Thank you for being here.
My name is Femke, I’m Dutch and I live in the City Centre of The Hague in the Netherlands.
I’ve been teaching yoga and coaching since 2012. Besides teaching I also loved traveling so I worked as a stewardess for nearly 13 years too.
Unfortunately I started to get all kinds of unclear and disturbing physical symptoms. At the real low point my back, hips, jaw and neck hurt so much I wasn’t able to walk for more than five minutes at the time.
Not only did I experience chronic muscle pain but also intense sensory overwhelm. I constantly felt dizzy, suffered from migraines, sounds and lights became unbearable and I continually lost my sense of balance.
Apparently my body started speaking in a language I could no longer ignore. For years I’d been working long night shifts and experienced endless jetlags. I realized I needed to change my lifestyle.
I now have devoted my professional life to teaching yoga and social care. Both mean yoga to me. And I like to specifically focus on classes offering pain relief. As well as restoring sensory integration in both students on the mat and clients within my social care work.
Lack of information about SPD by healthcare services
I started educating myself on Sensory Processing Disorder when my manual therapist first mentioned it.
Because why did I feel so overwhelmed by noise & light to the point of feeling actually sick? Why did I feel so wobbly, unstable and dizzy? And why did my sensory threshold not improve even after taking lots of rest?
Unfortunately there is very little information about treatment of sensory integration problems in adults. It is simply not effectively addressed by conventional health services.
After lots of research and sensory integration exercises from an occupational therapist, I came to learn that a daily routine of different kinds of mindbody exercises are key to living a more sensory balanced life. And I’m eager to share this information with you, so you can use these methods to become more sensory balanced too.
Moving with ease and doing what you value
During that same period I also discovered that my chronic muscle pain was caused by damaging posture & movement patterns which created a number of injuries.
Eventually it was the combination of several methods that helped me deal with my chronic back, neck and hip pain. These techniques include Somatic Education, the Mckenzie method, Pilates, Yoga, Fitness, ACT and Mindfulness.
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) will help you to accept the aspect of pain that cannot be changed and create a rich and meaningful life.
Creativity has become a crucial part of my self- care. After sharing my interest in knitting on social media many people have asked me why I wouldn’t integrate some sort of arts therapy into my offerings. It wasn’t until I started to do voluntary work as a social carer that I started to see the effectiveness of it in others.
Since I’m currently studying to become a social carer, I’ve also chosen to explore creative expression in more depth. Therefore I’ll make creative workshops part of my offering too in the near future. Creative interventions offer a beautiful method of transformation, stress reduction, self- regulation, improved sensory integration and daily self- care. Stay tuned!
Befriending your nervous system
Chronic health problems act like a viscous circle that involve sleeping difficulties, energy management problems and mental health challenges.
The nervous system has a specific way of dealing with your chronic health problems and knowing how to deal with these symptoms requires knowledge, patience and a whole lot of perseverance.
Your personal journey
Studying and writing about yoga, mindfulness, creativity, psychology, anatomy & physiology is my passion. But I’m under no illusion I have all the answers. Nor am I promising you a life completely free from pain.
Your personal road to a more healthy and happy lifestyle usually means taking a couple steps forward and sometimes one or two steps back. However, you’ll learn how to get back on track more efficiently after each regression.
Any healing journey indeed is always a very personal matter. Everyone and every body is different. What has worked for me doesn’t necessarily have to work for you. So I hope you’ll test my suggestions for yourself. And allow me to be part of your support team as coach & cheerleader.
Additional sensory integration therapy (ASITT protocol), physiotherapy or other forms of therapy may still be required while you’re recovering from chronic pain and sensory challenges. My offerings can be part of any rehabilitation program, but never a replacement for any kind of medical care.
I have a network of different kinds of experts in the Netherlands and might be able to refer you to specialists who’d be able to offer you additional counseling.
Please note that the symptoms discussed on this website may also be part of other medical issues, so a visit to your GP is always the first step in any healing journey.
Official Trainings & education
- Sushil Yogaschool Dharamshala India, 2012 (200 RYS)
- Atma College 2- jarig HBO Life Coaching, 2012- 2014
- Saktiisha Yoga Academy, 2014, Iyengar (25 RYS)
- CIVAS, 2015, Mindfulness and Cognitive Therapy
- de Nieuwe Yogaschool Amsterdam, 2016, Yin Yoga Teacher Training (200 RYS)
- de Nieuwe Yogaschool Amsterdam, 2018, Yoga therapy advanced study with Ross Rayburn (50 RYS)
- Somatic Movement Centre, 2020, CEI Level 1 Clinical Somatics Exercise Instructor training
- Sensory processing diagnostics and intervention (Onder- en overprikkeling diagnostiek en interventie), 2020, King nascholing (Monique Thoonsen)
- ACT- guide, 2021- present, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy basic training (Drs. Gijs Jansen)
- Social Care, 2021- present (maatschappelijke zorg 4)
- Creative Therapeutic interventions course, 2021- present
I hope you have enjoyed hearing a little of my journey. Now I’d love to read about yours, whether it has a similar thread to my own, or whether it is a world away. Please feel free to reply to one of my blogs or send me an email if you have any questions.
Photography: Glenn van Diest