Weekly musings, 12/16/17: on pain
A client I see once every six or eight weeks came in recently. She originally began seeing me for chronic pain issues that had persisted for years. She was active, did what she could, and had been through several rounds of physical therapy. Though the physical therapy had helped, she wanted to transcend her pain and view her body as strong, rather than fragile. She was also hypermobile.
I mention this, not because hyper mobility in any way a guarantees pain, but because I feel like hyper mobility and pain are largely misunderstood in the exercise and post rehabilitation community. People with hyper mobility tend to be hyper aware, acutely in tune with what they are experiencing in their bodies. Teaching these individuals how to feel the sensation of work and how to feel like their joints are supported by muscles in a variety of positions is critical to improving their confidence in their bodies and what they can do.
There is also something about helping these individuals tap into their breath and its relationship to movement in the middle back and ribs. The ability to feel movement in these areas is centering, for lack of a better word. And to feel centered is to feel connected.
When I asked her how she was feeling on our most recent visit, she looked at me and said, “I have spent thousands of dollars over the last twenty years trying to find a way to get out of pain. I am so grateful to you. This has worked. I feel stronger and more confident in my body’s abilities than I have in my adult life.”
I frequently tell clients I don’t do anything. I don’t touch people. I don’t prescribe thousands of exercises. I give people the tools to feel themselves and their bodies in space. I empower people to feel work in a variety of positions and trust that their body will not let them down, because it is strong and capable. I teach people different ways to breathe, because the breath is powerful. You are not broken. You do not have to live in pain. Find a practitioner that listens and is willing to think outside the box, particularly if you struggle with hyper mobility or any other condition that is poorly understood. Autonomy is powerful- find a practitioner that encourages it and help you find it.