Massage & Bodywork

September | October 2014

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I t p a y s t o b e A B M P C e r t i f i e d : w w w. a b m p . c o m / g o / c e r t i f i e d c e n t r a l 29 TABLE LESSONS best practices Validation Through Touch By Douglas Nelson Sitting in my office, the daughter, Ms. P., relayed to me the story of her painful odyssey over the last two years. Ms. P. had been a fairly active person who radically changed her diet and exercise regimen during her second year of college, hoping to get in better shape. For about seven months, she followed a strict schedule of running a few miles on a treadmill six to seven times a week (with the treadmill set to a very high incline), supplemented by stretching and an occasional hot yoga class. After about eight months, she began to feel a buildup of knee pain on the underside of her patella. A few days after she noticed it, her knee pain went from annoying to severe. Since then, she has experienced constant knee discomfort and, at times, excruciating pain in the patellar region of both knees. Her mother added to the history by listing all the health-care providers her daughter had consulted. The list was long and included primary care physicians, four physical therapists, and several orthopedic doctors. On the good-news side, there was nothing obvious in the X-ray findings or on any other test that had been conducted. She had been seeing a physical therapist for over a year, but the treatments (stretching and strengthening) hadn't made an appreciable difference. "What an ordeal you have been through," I said, leaning back in my chair. "I'm sure it has been very difficult for you, and your parents as well." Walking down the hallway to my waiting room, I was thinking about how much I enjoy seeing new clients. Each one is an unfolding story, with both a mystery to be solved and lessons to be learned for my client and me; a session is truly a collaborative experience. In my waiting room, I was greeted by two vivacious women—a mother and daughter—whose smiles lit up the room. Their delightful presence was all the more amazing given the sad story that was to follow.

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