• Dance and other performing arts are, by nature, stressful. Stress can easily develop into anxiety, which is exponentially more common in the hypermobile population than the general population.

    How can you distinguish between stress and anxiety? What can you do to manage your anxiety? When is it time to seek outside help?

    We asked these questions and more of Jo-Anne La Flèche, a clinical and dance psychologist with a Masters in Somatics.

    Jo-Anne defines the difference between stress and anxiety, and discusses factors that may contribute to anxiety, both within a person and in their external circumstances. She breaks down how a dance environment might foster anxiety and shares ways to self-manage that anxiety.

    Self-care practices are offered as ways to lower anxiety, as well as seeing the value in recognizing things you can’t control. Jo-Anne lists signs that may indicate a dancer should seek help in managing their mental health and suggests ways to find the right therapist for you.

    Finally, Jo-Anne shares her thoughts on why it’s important to have an identity outside of dance.

    For all artists or even anyone struggling with anxiety, this episode is not to be missed.

    Click to access informational papers written by Jo-Anne under the auspices of the Dance/USA Task Force on Dancer Health on anxiety and depression.

  • As the weather changes and schedules become busier, staying healthy can feel like a huge challenge. Artistic athletes may struggle to keep their bodies at optimal performance level, and fighting off infectious illnesses may seem like an uphill battle.

    How can we naturally strengthen our immune system, supporting its function for optimum success? We posed this question to Kristin Koskinen, RDN and Bendy Bodies team member, in this episode.

    Kristin shares why dancers and other performing artists with hypermobility and/or a connective tissue disorder like the Ehlers-Danlos syndromes should care about immunity and nutrition in general. She explains how the foods we eat impact our immune system, and how investing efforts to fuel well now can have a big impact on our health down the road.

    Kristin walks us through her process for building a healthy, supportive diet for her clients, talking through her suggestions for planning wide varieties of foods, as well as efficient shortcuts when time is an issue.  She discusses the possible effects of sugar on the immune system, and how to deal with the emotional component of foods during the holidays.

    Kristen looks at the impact of alcohol on the immune system and talks about the microbiome’s role. She shares her expert view on nutritional supplements including probiotics, and offers lots of encouraging tips for managing busy seasons while striving for healthy nutrition.

    This episode breaks down what can be a stressful and complicated subject in encouraging and manageable ways for all bendy bodies.






    #JenniferMilner #HypermobilityMD #Bendy #BendyBuddy #Immunity #Bloating #DietitiansOfIG #Glucose #Gut #Supplement #ChronicDisease #ChronicIllness #InvisibleDisability #Infection #AlwaysOptimal #AutoImmune #NutritionForDancers #DanceNutrition #OptimalNutrition #NutrientDeficiencies

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  • As a young dancer, Jazz Bynum enjoyed the benefits of being “bendy”.   Later, she experienced more than her fair share of injuries but it wasn’t clear how these could be connected. A diagnosis of hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (hEDS) gave Jazz the information necessary to build the resiliency and strength she needs as a professional dancer with Ballet West.

    Jazz chats with Bendy Bodies about navigating her dance career while addressing her body’s unique needs with hEDS. Jazz discusses her diagnosis and what led her to seek one, and shares how her diagnosis changed how she seeks treatment.

    Jazz speaks openly about her decision to reveal her hEDS publicly, documenting her latest injury and nearly year-long recovery process on social media. She shares her maintenance routine outside of dance, and the lessons she’s learned about her body and her hEDS during her rehabilitation. Finally, Jazz encourages other dancers on their own journeys, addressing the importance of finding people who will support and advocate for you.

    An inspiring story of cultivating your own resilience through injuries, this podcast is full of encouragement and motivation for everyone struggling to move forward in spite of obstacles.






