There are many reasons clients come to see me. Typically, they have shoulder pain when they move their arms, or pain in their hips, which often creates leg pain. Many have headaches.
As you’ll see, often these pains are but symptoms of the actual source of the problem.
To find out the source of pain, I first spend time talking with my client about it. When did it start? Where does my client think this pain comes from? How does it manifest? Is it constant or sporadic? Or does it just happen when he or she moves a certain way? If there’s been surgery, I ask what techniques they tried before and after the surgery to help the pain.
Then, I evaluate my client’s posture. Often I find that posture is a key to locating a problem. Some people carry one shoulder higher than the other, or perhaps there’s a misalignment elsewhere in the body.
Next, I have my client lie down. By placing my hands on various parts of his or her body, I can in essence “map” the body. I feel what’s going on in the tissue, whether there’s muscle tension, toxicity or allergy issues, poor digestion, neural issues, emotional energies stuck in tissues, joint issues, and so forth. Because integrative manual therapy is a “total body” approach, I map the entire body, not just the part that hurts.
I often find that clients have been living with a moderate to severe pain and no one has been able to diagnose it to date.
What I’m looking for is a “doorway” through which to begin therapy: the most prominent cause of the pain (and there can be more than one). I might feel a shoulder and notice muscle spasming. Then nerve dysfunction. I might also notice that the joint is out of alignment, that the bone is becoming weak. I might even pick up on emotional energy stuck in the shoulder. IMT diagnostics allows me to proceed in the most effective and efficient way.
If there is dysfunctional emotional energy, I deal with that first, because clearing that energy helps my clients make progress much more rapidly. Dysfunctional emotional energy stuck in tissues makes it very hard to assess how to help physical pain. Sometimes there are many emotions in a single part of the body, and we may return to it over time until it is resolved.
With emotional energy, I can come close to the age of the energy — how long it’s been residing in the body. I can ask questions like,” what was going on in your life at age 5″ if the IMT diagnostics indicate that’s when the emotional energy got formed. Emotional energy is a fascinating phenomenon. It’s as if, when there’s trauma in your life that you can’t process, your body stores that energy somewhere, presumably to deal with at a later time. Which part of your body is often anybody’s guess, although sometimes the part of the body does make sense. My mother used to grab me by the arm when she was angry with me, and so I stored a lot of emotional energy there. Later on in life, I needed to clear that emotional energy before my body could release a very real pain in my arm.
I suppose that at the time of a trauma, if you were able to release energy even by yelling and jumping up and down, that would be a good thing. Perhaps not socially understood. And yet it would prevent the bodily pain that happens when negative energy is stored there, especially for long periods of time.
Post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD) is another example of energy that’s been trapped or locked up. I’ve worked with a number of veterans who, while under stress, did not have the resources to deal with their trauma in the moment. They did not have a chance to talk about it or to shake and holler and scream. Sometimes I need to take veterans back to the battlefield, as it were, to let that energy go. And when they let it go, they might actually shake and vibrate, cry and get angry. Sometimes you can witness energy releasing as simply as that. In IMT we use special IMT manual therapy techniques that allow trapped emotions to release and be processed. Sometimes it is good to continue processing emotional issues discovered during therapy with me over time with a professional mental health therapist.
I then use a process called nullification to determine the primary, or most prominent, problem. If the muscle spasm is prominent, it becomes my “door.”
I often find that pain begins in other than the “complaining” part. For instance shoulder pain may actually be coming from a hip issue.
At any rate, I begin with one door. Other doors may present themselves during the assessment process. I review muscle tension, fascial (connective) tissue, tendons, ligaments, bone deterioration, inflammation, toxicity (such as heavy metals, chemicals, or particles from bone deterioration), and more.
In short, the Integrative Manual Therapy Process (IMT) assessment process is what sets IMT apart from other health care approaches. This process guides me to help each person in a unique way. Using the IMT process helps me quickly determine “the bottom line” — the probable source of the pain, which informs my course of action after.
All along the way, I educate my clients as to how the process works, and what I’m discovering. I often give clients special exercises they can do at home to further their process. I make recommendations when I feel a client might benefit from a specialist, a psychologist, a nutritionist, or other health care professionals.
If you have a moderate to severe pain that just won’t go away — mental or physical — give us a call. 757.869.1936. I look forward to helping you.
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