Thursday, April 14, 2016

My Own Self Healing Path

Many people like to know how therapists got started on their path.  My path got started shortly after I moved to Columbus, Ohio in 2001.  It was a long path to get me where I am at today.  My pain started out as repetitive stress injuries from playing the clarinet in college.  I was a college music major, so rehearsals and private practice time were as intense as studying.  Even after graduating, the pain kept getting worse and spreading throughout different areas of my body.  I knew that I wanted to help others in pain in a natural and holistic way, but didn't know what type of degree to get.  I want to take a moment right now to say, this blog post isn't just about physical healing, but mental and emotional healing as well.

I spent many months researching different degrees online.  I originally was looking at becoming a physical therapist assistant.  I realized too late in to the program that it wasn't what I thought of as the type of therapy that I want to do.  I wanted do be able to offer something unique and effective, outside of mainstream.  As a PTA, I would not have been able to offer that.  When I was in the PTA program, my pain was at its worst.  I was the stubborn type who decided I wasn't paying money to seek professional help.  I couldn't afford it.  Or at least that it what I convinced myself at the time.  I made up my mind that I was going to get better from home on my own.  I bought every stretching book, self massage tool, self trigger point therapy book, you name it.  I was going to do this without paying for professional help.  I had this!  Or so I thought.  The pain kept getting worse :(  Any relief that I did get from my self care only lasted maybe a day or two.  When the problem did come back, it was worse.

The day that I finally spent some money on a professional massage was the day of my muscle anatomy final exam in the PTA program.  I was so nervous about the test.  Another friend said when he had a massage just before an exam, he was too relaxed to be nervous, so I decided to do it.  I originally booked a 20 minute chair massage.  The therapist was running late and made it up to me by giving me a 30 minute table massage for the price of the 20 minute chair massage.  I was in heaven.  I went into the exam without a care in the world and I was pain free for an entire month :)  The reason I had booked it as a 20 minute chair massage, is because that was all I could afford.  Or so I thought.

Fast forward to when I started getting regular sessions with other professionals.  How could I afford it?  Once my views on the value of my wellness and my attitude about money changed, everything else shifted as well.  I started out getting reiki sessions when I was first attuned as a reiki practitioner.  My attitude when I first got attuned was:  Who is stupid enough to pay for one hour of reiki, when you can get attuned and have free self reiki for life?  Well, shortly after I was attuned, I was in for a rude awakening.  With attunements, a lot of past trauma can stir to the surface that needs healing.  I went an entire week after my level 2 attunements determined to do it myself, just to keep feeling worse.  I finally contacted my reiki master.  I ended up having regular sessions with her, while peeling through layer after layer after layer of stuff that I couldn't do on my own.  When I quit my job and go to massage school, I told myself that meant everything had to be fine by then, since I wouldn't be able to afford it.  Things were better by then, but I was still in need of occasional sessions.  And guess what?  I was always able to afford it when I really needed to go.

When massage school started, I was obviously getting worked on for free very regularly.  I told myself I had to be fixed by the time massage school was over, since I couldn't afford to see a professional massage therapist.  The work I had done on me in school was helpful, but to say that I was fixed.  Not at all.  I found out about a professional massage therapist who did very unique work that I was drawn to at the time.  I first started out going once a month.  It wasn't quite enough, so I started going every 2 weeks.  Every time I realized I needed to seek a professional and how often, I was suddenly able to afford it.  How?  I have learned the hard way over the years that the amount of money we have or don't have, is emotional.  When I work with energy workers who specialize in abundance, I notice a big difference.  When we change the way that we see things, the things that we see change (Wayne Dyer quote).

Now, I have lost track of how many wonderful professionals of different holistic healing disciplines have helped me out over the years.  The people that I see the most regularly would rather get worked by me, instead of being paid money.  Once I dropped judgements and conclusions about money, that is when the real healing happened and so many opportunities opened up for me.  

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

When Pain Doesn't Go Away

When pain and dysfunction don't go away, there can be any number of reasons why.  I am going to mention the reasons that I have noticed in my years of experience as a therapist.  One obvious reason, would be if it's a medical problem requiring surgery, change of diet, etc.  I am going to go over some of the reasons that are not as well known:

-Past trauma and stress (I have never been able to help anyone is isn't open to energy work)

-Stating that nothing works (Law of Attraction)

-Only trying out a new specialist due to pressure from a friend or family member, not because you really want to

-Not wanting to give up your favorite therapist you have been seeing for years, to the point of looking forward to it like a social gabfest (If you have been seeing the same therapist every week for years, their treatment isn't working).  Once in a while checkups are a different story and a good idea.

-Thinking you will know after only one session whether or not the treatment works

-Having your mind made up before you try a new treatment, that you are only going once or twice

-Not having follow up sessions within a reasonable time that allows your body to heal (one week apart is best when it's your first session)

-Picking providers based on who accepts insurance (some of the most innovative and most effective styles of pain relief are not covered by insurance)

-Picking the provider based on price alone (being a specialist is extremely expensive due to continuing ed and trips out of state to take the classes.  Specialty classes cost hundreds of dollars more than a typical continuing ed seminar)

-Food sensitivities and food allergies

-Lack of exercise

-Turning down the treatment recommendation of the therapist

-Not wanting to give up favorite foods or favorite workout programs that could be making your pain and dysfunction patterns worse