I just finished my first session with a new therapist in my constant search to get rid of my two-year shoulder pain.
The session was a combination of Deep Tissue Massage, Structural Integration and myofascial release. I came in for chronic shoulder pain, and left with the knowledge that not only are my shoulders laced with tissue buildup, but every square inch of my body (and hence my mind) is too!
I had done my homework before my first bodywork session, and noted that this kind of body work could bring up long-held emotions. This guy is really good, and his energetic presence brought me to tears; tears that I always hold in and this happened before he began the physical work with me.
He began to talk about my job and how much the children need me to model self-care and I just let the floodgates go…”I just want this to be about me! I don’t want this to be about the children. I give, and give and give and I’m exhausted!!” I guess I’m lucky he didn’t quietly excuse himself from the room and tell the receptionist, “I can’t work with this raving lunatic”.
At one point, he was working on my hands, stretching, twisting…feeling it in my forearms, wanting him to stop but keeping the exquisite pain going knowing the end product was going to be worth it. And, it was.
He detected a knee tendon tightening, that when loosened, brought a release in my left hip? What else would he find?
He stretched my forearms, and I keep using the word “stretched” but it was much more than that! The work he was doing brought a movement in my shoulders that I have not felt in a year and a half. It was what I thought I would feel last February after shoulder surgery, but did not. He worked on my deltoids, so twangy with tension that they felt like guitar strings.
I have experienced a few other highly gifted body-workers, but right now, I need this big bear of guy. My forearms look like toothpicks in his hands. Makes me want to up my calcium intake so that they don’t snap in two during our session next week. Hmm…is that “body awareness” or paranoia?
He stretched my shin muscles which have been sore since 9th grade…9th grade for me was in 1976. They are not sore now. I am giddy with relief, with a guarded worry that the pain will return. Sad really that “pain status” is what my body/mind is accustomed to and that “relief” feels like a temporary state.
Along with all the physical bodywork, he assisted me in developing a “practice” of widening my view. Basically, he had me look out the window, stare straight ahead and describe what I saw, along with noticing any changes in my body. His point: what we focus on, affects the body.
My teaching work has been crazy difficult the past two years-emotionally draining, and because of that, my internal focus has not included a wide view. Could this practice of a subtle shift in perspective assist me in a subtle, positive internal shift at work?
Sometimes, we need someone to move us past ourselves, past our tightness, past our pain…or in this case, through one kind of pain to alleviate another. I know that I do.