As I’ve noted a few times in previous posts, I’ve been undergoing vestibular therapy since August. For most of that time we had no real idea what was wrong with my vestibular system, but we were sure that it was pretty effed up. I was also experiencing muscle weakness, a ton of stress, and chronic fatigue.
The balance retraining exercises helped me immensely. They were often frustrating and exhausting, which I personally found a bit demoralizing, as at various points in my life I have competed as an endurance athlete — running marathons and racing bicycles over long distances. So, to be worn out by standing on one foot for thirty seconds kind of broke my heart and pissed me off. But, like with anything I stick with and practice a lot, I improved.
My therapist is a goddess. This is true. And the biggest impact she made on life — keeping me functional — involved craniosacral therapy and massage. Craniosacral therapy is essentially a very gentle massage of the skull using a soft touch on certain pressure points. It’s not in the slightest bit painful — in fact, I sometimes fall asleep because it is so relaxing. This therapy functions to relieve pressure in the skull, which for me was a HUGE problem in my undiagnosed SCDS. My vertigo improves, the pressure in my ear and skull decreases, and my stress level goes WAY down. And let’s face it, SCDS stresses the body in dozens of ways.
Eventually, my neck and upper back were so tight and contorted from the strain of trying to stay upright that she began a massage process after the craniosacral therapy, and within two visits my headaches and back pain had disappeared.
I went for therapy twice a week for about five months, and was able to work, drive, travel, and have some very good days despite the SCDS. And after a bad day with terrible symptoms, the therapy would set me straight again. Now I go as needed. I CANNOT recommend it highly enough. This is a maintenance process, not a cure. And, without great insurance, it could certainly be expensive. Fortunately for me, I only had to pay about $12 per visit — which is basically made up by the coffee and bourbon I can no longer drink.
If you happen to be in the Chicago area suffering from symptoms of Superior Canal Dehiscence Syndrome or any other vestibular problem, I urge you to give her a call.