep an eye on how my body was feeling and be in touch if there were issues.
Now, fast forward a couple of weeks. I've admittedly done very little exercise due mostly to some other life craziness (plus, my motivation hasn't been stellar due to said pain), but this past weekend, I went for a run. I decided to jump in where I left off on my Couch to 5K training. I ran for 23 minutes before taking cover from the downpour.
The next morning, I had the shocking revelation that I was free of the searing pain in my back area that typically followed a run. And that -- presumably because I was running with better alignment -- I also wasn't hurting massively in my knees and other places as has been the case since running postpartum. I went for another run yesterday -- this time 25 minutes -- and while my left side is definitely still tighter than my right (which, I should say, has always been the case), overall I still feel way better and I'm free of the excruciating left lower back pain. Hooray!
Now I know other variables could be at play... time, general healing, or what have you. But given that I had spent the last few months in the same (very, very uncomfortable) place before, during, and after fitness, this is a huge change for me. If you have a specific ailment or just need a relaxing hour to yourself (really, who doesn't?), I highly recommend booking a visit with Heather. I look forward to scheduling a follow up so I can thank her in person.