    #BendyBuddy #Bendy #EhlersDanlos #Dancer #ZebraStrong  #ChronicIllness  #spoonie #Zebra  #Disease #ArtisticAthlete #Disability #EDS #JointStability

    #Bendy #hypermobile #HypermobilitySpectrum

    #BendyBallerina #BendyBallet #Ballet #Movement

  • Mast cell disorders are prevalent in the hypermobile population, but can often go undiagnosed.  Persistent pain can be initiated and perpetuated by mast cells, which have also been referred to as “gatekeepers of pain”.  How can someone who suspects mast cell issues go about seeking relief for mast cell-related pain? How can medical professionals accurately seek to diagnose and treat mast cell pain?

    For this conversation, we put Bendy Bodies founder, Linda Bluestein, MD, in the hot seat. With her many years as a practicing anesthesiologist and her long career treating people with hypermobility disorders, she’s been in a unique position to research, diagnose, and treat these complex conditions.

    Dr. Bluestein defines mast cell disorders and ways they may present. She explains why people with hypermobility should be aware of mast cell disorders, and reveals the prevalence of pain associated with mast cell issues.

    Dr. Bluestein shares her techniques for evaluating pain in a patient, and offers advice on treating pain in a patient with mast cell issues. She suggests ways to communicate with a medical professional about your own pain, and shares her wish list of ways she would address mast cell disorders on a large scale.

    With practical advice for both medical practitioners looking to improve patient care, and hypermobile people searching for ways to mitigate their own chronic pain, this episode is filled with tips and insight into a complex problem.

    Additional notes: 

    Excipients:  All medications have excipients (“inactive” ingredients in medications that may cause problems in susceptible people). Mast cell disorder testing:  Tryptase is just one mediator that is important to check (both at baseline and within four hours of a flare).  I provide lab slips to my patients that they can take in for testing as needed.  Tryptase levels can be helpful (especially if they are elevated) but a normal level does not rule out a mast cell problem. Pain sources:  People with EDS and comorbidities (like mast cell disorders) can have all the types of pain.  These include nociceptive (coming from actual or potential tissue damage), neuropathic (problem within the nervous system) and nociplastic (dysfunction of how pain signals are processed). Want to maximize your medical appointments? Check out this course created by Dr. Bluestein and Keeya Steel, founder of Hells Bells and Mast Cells. Visit our website for more information about becoming a client or patient.






    #BendyBuddy #HypermobilityMD #JenniferMilner #MastCell #Disease #ChronicDisease #Hypermobile #Histamine #FoodIntolerance #ChronicPain #ButYouDontLookSick #MCAS #MastCellActivation #ComplexIllness #EhlersDanlos #DoctorsOfIG #ChronicIllnessSupport #LowHistamine #Histaminintoleranz #MastCellActivationSyndrome

  • Hypermobility is far more prevalent in dancers, circus performers and other aesthetic athletes. While some hypermobile artistic athletes have asymptomatic joint hypermobility, others have symptoms due to an underlying hypermobility or connective tissue disorder.

    How can a physical therapist or physician assess the bendy artist, beyond tools like the Beighton Score, and see what the artist might need by way of support?

    Aiko Callahan and Stephanie Greenspan, both DPTs who work a lot with dancers, circus artists and other bendy bodies, wondered this same thing. They worked with Annie Squires, DPT to publish “Management of Hypermobility in Aesthetic Performing Artists: A Review” and create a fabulous new tool, the Hypermobility Screening Tool.

    The two physical therapists talk through their process and how they assess new patients. They reveal screening questions to ask hypermobile artists to best understand the artist’s needs.  Some areas include performer identity, scheduling issues, and self-management.

    The two lay out the guidelines they’ve put together for a physical exam and tests they use to screen for joint stability. They discuss the importance of a team approach for the hypermobile artist, and ways to help the artist grow their own support team.

    Finally, Aiko and Stephanie share their Hypermobility Screening Tool used to assess the presence of other systemic issues often seen in those with hypermobility.  A self-reporting screening tool, this questionnaire is designed to efficiently gather information to aid the medical professional to determine what next steps might be most appropriate.

    A tool that could be used by medical professionals, trainers looking to help their clients find support, or even hypermobile individuals looking for ways to communicate their issues more clearly, the screening tool is an important step forward in streamlining care for people with hypermobility disorders.

