No therapeutic approach to pain management is satisfactory until body posture is generally improved. Whatever the cause of the client’s problem, special focus should always be given to posture. Overall body alignment may seem time consuming and is therefore frequently neglected because both therapist and client are often content with immediate symptom alleviation. In recent years, however, the manual therapy community has been blessed with scientific advances spearheaded by researchers such as J.
The miracle of motherhood is eloquently expressed when observing how perfectly the female body is designed to conceive, birth, and nurture a child. Following conception, a woman and her unborn baby unite in an oceanic blend of energy and identity. Where one ends and the other begins no one knows (see Figure 1, page 38). However, there does appear to be an innate wisdom that uses the nervous system as a conduit to transmit electrical impulses of intelligence to all the body’s systems that maintain mother and fetus in a state of homeostasis and balance.
During adolescence, most of us recall our mother’s marching orders to “Stand up straight!” Fortunately, standing up straight wasn’t a problem for most: simply retract the shoulders, contract the abdominals, allow the head to come back, and lift the torso out of the pelvis. Yet for others, the act of standing upright wasn’t, and still isn’t, quite that easy — one hip may be higher than the other, one side of the rib cage lower. Whatever the case, all the pelvic tucking, shoulder retracting, and chin raising are usually in vain.
History, Neurology, and Dysfunction
Throughout the ages, understanding and addressing pain has been a matter of serious concern. Historical documents reveal that the great Greek physician Hippocrates incorporated hands-on treatments for pain some 2,300 years ago. And equally intriguing are hieroglyphics discovered in the tombs of great Egyptian kings portraying ancient bodyworkers treating the pained backs of elderly leaders.
Fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) is a widespread musculoskeletal pain and fatigue disorder for which the cause is still unknown. Ongoing investigations continue as medical and manual therapy offices are flooded with increasing numbers of reported fibromyalgia cases but, like the oft-quoted analogy of the blind man and the elephant, we currently know more about the components of FMS than we know about the “beast” as a whole.
Q. My shoulder is keeping me awake at night and won't move as it once did. Can massage therapy help this?