Performing bodywork based on the needs of the client really sucks.
Wait. Did I just say that? Yep.
For the most part, it’s fabulous. Before I do any therapy, I perform a few tests on the client to be sure that their body is ready for the change. This is great, because things go in order and when all is said and done, the client feels better.
So, then, why do I say it sucks? It’s because we all have our own agenda. You come to me with ankle pain. You want work on your ANKLE. I WANT to work on your ankle. I do a few tests on your nervous system and discover that work on your ankle without work elsewhere could lead to another old injury rearing it’s ugly head, or worse, everything just getting worse overall. (Read my earlier post to see what I’m talking about.)
So, here I am. I have to work harder to find what the priority is. I have methods for finding it, and I’m getting better at it, but sometimes it takes some real searching. Often it’s something I don’t expect, like a childhood trauma, some stomach issue, or that whack on the head you got last New Year’s Eve.
My ultimate goal is for you to feel better in as few sessions as possible. Before I learned about how the nervous system works, I would just massage your ankle. I would massage it every other week for a couple of months and it would gradually start to get better. I would be happy. You would be happy, because this is how it has always worked. It fits our expectations of how a normal therapeutic practice should go.
(This is where the record goes “skreetch!”) Now I end up taking a more holistic approach. I’m finding that if I work on whatever your body tells me is a bigger priority, you start to feel a better overall and when I get to the ankle, it heals a whole lot faster. This blows all preconceived notions out the door. Many of my clients actually understand this and we work together to find problems. It becomes almost fun to peel away the layers, a lifetime worth of injuries, one-by-one. Each time I see them, their eyes shine brighter and bodies move with more ease, until I send them out the door for good, (or until the next time they get a whack on the head, a sprained ankle, etc.)
Why, again, did I say it sucks, when people are getting better? It sucks, because of our agendas and expectations. Every now and then I get those who, (even though they feel better,) complain that I worked on their head, not their ankle.
A part of me wishes that I didn’t have the knowledge that I do. I could keep it old school and just work on your ankle and everybody is happy. Ah, bliss! Unfortunately, there is something in me that drives me to explore, to set a new standard of expectations for what healing can be.
This cartoon was drawn by a beloved friend and colleague, Paul John Elliott. His timing, for me, was spot on. (Apologies for the @#$. It was originally intended for the eyes of other practitioners, but he has kindly granted me permission to use it here.)
I do a different sort of work in my practice and I see miracles quite often. Sometimes it gets to a point where I begin to expect everyone who comes in to have some sort of magical healing. That's when it happens. (Cue classical horror music.) I discover that one of my clients not only didn't get better, but actually felt worse the next day. (Noooo!!!!)
It's bound to happen from time to time. The work I do can create big changes in the body. When I clear the pain from one injury, occasionally another old injury will say hello again. Sometimes injuries are layered on top of each other and there is a lot of work to be done. Sometimes what is going on is simply beyond the scope of my training.
When this happens, It's pretty much a guarantee that I will be up the next night studying; researching information, reviewing old protocols, learning new protocols, contemplating what I know of the history, reading other practitioner's case studies, having conversations with mentors, wondering if working on a different area first might have been better, etc.
I can only hope and pray that my clients will let me know how they feel after a session, or - even better, come back if they need to so that I can continue to peel away the layers and get to the bottom of what is causing their dysfunction. The good news is that I have a ton of resources. Sometimes it just takes a while to get years of dysfunction cleared away. If I can't help the second time, those who have returned know that I won't let it happen twice without calling in the forces. I may have an expert Skype in at my own expense. I may simply refer you to someone else who I know can help.
In life, we learn from trial and error. I prefer learning what works from those miracle sessions where I do just the right thing and everything gets better, but sometimes I'm not that lucky and it takes a little bit more effort.
Have you ever had someone come along and tell you to smile? Did you ever want to punch them? We all want to be happy. We want our lives to move in a positive direction. Why, then, can't we just plaster a smile on our face and feel the change?
Here is an excellent article that a friend shared with me and I had to pass it on. Our emotions are there for a reason. Learn what they are here to teach, THEN you can set them free.
Click on the link:
Harvard Psychologist Explains Why Forcing Positive Thinking Won't Make You Happy
I can't read this article and not share it. It is way too important!
Biggest Loser - Regaining the Weight
I was educated that diet and rapid weight loss is never good for the body and I've always had issues with the unsafe methods that they use on the show, but I had no idea that this side affect was so extreme! Please click the green link and read the above article.
Now that you've read it, if you need to take some weight off, don't allow this to make you feel hopeless. The problem is that the body kicks into survival mode. If you have a lot of days with reduced calories and excessive work loads, your body adjusts to that.
The best things you can do is focus on things that will boost your metabolism. Exercises that build muscle mass are going to help your body kick in gear. Be sure to talk about your plans with a respected nutritionist. Believe it or not, kicking up the exercise often means you need to kick up the calories! (The key is getting the right calories.)
Heart rate training is also a good way to trick your body into balancing out. Sustained periods of high intensity may knock off the pound quickly, but it can also screw up your metabolism. Studies are looking promising for HIIT, which is training at low intensity with occasional short bursts.
Finally, it may sound crazy, but don't ever underestimate the benefit of just going for a walk. Studies show a tipping point where people who manage to get just 30 minutes of brisk walking a day have a lot fewer health problems than those that don't. The sad part is that studies also show that 60% don't!!! That's just a 30 minute walk!
We tend to want to go all-in or nothing, but that's not ever going to do us any favors. Slow and steady wins the race...