Almost three years ago in March 2009, I hit my head. (It was when the swine flu was going around, remember that, and first my daughter got it, then my son, followed by me and then my husband, resulting in sickness and delirium from being awake too many nights in a row.) So it’s been almost three years of headaches on and off, pulling, tightness and weird pain in my neck and shoulder. I saw many many professionals about this: I did not see a specialist MD but I did mention it to my doctor on a few occasions, I saw a couple different types of chiropractors, massage therapists, an osteopathic doctor, acupuncturist, energy workers, physical therapists, and there could be more I’m forgetting. I’ve gone back and forth between “try again, someone can help me” and “it’s all hopeless noone can help me, maybe this is just as good as it will get.” I was tired of new patient forms and paying all this money for things that were not helping me. Don’t get me wrong I usually found slight relief for a couple days and I think I met some wonderful and skilled people just not for this problem.
I ended up getting an orthopedic massage from a man I knew years ago but had never had a massage from, but I remembered people saying he was very good. He is a kind man and a strong man and when he worked those muscles on my neck and shoulders, tears involuntarily flowed and I tried to remember to breathe but it hurt like #$#@.
It has now been three weeks and even though I still have the tenderness in my neck and shoulder, it has had a layer of pain peeled off of it. I actually hadn’t thought about it for the three weeks until this morning. So many be another session or two. While I was there, I asked him also about my wrist. Three years ago right before I hit my head, I was walking outside and in a split second I knew I was going to slip on ice and I let go of the dog leash and landed with all of my weight on my right palm, you know if you trace your pinky finger down to the bone at the bottom of your hand before your wrist. I landed with all on my weight on that bone. (I think I just found out last week it’s called the pisiform bone, but that could be wrong.) Anyway, I thought it was okay because I could still move it and I iced it, but maybe in hindsight I should have gotten an x-ray. I asked him, why my wrist still hurt, why won’t it heal and some days it feels ok and others awful; it’s been three (THREE!) years.
I thought I was doing ok but the truth is I was just avoiding things: I couldn’t do most yoga classes, so I stopped going, I couldn’t chop many vegetables like butternut squash, etc.-it hurt my wrist, I didn’t play basketball or tennis with my family. I looked on the bright side what can I do: walk , so I walked. He said something about how the muscles probably just need to be worked out. He said that a lot of people have surgery, for instance, for carpal tunnel syndrome, when they should have all those muscles worked out. He was more elegant and technical about it; that is just what I remember him basically saying. (Of course, everyone’s body is different and has different issues, so check with your doctor, osteopath, physical therapist, massage therapist, etc. and always check in with yourself.)
So, first listen to yourself, but after talking to him, I would say if you have carpal tunnel syndrome (or back pain, etc.), first try an orthopedic massage if that feels right to you to see if it can help ease your discomfort and give you some relief. Make sure it is someone that you trust and have heard positive things about. I was able to trust and know for myself that the pain in my neck and shoulder that he was working on (that brought tears to my eyes) was ok and helping me, not hurting me more because I knew this therapist had solid training, had heard that he was very good, knew his basic philosophy of life, knew that he came from a place of gentleness and asked me if I need him to stop applying so much pressure.
Who knows. I took my injuries partly spiritually/energetically to ask for a little more help and as a way to delegate more to my kids, more chopping, more jar opening, more yard work. Might as well make the most of it, right?!