Back pain is what drove my education and now my business. After I retired on January 1, 2000, I would spend my days working odd jobs and my wife, my girlfriend at the time, and I started looking for a new home. We sold one home and moved into one of our rental homes which meant moving a whole house full of furniture. We stayed there for only a few months until we bought the hose we currently lived. This meant moving again. After we moved into our new home , of course we wanted to spruce it up inside and out.This meant painting on the inside, carpet cleaning, and attaching various things to the walls like pictures and shelves.
For those of you suffering from back pain, I don’t have to tell you, how that affected my life. I would wake up in the morning with a stiff lower back from lifting objects and painting caused massive stiffness and pain in my upper back. Like many of you, I would take over-the-counter pain relievers and sometimes use a heating pad with rest. That worked for a little while. Once the pain stopped, I would ramp up my game and tackle the outside. No pain, it must be fixed, right! Over the next 2 years I spread over 40 truckloads, yes truckloads, of mulch throughout my yard. Being a man, I had to be tough, so I would keep pushing through the pain believing the pain relievers were fixing my back. The pain stopped, so I must be alright! I was nearly crippled at 41 years old. I thought how could that be? I was a three sport athlete at 18. My friends would laugh and tell me it was because I was over 40. Have you ever heard that one?
I went to doctors, therapists, and every one else that had a remedy, but none of them had an answer. They could slow or stop the pain temporarily, but as soon as I started to do anything physical, my back went into a spasm. I was not going to live like that forever.
I had just started massage therapy school and found I had a natural gift for muscles. One of my mentors suggested that I solve the problem myself using my knowledge of the muscles. He was right!
All healthcare practitioners study the anatomy of the body, even the muscles. They know the names of many of the muscles and what they move. The difference for me was I could see the relationship between the muscles and the bones, nerves, and circulatory system. I could see how their interrelation caused my pain. I didn’t have a back problem, I had a thigh and inner thigh problem.
In school, I studied Neuromuscular massage which is a great way to release the tightness in the muscles. However, in school, I learned that my hands were the magic, which is not totally true. The magic to releasing your muscles has more to do with your brain. The second thing I did was to take a class with Aaron Mattes and learn how to do Active Isolated Stretching. The last thing I did was attend a class taught by a professor from the University of Washington, who spoke at out local hospital about brain health. He taught me about the anticipation of pain that our brain does when we hurt. By combining all these techniques together I was able to stop my pain and have it never return.
I will be sharing how each of these techniques work and how you can use them yourself at home over the next few weeks. I will cover various ailments that I see in my clinic, but if you want to suggest topics for the future, you are welcome to do so. I look forward to hearing from you.