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January 26, 2007

Easing Pain Syndromes

A new client called in a panic because of pain due to a torn rotator cuff. They are scheduled for surgery, but it's a month. They've had massage before, but unfortunately it was the best experience for them. Their case is complicated by profound scoliosis and they have had Harrington rods for many years. In 1993 their rods were replaced by titanium rods. The long list of surgeries due in some way to their scoliosis is heartbreaking. So, it is no wonder they have disturbed sleep and fibromyalgia.

This client decided to try upon recommendation of a friend who comes to me. We were very clear before we started the session about the goals of the massage--calm the panic and ease pain, if possible. I started with gentle massage and work deeper with permission of the client. Luckily, their rotator cuff pain is not set off by palpation or pressure, but by putting the arm in certain positions. This allowed me to work as deeply as I felt the muscles needed without causing the client pain.

Once we got the shoulders relaxed, I began to work on the associated muscles in the neck. Any shift in the client's position caused the shoulder muscles to go into spasm. I used craniosacral therapy with hand positions to the front and the back of the body to calm the muscles. Thankfully, the muscles relaxed and I was able to follow a line of tension down the back to the lumbar region. The client made a connection to the muscles of the lumbar region and associated pain around to the front of the body in the abdomen.

Turning the client onto their back caused the shoulder muscle to spasm again. And again, I used craniosacral therapy with hand positions to the front and back of the body to ease the spasm. At this point, the session was at the half hour mark. Before the client came to see me, I had suggested we start with a half hour session to see how they were doing with the option to increase to an hour if they wanted to. The client opted for the hour and I began craniosacral therapy to address some of the spinal issues associated with the scoliosis. The occipital base release had an immediate effect on their neck and shoulder tension. The client, who usually wasn't very comfortable lying on their back said they were fine lying on their back and, in fact, reported they were more comfortable than they had been in two weeks.

Mission accomplished! The client had found the temporary relief from their pain they had been seeking and were no longer feeling panicked. They were impressed enough with the work to schedule weekly appointments until the date of their surgery. I hope they were able to have a good night's sleep.

Posted by linda at January 26, 2007 7:37 AM

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