She came with shoulder pain. She left free of diverticulitis.

case studies Oct 03, 2023

When I begin working with a new student I give them a lengthy intake form. I'm interested in learning about many aspects of their health and lifestyle, even if they are “just” coming to me with a sore shoulder. Because where students often see two totally unrelated health issues, I see a shared root cause.

For example, sore shoulders and gut issues could be connected in multiple ways:

-A hiatal hernia - when the stomach pushes through the diagram - can create shoulder pain in addition to a feeling of acid reflux.

-An angry gallbladder can signal pain through the Phrenic nerve, which runs from the abdomen past your right shoulder where the pain will be felt.

-An unhealthy gut microbiome can be causing chronic inflammation, leading to arthritis in the shoulders.

-In the case of one student of mine, her shoulder pain and diverticulitis were symptoms of years of chronic tension.

Here’s what she had to say about our time working together: 

“Last year I was diagnosed with a rotator cuff issue that was brought on by a combination of tension and improper use of my body as a professional dog trainer. Surgery was mentioned as a possibility and I was told by a physical therapist that yoga could possibly turn things around for me. The issue was finding a really qualified yoga teacher and I found that person in Caitilin Twain.


An unexpected bonus was that my gastrointestinal issues have been cured. I had been told by my doctor that I had a chronic case of diverticulitis and that I couldn't expect relief. Caitilin gave me some exercises and helped me re-assess my eating habits, and six months into the practice I found relief from something I thought would be a lifelong problem.


I am now finally going in the right direction with my body.” -SF


This is yet another example of how when we heal one part, we can heal the whole. This woman did not yet understand that the tension patterns that were causing the unbearable pain in her shoulders were the same patterns giving her intense gastro-intestinal problems. Once she learned to break her tension patterns, both problems were resolved.

Chronic tension can create problems all over the body in ways that seem entirely unrelated. 

I gave this student exercises and stretches to address the physical connection between her torso and shoulders. I also gave her good dietary suggestions. 

But I attribute most of her healing to her learning how to better down-regulate her nervous system. I gave her tools including breathwork and mindfulness exercises which helped her find a truly relaxed state for the first time in perhaps decades. 

Her biggest struggle was learning how to feel safe in a relaxed state, but she soon experienced how everything felt and functioned better when she wasn't operating out of a hyper-aroused nervous system, and this became her new normal. 

Remember - where you feel the pain is rarely the source of the pain. Your body is just waiting for you to understand what it's telling you it needs! 

If you'd like help deciphering your pain points, why not book an Inquiry Call?


Pain is your body's way of signaling that something needs your attention.


Do you want to know what it is? 

This comprehensive self-assessment quiz will help you locate your pain at its source. Immediately begin to heal your anxiety, depression, GI issues, or physical misalignments to be pain-free once and for all.