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Neck & Shoulder pain client, 76 yrs old

Today I had an early phone call from a lady aged 76. She was in pain, her neck and shoulder bothering her so much she had been unable to sleep. She asked me if I could treat her for half an hour. I said no, half an hour is not long enough, so she booked a 10am appointment with me. As it would be the first time I work on her, I allowed for a two hour treatment.

Two hours might seem long if you are thinking of massaging someone’s neck and shoulder, but it doesn’t work that way with me. Firstly, the source of the pain could come from her back, arm, even her hips. Secondly, both shoulders need to be treated to avoid her body being mal-aligned.

She arrived flustered, her face all screwed up from pain. The cold, rainy weather today didn’t help her frame of mind either. As we know, the mental state and physical condition run alongside each other.

The first thing she told me was that she had never had a massage before in her life. This means a couple of things to me: her muscles are going to need more work done on them than a body which is maintained regularly; secondly that she would most probably want to keep her clothes on. Both proved true.

We compromised. I allowed her to keep her pants and boots on, but her and shirt bra had to come off.

She laid face down on the massage bed, and I covered her lower body with a soft, red throw-ever. She smiled, saying she was going to go off to sleep. I smiled, wondering if it was possible.

While smoothing on coconut oil to the ailing side on her back using Swedish massage style, I was glad to hear she uses coconut regularly, as far as replacing butter on her bread with it. Then the fault finding mission began. Moving along the inner bladder Meridian along her spine from her waist-line to her back, we came across some very tight, and needless to say, painful spots on which I held pressure until the pain disappeared. This I followed up with a deep tissue massage, and smoothed out my work with a vibrating massage tool, which also allowed my own back a chance to relax and straighten out!

Soon enough it was time to tackle the same Meridian but on the outer side along the spine. Now here we found large areas of pain and releasing the muscles from midriff to shoulder took half-an hour in itself. Another deep tissue massage to this side of her back was then followed by the suction action of a radio-frequency tool, which offers a softer version of cupping. Each suck takes between 2 and 10 seconds. A light massage followed which went through to her neck and up her head to the top of her scalp.

By now, as you can guess, an hour had passed. I  applied the same treatment to her other side, which went much quicker, but still rendered her surprisingly painful spots. I explained the theory of referred pain to her and she had much fun figuring out which parts of her body were being affected by the muscles I put pressure on.

After she turned onto her back, I gave her a neck & face massage. While I was  pushing on the points along her nose, she explained that her nose had been broken during an accident some years ago, and since then she had suffered severe headaches.

I was a bit concerned that the two hour treatment had tired her out, and was relieved when she replied that she wished she could stay on the bed all day.

I am looking forward to hearing how her body reacts to the treatment and hope she feels much better tomorrow.

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