Description of events and changes – Ivana
I came to Aleš at the end of August 2014 for two reasons: primarily because of a condition of scoliosis (which has been a part of me for as long as I can remember) and secondary because I was living in a nightmare.
In a hopeless situation – that’s how I saw the world around me at the time – I took the advice of a good friend. His words were: “Take care of your spine first, then life.”
He was right.
At our first individual session, Aleš explained to me directly that my life situation was my problem, a problem I created by myself. I did not like hearing that at all. I was angry with Aleš. I thought: “He doesn’t understand me because how could some outsider possibly understand my problems.”
I also thought: “He’ll understand; he just doesn’t know me well yet.” When he told me directly that I was responsible for all my problems, I found his words very difficult to process.
I believed that Aleš knew what he was doing. Only by looking at me head-to-toe after I walked into the room he assessed and explained my diagnosis, with no X-rays, forward bends, or anything else I was used to with orthopedists.
After our conversation and the definition of the situation, I lay on the table, and with a few little movements, he unlocked the contraction in my shoulder blades just enough that I could feel how the energy trapped in there exploded out of me. I couldn’t hold back the tears. I believed his leadership would help me, so I continued to walk down this path. I surrendered to his leadership, which meant working with my personality and my character.
After the first session, I felt pain and tingling in my spine. My muscles began waking up after being in a long-term contraction, and that meant a lot of physical pain, a tremendous amount of crying, coming into a lot of awareness of how I was to blame for my position in life, and a lot of regrets that I didn’t do things differently. I held a lot of unconscious grief. The following sessions were just as painful. The distress was both lessening and deepening. It’s hard to describe it with words.
I became aware that I reacted characterfully to the distress of my childhood and youth by trapping myself in a self-made cage, a cage where I felt safe. Because the distress was long-term, I identified myself with the cage and thus accumulated more and more self-restriction and deep-seated anger.
The next session with Aleš was scheduled a few days later, which continued for a few months. I started changing my physical balance intensively, and my psychological balance began to change accordingly – a new one started emerging, which affected the environment I was living in as well. The changes were very aggressive. Today, when I think about the past, I don’t think it could have been any different. My surroundings were used to me being in a cage, and if I wanted to leave it, the exit had to be quick and painful.
In the years that followed, brand new conditions for creating my life path emerged. This path has been and still is difficult and challenging, made up of new problems and solutions. But it is different this time because I am consciously the problem and the solution designer. After all, I understand my characteristics and skillfully change the disturbing ones.
I am a mother of four children who were 9, 7, 5, and 4 years old in 2014. I am a mother of four children who are now aged 17, 15, 13, and 12. The children walked my path of change with me. Their bodies, their movement, and their attitudes to life and the surroundings they are creating are clearly mirroring my results.
I use the AEQ method to help myself find balance. Scoliosis and pain are still present but in a much milder form. When I feel the pain, it is intense, a sign that I’ve escaped from my body and that I’m only dealing with things on the surface. My pain reminds me to lie down and focus on the exercises instead of my surroundings, and my condition improves immediately.
My posture is more balanced than before, it is still not ideal, but that’s life – creating balance every day.
AEQ is part of my life. I attended several daily AEQ intensives, which helped me create a better life for myself and my children. My goal of a daily intense AEQ workout remains unreached. Subconsciously I still strongly believe that hard work is the only thing that will free us, and therefore when setting priorities in my schedule, my work commitments come first. I still haven’t been able to unlock certain deep-seated habits.
Description of events and changes – Mother
I remember the day I saw my daughter’s back, then a schoolgirl. Surprise, uncertainty, fear, and fear of the unknown were my first feelings.
Then we visited the pediatrician. Diagnosis: SCOLIOSIS!!! Numerous visits to a specialist followed, researching corset models and details, etc.
My daughter wore the corset without any problems. We picked different scarves at the store for wrapping up the steely part of the corset between her neck and hips. She wore it all day. She also slept with it wrapped around her torso. She went to see a physiotherapist twice a week. She was doing exercises. She was committed to following the instructions of the specialist. It took a couple of years. In the meantime, she lived her life like all her classmates. She went on trips. She had a big bag where she could put the corset while traveling.
Her behavior, understanding, and strong will to improve the condition of her spine and adapt to it are truly worthy of praise.
I, as a mother, was very afraid. How will it be later, when my daughter is a girl, a wife, maybe a mother? And she surprised me again. She made me happy with four beautiful grandchildren. Once again, her strong will to make her dreams come true emerged.
Of course, she often had problems and pains because of scoliosis. But she never complained. The problems escalated in proportion to the stress in her life.
Her condition worsened in 2014 when her life collapsed.
But she did it again. She realized the possibilities of AEQ. Her posture improved. What impressed me the most was that the position of her ribs was much better now, which I saw with my own eyes. She couldn’t do that with the corset. She also feels and looks more confident by improving her posture and breathing.
She uses the knowledge that she has gained and passes it on to her children. Especially to her son, who is an athlete.
Now that her children are schoolchildren and students, I’m not worried anymore because she solves all the problems that come their way.
Description of events and changes – Mija
Since my mom started learning AEQ in 2014, she’s been much more relaxed and can stand up for herself. I think she is more confident. Since she started her spine workouts, it is now stronger in more ways than one.
