How the decision to remove her Harrington rods pushed Martha Carter to deal with buried emotions.
After I made the decision to have my Harrington rods removed, I experienced a huge flood of emotions. I had a flashback to my first surgery. The doctors and my family commenting how “strong” and “brave” I was. How I never cried.
Harrington Rods Removed — How a Reiki treatment led TOPS Founder Martha Carter to a new path of healing.
When I was told that I had scoliosis and needed to have Harrington rod surgery at age 13, I was also told that I wouldn’t be allowed to dance anymore and that I shouldn’t do any rigorous exercise or yoga. It was 1974, and the relatively new surgical procedure was in its early years.
TOPS commissioned Vancouver illustrator, Gary Leung to draw the 4 most common forms of scoliosis. The inspiration for these illustrations came from images drawn by Alexander Laurant in Elise Miller's Yoga Journal article “Yoga for Scoliosis.” Gary developed these schematic portrayals of scoliosis to convey the overall shape of the spine, lending the viewer an opportunity to identify on a visual level.
"The Alexander technique teaches the ability to improve physical postural habits, particularly those that have become ingrained or are conditioned responses. The technique is purported to improve performance, self observation and impulse control and relieve chronic stiffness, tension and stress." ~Wikipedia
Generally speaking, the medical field offers three options for the scoliotic spine: observation, bracing and surgery. This would be dependent on the nature and depth of the curves. Although exercise is also suggested by some medical professionals, it feels like a broad stroke piece of advice given to many, scoliosis or not.