    For more information about Stephanie, visit ArtleticScience.com.  Aiko can be reached at [email protected]  AOPT members can access the full article here.  (link the word here if possible)  https://www.orthopt.org/content/publications.  Non members can contact [email protected] to discuss other options. You can also click here to dowload a sample of the Hypermobility Screening Tool: Hypermobility Screening Tool Sample PDF.






    #BendyBuddy #Hypermobility #Hypermobile #Screening #EhlersDanlos #ConnectiveTissue #EhlersDanlosSyndrome #HypermobilitySpectrum #PhysicalTherapy #Acrobats #JointPain #Flexible #Aerial #Acrobatics #CircusArtist #Dance #DancerLife #DanceDance #Ballet #BalletLife #Mobility #JenniferMilner #HypermobilityMD #Bendy

  • Jaw pain affects a relatively large percentage of the general population, but is even more problematic for those on the hypermobility spectrum.  It’s not often something we think of addressing, however, until it’s clamoring for our attention.

    Leslie Russek, DPT, PhD is a practicing orthopedic physical therapist specializing in hypermobility syndromes, Ehlers-Danlos syndromes, fibromyalgia, headaches, and chronic pain. She speaks with Bendy Bodies about temporomandibular disorder (TMD) and jaw pain sharing her wisdom on this topic.

    Dr. Russek describes the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) and why hypermobile people should be aware of this commonly misunderstood joint. She illuminates the link between TMD and proprioception, as well as how muscles outside the jaw can cause jaw problems.

    We learn strategies for mouth breathing, a possible contributor to TMD, hear practical actions for reducing jaw pain, and learn about the link between the jaw and issues such as headaches or tooth pain.

    Finally, Dr. Russek walks us through her steps for finding a healthy resting position, and talks through the Rocabado 6x6 exercise program for TMD.

    With practical pointers on addressing jaw pain and dysfunction, this episode is helpful for every bendy body with or without jaw pain.

    Visit this webpage for handouts and more information about Dr. Russek.






    #JawPain #TMD #BendyBuddy #PhysicalTherapy #PhysicalTherapist #Hypermobile #Hypermobility #JointPain #Temporomandibular #LockJaw #ToothPain #ChronicPain #TmjDisorder #HypermobilityMD #JenniferMilner #Bendy

  • Hypermobile athletes and artists are often excellent movers - until they hit “the wall”. Sometimes you hit a point where even basic movements become a struggle.

    How can you continue moving without increasing your pain?

    Bendy Bodies discusses this important topic during pain awareness month with Jeannie Di Bon, a movement therapist who literally wrote the book on moving pain-free with hypermobility!

    Jeannie talks about steps people can take if they’re struggling to add movement into their everyday life. She shares why movement is crucial for people with hypermobility and how she works to improve joint stability in the body.

    Jeannie offers insight into how deconditioning can happen so quickly and discusses why alignment reeducation is so important. She discusses how to reprogram your posture and shares ways to improve proprioception.

    Jeannie describes her Integral Movement Method and how it can be incorporated into day-to-day life. And she shares information on her Zebra Club, the importance of having a supportive community around you, and her education courses for dance educators, trainers, and more.

    Finally, Jeannie stresses the importance of the nervous system being engaged in the movement education process, and reinforces the need to listen to your body and move accordingly.

    An episode for every Bendy Body, this discussion is full of practical tips and encouragement.

    To learn more about Jeannie, visit:  https://jeanniedibon.com/





    #EhlersDanlos #ZebraStrong #Bendy #BendyBody #Spoonie #Movement #Hypermobile #PainAwarenessMonth #PainCounts #LifeWithPain #Hypermobility #Posture #JointPain #JointStability #MovementEducation #ZebraClub #DiBon  #JenniferMilner

    #HypermobilityMD #BendyBuddy

  • As a physical therapist for circus artists and dancers, Dr. Jen Crane regularly treats artistic athletes with hypermobility.

    As a circus artist and former dancer who is also diagnosed with hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (hEDS), Jen Crane intimately understands the struggles of these athletes.

