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critical thinking | TABLE LESSONS 80 m a s s a g e & b o d y wo r k j u l y/a u g u s t 2 0 2 3 Deeper and Richer Delving Into Mysteries Presents Answers and a Hunger for More By Douglas Nelson Author note: As the time for another Table Lessons column approached, I decided to do what I have done occasionally over the years of writing this column, which is to randomly decide that the third client I see that day would be the session I would write about. The premise for this column is that every session has embedded lessons and opportunities for learning and growth for therapist and client alike. Such was the case here, as it went in a different direction than I could have imagined. My new client, let's call her "Lydia," presented with hip pain that only occurred while walking up an incline or going up stairs. She had seen both her doctor and her massage therapist for this condition. Not getting the results she hoped for, she came to see me. After speaking with her for a few minutes at the start of our session, I took her through some exploratory movements and assessments to zero in on what might be causing her discomfort. This approach must have been done in a way she was unaccustomed to, and she remarked how much she appreciated the attention to detail and investigative approach. When I found tissue restrictions that replicated her pain, she was quite thrilled with the direction of our session. After a brief time of quiet, Lydia broke the silence. "How long have you been doing massage therapy?" she asked. "More than 40 years," I answered. It was her next question that surprised me. "For someone who has done this for so long, you seem to be really passionate about your work. Doesn't it ever get boring?" A little stunned, it took me a second to answer. "Actually, no," I said. "I hope you're not offended by the question," she said. "It's just unusual these days for people to stay in the same field for decades. I'm curious how you stay engaged because the work seems to have the potential to be repetitive." RON L ACH /PEXELS.COM

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