I am so thankful for the treatment that I received!!! I walked in the office a horrific mess, and Stephanie showed her concern and learned what the issue was that I was having and in four short weeks, my body responded to the gentle, yet firm work that she was putting into it. My recovery was felt within the first visit, and continuously improved with each visit.
—Camille A., on Yelp.com
More than a year ago, Camille was struck by a car while she was crossing the street on foot. Most of the impact was sustained by her left hip. She underwent a plethora of treatments at the time, and reduced her pain to almost nil. Then one afternoon she ‘turned her head the wrong way,’ and it all started up, worse than before.
When Camille first came to me, she was stooped at nearly a 60 degree angle. She couldn’t lie prone with her back straight; she couldn’t lie on her back at all. She was in continuous pain in all positions. and I was concerned that she had problems outside of the scope of my ability to treat.
But she’d been to chiropractors, MDs and physical therapists, and the most recent chiropractor recommended massage. So I worked on her in the most non-invasive manner possible, adjusting positions to compensate for her pain. The entire left side of her body was in an extreme state of spasm, particularly her left piriformis and adductor muscles.
After her first session with me, she felt some relief, and decided to book a Crisis Intervention package. I didn’t find evidence of active trauma, such as inflammation, a slipped disc or scar tissue, so I simply encouraged her spasming muscles to calm down.
And ultimately, this seemed to be all that was required. By the end of her treatment, she was moving normally, the spasming had ceased, and she was nearly pain-free.
As I told Camille (and as I wrote to her lawyer, at her request), my belief is that she was suffering from post-traumatic stress. Memory of trauma is actually stored in our cells until it can be safely released; sometimes the smallest twitch is all that is required to re-activate the signal.
What does this mean, for clients and for therapists? Well, the good news is that it’s not permanent. Over time, and with patient engagement, the tissues will literally ‘release’ both the memories and the pain.
But at the same time, it’s important to remember that not all pain can be resolved by actively ‘fixing’ a problem. Some treatments, such as drugs and surgery, can make it worse. All too often, people take a hammer to a problem that merely needs a bit of unwinding.