The process of pain relief
Don’t you hate that saying? I know I do. I’ve been working my butt off with my diet, so why haven’t I lost the weight yet? But, pain relief is just like anything else. You need to be consistent.
The photo above is of my friend Lisa. She came in for her first Lokte Method visit. Although we spent 90% of her session increasing her core stability, we had a few minutes at the end of the session, so I did a quick (I mean, under 5 minutes) treatment of her upper body and look at the first two photos! After her session, she had this to say:
I had my first session today, and I felt a difference immediately. My hips feel loose, I feel like my hamstrings are actually supporting my butt, which helps keep my back, and I can feel my abs naturally engage. I feel like I’m walking around in someone else’s body but in the best possible way. She also worked on my stiff shoulders and made them immediately more flexible. I still have a long way to go to strengthen my abs, but thanks to Rebecca, I now have exercises that will be effective for my specific problem. After years of discomfort, it’s a relief to feel like I’m on the right path.
Two weeks later, she had her second session, and you can see the third photo in the sequence above that she got even more increase in her range of motion in her upper body, and again, that was after maybe 5 minutes of work on two areas. Not to mention her lower body which is why she originally came in:
My glutes are so sore! Like I’ve been doing kickbacks all day. It feels crazy amaze balls different. I’m thrilled! It means they’re working! I’m Ass-tatic!! Get it? Like “ecstatic,” but with Ass.
(I love Lisa and her sense of humor, and her attitude of “sure, let’s do this!”). She is the ideal client; she came in and was open to a different type of treatment. She understood that it wouldn’t be an overnight fix (although how she felt from one day to the next was quite impressive, not to mention that her results have lasted), and she did the right thing by continuing on the path to pain relief. She is putting herself on a plan to continue the process, work on the years of core instability, and correct her movement patterns that need a little direction.
See, when you are in pain, the body has different ways of dealing with it. It might surface as compensation patterns, such as leaning slightly to the right in your squat because of ankle mobility problems in the left. You might end up with headaches regularly, and suddenly you’re chewing on Excedrine Migraine like it’s going out of style. It might surface on a bigger scale, such as lack of sleep, numbness and tingling in your hands or feet, and then your mood starts to get affected-you are crabby because you’re in pain, you end up in tears at the end of the day because your low back is so tight.
Pain is not normal!
Unfortunately, our brains have started to send those signals to the body that this is the new normal, and many of us just accept it. We start taking the pain meds, we create those compensation patterns, and soon, you don’t even realize that your left shoulder is two inches higher than your right.
It doesn’t have to be that way, but it will take work on your part. Miracles don’t happen in one session, and while we can make a lot of progress in one session, it will take several, and sometimes over several weeks or months. Some people have spent thousands of dollars on medical doctors, physical therapists, chiropractors, and sometimes even resorting to surgery, and they are still in pain. Then they show up in our office, and we are sometimes their last hope. They are defeated, negative and frustrated with the lack of progress, and sometimes they expect us to fix it all in a 60-minute session. Sorry, no magic here, and it’s a process, and it will take time just like anything else.
Pain relief is going to take consistency
If you have been suffering in pain for an extended period, you must understand that it will take an extended period to undo the damage. If you aren’t getting the relief you had hoped for from your monthly sessions, it may be worth investing in yourself and your health to up the frequency temporarily. Perhaps look at weekly sessions for a few weeks, reevaluate and start to space the appointments out until you are on a maintenance routine to keep things at bay. It may take even more, but you may also be surprised at how more frequent bodywork can quickly and effectively send new signals to the neuromuscular system to help the body chill out.
Stop making excuses for those dysfunctional movement patterns and start prioritizing your health and wellness and see what might happen if you begin to practice more self-care for yourself. Your body, mind, and spirit will thank you.
In good hands,
Rebecca Tamm, LMT