A Not So Gentle Reminder

Many massage therapy students are drawn to the field because they had, at one time, experienced pain.  That pain eventually led to their finding bodywork as a way to resolve it or at the very least manage it so they could lead a more pain-free life.

I was not one of those.  I am so very fortunate in my life to have experienced very little real physical pain.  I use these moments when it is present as teaching moments.  A bad decision while white water kayaking this past weekend has given me one such teachable moment.  For the last three days my neck has been in intense pain.  Pain that won’t allow it to be touched or move in all the directions I need it to go, pain that kept me up most of last night and has prevented me from doing some of my work for the last couple of days.

This pain reminds me how personal it is, how much it affects your life, your sleep, your ability to do your job or have fun, how frustrating it is to have limitations.  A client’s pain is not just a knot to be dealt with, a problem to be solved, a series of trigger points to be chased and resolved, it is the restoration of your ability to enjoy life.  I use my pain to remind me that each time someone comes to me for help I must treat the person and not just the problem.