I got a phone call the other day from a massage therapist in Denver. She stated that her Mother was to be in Flagstaff soon and was in need of a massage. Her mother had a hiking trip planned in the canyon, to the river and back and was having some hip flexor issues. "Great" I thought, "anterior hip capsule". I asked to have her Mother call and we could set up a time to check into this.
So I talk to Mom, who had decided to cancel the appointment due to the idea that "massage" might make it worse.....I did not change her mind for her, but she re-thought the situation and decided to give massage a try for her condition. The doctor who diagnosed the situation and diagnosed hip flexor issues had her on 800mg. ibuprofen three times a day for a week and a half, a go ahead for the canyon after complete rest for the week prior to the trip........ well the day before she walked 4 miles and felt much better, go figure. I say "move it or lose it" paying close attention to your body of course.
Okay, Mom comes into the clinic and we talk and move and she describes this hip flexor, when it hurts, why it hurts, etc....... it did not add up. I finally just asked her to point to where it hurts, and she placed her hand on the lateral (outside) portion of her ilia (hip) bone, not even glutes, more on the top of the crest. "Hmm.... I don't recall a hip flexor there", I thought.
I asked her to trace where the "pain" comes from...and she followed a line to the bottom rib sort of posterior and superior. Abdomen and quadratus lumborum was the area she indicated the discomfort. At this point I gave a bit of a sigh of relief and said no problem, do the canyon, let's do this soft tissue work and go on with our lives and lay off the ibuprofen. 20 minutes into the appointment we reached the table.
Mother client was afraid. She was afraid because the medical community told her to be. Take these pills, rest and pray...we don't know what it is. But go ahead and hike this big, deep hole. There was no recommendation to seek soft tissue help....I digress.
On the table she added all this up too, her sister in law is a PT who gave stretches for hip flexor on the phone. Mother client said to herself, well those stretches don't help; sister-in-law was going off the mis-diagnosis of the doc.... but good job for recommending movement. We did some post isometric relaxation techniques and reciprocal inhibition, breathing patterns, hamstrings, quads, firing order of walking, all the soft tissue for the canyon work...
I have a very long hall way to exit in my office that I often walk with clients. I did the walk with her and at the end she wiggled her hips a bit and did a big circular movement with her pelvis. She could only feel it way out there on one side when she went into extreme range of motion. She was sporting a nice smile at this point. That is why I work, for the smile.
I am not taking credit for the work we did together, the best tool I can use is encouragement. Help the body change it self. Not working on the body, but in the body, getting into all the neural pathways, re-education with a supportive hand. She asked me how long I want to do this kind of work......I said "forever". I think of Ida Rolf's old hands, and wow, what was in her head. I think of Dalton on a tangent and Kim keeping him in line, his excitement for the body, Meyers sitting back and observing and seeing, Ralph's passion for the medical and education institutions...yeah, I want work for a long, long, long time!
She goes in the canyon tomorrow, after a day of rest. My best to you new friend........