Get out of your pinky world

If you know me, you know that I am super clumsy… well this story shows it all! Motivational speaker, trainer and writer Janke Verhagen wrote a blog about me for her online magazine about living again after a terrible experience. ‘Get out of your pinky world’ is the title.

You can read the whole story here …

Click here to read in Dutch

We translated the story for you so you can read it in English here:


Nicole van Zurk (43, married, 2 children)

“I just live with that fat head!” Nicole smiles and continues. “I have always been positive in one way or another. I always trust that everything will be fine! ”

It typifies the way Nicole deals with the setbacks in her life. It seems as if she has a subscription for forceful falls where she constantly, literally, bumps her head.


Roller skates accident

“When I was about seven years old, I wanted to race down the mountain on roller skates. I had hung 2 garbage bags on either side of a handle. If only I could go fast enough, I could fly!”

Unfortunately, the flight failed and Nicole came to a hard stop against a wall. There was blood everywhere and Nicole had a serious concussion. She had to be in a dark room for 6 weeks, that was the treatment method at the time.


Fainting in the sauna

“That was nothing compared to when I fainted in the sauna.” She laughs again. “I had been unconscious for a moment and then I woke up totally naked surrounded by people. Pretty embarrassing.”


Rickshaw accident

And there was that blow to her head during a ride in the Filipino rickshaw (tricycle). The steel housing was incredibly low for a tall Dutch person. The driver raced over a bump, causing Nicole to hit her head against the steel casing. “When they wanted to make a scan at the hospital, I turned out to be allergic to the contrast fluid. I almost died of that. So I was lying there in a Filipino IC with 2 of those irons above my head! And yet I knew: it will be alright! “

Gymnastic accident

And then there were some examples where Nicole literally bumped her head. It doesn’t do her body any good. A quite serious gymnastic accident as a child also makes a contribution. Nicole falls and does not want to show that she is in a lot of pain. “No, it’s okay!” A while later when she is on a study trip with classmates in Rome, she suddenly can’t walk anymore. “So I am forever known as the girl who was carried by Rome!” She laughs again.

Twisted vertebra

After countless investigations, a vertebra appears to be twisted in the back of Nicole. She starts with an orthomanual therapist. “Do you know about fluid retention in your ankles and that they swell completely? So that’s what happened to my head. For example after a yoga class, a handstand or if I had slept without a pillow. Because my back was so tight, fluid could flow to my head, but not back.” That is why at some point she just decided to live with her fat head. 


Chronic headaches

Because of all the falls in which she suffered multiple concussions and whiplashes and her twisted vertebra, Nicole suffered from chronic headaches. She tries everything to get rid of it, even a neck traction. Her neck is stretched through a machine so that more space is created between her vertebrae. This should reduce the pain significantly, but that did not happen.


Through her work in the Philippines, she gets introduced to massages. In this culture, massage is not a luxury service, but something that is seen as necessary for health. She tries different types of massages, and it appears that the Thai massage works great for her pain complaints. Her masseur does not think this is strange: “He explained it to me as if there is a spider web in my back of tight muscles from all those accidents, which blocks fluids. By treating that spider web, circulation improves.” It works for Nicole. For the first time in a long time, she is pain-free.


Because she likes this Thai massage so much, she decides to study in Thailand to become a teacher for these specific massages. When she starts her education, she meets her current husband in the class: Manel. “He was such a stressed Spanish marketing manager.” Manel had a tough job and often complained about his work before their meeting. Until he meets a masseur. “You have a much better job, Manel told him, I want that too, I want to come home that happy.” Manel also planned the seed. He also enrols into the training and on the first day he and Nicole met, the rest is history.

Normal job

Back in the Netherlands, Nicole decided that she wanted to do massage 1 day a week and 4 days to do her normal job. “It’s kind of what society expects from you, and I followed that flow without thinking. Without wondering if this was what I really wanted. “


Suitcase accident

Nicole has to fly for a business trip. The plane does end up not leaving. During taxiing, a suitcase falls out of the luggage rack on Nicole’s head. Nicole wakes up at the VU hospital. The recovery is hard and Nicole is on sick leave for almost a year. She and Manel also want to start a family. Nicole becomes pregnant, which nobody knows at that moment, except she and Manel.

Neurologist advice

“The day before I was exactly 1 year on sick leave, I had a conversation with the neurologist I attended.” The conversation comes about the positive effect of Thai massages. Nicole shares her feeling that she would really like to do this full time. “Then why don’t you go for it?” The neurologists questioned Nicole. In her head, all kinds of objections arise, with the argument at the top: you do not give up your job when you are just pregnant. But the neurologist ultimately puts forward the strong argument: “What do you think about your health? I’m going to retire soon, I’ve seen everything. I know that these massages do a lot to your health. So why wouldn’t you just do this? For your health?”


Quit the job

Nicole doesn’t need much time to think about it. Immediately after the conversation with the neurologist, she goes to her employer to quit her job. “It was such a strong feeling. I had to do it. “Nicole is clear about it:” By giving and receiving massages your serotonin (the happiness hormone) goes up and your cortisol (the stress hormone) goes down. In addition, it stimulates blood circulation, so that I get more blood and oxygen to my head and my headache diminished. And even stayed away! I don’t need more science.”

Beautiful workplace

Her workplace changes from a busy office to a beautiful space with soothing music and it smells wonderful. “Every day I make people happy with massages, and I also teach people how to massage others. You know how much energy that gives.” Nicole is getting physically stronger and her headache stays away. Together with Manel she opens their own massage school in Amsterdam. A franchise from the ITM Chiang Mai school where they were both taught themselves. “I recently realized that we have already taught more than 10,000 people about Thai massage, how cool is that?”


Pinky world

When asked if Nicole really is always positive, and never has a bad day, she is very clear. “Manel regularly says to me Get out of your pinky world!” She laughs loud. “That’s just right. I have firm faith in the future. Without positivism you cannot get there, then everything would be very black and heavy.

I am positive and I will always stay that way.”

The end…

So, that was the whole By Janke Verhagen. Thank you Janke.

And to everyone… Create a healthy and happy day!

Nicole (& Manel)

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