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TABLE LESSONS best practices After greeting my new client Mrs. L., we sat across from each other in an area of my treatment space reserved for listening and learning. The beginning exchange with a new client is a profoundly special and often powerful experience—one that I cherish deeply. Mrs. L. recounted that her experience with pelvic pain began about three years ago after a supposedly routine surgery. Unfortunately, the pudendal nerve was traumatized during the procedure and the symptoms began a month or two later. Her pain was an annoyance at first, then escalated gradually, increasing in both intensity and frequency. Workouts became more difficult, and, as time progressed, even long walks provoked her symptoms. The longer the pain persisted, the more fatiguing it became for her. Like many people in pain, she also felt this negatively affected her cognitive abilities; she noticed that her clarity of thinking and memory skills were diminished. As Mrs. L. recounted the many ways this pain had affected her life, her voice faltered and she began to cry. After a long silence, she regrouped and made complete and forceful eye contact. Chronic Pain and Sense of Self "This is Not Who I Am …" By Douglas Nelson 32 m a s s a g e & b o d y w o r k j u l y / a u g u s t 2 0 1 7

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