How a Crazy Old French Woman Cured my Chronic Back Pain — and Healed my Soul


Happy Friday! I’m delighted to be in Lenny today, with the story of how I healed from chronic back pain. If you want to go back and read Part 1 of the story on Longreads — all about my dance career — click here.

I’d love to hear all about your woes of pain and (hopefully) recovery.



The Cure for Back Pain, Plus Fashion Advice

A million Fifteen years ago (when did we all get so old?), I was a professional modern dancer in New York. A hundred thousand ten years ago, I got injured, and the injury — two herniated discs in my lower back — eventually ended my career.

I did everything shy of seeing a Shaman I could think of to heal, but nothing worked, until —


went to Versailles saw a brilliant but terrifying yogini/witch in Paris, who taught me how to sit (see above) and stand (see below) anew. She also taught me how to dress like a real Parisian woman.


I just wrote about it for Racked. I’d be delighted if you took a peek.

Miracles are possible.


Links, Links!

This is how most mornings go around here these days: The baby wakes up between let’s be honest, one never knows 6 a.m. and 7 a.m.. We play for a few hours and then we she goes back down for a nap.

The truth is that now that she’s sleeping better (every parent will tell you that now that I’ve written this down, she will proceed to TORTURE US FOR THE FORESEEABLE FUTURE continue to do so), I have the energy to take a shower and watch American Idol write while she sleeps.

The other day, while she napped, I decided to send out some essays, and they were quickly picked up by two literary sites I like very, very much.


I’d be absolutely delighted if you shared them with everyone you know read them:

I wrote about growing up in the shadow of my parents’ two stillbirths for The Morning News.

And, on a lighter note, I wrote about being a modern dancer in New York City for The Nervous Breakdown.

Have a lovely weekend.


Me + Oprah Sitting in a Tree…

People, I’m going to cut to the chase on this one.

That’s me. On the Contributors’ Page in O, The Oprah Magazine. I’m dying of excitement. Now you, too, can die of excitement because you can read it online!

I’ve been a huge Oprah fan since age 12. From 1988 to 2011 1991, I honest-to-God watched every single episode. Even though it aired at 4pm in Montreal, I tuned in while eating dinner. (I had gymnastics practice every night from 6-9pm so couldn’t join in our family meal. What can I say? I wanted to go to the Olympics.) I learned all about how to catch a man and what to do when it turned out he was gay lose weight. Don’t even get me started on the 20th Anniversary DVD extravaganza.

Anyway, I digress.

This month, I wrote a piece about the amazing Rita Charon, who founded the Narrative Medicine Program at Columbia Medical School, and has been the leading force behind the Narrative Medicine movement. (Incidentally, this is the Storytelling/Books issue, so you can find all sorts of juicy recommendations, as well as an interview with Cheryl Strayed.) Read my piece by clicking here.

Let me know what you think!


PS: I had to recommend a book, too, so I told people to read Emma Forrest’s Your Voice in My Head. Do it.