Fusions Support Group with CJ Shapiro
Free or by donation
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Samamkaya Yoga is pleased to offer a support group for people with spinal fusions for scoliosis (or those considering a spinal fusion for their scoliosis). This group, led by CJ Shapiro, is designed to encourage participants to safely explore the emotional toll and experiences related to their fusion in an environment with other participants who share their experience. Whether you were a teen when your spinal was fused or an older adult or somewhere in between, discussions within this group will draw out personal reflections, identify successful ways to self-heal, and evolve to reflect the needs of the group.
Please join CJ as she seeks to encourage health and healing through group interaction—free of the shame and stigma associated with scoliosis and related surgeries.
CJ Shapiro understands enduring a lifetime of scoliosis and spinal fusion surgeries. At 16, CJ wore a brace during her vulnerable adolescence creating body image and social issues. In her early twenties, CJ had her first fusion, a Harrington Rod, as her “S” curve and associated pain had progressed. She was told if she wanted to carry children, she would need the surgery. In her, late 50’s, unaware of any issues for 30 years, she was overcome with severe pain and an inability to walk. The unfused areas, upper Thoracic and lower Lumbar discs, had disintegrated from wear and tear. Reconstruction followed and CJ now has 22 screws and 2 cages from T1-S2. Yoga has truly enabled her to be pain free and active, but the emotional scars still require constant attention.
CJ majored in Social Psychology as an SSA undergraduate (Carnegie Mellon University) and then pursued a graduate degree in Social Work and Social Research (Bryn Mawr College). Since she was 16, her passion drew her to jail and prison reform in her quest to help the downtrodden and persecuted. CJ also majored in art and continues to use her x-rays to express her sense of the fused body’s rigidity and her sense of being “caged and screwed”. Throughout her lifetime, CJ has facilitated many types of workshops and support groups and draws on her background in applied, inclusive research for problem-solving and healing.