I can’t pinpoint when my troubles began. In fact, until a few months ago, I didn’t know I had any trouble at all. I was very use to living my life as I always have. Serving in the Army, and enjoying physical activities such as crossfit, hiking, swimming and running ultra marathons, I assumed I was doing the very best my body would allow me to do. When I’d run out of breath I’d slow my pace or take a break during crossfit WODs. After a few moments, my breath would come back, and I could pick the intensity back up….until I was out of breath again. I started having chest pains a few years ago. I went through intensive cardiac, pulmonary and gastric workups. All of the analysis proved I was perfectly healthy. The various Doctors, all highly professional and genuinely concerned couldn’t tell me why I hurt. The assured me there was nothing wrong with my heart, and not to take counsel on my fears when I felt heart attack like symptoms. A few months ago, my old friend pain came to visit me. I was sitting at my desk late one evening when I felt like I’d been hit in the chest with a hammer! I clutched my chest, and to my amazement and horror I felt a protrusion in the middle of me chest. Roughly 4 inches wide, an inch or so tall and protruding out about an inch. I gently pressed it back into my chest and it rapidly receded. After a few moments I felt alright and headed to bed. A few hours later I woke up sweating with the same pain and felt like I was going to pass out. This earned me a trip to the emergency room.In the ER they verified that I hadn’t had a heart attack and sent me home to follow up with my primary care provider This started the cycle all over again…rule out the heart, the lungs and gastric system. I knew up front that this wouldn’t solve anything…this would be the 4th time going through the motions. Experiencing the pain again, I decided to go to the emergency room at Walter Reed Military Medical Center. Prudently, they went through the procedures to rule out any cardiac issues. The difference was that I was very persistent with them and made them go beyond their normal specialty work. After the combined medical team ruled out the typical potential causes, they referred me to the Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Clinic. I was optimistically hopeful at this new method of attack. As I described my pain, symptoms, lifestyle and observations to the Doctor, he began to ask very specific questions. As I responded, his tone grew in confidence and he started to slowly grow a smile. A few basic tests led him to diagnose my pain and the root cause of the problem! It turns out I have been using my diaphragm to do the work of my core muscles. I had learned to breath the wrong way! The Doctor walked me through the corrective action and gave me exercises to start working the problem. I felt an immediate improvement of perhaps 10 percent. In the six weeks I did the exercises I felt gradual improvement, but rapidly leveled out after eliminating roughly 15 percent of my pain. My Doctors told me to continue on with the exercises and informed me that it could take a year to completely resolve the problem. Seeing my frustration, they offered me another possible solution. There was a motion specialist that they referred a few tough cases to in the past. All of these patients reported significant improvements in their quality of life in just a few weeks. How could I say no to getting my life back? I’d happily do anything to eliminate my pain and get back to crossfit and running! This led me to my first session with Mr. Dominic Sessa. I didn’t know what to expect, but was very hopeful going into the session. Dominic took the time to listen to me – from start to finish. He asked the right questions about my condition, hopes and expectations, all the while observing my body mechanics, posture and physical
habits. We spent the hour together exploring my condition, explaining the factors that may have caused the condition and designing a plan to fix it and give me my life back. Dominic made multiple adjustments and really worked some of the muscles that needed to be retrained. By the time he was done, I felt no pain! He gave me a series of breathing exercises to work on daily. I was surprised that such seemingly simple exercises could make an impact. However, the longer I did them, the less pain I felt. I like to think I’m much closer to getting back to the activities that I love after only two weeks of exercising! I’m really looking forward to our next session and the improvements I’m confident I’ll see. I’m very optimistic about my future – I believe that I will be pain free and able to do the things I enjoy. I am also hoping that by learning to breath properly, I may see big improvements in crossfit, my ultras and normal day to day activities! So, you’ve been very patient reading my story, here is what I’d like you to take away from it: Trust Dominic – he can help you. Trust the exercise regimen he prescribes – if you follow it, you will improve. Take the time to make it a priority. You will be very happy you did! Wishing you all the very best for success.