Skip to main content

The view from the class room

A studious few months

I have been on a tremendous learning journey over the past few months. It began with a trip down to Bristol where the ever inspirational Matt Hudson took us on a journey through the human mind and its role in chronic pain. We chatted for 7 days solid in the most idilic of locations, set up several pop up clinics (thanks Sally Trussler) and drank plenty of wine (slightly more of it than we thought according to the bar bill). A quick train journey back into London Paddington then off to PDTR level 2 with Jose Paloma. Again the material was incredible and the level of detail was immense. The smell of fried brain cells was most definitely present by the end of day 4. Finally an afternoon in Covent Garden with the voice of reason Chris Sritharan-we sat nattered about everything and nothing and put the world to rights….the cherry on the top of a fantastically indulgent time of study.

The reason I have not written any blogs recently is that I wanted to digest everything I have learnt, play with the material and see how it layers over this wonderful body of ours. I wanted to test drive what I have learnt, assess and reassess to see how effective it is during sessions and whether it lasts through to follow up.  There have been some incredible stories and some less epic ones, however every exploration has built on the one before and I now feel I am doing the creators of these new tools better justice and integrating them into my existing practice.

Back to blogging

This weekend the planets seemed to aline and body met mind in the most incredible way. I have been treating someone very close to me for a while now. She has very kindly donated her body on numerous occasions to clinical science (mostly without duress) and we have slowly been peeling the layers of her injury history piece by piece. On Saturday a massive chunk came tumbling off. With an injury history as long as my arm we had built a theory around her existing presentation, however there had been one piece that had only recently come to life. As a 5 year old Miss X (that is not her real name by the way) had been on the receiving end of a particularly unpleasant boy’s aggression resulting in a boot to the ribs. Even now as she recalled it there was a change in inclination of her voice and her eyes gazed down and to the left as she re-lived the event (a space that has been mapped to internal dialogue in HNLP). “That’s interesting” I thought, “let’s explore a little deeper.”

From a movement perspective she had chosen to move away from her initial impact, which could have possibly locked her in the two walking gait phases that she had been stuck in. If her spine would not side bend into the left ribs, then the trickle down effect through the body would be global and massive. All this could explain the chronic tightness and pain in her right hip that recoiled every time anyone tried to release it, and the tightness through out her diaphragm which could have added to her digestive issues, anxiety, neck pain , etc. All just a theory but worth pursuing we decided.

Using PDTR we assessed the pain receptors in the area. Old injuries once heeled can leave behind a legacy of dysfunctional nerve receptors which can then influence the muscular chains and fascia through out the whole body. “I’m feeling a little confused” she said as we tested the area “I think we might be onto something”.

The pain receptor tests proved positive so we reset the area……then the fun and games began!

An almighty out breath

Suddenly she let out a massive breath of air as her diaphragm let go for the first time in 25 years. Colour flooded into her cheeks, tears flooded out of her eyes and laughter simultaneously exploded from her mouth.

“What are you noticing?” I asked as she continued to giggle.

“I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed and confused but not scared” she said. “It is as if I am back in the place where it all started and my brain is going fast forward to catch up to the present day. I am feeling amazingly relaxed, as if every cell in my body has melted. I feel like I have been underwater all this time and am gasping down the breath that I have missed out on.”

We sat back as her body let go and we both observed the process in fascination.

“Do you want to feel that hip and see if there is any difference?” I suggested. Amazingly the tissue had just let go, the hip moved freely and the neck articulated smoothly like the day it had been created. Three days later she is still breathing deeply and exploring her new found freedom. Will it change any of the other symptoms? Only time will tell. Yesterday some very, very old lower back pain returned which we proceeded to unravelled. I always see this as a positive thing as the layers continue to peel away and we move onto yet older compensations.  We will monitor over the next few weeks and perhaps a second blog post might be required to follow up. It is all too easy to report through rose tinted spectacles about the initial fireworks, but the proof of the pudding’ will be whether it sticks.

Conclusion

Although I was going to wait another month or so to post about integrating this new work this seemed like the perfect time. It was an honour to see first hand how awe inspiring the human being is and how working from the space of ‘anything is possible’ is a place of infinite possibility. Mind, body and spirit wrapped up in one perfect unit.