The Zebrastrong Blog

Managing your pain starts with learning what works for you, your body and your lifestyle. That’s why my blog is about more than techniques for managing pain. Here you’ll also find strategies for coping with the emotional and social aspects too.

EDS and exercise: not the opposites you think

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes For someone dealing with chronic pain, exercise feels like that last thing that should be on the agenda. With a body that’s easily exhausted, aches, and often acts frustratingly beyond your control, it might seem crazy to choose to physically exert yourself more.  But I’ve found exercise to be a fundamental part of managing chronic pain conditions and for those living with forms of hypermobility.

Empowerment: finding your strength

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes For EDS Awareness Month, I’ve been thinking a lot about empowerment, inspired by the strength of communities who society often disregards as weak. Whether it’s hearing the stories of creative and resilient people, the positivity of #fragilebutunbreakable social media campaign, or watching the phenomenal achievements of the EDS community.  I am awed by this strength in the face of adversity.

Fascia and Proprioception: what are they and what do they mean for those with EDS?

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes As a sufferer of Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome or hypermobility, you may not be familiar with the terms fascia and proprioception. I wasn’t until well into my health journey. But, whilst sounding complicated, these words actually describe things that are very simple, amazing, fascinating, as well as intrinsic to these conditions.

For many, Mother’s Day is a sharp reminder of what we miss most

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes Mother’s Day. Last minute cards and chocolates bought, shops repeatedly and urgently stage-whispering ‘Don’t forget!’. Despite all the commercialism, I’m still a supporter of anything which makes us pause and appreciate the people and actions we so often take for granted.

Small Steps – Focusing on the steps themselves

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes We spend a lot of time thinking about our bodies. For those who are lucky to live free from pain or conditions such as Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS), this often focuses our bodies look or the bits we’d like to tone or change. For those of us with hypermobility or EDS, the focus tends to be on how our joints feel, where the pain is, and how we avoid a dislocation or sprain. But what most of us never do is think about our body parts in isolation. The feet especially get very little attention.

Small steps: discovering movement when you live with chronic pain

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes Encouraging someone who lives with chronic pain to ‘get moving’ could sound like a misguided, insensitive piece of advice. However, throughout my years as a professional Pilates and movement coach (not to mention during my years of ill health) I’ve seen time and again the impact that the right movement can have when it comes alleviating the symptoms of chronic pain.

Finding Solutions Through Movement – Pilates & Hypermobility

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes In my time as a professional Pilates instructor and wellness coach, I’ve come across countless people who have lived for years with undiagnosed joint pain and movement issues. Helping them understand what hypermobility is and how it might be causing their varying levels of discomfort, as well as introducing them to exercises that can make a life-changing difference, is one of the most rewarding parts of my job.

Meditation isn’t always what you think it is

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes What pops into your head when you think of meditation? I think for a lot of people (me included) it was the image of sitting legs crossed desperately trying to keep my mind quiet, allowing thoughts to come and go but without being drawn to them.

Without Breath There is No Movement

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes I wrote that simple sentence last week on a Pilates forum I belong to. Someone had asked a question as to “how important is it to teach breathing in a class?”. I do not normally comment in these forums, but was moved to last week as there seems to have been a proliferation of questions and concerns about breathing during Pilates.

What’s with the Naval to Spine Hollowing?

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes I love to move – I take every opportunity to move my body on a daily basis. I try to attend classes whenever I can; so when I was on holiday in May, I took a Pilates class in the resort I was staying at. I never say I’m a movement therapist – I just like to go and enjoy moving as an anonymous client.