I am neither a doctor nor a medical professional of any type. I am a photographer and I am a person who has experienced chronic back, neck, hip, and shoulder pain. But most importantly to you reading this, I am someone who has benefitted from the Mackenzie Method. I want to share my testimony so that you too can benefit. If you have suffered from chronic pain, I understand. I have been there too. The reason I am not in pain right now is because of the Mackenzie Method.
HOW IT BEGAN: There were 2 incidents that occurred which caused my acute pain. My pain began with the first incident in 2000 when I was 10 years old. I got into a go kart accident and hyperextended my left arm. I was not able to move my left arm at all. The accident left me with a torn muscle, torn ligaments, a torn tendon, several weeks of physical therapy, and reoccurring shooting pains in my left side from my shoulder, down my arm and into my hand. The shooting pains gradually became less over time and all motor function returned to my arm. However, the pain would spur up with weather changes, or at times when I lifted anything heavy. No additional treatment was done after the physical therapy.
THE SECOND INCIDENT: The second incident was in 2012. A friend was carrying me across a parking lot, tripped on a the curb, and dropped me on my head. My head crunched to the left leaving my neck sore the next day. After about a week, I began having shooting pains again in my left side, this time from the base of my skull down my shoulder, and across my entire chest. The pain was so debilitating that I could not sit upright at my computer at work and my breathing was impaired. Taking a deep breath was excruciatingly painful. My boss recommended visiting her chiropractor. I began getting chiropractic adjustments everyday, which then tapered off to 3x per week, then 1x per week, and eventually once per month. I felt immediate relief from the adjustments but I was not completely pain-free and as time passed the pain would crop back up until I received another adjustment. At the time, my insurance did not cover these appointments so I tried to ‘tough it out’ as long as I could between adjustments to conserve money. For the next 2 years (2012-2014) I managed my pain symptoms on an ‘as needed’ basis through chiropractic adjustments. It seemed there would be seasons of relief and seasons of pain all of which appeared random and unpredictable to me.
SCOLIOSIS DIAGNOSIS: In 2014 I ran my first half-marathon. Being an avid runner I trained for the run with appropriate cross training techniques and completed it feeling strong and loose. It wasn’t until after the run that I noticed a tightness in my right shoulder under my shoulder blade. I visited my chiropractor who decided to x-ray me. It was then that I was diagnosed with scoliosis. It was recommended that I not continue running, because the jarring movement can further irritate a spine curvature condition such as scoliosis. This was an emotional realization after having run almost every day of my life since age 12 in middle school track. I was forced to come to this acceptance because running became more painful than it was enjoyable. I quit running altogether and began the gentler practice of yoga every day as recommended. I also increased my adjustments to once per week.
WHAT I TRIED: For the next 2 years (2014-2016) I continued to have shoulder, back, and neck pain. In search of relief I saw a total of 8 specialists on a reoccurring basis. I was treated with massage therapy, acupuncture, physical therapy, chiropractic adjustments, vitamins and supplements, essential oils, good ol’ Advil, heating pads, ice packs, and Bio freeze. I paid anywhere from $50-$200 per visit which over the years totaled a number that I refuse to add up. On my own I tried different workout regimes, meditation, Epsom salt baths, and diet changes to cut out inflammatory foods. All of these things helped some, but none helped in any dramatic way.
GETTING WORSE: In September of 2016 I began having shoulder pain in my right shoulder as well as shooting pains in my right hip. It was sudden, and severe. I don’t know what triggered this new pain, but in the mornings I could barely move my right arm at all, and was frequently losing sleep at night due to tossing and turning to find a comfortable position. The amount of time that I experienced relief in between chiropractic adjustments became shorter and shorter. From one month, to one week, to one day, till finally I would feel pain getting into my car to leave the parking lot after just receiving a $50 adjustment. I was losing hope as this pain battle forged on, now getting progressively and rapidly worse. For 3 months I bounced around more doctors getting all different opinions and trying all different treatments.
MACKENZIE METHOD DISCOVERY: Finally, on December 7, 2016 I met with a general practitioner at Roper Hospital who suggested the Mackenzie Method. This was the first I’d heard of it. She said to buy the book for a few bucks, read it, and try it out. That night I ordered the book used on Amazon for $6.00 (the cheapest doctor solution I had been offered yet) and Googled ‘Mackenzie Method’ to find out more. I stumbled across a Youtube video of two young men documenting the Mackenzie Method shoulder exercise. On of the men explained his shoulder pain which was exactly the same as what I was experiencing in my right shoulder. I performed the motion- ten reps- and POOF. Just like that. The pain in my shoulder that had persisted for the past 3 months was gone instantly. I was baffled. I was grateful. I was skeptical. I got up and walked around. Still no pain. I moved and wiggled and stretched. No pain. Was is a miracle? Such a simple movement for only 10 seconds and instant relief?! How could this be?!
THE PROOF IS IN THE PUDDING: That week I continued the shoulder motion exercises each morning and each night and anytime in between whenever the pain would crop up. Every time, instant relief. I also Googled ‘Mackenzie Method hip exercises’ which addressed my shooting hip pain. Again, instant relief. Yesterday, December 20th, the book arrived in the mail. I opened the first page and was moved to tears as I read the authors testimony- much similar to my own. Finally, I felt like I had found someone who FULLY understood the depth of my frustration and the scope of my pain problem. Not only did this book speak to my specific problem, but as I was already experiencing first hand, this book offered a solution that was FREE, takes only a few minutes, is a painless process, and offers RAPID relief. My skepticism diminished as I flipped and read page by page. I cancelled my next chiropractic appointment and explained that I had found a new method that seems to be working. Last week I was able to begin lifting weights again. I started with a small 5lb weight and did not experience pain the following day or at all since. I continue the Mackenzie exercises for just about 3 min. morning and night.
THE SOLUTION: For the first time in YEARS, when I have a pain flare-up, no longer do I have to “tough it out” to see if the pain diminishes in a few days. And no longer do I wait helplessly till my next Dr. appointment, drive across town using precious gas and time, and hemorrhage money for treatments that don’t offer relief. I read the exercises and follow them. I treat myself for zero copay. I get rapid relief. You can do this too.
FOR YOU: Robin Mackenzie’s book, “7 Steps To A Pain-Free Life”, makes the point that you must follow the exercises to the letter. It says also that you may not have INSTANT relief but that if you continue the practice as is suggested you will experience RAPID relief. My experience was instant. For me, it was just that powerful. But don’t let my ‘miracle’ experience dissuade you from giving it your full effort.