"I've been told by so many practitioners what is wrong with me."
"Nothing else has worked and I'm not sure that this will either."
"I'm feeling worse, not better."
"I don't feel like doctors or therapists understand my problem."
"I'm depressed because nothing I'm doing is helping me feel better."
What a day it was! 4 clients in one day, and ALL of them are discouraged. I can't blame them at all. They have all been on a healing journey to try to find answers to their various health challenges. They have worked with multiple practitioners, have invested in supplements, cleanses and special tests, had surgeries and other treatments to try to "fix" their structural problems, only to create more pain and movement dysfunctions to overcome. It must be so frustrating!! These quotes are familiar to me, as a PT for the past 20+ years now. Usually I try not to take things personally, am strong and try to stay positive and encouraging with my clients, but today I cried. Not in front of my clients (although I did that once last week...) but at the end of my day.
Working with the human body is no joke! As owners of our human bodies, it is enough to make any one of our heads spin trying to keep up with all of the messages our bodies share with us each day on what we feel, what we need, what we want, and what is best for taking care of ourselves and moving and feeling our best. And then actually following through on it is a whole other ballgame! Recognizing these messages, doing what we can to make changes ourselves, and then discerning when it is time to ask a professional for help can be additional challenges. Each individual comes with a unique history, concerns and goals, and even though our bodies "mostly" look like the medical charts we study as bodyworkers, no two humans are exactly alike. This makes the healing process a challenge, to say the least.
It is a huge blessing to me to be invited in to someone's healing journey to try to facilitate positive change. I have made it my mission to help clients in a unique way to figure out their movement imbalances, reawaken muscle contractions, and educate them on how to keep these areas active and firing. As a Physical Therapist, I know the physical anatomy and how to enhance its function very well. Some of my clients call what we do here "magic" as we help the nervous system improve its stability almost instantaneously, which can have a positive impact on reducing pain sensations. However, many of the clients here also have layers of emotional pain tied in with their physical pain. Whether this emotional pain comes from abuse or trauma from childhood, physical trauma due to injuries, medical treatments or surgeries, mental exhaustion from dealing with chronic pain, family stressors, workplace demands, or life transitions, this emotional pain needs to be addressed before full resolution of body pain can be achieved. I WISH I could wave a magic wand to make THAT kind of pain disappear, but that is not possible.
Physical Therapy is a wonderful modality that can be added to enhance one's healing journey. It is never the "end all be all" as there are many other factors in life that need to be addressed in addition to your balanced posture and movements. PT can be a wonderful adjunct to eating a healthy diet and staying hydrated, taking supplements, getting Vitamin D from the sun, exercising, seeing a Chiropractor, Acupuncturist, Massage Therapist, or other Holistic Practitioners. I understand that some people will move and feel better with my help, and others may not. Some may even feel worse! That is the risk we both take when entering into a working relationship. Unfortunately, there are no guarantees that the process I use and the individualized plan that I devise, based on each client's assessment findings, will actually take all of their pain away. My heart breaks for the number of clients who have seen multiple practitioners and are still left wanting more relief. My heart breaks again when the work we do here isn't enough for them to see positive change and they have to move on to yet another practitioner for help. I'm grateful to know that there are still a lot of other wonderful, healing avenues for clients to pursue if this process is not the end of their journey.
As much as it was a tough day for me emotionally to hear all of my clients discouragement, I am still more encouraged by the wonder and resiliency of the human body and its ability to heal, to move, and feel better. I am still grateful for the opportunity to try to help as many people as possible and teach them what they can be doing for themselves to facilitate healing. I'm choosing to bless and release those that are not a good fit for my services and embrace those of you who are still willing to take the chance to move forward together along your healing journey. Thanks for your trust in this process and for understanding that what we do here is just one piece of a HUGE healing puzzle.