    How does a hypermobile artist use that hypermobility to its full advantage - the long, gorgeous, bendy lines and movement patterns - while still remaining healthy and not pressing the body beyond its limits?

    Dr. Crane discusses this tightrope walk with Bendy Bodies.

    She shares her own diagnosis journey as an artist and a medical professional. She discusses how she helps artistic athletes reconcile ther connective tissue disorders with their need to push their bodies to the limits.  And she talks about training in a healthy way.

    Dr. Crane covers how she assists artists with their personal risk vs benefit analysis, and examines predictive variables she may see in people who might have a more successful career. She reflects on the sacrifices artists might need to make, and shares what it’s like to have the hard conversations with artists pushing themselves too much.

    Dr. Crane discusses the importance of finding a coach or healthcare provider who understands hypermobility, and how to find one. She breaks down current trends she sees in the medical world with hypermobility, and advocates for people to do what they love to do while taking care of their physical health.

    For anyone who works with hypermobile artistic athletes,or for any hypermobile artist who wonders how to find that safe boundary for themselves.

    #Podcast #Contortion #FlexibilityTraining #Bendy #CircusLife #CircusEveryDamnDay #CircusCircus #CircusInspiration #Aerial #Aerialist #AerialistOfIG

    #Ballet #BalletDancer #BalletLife #DancersLife #DanceLife #DancersWorld #ZebraStrong

    #BendyBack #BendyFeet #EhlersDanlosSyndrome #hEDS #Hypermobility #HypermobilitySpectrumDisorder

    #hEDS #EhlersDanlos #EhlersDanlosAthlete #EhlersDanlosSyndromeAwarenessMonth #BalletWhisperer #HypermobilityMD

  • As an elite ballet dancer, Bonnie Moore Southgate danced as a soloist first with American Ballet Theatre, then with the Royal Ballet. Struggling with injuries and pain for years, Bonnie retired from dance and eventually was diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. Her journey to find treatments and pain relief led to her second career as a neurokinetic therapist, massage therapist, and Pilates trainer.

    Bonnie specializes in working with hypermobility as well as elite athletes, and she sat down to share her dance experience with Bendy Bodies.

    Bonnie shares her amazing story of dancing through a brilliant career, starting with winning the Prix de Lausanne, being invited to work with Mikhail Baryshnikov at ABT, and working her way to soloist at the Royal Ballet.  She is open about her injuries throughout her career, and how they shaped the choices she made during rehearsals and performance opportunities.

    Bonnie discusses how her EDS manifested itself while she was still a young dancer, her reasons for seeking an EDS diagnosis and how it shaped her choices. She shares her first steps into Pilates and injury rehabilitation when dance medicine was still in its infancy, and why she trained as a Pilates instructor before becoming a sports and corrective exercise specialist.  She also discusses her experience with cranial sacral therapy.

    Finally, Bonnie looks at how far dance medicine has come in supporting dancer health and career longevity, and shares what she wants teachers and choreographers to know about working with dancers with EDS or hypermobility disorders.

    #ehlersdanlos #balletwhisperer #hypermobiledancers #zebrastrong #podcast #hypermobilitymd #dancer #hsd #bendy #ballet #balletdancer #keepmoving #hyperextension #hypermobility #dance #jennifermilner #dancelife #arabesque #balletteacher #ballerina #technique #pointe #pointework #balletlife

  • Hypermobility can help the artist create aesthetically pleasing lines with one of the most obvious locations involving the foot.

    And while many artists envy the banana feet that sometimes accompany excessive ranges of motion, having hypermobile feet and ankles can just as often bring complications.

    Andrea Zujko, a physical therapist who works regularly with dancers from New York City Ballet and from all over the world, takes the opportunity to chat with Bendy Bodies about some of the common difficulties that flexible feet may face.

    Andrea discusses ankle sprains, and why they may need more recovery time than you might think. She explains the importance of an ankle bone called the talus and shares wisdom on maintaining its healthy range of motion.

    Andrea looks at stress fractures and how they can occur in artistic athletes, and explains the importance of evaluating the entire body when addressing foot and ankle problems. We discuss bunions in bendy feet, and Andrea shares secrets for working with bunions.

