Dizziness, Vertigo and Coming Home

08 Jun 2017

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GUEST POST: Joey Remenyi

My yoga journey began at age 8 in the kitchen with my mother. I started a daily practice at around age 18. At the time, I had hormone irregularities that the medical world couldn’t explain, chronic asthma that had me hospitalised and medications that left me with unwanted side effects and no long-term solutions. Yoga brought me home into my body. With a daily practice, my hormones balanced out, the asthma has eased, my allergies disappeared and I stopped fighting with myself.

Is yoga a cure for everything? No, of course not.

Yoga taught me to trust my innate life force. It taught me that medications were not the only way.  Yoga taught me to listen to my body, and to hear it’s wisdom, rather than feed doubt, self-criticism and continually struggle with it. I learned to allow tenderness and friendship into my inner world. I began to learn by feeling my truth; I learned to feel my way home. I became the master of my mind and my body. I began the journey of deeply listening and owning my truths, even when those truths were ugly. I learned to be forgiving, daily.

Fast-forward 15-years. I am a trained vestibular audiologist with a background in psychology and over 7000-hours of training in yoga and mindfulness. I have insights into the inner struggle for clients with sensory impairments and the limitations of the medical model for tinnitus and vertigo. The world is ready and wants to know more about the power of mind-body medicine.

People with persistent dizziness, vertigo or tinnitus often want to escape what they feel. They don’t like their inner sensations. Their body feels defected and inadequate.

They can’t run away from it, it is inside of them. Medications are rarely the long-term solution and can have equally unwanted side effects.

At the University of Melbourne Balance Disorders Clinic, where I worked for many years, I met thousands of people who had lost faith in their bodies. They felt nausea, spinning, foggy, cotton-wool-in-the-head and confusion.

They had been from doctor to doctor accumulating a series of medical investigations that told them little more than ‘no abnormality detected’.

These clients were crying out for answers and everywhere they turned, they found more frustration. They were beginning to avoid certain head positions and body movements in an attempt to ‘manage’ their condition and prevent dizziness.

In clinic, we call these maladaptive or avoidant behaviours. As humans, we are wired to run away from pain and run toward pleasure. Of course, we are going to avoid things that make us dizzy. Who wouldn’t’?

However, avoiding the dizziness can keep us stuck in our dizziness. The brain loses rich and necessary inputs.

By learning to feel and observe dizzy sensations is our way home. In order to rewire our dizzy sensations, we need to lean in with friendship, kindness and trust. We need to listen within and find safety.

Mindfulness skills guide clients through their jungle of unwanted thoughts, feelings and symptoms. Together we pause and we develop a simple daily practice so that they can feel their changing landscape, and trust it.

We are all the experts of our own bodies. We are capable of much more than we realise. In my professional life, I witness what feels like miracle after miracle as these brave vertigo and tinnitus clients recover their sense of self.

The gift of self-compassion and self-friendship is the gift of yoga. It brought me home to my body. Has it brought you to home to yours?


About Joey:

Joey Remenyi is a Registered Senior Yoga Teacher and a Founder of Seeking Balance Australia. Joey offers world-first online programs for people with vertigo. She runs mindfulness for professionals training and is passionate about bringing yoga off the mat into daily life.

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