Five weeks ago I completed the Gokhale Method Foundations Course privately with Rachel Margaret as my teacher. I have a permanent pain condition due to nervous system damage which was caused by a drug reaction at the same time as my neck incurred physical damage.
Since taking the course, I have adapted my usual sleeping position (a baby's cot pillow with an electric heat pad on top) to include stretchlying. Rachel found a range of cushions already in my home to adapt to my particular body shape. I still take drugs for chronic pain, but I find myself now actively looking forward to setting up for sleep. As Esther mentions in one of her videos, I seem to be waking up comfortably, still in the same position.
Another permanent change has been to my walking / hiking technique. Movement helps my pain a lot, but I've now added 'J' spine posture, walking with feet angled slightly outwards and propelled from glutes. It took a few hikes over a number of weeks (and by myself so that I could concentrate on correcting and adjusting all the elements), however, once I maintained the posture over a number of hours the muscles supporting that new shape kicked in and it became very comfortable and the most natural way to move.
I also kayak. After taking the course I have adjusted the backrest of the kayak seat to enable a 'j' spine that stacks comfortably and stops there being any pressure on my lower back. I try to remember to keep my neck tall and straight and to use my eyes to look up, instead of raising my whole face.
Within the bigger framework of a chronic pain condition it is lovely to manage to find these periods of comfort and relaxation. It is helpful to have the ongoing reminders of Facebook posts from Rachel, Esther and other course 'alumni', as well as the arrival of my own copy of the 8 Steps to a Pain-Free Back book.
Rachel is gentle, patient and innovative in her presentation. It is painful for me to sit still for any length of time, so whenever we had a bit of theory coming up, she'd resettle me in a stretch lying position and hold the iPad at a comfortable angle for us both to see. I genuinely can't recommend Rachel highly enough. This is a substantial improvement to my quality of life.