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TABLE LESSONS best practices Back in the Game Making a Difference in Clients' Lives By Douglas Nelson "I can't believe how much better that feels," he said while turning to lie on his other side. "I can move without pain now. This gives me hope I can get back to where I was!" For all of us massage therapists, hearing comments like this produces incredible satisfaction. And today, those words were even more powerful. The backdrop? The day of this appointment was just the second day back from 11 weeks of closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This was the longest time I've gone not seeing clients in my 40-plus years as a therapist. At many points during the shutdown, I wondered how I would feel being back in the clinic. Like most therapists, I had been through a gamut of emotions during those many weeks. Sitting on the sidelines is hard when there is so much suffering in the world, and the unpredictability and uncertainty often felt disempowering. Now I was back in my office, doing what I love to do. Even before this client's statement, I was consumed by a feeling of gratitude and satisfaction for the privilege of making a difference in someone else's life. As that feeling surfaced, it took me back to my experience with another client about four years earlier. I received a call to treat a visiting performer on the morning before her concert. With another busy day in the clinic, I saw clients right up until the time I left to go to her hotel. With table in hand, I knocked on her hotel room door and waited to meet her in person. While we had never met and her greeting was warm and gracious, I could tell there was something wrong, a sense of worry or sadness on her face. Entering the room, I could see the news channel on her television airing dramatic live coverage of yet another public tragedy. C h e c k o u t A B M P P o c k e t P a t h o l o g y a t w w w. a b m p . c o m / a b m p - p o c k e t - p a t h o l o g y - a p p . 19

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