    Finally, Andrea discusses common tendon issues seen in hypermobile artists, the importance of strength conditioning, and techniques for controlled stretching.

    Proving that a small area can have a big effect on the rest of the body, this discussion is one to be listened to several times over.

    #ankle #Ballet #DancerFeet #BalletFeet #BalletDancer #HypermobileFeet #DanceTraining #DancersOfInsta #BalletTeacher #DanceInjuries #BalletLife #hypermobility #hypermobiledisorders #hypermobilitymd #BendyBodies #bendybodiespodcast #hypermobilitydisorders #bodiesinmotion #JenniferMilner

  • Evidence shows that neurodivergency occurs at a higher rate amongst people with hypermobility disorders.  And we know that anxiety is also prevalent in the hypermobile population. When we look at neurodivergency, hypermobility, anxiety, and dysautonomia, we see hints of lines drawn between them.  Might science soon be able to connect the dots?

    Jessica Eccles, senior clinical academic psychiatrist at Brighton and Sussex Medical School, and specialist in brain-body neuroscience, returns to speak with Bendy Bodies about neurodivergency, hypermobility, and possible links with anxiety and the autonomic nervous system.

    In February 2022, Dr. Eccles published the peer reviewed journal article,  "Joint hypermobility links neurodivergence to dysautonomia and pain".  She discusses the fascinating results of her research, and explains why neurodivergency, dysautonomia, and pain appear to be connected via joint hypermobility.

    Dr. Eccles shares her findings of higher levels of musculoskeletal symptoms in the study’s neurodivergent population vs the comparison group, and wonders if this may be a potential reason why people with neurodivergency experience more health symptoms.

    She explains the importance of raising awareness of the link between joint hypermobility and neurodivergency in the medical community, and discusses how anxiety is linked to joint hypermobility and possibly autonomic nervous system dysfunction.

    Dr. Eccles shares her work on the ADAPT program, a program aimed at reducing anxiety with a combined brain-body approach in hypermobile people. Still in its early stages, the program (Altering Dynamics of Autonomic Processing Therapy) has fascinating implications.

    Finally, Dr. Eccles reveals her current research projects and shares her hopes for future research.

    An incredible, accessible discussion by one of the top researchers in this field, this is an episode not to be missed.

    #neurodivergency #BendyBrain #dysautonomia #AutonomicNervousSystem #anxiety #ActuallyAutistic #adhd #ADHDAwareness #ASD #AutisticPride #DisabilityInclusion #RedInstead #AutismAcceptance #AutismAwareness #neurodivergent #AutisticAdults #neurodiversity #autistic #autism #BendyBodies #BendyBodiesPodcast #JenniferMilner #ZebraStrong #hypermobility #HypermobilityDisorders

  • People with hypermobility often struggle with fatigue.  They want more energy, and know that exercise and adequate sleep can help. But what is the role of nutrition in combating fatigue?

    Bendy Bodies team member, Kristin Koskinen, RDN, chats with us on how what we eat can influence how we feel. She explores the role nutrition can play in fatigue, and how executive function may contribute to nutritional deficits.

    Kristin discusses how to “control what you can control”, and reveals tips on how to get the most out of every mealtime. She looks at the role of sugar as both a necessary fuel and a possible contributor to fatigue, and explores the possible consequences of restrictive or fad diets on energy levels.

    Kristin highlights the importance of zinc, B vitamins, and folic acid in supporting a body’s energy levels. She offers ways to figure out what foods might be contributing to fatigue, and shares what role vitamins and supplements may play in fatigue.

    Kristin breaks down the difference between stimulants and fuel, and how caffeine may actually end up working against you. Finally, Kristin gives guidance on how to find a nutrition specialist to help you on your own food journey.

    For anyone struggling with fatigue, this episode is packed with great advice.






