Movement had always been a large part of Olyvia’s life. It was her most honest form of personal expression and freedom.  At age 20, walking, running, sitting or standing for too long were causing her incredible amounts of pain in her right knee, left hip, and right shoulder. Headaches were a common occurrence and migraines would plague her vision for hours.

What had happened? Like so many people with chronic pain, it came out of the blue with no obvious cause.  It started when she was 17. She was performing a squat and suddenly an excruciating pain radiated through her knee. She ignored it to finish her Le Cordon Bleu program and pursue her dreams to be a chef and travel the world, but three years later the pain had spread throughout her body.

When Olyvia returned home, her pain caused her to give up her passion to work at world famous restaurants and to step into the world of personal training. She studied to be a naturopathic doctor, receiving her AA with a medical background emphasis at Ventura College. While in college she found also took classes in Zen Buddhism and breath work. She earned certificates in Postural Alignment and Diagnostic Nutrition as well as her Massage license. She studied breathwork and Zen Buddhism to implement stress reduction in her own life. These studies led her to develope a holistic approach to good health and pain free living for her clients and their individual needs.

Her goal to learn more about her body and solve her pain problem changed her life trajectory forever.

She initially worked at a big box gym. She loved helping others to build their up their bodies but discovered that many of her clients were older men and women who wanted to lose weight and recover movement lost after surgeries. She was constantly surprised by the amount of pain that people experienced and how it limited so many areas of their lives. She knew there had to be a solution.

One day her boss, who was a certified Posture Therapist, called her into his office and offered to help with her shoulder pain. He proceeded to have her lay on the ground and perform a single contraction for 6 minutes. When she stood up her headache was gone — not just her shoulder pain, but her hip and knee pain as well.  As the ultimate test, she went to the weight rack and performed her first heavy weighted squat in 3 years – and to her surprise, it was not combined with that familiar knee pain. The next morning, she came to work early and ran a painless half mile. She cried.

Her passion for posture therapy was solidified when her mother was diagnosed with a degenerative disc disease and prepared to schedule surgery. She asked her mother to start implementing the therapy for 6 short weeks with a what-have-you-got-to-lose mentality. The results were remarkable. Within one week she was feeling better, within three weeks she was out of pain, and within six weeks the doctors were apologizing for the misdiagnosis, saying her x-rays must have been mixed up with someone else’s because her spine was free and clear.

Around the same time, her grandmother had been given a second medication for her diabetes. Olyvia asked her if she would be willing to change her diet for a month to see how it would affect her need for the medication. Her grandmother agreed. She showed her grandmother some recipes and wrote down a general menu for her to follow. The result was quick and phenomenal. One week later her grandmother had a doctor’s visit and found that she needed to be taken off her second medication and brought down to the lowest dosage of the other medication because it was bringing her blood sugar down to low.

Olyvia was now energized. Her idea: combine what she had just learned about posture therapy with her culinary prowess and calming meditative techniques to help people heal naturally and give them the opportunity to be in control of their own lives.

 

AlignMii was born!