“A Story of Loss and Awakening”
By Amanda Campbell
Today, I wear a few hats in a career that has become my passion.
I am an Ambassador for MS Limited, Sports Kinesiologist and Motivational Speaker.
Let’s rewind to 2004 when I was 24 years old. I was enjoying life in every way possible, working in the Fashion Industry; a career that I loved. I was always a motivated, driven and happy girl.
This was the year I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS).
I was a determined, career driven young woman, so understandably I was shocked and devastated.
I had a few minor symptoms over the next few years including numbness, balance issues, and weakness on the left hand side of my body. But they were often years apart so this allowed me to live in denial of my diagnosis.
In 2009 at age 29, I lost my ability to walk from a big MS attack that paralysed the entire left hand side of my body. I lost my career and the use of my body. Simple little things like the ability to wash and feed myself became the most difficult task of the day. I lost my big fashion career and life as I knew it. I went from running around, enjoying my life, to standing still and paralysed. I was living life to its fullest, and suddenly found myself in turmoil and darkness. I went from feeling in complete control of my future, to feeling totally helpless.
In less than ten days my whole world had crumbled, as my body slowly, day by day, became paralysed. I could not feel or move the left hand side of my body. It became dead and heavy. My sister literally had to drag me, on her back, up and down stairs along the carpet, to see my doctor.
They checked me into hospital at the beginning of January 2009 and I knew going in that I wasn’t going to be leaving any time soon. They started me on the standard MS therapy, a high dose of Steroids for 3 days. I was not responding – so they continued for a total of 5 days. But I still could not move.
I was moved into rehab at Epworth Richmond in Melbourne and the work began. I stayed for 2 months. I hit rock bottom, I had to ask myself “am I ever going to walk again”? I was stretched to my limits emotionally and physically, beyond normal comprehension and everything stopped.
One day, I remember sitting in my wheelchair in my rehab session, working hard, trying to make my fingers open and close, with tears running down my face, because it was so hard! And so in that moment I just decided. I awakened. I was either going to give up now or I was going to tackle this head on!
I had to change my mind and what was possible, to get results.
When I was diagnosed, from that moment on I started to focus all of my energy focusing on what I didn’t want and what I was scared of. That I might end up disabled, bedridden or worse. So I went out later, worked harder and made my self as busy as possible, denying how I really felt about my reality. I was living in a state of urgency and fear.
There was a moment where everything changed.
When my mindset shifted, and I changed my mind about what could be possible for my recovery and therefore my life. The way my body mirrored this shift was so life changing it would lead to a new career for me.
One day I had dinner with my girlfriends, they wheeled me in my wheelchair out of hospital, down to the pub and we laughed and laughed forgetting about the 24/7 hell that was my reality. I felt joy in my body more than ever before, it had been so long since I had felt happy. Something very special happened that night, after dinner getting back to my room my toe moved for the first time on my paralysed foot.
It was in that moment I found hope.
I started to channel my energy different. A new motivation came over me where I now knew what I had to do and as a result I started to focus on what I wanted instead of what I didn’t want. Which was to get my mind, body and life back.
This taught me about the importance of joy and the impact it has on our mind and body. I also learned that you can only truly cherish the light and joy when you know the despair of real darkness, that can present as setbacks we experience in our life. Perhaps life is designed as moments of comparisons.
So I did what I knew, I worked hard. I was first in at Physiotherapy and the last to leave. I was a woman on a mission – 3 sessions a day 5 times a week.
I had to learn how to use my hand again. I was taught all over again how to pick things up and I had to learn how to walk again. You don’t know what you are capable of in times like this. A switch turned on inside of me, and I channelled my rock bottom moment into pure drive to fight. I was determined to leave hospital not only walking, but running!
I left there running. It wasn’t the most graceful of runs. I won’t win medals for it. It definitely was an awkward looking run.
But I did it.
It wasn’t just me, far from it. I had an amazing team of people who helped me. These people made me believe that I could do it. They stood with me when I couldn’t stand and helped me get to where I am today. I was blessed. I had Physio’s, Speech Therapists, Counsellors, Occupational Therapists, Neurologists, and Kinesiologists, family and friends. I could not have come through this with the courage and determination that I had, if it had not have been for my loving supportive family and friends, in particular my twin sister Nicole.
She was there every day and night. Even sleeping next to me in my single hospital bed some nights. I cannot begin to explain how much I appreciate her and count my lucky stars for her kindness and unconditional love, through the hardest time of my life.
Week by week I started to get movement back in my toes and fingers, then arms and legs and my face. I started to walk with a foot brace. Then I progressed to walking with my knee taped up, to walking on my own. And those first few steps to freedom were… indescribable.
As horrific as it was (the experience of paralysis), it was equally as joyful taking those first few steps to walking again. I will forever be indebted to the exceptional Neuro-Physiotherapists at Epworth Richmond, Gavin Williams and also Shaun. It was in my sessions that I met and spent every day with other patients that were going through similar things; car accidents and strokes. So many stories, so much suffering. I found that I had re-evaluated my life, and I was grateful to be getting better, finally. This sort of stuff changes you, it humbles you.