    #DanceNutrition #NutritionForDancers #dietitian #FoodRules #NutritionCoach #RDN #DietitianApproved #DietitiansOfInstagram

    #AntiinflammatoryDiet #ChronicFatigue #ChronicIllness #hypermobility #NourishYourBody

    #KristinKoskinenRDN #HypermobilityMD #JenniferMilner

  • Fatigue is common in people with chronic disease. Pain, fatigue, and depression can feed into each other and become a vicious cycle that’s difficult to break. Combating fatigue can be particularly difficult for those with bendy bodies and comorbidities.

    Alan Pocinki, MD, specialist in hypermobility and related autonomic and sleep disorders, speaks with Bendy Bodies on this complicated subject.

    Dr. Pocinki shares his “eureka” moment in linking the chronic fatigue syndrome population with the hypermobile population. He defines fatigue and how it’s different from sleepiness, and describes the underlying causes of fatigue in hypermobility spectrum disorders, outlining the way an overactive sympathetic nervous system can mimic a panic attack.

    Dr. Pocinki explains how autonomic dysfunction can be both the cause and effect of fatigue, and the role of sleep continuity. He discusses the concept of budgeting your energy and explores the role of anxiety in hypermobility spectrum disorders. Dr. Pocinki describes his approach to treating patients with fatigue, reveals the role hormones may play in fatigue, and shares his hopes for future research in fatigue and hypermobility.

    You will not want to miss this episode if you are struggling with fatigue or are a medical professional looking to better serve your hypermobile population.






    #fatigue #ButYouDontLookSick #ChronicIllness #Hypermobility #EhlersDanlosSyndromes #EhlersDanlos #SleepDisorder #dysautonomia #AutonomicDysfunction #anxiety

    #BendyBodies #BendyBodiesPodcast #JenniferMilner #HypermobilityMD

  • Pregnancy can be a time of new physical challenges, and hypermobility may make the season even more complex. Hormones can change tissue elasticity and the body may struggle to adapt.

    Dr. Shanda Dorff began working with connective tissue disorders in 2008 and has helped countless women through pregnancies and beyond. She imparts her hard-learned wisdom to Bendy Bodies on this complicated subject.

    Dr. Dorff shares important considerations for someone with connective tissue disorders to consider in a pregnancy, and discusses higher-risk issues with various types of Ehlers-Danlos syndromes. She lists things to watch for during pregnancy, and gives advice on how to prepare for possible complications during a delivery.

    Dr. Dorff offers things to do - and avoid - during the post-partum weeks, as well as exercise considerations for hypermobile athletes during and after pregnancy.

    Finally, she reveals possible considerations for breastfeeding when hypermobile, and suggests ways to find specialists to help someone navigate a “bendy” pregnancy.

    For any bendy body considering pregnancy, as well as all healthcare providers, this episode shares decades of hard-won expertise with our listeners.


    https://hiddenstripes.com/ (Disjointed Book)

    https://www.complexcaresmn.com/ (Dr. Dorff's clinic)

    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32148151/ (Drs. Dorff and Afrin article, Mast cell activation syndrome in pregnancy, delivery, postpartum and lactation: a narrative review)

    https://www.scirp.org/html/2-1920604_97524.htm#%23%23 (Drs. Chopra and Bluestein article Perioperative Care in Patients with Ehlers Danlos Syndromes)






    #pregnancy #pregnant #podcast #EhlersDanlossyndromes #EhlersDanlos #BendyBodies #BendyBodiesPodcast

    #highriskpregnancy #zebrastrong #heds #hypermobile #connectivetissuedisorder #JenniferMilner #HypermobilityMD

  • Artistic athletes like dancers, gymnasts, and skaters require highly skilled medical care in order to maintain peak health while operating at an elite level. Understanding the unique demands placed on their bodies is crucial for their physicians. And when the artist is competing as part of a team - say, as an Olympic skater or gymnast, or as a company dancer - the artist doesn’t always have the luxury of choosing their team doctor.

    Selina Shah, MD, has herself been a competitive swimmer and gymnast, as well as a professional salsa and Bollywood dancer. She’s served as team physician for both Team USA figure skating and artistic swimming, and sits down to talk with us about maintaining your health in a team setting.