(Mija received a referral for an orthopedist at the age of 9 for scoliosis. I didn’t take her to further treatment at the time. I was dealing with my scoliosis. After a year, when I realized and looked at Mija, looking for anomalies in her posture, they were gone. Visiting the orthopedist did not make sense anymore. Today, at the age of 17, Mija has no back problems, and the same goes for the other children.)
Description of events and changes - Aleš Ernst
ALEŠ ERNST, AUTHOR OF THE AEQ METHOD AND AUTHOR OF AEQ BREATHING
When I met Ivana, she was a tiny, fragile, guarded, deformed little girl. I almost could not believe that she is a mother of four children and works as a teacher in a technical school where most students are males. This made it clear to me why her posture was the way it was, her strong curvedness and bending to the right, away from her mother, and in search of the support of a father or husband she never had. But she did have what allowed her to make such a big difference – a vision, willpower, and patience. She simply never gave up and did not allow herself to disappoint herself. It was a big help that she was aware from the start that she was not only learning how to change herself but, above all, how to save her children from the same destiny and not knowing how to be an adult.
I was able to make her see the real situation she was in and the reasons for it in an appropriate way, and she was always able to see the possibilities of improving her condition if she gradually and increasingly applied what she learned from me and felt in her. The process of reducing SMA and SMO is similar to the decompression process during the rise of a dive. It mustn’t be too fast, and this is the greatest challenge for the teacher who is leading this process and determining its pace. The clients, of course, want to get better as soon as possible, but at the same time, they cannot understand the laws of time and physics that determine the pace of change. Simultaneously, the process of elimination of scoliosis depends entirely on raising emotional maturity and efficiency in the areas of boundary setting and the ability to negotiate within the family, relationships, and oneself. The imbalances in the environment in which a person with scoliosis lives and works are so big that the posture deforms to correspond to the collapsed relationships, to hold them together to their own detriment.
Thus, the logical consequence is that to eliminate scoliosis; there must be a higher integration of aggression into the personality structure because it allows for a more upright and correct posture.
Through learning the AEQ method, Ivana gradually managed to notice, identify and increasingly influence what obstructed, disrupted, restricted, or endangered her, and by doing AEQ exercises and active work with me, she was increasingly able to change the dynamics of her relationships, leaving behind chronically inappropriate behaviors and relations, and with it creating the conditions for changing the shape of her chest, spine and shoulders. By lessening her fear and increasing her self-trust, she started to breathe, speak, walk and run differently, and her dynamic posture was increasing in line with how she was at a certain point instead of her posture being chronically the same regardless of whether she was happy, sad, angry or in love.
As she matured, she started seeing certain relationships in a different light, as the rise in emotional maturity and efficiency raises the likelihood that we dare to see the truth and accept it as it is and find the best solution to regulate the necessary. This way, the orderliness of the environment in which one lives and works is gradually increased, which reduces the need for a disordered posture and chronic inability to change the shape of the chest, which is the basis for a clean, determined voice and effective verbal expression. She also became more familiar with her pelvis and leg dysfunction, which did not allow her to function and behave more firmly. She invested a lot of time in this part of her development and gradually created the conditions to fully stand on her feet. After that, the possibilities for resolving the relationship with her parents emerged, with which she could tackle the deepest cause of her scoliosis.
The difficult circumstances that prevented even greater improvement in her posture were her age when she started working, the abundance of trauma in her personal life that she had to go through, the strength that she needed to change and become independent, and have four children who were primarily dependent on her. At the same time, it was impossible to create an appropriate partnership that would relieve the burden on her right side and increase the dynamics on the left side of her body. This would significantly increase the symmetry and liveliness of both sides of the body. On top of this, she had to begin building new relationships with a lot more firmness and limit the influence of her parents on her children, which was anything but an easy task. Working on yourself, raising four children, and building a career path while also trying to teach a parent about the inappropriateness of their relationship toward her and their grandchildren has taken a huge amount of time and attention and has not left her enough time for herself and creating a low-tension environment, which is necessary for a person who is curled up in scoliosis – to relieve herself of her burdens, to learn to not be afraid of this unburdened state, and to unwrap herself from the incorrect twist of her torso and spine.
Ivana raised children who are suitably independent and loved enough to love themselves enough and not allow relationships that made their mother all twisted. Ivana achieved the basic task of a parent – to recognize and change the tradition that would devour her children and push them into the same fate as the parent who could not, would not, or didn’t know how to sacrifice for the child’s better and freer tomorrow, and could not pass on better and more orderly relationships than she had with her parents.
I am convinced that with the increasing independence of her children, Ivana’s burdens will gradually decrease. This will allow her to continue to act on herself and reduce the imbalance between her left and right half of the body. This way, she will prevent problems with the joints of the legs and arms and will increasingly be able to meet a suitable partner for an equal, complementary, and respectful relationship.
Working with Ivana has brought confirmation of the correctness of the thinking and approaches that make up the AEQ method and allow changes in chronic conditions and diseases that are often considered unsolvable. Especially because the state of relations at the beginning of our work was extremely unfavorable and seemingly hopeless, this further enhances the remarkable achievement that she has achieved in eight years. In retrospect, the difference in Ivana’s relationship with herself is substantial, precisely because this process of self-change requires a client to be determined, persevering, and eager to learn the necessary and thus turn the energy that has previously destroyed her into energy that gradually heals her.
I am pleased and proud to help Ivana on her journey out of scoliosis and for her children not to “inherit” it from her mother.