Updated: Sep 26
My name is Francesca Ugava, I’m a 38 year old Papua New Guinean woman and a mother of four. My experience with the Psychosomatic Therapy has been absolutely life changing. This is my testimony.
My problem at that time was my right knee. I have always been very active playing sports from a young age. In my teens is where I started playing competitive volleyball which I continued for about 16 years. It was in 2013 that a nasty knee injury ended my Volleyball career. I had gone up for a block and when I landed, I felt a sharp pain in my right knee. It felt like something snapped and no matter how much I tried to play through the pain, it was too painful and I had to be subbed off the court. I never stepped back on the court for another 5 years. It was a huge blow as I’d been so used to representing state championships and I had just been short listed for the National team to participate in the 2015 South Pacific Games. I never got that chance.
For more than 5 years, I ignored the knee injury. I never saw a Physio as I was too scared. Than a couple of years ago, my family and I moved to Nadi, Fiji. My kids had started school and soon, they were following their friends to the Volleyball courts. It pained me to watch helplessly wishing I could run down and join them. After two months of watching, I decided to join one afternoon. It felt so awesome! But that evening when we returned home, I couldn’t walk. My knee had swelled up so bad and the pain was back. I would cry quietly every time I wanted to get up and walk or when I was in bed, I had to hold my leg in both hands just to help me shift on to my side. It was terrible. It didn’t stop me from going back every afternoon to play. And every time I returned I was crippled with pain. A few months had passed when a friend invited me to join her for yoga classes. I had never done yoga in my life and I was very nervous. This is where I met my friend Kristiana Daugava. First class and I absolutely enjoyed it. My knee and my whole body was beginning to feel stronger as I kept up with her classes and I could tell as I secretly kept going back to play Volleyball and was able to last longer on the court. But I also realised that the pain would still come back at times each week. It wasn’t helping as quickly as I wanted it to. Something was still wrong. After 5 months, I decided to see a Physio and she was great explaining what was wrong and that since I had never sought out help all these time for years, I had done so much damage to my knee and that I now had to be off from Volleyball for another 6 months. I was devastated. The Doctor advised me to try out some heat sprays, few stretches, plus a heating pack. On top of that, I was advised not to do any yoga. I loved yoga and so I still continued to go for classes. Ever time I did yoga, I felt so much relief and there was less tension in my muscles around the knee. But still, the pain would return even stronger. I was very grateful to Kristiana as she would always check up on how my knee was doing and I finally told her it wasn’t really healing. This is when she scheduled me for one of her psychosomatic therapy.
This was my first time to hear about it but I was at a point to try anything. Nervously going in, Kristiana welcomed me with a warm and peaceful environment. It felt like a place for healing, that was my first impression. I felt at ease and relaxed. Before we started the session, Kristiana and I had a chat. She asked about how I injured my knee and I told her my story. She had with her some pure coconut oil which she used to massage my knee. As she started the massage, she asked how my life was during that time, if there were any problems that I was going through. At first I thought how is this connected to my knee. But I really wanted to heal so I opened up about my struggles about playing Volleyball. As I was deep in conversation, Kristiana massaged starting from around the knee area and working slowly to the main point where the pain was. She could see the difference as one knee was swollen and felt very tight. I could feel the pain and discomfort but I kept telling her my story. I didn’t realise how much emotional baggage I’d been carrying with me. As I continued to chat with Kristiana I started feeling relaxed, felt like something had been lifted and I felt free. Towards the end of the massage she gave me some stretches to do and I couldn’t believe that I didn’t feel that much pain. I could bend and flex my knee. Awesome!
I couldn’t thank Kristiana enough for her time and her service, something felt different. I shared the wonderful news with my Husband and he was so happy for me. That afternoon I played like I was back in my old times again, jumping as high as I could. I was over the moon. Little did I know that after playing I would be crippled with pain. That evening I could barley walk. I thought about the advise Kristaina gave and was determined to do her exercises and to trust my muscle memory and release anything negative that was tied to my injury. I continued the yoga stretches plus heat medication even though it was temporary pain relief, I realised it was the yoga healing that was helping me. Within two weeks, all the pain was gone. Gone! I continued the stretches at home and each day I started feeling stronger. My knee was in a strap every time I played just for support but after I removed it, I was okay. No pain. I was healed! It took me so many years to heal and nothing worked. It took one psychosomatic session paired with a few yoga stretches and I was healed. Today I am a changed person. I am back into full competitive Volleyball playing in tournaments and clubs in Nadi, Suva and Lautoka. No more strap required. I got selected to play in the Fiji Volleyball championships last year and won my first medal. I even started a new club and I am training the young youth as I know I am able to keep up with them. The biggest reward in this is seeing how happy my children are when I join in and play with them. My Husband and I are able to enjoy afternoon walks without him supporting me and I always look forward to it.
At my age, this is usually the time to retire but psychosomatic therapy has given me a second chance and I am making the most of it. I will always be indebted to my wonderful Susa (Sister in my language) for helping me heal.
Tenkiu tru (thank you so much)