    Dr. Shah looks at why hypermobility can be a tremendous asset in some athletic fields, and hugely problematic in others. She explores the process of natural selection for artistic athletes and the secret to success at the elite level.

    Looking at injuries that are common in hypermobile artistic athletes, Dr. Shah explains why it’s never too soon to address an issue. She discusses misconceptions about stubborn tendon problems in bendy bodies as well as what procedures to consider and which ones to avoid.

    Dr. Shah shares ways for hypermobile athletes to communicate with a team doctor and trainer about their specific needs, and how to advocate for yourself in a team setting. Finally, she opens up about what research she’d like to see for hypermobile artistic athletes in the future.

    To learn more about Dr. Shah, visit her website https://selinashah.com/.
    #podcast #iceskating #gymnast #BendyBodies #artisticswimming #OlympicAthlete #hypermobileathlete
    #rhythmicgymnastics #bendy
    #HypermobilityMD #JenniferMilner #BodiesinMotion #BendyBodiesPodcast
    #HypermobilityDisorders #Hypermobility #HypermobilitySpectrum

  • Hypermobility disorders can be difficult to diagnose, with no one clear path forward. Without an obvious road to walk, people with chronic pain who suspect hypermobility disorders may feel defeated and overwhelmed, struggling to find the help they need.

    In this episode, Bendy Bodies founder Linda Bluestein, MD opens up about her own journey getting an EDS diagnosis and starting her work as a hypermobility specialist.

    Dr. Bluestein breaks down the different types of connective tissue disorders and how they might be diagnosed. She discusses reasons medical professionals might encourage someone to seek a diagnosis, and theorizes on why they might discourage it.

    She gives advice on where to start this journey, and discusses the importance of having even just one medical professional in your corner. As well, she suggests types of specialists who might have knowledge of connective tissue disorders, and outlines steps people can take to prepare for a doctor’s visit.

    Dr. Bluestein offers compassionate advice to people who hear “no” a lot, and cautions against confirmation bias. She busts some harmful myths around connective tissue diagnoses and reveals some of the pitfalls a person might encounter in their pursuit of a diagnosis.

    Full of advice from a medical expert in hypermobility, this is an episode for anyone feeling defeated or looking to confirm a diagnosis.

    #ButYouDontLookSick #ChronicPain #bendybodies #BendyBodiesPodcast #ehlersdanlossyndrome #ConnectiveTissue #ZebraStrong #collagen #diagnosis #physiciansofinstagram #EhlersDanlos #hypermobility  #hypermobilitymd #bodiesinmotion

  • People struggling with a chronic illness often feel overwhelmed at the idea of pursuing a passion. Health issues may seem insurmountable when trying to go after your dream, and you may feel hopeless and alone on your journey.

    Camille Schrier, Miss America 2020, was diagnosed with Classical Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome at age 11, at the same time she was discovering her love of nature and science. For her, a diagnosis helped her understand all the “crazy” things happening to her body and gave her comfort.

    Camille walks us through her diagnostic odyssey, explaining the signs of EDS she saw in herself and the twists and turns that came up along the way. She shares her journey to the Miss America title, and her concerns about serving as Miss America with a chronic illness.

    Camille discusses the importance of advocating for yourself and having providers who listen. She speaks honestly about her struggles with an eating disorder, her journey through mental health issues, and her fights with misdiagnoses.

    Sharing how her own struggles have made her more compassionate towards others, Camille describes how she is using her platform to spread her Social Impact Initiative, “Mind Your Meds - Drug Safety and Abuse Prevention From Pediatrics to Geriatrics”.

    You won't want to miss this inspiring interview.






    #dysautonomia #ehlersdanlossyndrome #hypermobility #invisibleillness #hypermobilitymd #balletwhisperer #zebra #ehlersdanlos #zebrastrong #spoonie #chronicillness #chronicpain #camilleshrier #missamerica #JenniferMilner

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  • What is overstretching, and why should we talk about it?

    As the artistic world seems to demand ever more extreme ranges of motion from its dancers and athletes, many people turn to overstretching  as a way to stay competitive, forcing an artificial hypermobility in some joints.

