6 weeks of CINK training significantly reduced 8+ years of chronic pain caused by Hypermobility Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS). Before CINK, I suffered back and neck spasms that left me bedridden for weeks at a time.
Havilah and Linda’s knowledge and insight of EDS coupled with their background as dancers and masters Pilates instructors has helped me to better understand my body and to push me further physically and mentally than I ever thought possible. I still have a lot of work ahead of me, but the 6-weeks of CINK training gave me the tools that I needed to continue to make progress and manage my pain without the help of medication.
With EDS hypermobility, I have a propensity to grip certain parts of my body as a way to overcompensate for my body’s ultra flexibility. These gripping patterns caused me to overuse certain muscles, which led to extreme pain, tightness and spasms, while the muscles that I should have been using had gone into atrophy.
CINK training taught me how to minimize these gripping patterns and how to build up the muscles that had gone into atrophy, which reduced my pain levels. CINK training was like getting the owner’s manual on how to properly use my body.
"I am a 45 year old woman with a great deal of joint and muscle pain associated with a lifetime of hyper-mobility and poor posture. I was fortunate to participate in two-week intensive CINK treatment. Before discovering CINK, I spent 15 years trying to get help from physical therapists, physiatrists, primary care doctors, and podiatrists, all of whom have basically admitted that they don't know how to help me, and that the pain I was ensuring was the inevitable consequence of Ehlers Danlos Syndrome. Linda and Havilah were the first people to articulate a precise understanding of why I was experiencing the pain, to help me get over my fear of movement, and to encourage me to believe that my body was a "good body" and that I could get better by focusing on very basic movements to strengthen weak muscles and avoid overusing others. I learned that I can integrate these movements and resulting postures into the everyday through practice, particularly through breath. It's been a month since my last CINK appointment. I am continuing to do my "homework" and have a long way to go before I am pain-free, but I now feel that I am on a clear path, and can continue to educate myself as well as my doctors and exercise instructors on how they can help me heal."
I spent my whole life struggling with health issues that I couldn't explain, 10 years of debilitating joint pain/instability and six years of living with the diagnosis of EDS-3 prior to finding CINK. Doctors, physical therapists and surgeons did all they could for me but told me I would need to learn to live with the issues that would continue to present in my life with this diagnosis. To help with symptoms, doctors did steroid, trigger point, epidural and prolotherapy injections, prescribed narcotics/opiates (extended and immediate release), muscle relaxers, anxiety suppressants and continued to help me through the ever-changing symptoms I encountered as an EDS patient. Surgeons would step in to help me in the quickest way they knew how - to operate, and they did so eight times on my knees, shoulders and back.
When I found CINK, I realized for the first time that having EDS-3 was not a life sentence. Linda and Havilah explained that my treatment leading up to CINK was all symptom based treatment and they vowed to treat the EDS. I participated in a 12 week treatment program with CINK. Years of medical professionals painting a picture of my 'forever' EDS landed me slightly resistant to what they were teaching me because it was such a different approach and understanding. It was hard to stay resistant to the approach when it provided positive results in such a short period of time. Their understanding of the human body and how it is supposed to operate is unreal. To take it further, their understanding of an EDS body and how it could work with proper training is an understanding I have yet to encounter with any other group, including medical professionals.
This is such a revolutionary approach to giving movement back to a human body - to an EDS body. Before I participated in CINK, I was on heavy prescription pain meds, muscle relaxers and anxiety suppressants, was in bed at least 18-20 hours/day, was unable to walk my dog or work and had little hope for the future of my life with health. Since completing the 12 weeks of treatment, I take only over the counter Asprin and have no need for muscle relaxers or anxiety suppressants, am only in bed to sleep (average of 10 hours/night), walk my dog daily, am able to complete all of my tasks needed for work and am excited for what the future holds. Linda and Havilah gave me my life back with their patience, persistence, knowledge and high motivation for success with their patients. Through the CINK process, they taught me how to breathe, how to strengthen my muscles to properly support my joints, how to listen to what my body is trying to tell me, how to help my body when it needs it and most importantly, they taught me that I could move again... that I could live again.
Rachel Rykal, 25