Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Massage and Traditional Chinese Medicine

Case Study

I chose my client because he has low back pain, as many people do.  During the interview, he expressed that he is mostly sedentary, drives a truck all day and only exercises when taking his dogs for a walk.  He carries stress in his neck and low back and has been experiencing bouts of low energy and cold feet.  Over the next couple of sessions he later expressed that he has many ideas but had a problem getting the motivation to start them (will power) and also mentioned that he wasn’t sure what he was doing with his life and couldn’t seem to figure out what career path to follow (purpose).  These concerns in conjunction with low back pain and low energy levels immediately made me think of the Water Element.  Then my client actually said, “I feel like water, just going with the flow of life and taking the path of least resistance.”  At this point it was clear that we would be working on his Water Element.

Over the two months of the case study I gave him relaxation massages that lasted between one and two hours that included deep tissue techniques.  I also incorporated the Bladder Meridian Pattern – working the scalp, the Shu Points on the back, and the legs and the Kidney Meridian points 1-9.  I asked the client to do a couple of stretches for the low back at home, daily if possible. The first stretch is to lay down on the floor with one leg straight, the other leg is bent at the knee and laid over the straight leg, and the arm on the side of the straight leg can be used to help keep the bent leg down, turn head towards the straight arm.  The other stretch is to lie on the floor, bend knees to chest with arms around the knees/shins, and roll side to side.  To reduce stress, I asked my client to try relaxation breathing.  Sit in a chair (since it was difficult for him to sit on the floor for long periods) and breathe in through the nose and into the lower abdomen (Lower Dantian) slowly and slowly exhale through the nose while relaxing the shoulders.  Eventually he incorporated a couple of Qi gongs – Mixing Fire and Water and Reaching for Heaven and Earth (seated in a chair at first and eventually standing).

By the end of the case study my client’s low back issues as well as overall stress levels had dissipated. Energy levels have improved as well as his blood circulation.  He even found a job that he actually enjoyed!  I look forward our continual work together.

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