Welcome to "Back Stories", our TOPS Guest Blog Series. In our third guest blog, Ahava Shira, a professional facilitator, masterful at guiding each person to express themselves in their own way, in their own time, with their own words, shares her story and how she utilizes writing as a form of healing and teaches others to do the same.Read More
Introducing "Back Stories", our TOPS Guest Blog Series. In our second guest blog, Deborah Wolk, a Yoga for Scoliosis specialist based in New York City, details the incredible experience shared by all in attendance at her Yoga, Scoliosis and the Organic Body retreat for TOPS on Salt Spring Island, BC, this past July, 2018.
We live in a time when the earth is stressed: fires blaze along the West Coast, resources are dwindling, and the ocean and its inhabitants are diseased by plastic. The state of our planet raises questions. How does our own condition reflect this?Read More
Introducing "Back Stories", our TOPS Guest Blog Series. Our first guest blog is this incredible raw and moving story by Cindy Heidel from Florida, USA.
I was born, a stick with a head on it. People loved to point out how skinny I was. By thirteen, I knew I was abnormally tall, flat chested, and had two buck teeth that could open a soda bottle. Some brat in the neighborhood nicknamed me Fang. But I also knew that something was wrong with me.
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.Read More
About other Scoliosis-Specific Exercise Methods
Since I had my Harrington rods removed, I have explored and discovered many therapies. Aside from Yoga for Scoliosis, which has been my main focus, there are three other popular Scoliosis-targeted exercise methods that are becoming more available and showing promising results.Read More
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.Read More
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.Read More
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...Read More
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.Read More
Finding a surgeon; proceeding with rod removal.
It was not easy convincing the new surgeon to remove my Harrington rods. He was unsympathetic to most of my initial reasoning — that I didn’t “like” the foreign object in my body; that the rods “felt weird”, and like they were “vibrating”.Read More
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.Read More
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.Read More