Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Deep thoughts – Part 1

My friend and fellow licensed massage therapist., Jen, and I were talking today about how we aren’t right for every client. No therapist is. No matter how good you are, how advanced your technique, how intuitive your work, you are not right for every client.
I told Jen, I worked on a client who had seen our former colleague, Lisa, every other week for two years. When I met the client, she said, “If you’re as good as Lisa, then you’ll be fine.” I thought to myself, oh boy . . . , but said, instead, “How about I be the best Roseann I can be?”
The client wanted deep work. OK, fine. I am the Queen of Deep. But once I started, four or five times she said my pressure was painful. I pulled back more and more each time, but it never seemed to be enough. And when I shook her hand afterwards, she said my handshake pressure hurt her!
Jen was almost as surprised as me. “Lisa was a bulldozer,” Jen said. “She couldn’t, or wouldn’t, go lighter.”  So how come my pressure was too deep?
 The client was an insulin-dependent diabetic, but that information was on the original health form. Was it fibromyalgia? When I asked her if there were any health changes, she said her diabetes was under control, and otherwise, she was healthy.
I wish I could tell you how I solved this riddle, but I didn’t. I have no idea what the problem was. By the end of the massage, I felt like I was hardly engaging her tissue, and she still said I was hurting her.
I hope she came back and tried working with another therapist. I can guarantee you;  I’ll never see her again in my practice. No matter how hard I try, I will definitely never be the right therapist for her. That’s the way it goes sometimes.

Hands On Therapy of Evanston
1909 Central Street
Evanston, Illinois 60201
(312) 286-4432

Chicago Acupuncture Clinic
3723 N. Southport Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60613
(312) 286-4432

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