Another man that got me walking again in conjunction with the Physiotherapists, was an Applied Kinesiologist Dr. Michael Bay. After a session with Michael, the Physio’s asked me the next day, “what did you do? You are 20% better overnight, you are recovering so rapidly!”.
I believe it was taking a balanced approach that helped to maximise my recovery. Kinesiology works with the brain, traditional Chinese medicine techniques were applied to wake my nervous system and muscles up. The Physio’s at the start warned me that it would take time to learn how to walk again, pick things up, drive a car and get back to normal life. And it was going to be work and luck if it came back at all.
I ran in 6 weeks.
One year on I now had full function back in my body.
This inspired me to go back to college to study Kinesiology and addressing my nutrition helped me get my mobility back so well, that I went back to college to study for a Diploma in Sports Kinesiology, and unravelled the complexities of Autoimmune Disease.
I specialise in the emotional links to disease or physical stress, Autoimmune Disease, symptoms of bladder urgency and frequency, depression and anxiety, fatigue, fertility and hormone imbalances and pain.
I believe that a number of things in combination have helped keep my MS dormant for the past 9 years now. I have now dedicated my life to teach others how I achieved this at my Private Practice Bend like Bamboo, on an online program, public speaking, and now the book I am currently writing about my journey to wellness.
I tailor a program to the individual to help them find balance again. To ‘bend like bamboo’ is to bend with all the change that is inevitable in life with flexibility, to reduce suffering and maximise results.
The best way to describe Kinesiology is it’s like physical psychology. Think of Acupuncture and Counselling in one session without the needles! 90% of our brain capacity stems from the subconscious part of the brain, which is in charge of our memories and past experiences. It is from these memories and experiences that our core beliefs, behaviours and habits are formed, usually from age 0-6 years old.
It is this subconscious part of the brain that we access as Kinesiologists, via the integrity of the muscles. Your muscles are connected to your brain via the Nervous System and run through multiple meridians in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Kinesiology can help you to access blocked emotions, blocked Qi and fear-based beliefs that can limit you, ultimately connected to physical symptoms and illness.
If your core beliefs are fear based they also affect what you attract in your life. All you need to do is ask yourself ‘does my reality fall in line with my desires?’ ‘Do I have great health?’ ‘Do I attract love in my life?’ ‘Do I have financial abundance?’ ‘Do things seem to come easily or does everything seem hard all the time?’
If your reality doesn’t match what you actually are wanting in your life then you know that your core beliefs do not match your desires you now have as an adult.
These fear based beliefs and blocked emotions that are not serving you in your life are interfering with your health, thoughts, emotions, what you attract, achieving your dreams and more importantly they are holding you back from having good health.
The results for me have been truly astounding.
I think it’s important to note that I think conventional medicine can work well in conjunction with complimentary medicine. I utilise both in my health program and I do what is right for me. I have found that educating myself about the various fields of research has not only changed my attitude from living in denial, in fear, of my future to feeling empowered and becoming an active and informed patient, reaping benefits from all approaches available in our medical fields.
Knowledge is power. Such knowledge can also only improve patient care and I do hope we can live in a world very soon where our neurologists are teaching and educating their clients about wellness prevention and dealing with the cause of their disease, lifestyle factors and nutrition, as well as treating their symptoms with the conventional drugs that we have available.
I have treated people from all over the world with various different physical and mental ailments or disease and the incredible opportunities I have been blessed with in my career have made me the practitioner I am now.
I believe that you can change your mind about what is possible for you.
To maximise repair and resilience, you want to give your mind and boy the right environment to reset. There were 3 core elements that stood out in my personal experience and research :
1. Eat better – nourish your body on a cellular level to achieve results by eating real wholefoods and eliminate sugar and processed foods or any food allergies that is different for everybody.
2. Feel better – when you eat better you are going to feel better physically and emotionally. You are then more inclined to adapt to change and push yourself to get out of your comfort zone. This will lead to making better decisions and allows you to build a life that you value. You can then start to feel worthy enough to design a life that inspires you.
3. Nourishing your body and washing your mind daily helps you to become more connected - to yourself and those around you.
It is from this place that you will see things from a new perspective. As a connected human this is the right environment you can give your body to fire signals of repair and balance. Eating better, feeling better and replenishing your connection to energy, yourself and others, creates a shift within you to achieve a higher understanding of life. You are able to see obstacles as opportunities, important to your health and also to perform at your best in business.
When we are faced with times of setback or illness it can be hard to gain momentum, that is why I created Optimal health :
If interstate or international :
Call us on 1300 188 882 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how to book in for online coaching if you are outside of Melbourne / International.
To book Amanda to speak at your event or workplace please contact:
1300 188 882