    Dr. Linda Bluestein interviews Bendy Bodies’ own Jennifer Milner, NCPT, on the subject of overstretching and forced hypermobility. Jennifer discusses why a joint might be hypermobile, and what issues she sees in the hypermobile population versus the non-hypermobile population.

    Jennifer explores overstretching, how it affects the body, and some issues that may arise because of it. She explains the difference between dynamic and static stretching, and when each type may be appropriate.

    Jennifer looks at the practice of overstretching in dance studios and shares alternatives to overstretching for achieving flexibility in a healthy way.

    Finally, Jennifer offers suggestions on how to find resources to help you increase your flexibility safely, both online and in person, and confides what she wishes every dancer knew about flexibility.

    Whether you are an artist, a parent, a studio owner, or a health practitioner, this is an episode you won’t want to miss. Full of helpful advice and practical tips!

    #flexibility #flexible #ballet #ballerina #stretching #stretch #pointe #splits #pointeshoes #bendy #balletdancer #gymnast #gymnastics #instadance #instaballet #backbend #worldwideballet #dancer #contortion #poledance #oversplits #overstretching #split #acrobatics #zebra #hypermobilitymd #bendybodies #JenniferMilner #balletwhisperer

  • Artistic athletes often push their flexibility to the limit, both for competitive and aesthetic reasons.   Nowhere are limits tested more than in rhythmic gymnastics where hypermobility tends to be the norm.

    Vita Bachman, former international Ukrainian rhythmic gymnast and now a highly respected coach, speaks openly with Bendy Bodies about her experience in the world of rhythmic gymnastics, both as an athlete and as a coach.

    Vita discusses how the sport has changed since she competed, and what factors influence how she coaches today.  She discusses the pitfall in “chasing the points” of competitive rhythmic gymnastics, and why she continually seeks out the best methods for training her students even when these methods differ from what she was taught as a competitor.

    Living with her own career-related medical problems, Vita strives to be a coach that trains competitive but healthy athletes, both physically and mentally. She shares the hopes she has for the future of rhythmic gymnastics, as well as the hurdles she finds in trying to change certain aspects. She discusses her concerns with social media, confides what she’d like parents to know when shepherding their children through extreme stretching, and shares her own approach to training flexibility in a long-term, healthier way

    A rare, inside look at one of the most demanding sports for bendy bodies out there!

    #rhythmicgymnastics #rhythmicgymnasts #vitabachman #beyondlimitsrg #hypermobility #overstretching #bodiesinmotion #hypermobilitymd #jennifermilner #oversplits #safestretching #bendybodies #bendybodiespodcast #hypermobile

    Her website is www.beyondlimitsrg.com

  • Chronic illness can make your life feel filled with insurmountable obstacles. Pursuing your dreams, even in the face of health issues, may feel hopeless. But moving forward, even in small increments, you can accomplish great things.

    Just ask gold medalist Allysa Seely.

    Allysa grew up as a dancer and competitive athlete before health issues tried to sideline her. She spent three years advocating for herself as a teen and young adult, fighting to be listened to, before finally being diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS), Chiari Malformation, Basilar Invagination, Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS), and more.

    Allysa refused to let her diagnoses define her, and has become a two-time gold-medal winning paratriathlete at the 2016 and 2020 Paralympics. She shares how she’s been able to compete at such a high level with multiple chronic illnesses, and opens up about her hard journey in college to get a diagnosis.

    Allysa confides that she used all her “you can’t”s as fuel to move her forward in pursuit of her dream. She discusses her difficult decision about her amputation, and shares her tips for getting through hard days.

    Allysa’s story, and how she turned challenge into triumph in her life, is inspiring and encouraging for everyone living with chronic illness. As Allysa shows, there really are no limits. An inspiring and encouraging interview for anyone struggling with limitations or hardship.

    #TriAllysa #paraolympics #USAparatriathalon #triathalon #paratriathlete #amputation #EhlersDanlossyndromes #EhlersDanlos #ChiariMalformation #Chiari #POTS  #bendybodies #bendybodiespodcast #hypermobilitymd #JenniferMilner