I saw my physio again today for my rotator cuff injury. We’ve been working on this together for 5 months or so. I find these appointments really interesting. They become a ground for self-observation as much as āsana practice or meeting with my yoga teacher are.
When I first needed physio appointments I was not at all connected with my body, its natural working, or how to interpret the sensations I was feeling. I had no expectation that anyone would be able to help my body function better, I felt shy asking. Shouldn’t I just put up with pain and restricted mobility? Why should I expect more?
I’ve been working together with this physio for a couple of years now so he knows me and my body quite well. But he doesn’t know my medical history. In fact he’s only ever known me as a yoga teacher; this is how he views my body — as a yogi’s body. He gently corrects my anatomical descriptions when I stumble over which is shoulder flexion and which extension, he describes diagnostic tests using the anatomical descriptions first unless he needs to dumb down for me, he checks progress on my shoulder by asking what is still problematic in my yoga practice, assessing my understanding of anatomical actions in each posture and the level of support I am getting from my teacher.
I came away from the consultation, as always, with a new bunch of exercises, a slightly modified diagnosis to reflect the work I’ve done and a more nuanced understanding of the area needing attention. This time we were talking about Gleno-humeral internal rotation deficit (GIRD) and a weakness in Pec Minor. So as well as restoring some muscular imbalances, I learn something about anatomy.
On a deeper level I also learn more about myself and how I’m changing, that I am confident now to seek professional support, that I read my body better, that I can ask questions to help my understanding. This wonderful specialist in sports physio takes care to ensure I can function well enough to continue my own type of physical practice.
Although I’m still in significant pain in certain actions, and we’d just identified how abnormal my range of motion is on one shoulder, I still hold to my mantra of ‘strong and capable body‘. I realise that my body can be in pain and not working quite right but nonetheless it is still strong and capable. A revelation. A quiet revolution in my attitude to my body.
Hello there, body…