Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Six Week Journey

When I asked my sister if she wanted to help me with massage school, she didn't know what she was in for.  I explained that each student needed a case study, "Huh?"   A hands on experience, working with the same client to try and help with a chief complaint.  I told her the plan was to give one massage a week for six weeks.  She said she might be able to tolerate something like that.

I then came to know my sister in a whole new way.  She told me all about an experience she had in Oregon.  She woke up in the middle of the night, blood streaming out of her nose.  Jumping to her feet she noticed that her low back was spasming.  Waking a roommate to take her to the ER, she went to the restroom to grab something to staunch the blood flow   She next woke up on the floor, inches away from the cabinets under the vanity.  The ambulance was called. After a gurney trip to the ER, she was released with a clean bill of health.  She told me that she would really like to not feel faint anymore.  Not to be afraid of another night like that one.  In true Taoist fashion I gave the confident "I can help with that."

Learning a little about Traditional Chinese Medicine from the advanced classes in school gave me tools to put together a treatment plan.  I thought it would be best to do a series of three general relaxation massages, followed by more specialized treatments specifically to balance the water element.  This element jumped out at me from what she said about being afraid of fainting.  In Chinese Medicine fear is closely associated with the water element.  Armed with this as an overarching scheme, I hoped to add on more techniques as I learned them.

I was delighted to find out that my client was also planning to see an acupuncturist.  The treatments complimented each other nicely.  I noticed that in the massages just after her acupuncture she felt much more "open." Four weeks into treatment she confided that she no longer felt like fainting.  I noticed a shift in things at this point as well.  Many more lively happy days, a drive to eat healthy and exercise more.  An overall brightening of outlook on life.

To balance the water element I used an extended version of a pattern I had learned in school.  The Bladder meridian opening pattern.  This Tui Na flavored massage emphasizes warming the low back and balancing the entire body via the organ acupressure points on the back, known as the Shu points.  I also integrated an essential oil blend to help warm and boost immune function.  I used a mix of Ginger and Hyssop oils applied to the back in a carrier oil.  After the oil treatments the client always felt "great"

The six weeks had flown by.  My client was showing excellent improvement that I attribute to the acupuncture backed up by the balancing massage therapy.  In short, receiving massage on a regular basis seems to have many benefits.  This experience gave me a chance to observe them first hand.  My client reported: better digestion, more energy, less knots in back, generally warmer. improved mood, relaxed state carrying over into working life.  She plans to continue to receive massage and to enjoy its wonderful benefits.  And as for me, I am encouraged to grow as a therapist. I plan to learn as much as I can about how to help others, and myself, along life's journey. Namaste

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