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26 m a s s a g e & b o d y wo r k j a n u a r y/ fe b r u a r y 2 0 2 3 THE RULES Here are the rules of the pain detective game: Rule No. 1: The working therapists (detectives) were not allowed to perform a history intake or question their partner about the causality or severity of their pain. However, for safety purposes, all known medical pathologies were to be disclosed before beginning the pain game. Rule No. 2: The detectives were encouraged to employ any postural, biomechanical, or orthopedic assessments to try to solve the pain puzzle. Rule No. 3: If performing pain provocation tests via palpation, the detectives were permitted to question their partner about the degree of pain in an area being palpated but were not allowed to ask if the tenderness elicited referred pain. Rule No. 4: If a movement restriction or tender spot was discovered during assessment, the detectives were allowed to treat the area, reassess, and then ask their partner if they felt less pain or perceived freer movement. Rule No. 5: After a strict 40-minute time limit, the detectives were required to verbally disclose their educated guesses as to the top three pain complaints. At that time, their partner would present the written list, discuss the findings, switch places, and repeat the pain game experiment. RECONSIDERING MY PLAN After recovering from jet lag, I realized it might not be a great idea to conduct this experiment with a large group of therapists before attempting it myself. So, I decided to enlist the help of senior myoskeletal instructor Aubrey Gowing, the guest presenter at the Dublin, Ireland, event. At the end of the three-day workshop, my Freedom From Pain Institute staff recruited four models to join us the next day at Aubrey and his sister Alison Kavanaugh's Holistic College of Dublin studio. Once there, we decided it might be interesting to film the pain detective experiment to document whether we identified each participant's three major pain or injury complaints. KEY POINTS • The pain detective game may help you sharpen your palpation assessments and clinical reasoning skills. • Use ART (asymmetry, restriction of motion, and tissue texture abnormalities) to more quickly identify how one side of the body moves in relation to the other. TECHNIQUE By Erik Dalton, PhD MYOSKELETAL ALIGNMENT TECHNIQUES Like many of you, clients seek my services primarily for pain and injury relief, and I'm always experimenting with new ways to help them feel better, move better, and stress less. Late last year, while traveling to teach a myoskeletal workshop in Ireland, I had an idea for a "pain detective" game I thought the students might enjoy. The original thought was to have the class pair up and ask each student to secretly write down their three primary pain or injury complaints in order of severity, with the "main pain event or key lesion" being number one. The therapists would then take turns trying to solve their partner's pain puzzle using only body-reading and physical palpation assessments. While it didn't quite turn out the way I envisioned, the game was fun and helped sharpen our skills. How to Become a Better Pain Detective Boost Your Ability to Solve Pain and Injury Puzzles

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