Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Just breathe through it- the pain will be over soon

I received my first deep tissue massage today- and apparently it was long overdue because OUCH!!! I received my first massage ever earlier this year, and I had avoided them prior to that because my back is very sensitive to touch and pressure. I, like many people, carry quite a bit of stress in my neck and upper back, and this had been a particularly stressful year- so I am all knotty. I've now embraced this treatment.

Today's session was pleasant at times but very painful at times. I knew that this current pain would ultimately benefit me so I stuck out. My mantra was:

Just breathe through it- the pain will be over soon.

I concentrated on my breathing- breathing in and exhaling deeply. I noticed that I wanted to brace myself against painful areas of the work- to hold my breath at those times.

Just breathe through it, the pain will be over soon.

I reminded myself that the current pain was temporary- momentary really. It was over almost as soon as it started. I became familiar with it which made it somewhat easier to bear.

Just breathe through it, the pain will be over soon.

After I was all done I asked my masseuse “At what point should I let you know that the pressure really hurts?” and she told me to let her know when it does. She also explained that because my last appointment was over 3 months ago we had lost a little traction- I would need to come more regularly and do some work outside of our sessions to aid in my progress. I have to make a commitment to my own healing.

My massage experience is very similar to my clients’ psychotherapy experiences, and these are the takeaway points for today:

- It feels good/ therapeutic at times, but can be very painful at times

- The intensity of the pain is a function on the depth of the injury/pain/hurt/emotion etc and the amount of prior work

- The therapy works best if the client is open/ willing to endure some pain, but should share with the therapist if the pain feels like too much.

- Remember that the pain is temporary/ momentary- healing is on the other side of the pain

- Make sure you are breathing- focus on your breath in painful/difficult times

- The therapy also works best when the client commits to regular appointments and to doing work outside of the sessions

Just breathe through it, the pain will be over soon.

-Dr. Stanley