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helping solve chronic butt pain in two time xterra world champion, lesley paterson


Lesley Paterson

“After winning a few races, I found that I had a different approach to the sport. I genuinely enjoyed training, I genuinely enjoyed racing and what’s more, my body felt different. It felt more mature and I guess I had a better understanding of how it worked.   I needed to find a sport that suited my strengths instead of crippling me because of my weaknesses….and that’s when I found Xterra.  Dirt, hills and cool people!   I’ll have me some of that!   With three off-road triathlon world titles to my name, I now want to impart the successes and failures as I help others grow to reach their potential!”   – Lesley Paterson from her Braveheart Coaching website

“Here’s how scary good Lesley has become with time, training, and learning to take care of her body.  This year (October 2018), at age 38, she won her third Xterra World Championship by finishing an almost impossible 10 minutes ahead of the second place competitor.  She may be small, but have you ever seen what 100 lbs of dynamite can do?”  Dr. Russell Schierling, updating today’s post to reflect Lesley’s most current racing achievements

Until I met Lesley, I only thought I had treated some serious mountain bikers / cyclists (HERE’S one of them).  Not only is Lesley Paterson a competitive mountain biker, she’s a three-time world champion in a sport called “Xterra” — a maniacal off-road triathlon that like Hawaii’s famous “Ironman,” combines open-water swimming (usually a mile) and cycling (between 20 and 25 miles), with running (a 10K) — all rolled into one crazy, adrenaline-soaked, struggle.  And while the distances are not as extreme as an Ironman, both the biking and running take place off-road, oftentimes in terrain so rugged it makes the ROCKY CREEK SHUT-INS look like an empty parking lot (take a look at the Lake Tahoe Xterra event on Youtube to see what I mean).

Lesley called me from Scotland over Christmas and shared what was going on.  You see, she’s unique in that she earned her world championships despite battling Lyme Disease since her youth, and more recently CHRONIC PAIN (mostly PIRIFORMIS-LIKE).  After talking with her about her feet, I suggested that she start with SHAWN ENO in Idaho Springs, Colorado to deal with one of the probable underlying causes of her particular issue; high arches.  A few weeks after seeing Shawn, she made the trip to Mountain View.

Without going into great detail, suffice it to say that no matter how scientifically advanced one’s recovery methods are, two decades of brutal 6-8 hour training sessions, along with competing year-round at the highest level, can (scratch that; will) take a toll on one’s body.  Lesley was paying the price, continuing to train through incredible amounts of FASCIAL ADHESION and TENDINOSIS in her QUADS / KNEES, HIP FLEXORS, HAMSTRINGS, calves, and THORACOLUMBAR FASCIA, not to mention her piriformis / hip / IT-BAND areas.  I saw her on a Monday and Friday for intense two-plus hour sessionsShe trained lightly (you should see her light days) and stretched constantly throughout the rest of the week.  Tomorrow is three weeks since her last appointment.  Having received an email from her a couple of days ago, I fired off one of my own.

Hello Lesley,
Good thing you came when you did, as you missed the foot of ice and snow we have been buried under since just after you left.  Temps in the single digits have kept it from melting.  Two quick questions for you.

  • How big a difference did the Tissue Remodeling make — especially in the piriformis areas?
  • How long did it take for your Lyme to settle down after treatment?
Because there are a wide array of tick-borne illness caused by various species of bacteria (Borrelia Burgdorferi is the primary cause of Lyme), the method the mainstream medical community uses is based on long-term (months and months and months) of ANTIBIOTICS.  Because 80% of one’s Immune System lives in the “Gut” — mostly in the form of good bacteria (HERE) — the antibiotics, simply following THE HYGIENE HYPOTHESIS, destroy health by destroying the “MICROBIOME” (while frequently leaving the Borrelia untouched), leading to the double whammy of DYSBIOSIS and LEAKY GUT SYNDROME (or for that matter, other forms of “THE LEAKIES“). 

The end result is a weakened Immune System that will get even weaker when the medical community does what they’ve been trained to do —- give you more antibiotics because you got sick yet again due to your weakened Immune System.  Although Lesley is an elite, world-class cyclist, this is one cycle — an extremely ‘vicious cycle’ — that she wanted no part of. 

Like various forms of Staph, HERPES (Shingles), or any number of other infections, the ‘bugs’ never really go away, they just go dormant as the Immune System suppresses and controls them.  With every passing day, science is showing us how these dormant (or not so dormant) infections can be turned loose, leading to a myriad of seemingly unrelated health issues such as ALZHEIMER’S, DISC HERNIATIONS, AUTISM & OTHER BRAIN DYSFUNCTIONS, PANDAS / PANS, LEUKEMIA & OTHER CHILDHOOD CANCERS, AS WELL AS A HOST OF AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES.  Bottom line, it’s critical to keep the Immune System healthy!

One of the areas bugs tend to hide is in muscle and connective tissue, especially FASCIA.  Lesley has had great results controlling the Lyme by controlling her levels of SYSTEMIC INFLAMMATION (following a strict PALEO DIET helps accomplish this, while periodically seeing an MD in Florida who is into various forms of natural methods, including Ozone Therapy — an intense form of OXYGEN THERAPY).  We also had great discussions about FMT (Fecal Microbiota Transplant) — something that I have been actively pushing chronically ill patients to at least look into for years. 

Not surprisingly, the HARSH NATURE of several hours of Tissue Remodeling not only released accumulated toxins, it seemed to have stirred up her Lyme a bit, leaving her feeling kind of crappy and washed out when she left to return to San Diego by causing something known as a HERXHEIMER REACTION.   Here is her reply to my email above (posted with permission).

Oh boy, that ice and snow would NOT have been fun!

Okay, so I would say its made a really big difference with the tissue remodeling. Like 85% difference. I’d say the changes continue to occur as everything is healing. I would like to come out at some point probably and do it again – just a question of timing etc.  

As for the Lyme symptoms – they went in a couple days luckily!  I just drank a TON of water- like a little every 90 mins and that did the trick. I ended up racing that Saturday morning I got back.  I was flying so it must have worked!

Although Lesley gave me permission to publish our email exchange, I woke up with this “official” TESTIMONIAL in my inbox this morning.

“My experience with Dr Schierling was outstanding. I’m a professional triathlete and 2x world champion, and I’ve traveled the world to find a cure for my piriformis syndrome butt pain issues. Dr Schierling is not only an amazing and attentive person who knows his stuff, his methods work. Trust me. I flew from California to see him two different times and have been delighted by the almost 100 percent resolution of my issues.”

It’s always cool when a plan comes together!  If you want more information on Lesley’s training methods, just visit her website, WWW.LESLEYPATERSON.COM.  Oh; I forgot to mention to you that not only is Lesley extremely tough physically, her husband — an elite sports psychologist (Dr Simon Marshall) — helps her maintain the level of mental toughness required to train at such an intense level day-in and day-out. Together they travel the world competing, putting on camps, doing conferences, teaching training seminars, and even doing one-on-one coaching intensives for those who are likewise looking to gain an edge.  Good luck with your film production career and future athletic endeavors Lesley! 

I realize that most of us will never be world champions, but if today’s post resonated with you, be sure and like, share, or follow on FACEBOOK as it’s a great way to reach the people you love and care about most.  Also, if you are suffering with any of the issues discussed in today’s post or by Lesley in her video below, be sure and take a look at the article I wrote specifically to help chronically ill people  or people in chronic pain create an “EXIT STRATEGY” — a starting point to do what’s given Lesely the ability to overcome so many physical obstacles; get serious about dealing with underlying systemic inflammation (HERE).


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