It’s not a strength issue is it?

My client, Nancy came in the other day and was concerned about her left arm and left hand. She'd been doing bicep curls with her trainer sitting at a machine, using  a 15 pound bar and she experienced pain and lack of strength in her left arm/hand.

She has a history of an ulnar nerve injury in that arm and experiences flare ups now and then.

Her personality type is one that pushes herself hard, a high achiever and sets very high standards for herself.

I just completed my Movement Specialist Certification and there were some really handy tools in there including a  Movement Threat Screen Assessment.

I asked Nancy to visualize doing the exercise the same way she had just done it with her trainer and asked her if that caused her any worry, fear, or pain.  She reported that it did and was amazed that a visualization could produce the same experience.

But as we all know, the brain really doesn't know the difference between past, present, or future. It's always in the now.


The upstream and downstream of bodywork

A new client came in recently, we’ll call her Glenda. She complained of pain in her lower right rib area from a car accident about 5 years ago. “It feels as if it pops out of place” she said.

 As I explored and palpated the area and verified where she felt the pain she anxiously asked, “Is there inflammation there?”

Instead of answering her directly I said “Your body is really protective of this area.”

It was beautiful to see and feel her response. She took a deep breath and said, “Yeah, that makes sense.” Here whole being relaxed and her exquisite parasympathetic system came on board.

These are the moments I treasure – I call them hallelujah moments.

Using the phrase “Your body is really protective of this area.” is a tip I got from the marvelous pain researcher Lorimer Moseley. Lorimer was a recent guest on the Thinking Practitioner podcast.

Lorimer is one of the most well respected pain researchers in...


The Power of Reassurance

Recently I heard an interesting story from a PT (let’s call him Tom). In the clinic Tom worked in there was one PT (let’s call her Amy)  who always got the best outcomes. Tom was really curious about this since they had equal skill sets and training. Tom asked to sit in on one of Amy’s sessions. Tom observed that Amy constantly reassured her patients with statements like: “You go this!” “You are improving every day!” “The body is resilient and knows how to heal” Amy also did a through intake which included addressing the the psycho-social factors such as social support, loneliness, marriage status, social disruption, bereavement, work environment, social status, and social integration.

That was a light bulb moment for Tom and since then he's incorporated his "lessons from Amy" and seen his outcomes improve.

 Pain (both chronic and acute) often causes the amygdala to go on high alert, arousing sympathetic...



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