I don’t know if there is any way to express how much Sharon has helped our son, Jack, in her practice of the Feldenkrais method. Words truly cannot convey our profound gratitude for allowing our son to enjoy such a difference in his quality of life.
Jack is a twelve year old identical twin. He and his brother, Conor, had fused bones in their feet and each needed orthopedic surgery to separate the bones. Between the twins, three of the four feet had a great result. However, Jack’s right foot did not. He had immediate pain, spasming of muscles and tendons and lack of mobility. Six months later the orthopedist repeated the surgery to no avail, and in fact, to a worse result. Jack had horrible pain, a pronounced limp, an inability to walk without pain, participate in sports, or sleep through the night without awaking in spasms.
We tried 16 months of physical therapy, acupuncture, chiropractic, electric stim and even Botox injections into his foot. All of these were incredibly painful. At best the results were neutral, and at worst increased the pain and dysfunction. For 16 months Jack sat on the couch in chronic pain and took Motrin and Vicodin and basically sat life out. We were told CT scans showed Jack had multiple locations of arthritic changes and examinations showed a severe inhibition of lateral movement. When the pain became too much, a fusion of his right ankle would be performed and he would have no movement whatsoever in his ankle thereafter. Our entire family was devastated.
We were told of the Feldenkrais method 4 months ago through a friend who received relief from spinal pain. We originally started with another practitioner but soon gravitated to Sharon as she was a better fit for our son. Sharon’s own experiences with her recovery through Feldenkrais after her accident made Jack feel she was someone who had been there. Many of the medical personnel he had seen had not had any physical problems, and when he was in pain or experiencing pain when they worked on him (grin and bear it, no pain, no gain), and they didn’t seem to understand, it undermined his faith in them.
Over the course of the first few weeks of the gentle, restorative method of Feldenkrais with Sharon, Jack no longer needed pain medication. We noticed changes not only in his pain level, mobility in his foot and his ease in walking, but his posture, personality and concentration. He had been living in a cloud of pain and we did not fully realize the toll it was taking on him, and our family, emotionally until it abated. To have his identical twin sail through the surgeries and for him to have what he had been told was a permanent disability was devastating to him, and detrimental to the relationship between him and his twin brother.
For 16 months Jack was treated from his knee down, and only on his right side. Sharon treated Jack’s entire body. The dysfunction he had in his foot reverberated through his young body and set up dysfunction up and down his skeleton which she has been very successful in addressing.
Through Sharon’s help over the last several months, Jack is now playing Pop Warner football, participating in Junior Lifeguards which involves running barefoot on the beach, and is back into his life 100%! We took Jack back to his surgeon who had given us such a poor report just 4 months earlier, and he was flabbergasted at the difference. Jack went from near 100% immobility in his right foot to just 15%, and it will get better from there. Much to his utter amazement and happiness, the same surgeon who had sadly had to write a note that Jack could no longer participate in PE or any sports other than swimming was now approving his playing tackle football.
Sharon is talented, intuitive and gifted. We are so grateful to her, and we know she treats people who are so much worse off than our son ever was. Yet every milestone Jack has made makes her face light up with a joy that cannot be feigned.
Anyone who sees Sharon Starika should consider themselves blessed indeed.
Dana Irwin - Mother of twins in San Diego - December 17, 2007