I knew it wasn’t going to be a laugh-a-minute when the physio started off the session by insisting that I speak up when (not if) the discomfort got too much to take. Cue instant muscular tension in my whole body in anticipation!
But I find I’ve learnt a thing or two from yoga practices about how to breathe and relax and I did my best to observe the (pretty intense) sensations without bracing against them too much as the physio poked away diligently in my problem spots. It was wasn’t quite welcoming the sensations, but I did my best to trust his therapeutic skills. “Are you sure this isn’t too much for you? I can usually tell when someone’s having a hard time…” He gave me regular breaks anyway, which was probably a good thing and stopped me getting into a mindset of grim acceptance when a pause would have been more beneficial.
I’m still reflecting on how much yoga practices have changed me and my life and this was another opportunity for this kind of observation. Not just better pain management! I also see I have a less emotional attitude to my body and things that inevitably go wrong with it. Plus I’m a little more accurate in my descriptions of the problems. Little by little I’m learning my anatomical planes, reminding myself what is extension and flexion for different joints, and gaining familiarity with some major muscle groups. So I was a bit better at describing the range of movement that gives me difficulty. And I’m less uncomfortable standing still (while not wearing very much) while a man walks around me scrutinising my body! 🙂 Except of course now I have to be told to stand normally — rather than taking Taḍāsana as the default position!!
It was my first time with this particular physio and although I think he read my body well, he clearly didn’t know what to make of my uneven state of knowledge. His vocabulary lurched from the plain-speaking everyday to the confusingly scientific. ‘Arthrogenic’ isn’t a word in everyday conversation, is it? If he hadn’t had me in a rather vulnerable position at the time, I would have punned ‘better arthrogenic than iatrogenic‘. But physio is no joke. And a good physiotherapist is not someone laugh at!
Plus I have to go back next week and put myself in his hands for more of the same treatment…