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  • Writer's pictureRachael Scott, BS, LMT

Disabling pain ~ an invisible monster

When you suffer from severe chronic pain, it eats away at your life. It's like living with an invisible monster. Pain intrudes on relationships, creating discord and distance. Resentment over dependency (on both sides) can show up when you can't use your body to do everyday activities that you used to take for granted.

Pain slows you down. It might even stop you in your tracks. Pain can make it impossible to do your work, and earn a living wage. That increases the feeling of helplessness, dependency and resentment. It's in control and you're at its mercy.

You're alive but it doesn't feel like living.

The problem that doctors and therapists face when trying to help people with persistent pain conditions is that pain is incredibly complex. That complexity, variations from one person to another, makes it difficult to treat.

There are few protocols if any that can reliably guide physicians to help you get your body back.

Then there's the truth that many people live with - that their pain is its own phenomenon, and there's no underlying condition or injury anyone can point to and say, "If we fix this thing the pain will go away."

Massage therapists show up in the spectrum of available treatments, working alongside physiotherapists, osteopaths, acupuncturists, occupational therapist and chiropractors.

We offer touch and mindfulness cues to help people feel immediate relief, which may last hours, days or weeks. We also offer a safe space with an attentive person. We give you time, offering the opportunity to unload and just be for an hour or two.

People may imagine massage happens in silence, but treatment massage is usually a dynamic collaboration. The social element can mean a lot when you've been isolated, or surrounded by people who you're forced to rely on for care. Your massage therapist can lend a compassionate ear for you to voice your frustrations while respecting your privacy.

Many of my clients living with disabling pain rely on pain medications. They often come to me in hopes of reducing their dependence on narcotics. Opioid drugs that at first provided relief, over years turned against them. They needed more and more to take the edge off. Dangerous amounts of narcotics. But when they tried to ween themselves, the pain would surface like never before - ferocious, clawing at them from the inside.

When you're trapped in a cycle of pain and drug dependency there are no easy ways out. It's a brutal path to reclaim your body. Many are not able to make the journey. It hurts too much.

Rehabilitation therapies can help. Especially if you're motivated and have a support system of friends, family and trusted healthcare providers.

No one except for you can determine how you should live your life and what you should do with your body.

As a massage therapist, I offer holistic bodywork as a tool for you to explore the possibility of feeling less pain and discovering greater ease in movement. I'm here in service of your journey through this life - whether you're cured of pain or not.


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