Getting Back to Professional Dancing with IBS
Last updated: June 2023
It has been 8 years since I have danced professionally, and I am ready to get back into the professional dance world. For those that do not know, in addition to IBS I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease in 2011.
IBD and IBS disrupted my dancing
It was after college at 21 years old that I was diagnosed with IBS and Crohn’s Disease and my world turned upside down. I was always robust in build, and never ever struggled with my health until the diagnoses. It was so hard for me to adjust and deal with symptoms while trying to maintain my career.
At 21, I moved to New York City and began auditioning while also dancing for a contemporary dance company. My symptoms were hard to deal with but I somehow managed through grit and focus, to not let my intestines get in the way of my dreams.
However, I could only go on this way for so long. I got hired to dance for the Metropolitan Opera at Lincoln Center and only made it 4 seasons before I had to quit my contract and focus on my health. I was struggling for some years and in my 4th season I had an episode in the middle of a performance.
In a nutshell, I thought I was going to diarrhea all over the stage, the urgency was so intense and the abdominal cramping was crippling. I was mortified. In the middle of the show my understudy had to jump in and finish the show in my place. I would have had an accident otherwise and the pain was just too much to push through.
Better control of IBS and IBD
I took an 8-year hiatus. I would have never thought it would have taken that long to regroup and improve but it did. And now I am at the point where I can trust my bowels to behave. I am smarter, wiser and more educated with how to nourish my bowels. How to watch out for them and how to care for them if I do get into a flared state.
Diet change and lifestyle change have been huge for me. Avoiding wheat is a big focus, and supplementing with L-Glutamine, CBD oil, grass-fed liver and intestine capsules has proved to be the winning formula for me in addition to my Crohn’s medication.
My urgency is under control. I no longer deal with anxiety of where bathrooms are. I am at peace mentally and therefore I am able to focus on the training. And boy do I need to train rigorously to get back to where I was 8 years ago. But I am getting stronger by the minute. The saying is true: once a dancer, always a dancer. My body remembers everything, it is so ingrained in me that watching it blossom back into fighting shape has been pretty awesome.
So as a final thought, don’t give up on your body. It may take time to find your winning formula but once you do, your body will follow suite. Trust the process, and don’t stop trying to find ways to improve your symptoms.
Have you ever tried acupuncture to relieve IBS symptoms?