Martha Carter Talks About Her Healing Journey - Part 9

How dance and dancers have shaped and informed every step of the journey

I keep wanting to talk about getting into Yoga for Scoliosis — an eventual and integral part of my scoliosis journey following the removal of my Harrington Roads — but as I write this serial blog, and look back on all that’s happened, other memories get triggered and new understandings appear.

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Martha Carter Talks About Her Healing Journey - Part 8

Exploring Different Healing Modalities: Alexander technique and Taoist meditation

Ever since my rod removal 21 years ago, I have spent a LOT of time exploring different options for supportive care.

I never expected to go down this road, but exploring the myriad supportive care options out there has become an ongoing educational journey that I continue to find not only self-empowering, but endlessly fascinating.

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Martha Carter Talks About Her Healing Journey - Part 7

Taking the leap into Emotional Counselling

Shortly after my Harrington rods were removed, I was talking to a friend about my rehabilitation regime combination of massage and gym training. As a dancer himself, he recognized the obvious benefits of these activities, but he also suggested I consider doing some emotional counselling to support my physical healing.

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Martha Carter Talks About Her Healing Journey - Part 6

My journey - and discoveries - in Supportive Care

The results of my intense massage routine and gym training slowly gave me confidence to try new things in the search for more mobility and pain relief. I thought that by having my Harrington rods removed, everything would be better, immediately. But, as it turned out, I encountered a whole new set of challenges...

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Martha Carter Talks About Her Healing Journey - Part 5

Harrington rods removed - the healing journey begins

As I mentioned in Part 3 of this serial blog post, after the removal of my Harrington rods, I was eager to experience movement in a new way—without the restriction of metal implants. But because I still felt stiff and had muscle spasms, I decided to work with a massage therapist, Dawn, to help break up the scar tissue that had built up over the years.

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Martha Carter Talks About Her Healing Journey - Part 2

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.

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Martha Carter Talks About Her Healing Journey: 21 Years Post-Surgery - Part 1

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.

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What Kind of Curve are You?

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.

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Interesting Video on the Alexander Technique for Scoliosis

"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

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