Have you ever dreamed of being on American Ninja Warrior? Can you imagine going from having full use of your body to a quadriplegic and then gaining the use of them again? I know I can’t! Well in today’s episode of the Jonesin’ for show I talk with Alison Leitheiser who sure she competed on ANW but 1000% more impressive is that she took her health into her own hands, with the help of her family, and came back strong! Now she helps others learn how they can heal their body using holistic approaches!
Alison Leitheiser was the typical kid who loved athletics. But then she got quite sick. When she was in high school Alison got a virus in her spinal cord which caused her to have a problem walking and sitting on her own. It quickly progressed and she ended up paralyzed from the neck down. As a sixteen-year-old she was unable to go to the bathroom or even brush her teeth by herself. The doctors didn’t really know exactly what was wrong or how they could help her. About a year after she had been really ill, she found a type of alternative therapy that thought they could help her. At first, she thought it was too weird, but after trying it she realized it was actually helping her. They changed what she was eating, did at home exercise programs, and more. It took about five months for her to be able to walk again without a cane. Some of the other symptoms took a few years to get rid of, but she was so happy to be able to move herself again. She became an athlete again and was even able to go on the tv show American Ninja Warrior.
Alison sees her body like a bank. She has a certain amount of energy she can withdraw and use before she needs to deposit something into it. Each task you do makes you withdraw some amount of energy from that bank, and you can replenish your bank by resting, eating, etc. When Alison was sick almost every task she did used up all of her energy, as she had a very limited amount in her bank. Even if she just wanted to take a shower it would use up all of her energy and she’d have to rest for the rest of the day. However, because of that she learned different ways to deposit back into her body that other people may not do. One idea she uses is that there is a bucket in your brain. Every stressor you come across during the day goes into that bucket, and eventually it will start to overflow. That overflow could come across as pain down the neck, a migraine, anxiety, depression, or a million other things. You need to tell your brain that it’s ok and take some of those stressors out of the bucket. Alison has some drills that she does to assist with that. It may take a little time to figure out what works for you, but there are many different drills, and you will be able to find one that helps you. Your brain feels safer when it knows exactly what’s going on. For example you could try rolling your ankle a few times, once you intentionally start moving parts of your body it forces your brain to scan it and discover how it’s feeling at the moment. That new information can be a deposit into the bank. It might seem small but even simple drills like that can make a big difference.
Stress builds up, but so do these interventions. Doing these drills help you to release a lot of old patterns that cause stress to build up in your life. As you go along there are more opportunities to drill different areas of your body to help it move better. It all depends on your goals. There are so many different ways you can approach healing, it’s really dependent on what is best for you. If you are struggling, it is important to get into a place where you can make some interventions. If you can’t do basic functions, you won’t be able to implement new information. You have to be willing to put in the time to put in these deposits. If you go to a doctor and they give you pills to help you do these basic functions and help you feel a bit better, take them. Then you will be able to better implement new drills in your life, and once you notice those start working you can get off of the pills. Alison has a Facebook group that she posts her drills in that you are welcome to join.
Alison has three pieces of advice for people trying to live their lives to the max. 1) When people start to get healthier, they tend to be drawn to detox. Detox can make things worse; it can overwhelm your pathways. 2) You don’t have to have a lot of education and know everything before you start getting better. Anybody can slow down and take a few deep breaths to balance their nervous centers. 3) Lastly, your body is worth fighting for. It may seem like a lot of work sometimes, but it is totally worth it!
If you would like to connect with Alison you can find her website https://home.inner-restoration.com/ which has the link to her Facebook group Inner Restoration. I would love to hear what you think about Quadriplegic to Ninja Warrior. Send me a message on social media @Jonesinfor or email me at [email protected]