Archive for chronic pain

Greatest Therapy Ever

Retrospective

Do you know the greatest therapy for a movement problem.  Practically if we are walking and talking, over time we will all experience life’s aches and pains.  This problem could be based on a recent trauma or just accumulated over our natural course of living the “way” we do.  So what do we do?

We often see someone who is an expert or helped someone we know.  Maybe we first see someone in a medical field or sports/rehabilitation area.  Let’s say we have developed a chronic neck complaint.  It comes and goes somedays.  It is aggravated by turning our head to look behind.  Our local MD told us to take some Asprin and get some exercise.  Anyway we aren’t getting any younger and this pain in the neck (we are told) is to be expected.

OK–now if this sounds familiar or even possible–we still would like to know what is the best thing to do.  What is the greatest therapy that could relieve this problem?  There are certainly lots of advertisements and no lack of recent claims for guaranteed relief.  Over time we have seen so many different types of therapy for similar problems.  The interesting observation is that some of them do work and many of them don’t.  It seems like we have ranged in our search from prayer to medication.  We have used tried body works of many kinds.  There are have been a variety of energy medicine approaches.  Proper exercise and a variety of modalities have their adherents.

Observation

Paying attention is key in anyone using some of the above mentioned methods (body work, energy medicine, exercise, modalities).

  • First do not seek the answer to what to do (Should I get Chiropractic or Physical Therapy treatment for my chronic stiff neck)
  • Start asking questions which lead you to first paying attention (What makes this problem worse and better?)
  • Compare moving in one direction to the opposite.  Really look at and feel how you move as well as how it feels.  Don’t just focus on the pain.

Next Step

First realize that the above observation outline is way to brief to properly address all the inquiry that is needed.  It is just a reminder that in finding what therapy to select, you start with observing yourself first.  Do not blindly follow an advertisement or blindly follow some anecdotal recommendation on who to see.  Let’s say you want to get going and get some relief or help.

The Greatest Therapy Ever Part 1

In my over 30 years of experience as a Physical Therapist and Yoga Teacher, I haven’t found it.  Wait, don’t leave just yet.  My point here is that I have seen so many different approaches come and go.  Many of them are still around as the time frame of even 50 years is relatively short.  It’s like the above waterfall picture–much has come and gone in this world of therapy.  (mainly gone in popularity of the ever changing present).

History

When I was a younger in the 50’s-early 60’s, if you had a sore neck you just continued along your way.  If it got bad for some of the older folks, they saw a medical doctor, who usually advised drugs and surgeries (many of which we don’t do anymore–we do new and improved ones now days).  A few saw a Chiropractor, often for a lengthy amount of time.  Physical Therapy was often palliative using modalities (heat, cold, ultrasound and cookbook exercises).  Some people did massage but not for these kind of pain problems (mainly a rub down after a workout at one of the athletic clubs).

I did not hear about energy medicine until that later 60’s and 70’s when therapeutic touch and acupuncture started to be known to me.  Later in the 70’s and 80’s Yoga and Osteopathic Manual Medicine came into view.  I trained to become a Physical Therapist in the late 70’s and started teaching Yoga in the 80’s.

Since then I have trained in many disciplines and continue to participate in continuing education in fields of health and fitness and yoga.

The Greatest Therapy Ever Part 2

This topic is the wrong topic for looking for help with pain and movement problems.

The Greatest Therapy or the Best Exercise or the Perfect Posture, etc is only a guide to begin.

Look to the Way in which these methods are used.  It is in the details of how a practitioner implements these helpful therapies.  It is in the details of how we practice these therapies or methods.

Note the variety of the therapies or methods used today.  There are certainly some popular ones.  As I have said before, they do tend to come and go.  Some of them have been around for longer though.

  • Look at all of them from this stand point of asking questions.
  • Do they provide more questions for you to answer, or do they provide only a cook book approach (the latter can be useful in acute problems)
  • Learning how to improve something that has been a problem for a long period of time doesn’t happen in a short period of time
  • Enter into a training program where you are being evaluated on a regular basis.  (this evaluation includes your own)
  • Practice under supervision.  Get regular feedback.  It is invaluable

There are many helpful approaches.  The approaches under the guide of a skillful eye is what is most productive in the relief of the problem.  If the underlying problem is eliminated or eased the accompanying symptom must improve.

Next

  1. Identify what you want different
  2. Ask many questions about it
  3. Participate in training classes and/or individual sessions with people who can provide skillful feedback
  4. Continuously and regularly re-evaluate and adjust your practice and therapies
  5. Get results!  If not review the above, add/delete until progress continues.  Learn and adapt.
  6. That driving force of progressing and re-balancing in all of us will provide the Greatest Therapy.  Just remove the obstacles in the way.

Consultation

If I can be of any assistance in your practices, please do not hesitate to call or stop by for a class or session.  Contact me here.