The following is an open letter to people who suffer from physical/muscle pain, looking for some help. I’m just a regular guy who’s been suffering from back pain for many years now – maybe it’s part of getting older, maybe it’s because I am a drummer and have always sat on a wonky seat, maybe it’s because I have some posture issues… the possibilities of ‘why’ have seemed somewhat infinite, but as to fixing my pain problem, not many things have worked.
I tried acupuncture, shiatsu massage, osteopathy, chiropractor, straight-up physio, and some of it has worked to varying degrees, but ultimately, the pain crept back, despite the treatments. And so I decided to get in touch with a friend on Facebook whom I haven’t seen in years.
That’s the great thing about social media, right? Randall and I were friends way back when – in fact, he was my first friend in a new school when I was in elementary school, and since he was a neighbor of mine as well, we spent lots of time hanging out as kids. After high school, I lost touch with Randall, and I always wondered what happened to my childhood pal… so, with the magic of Facebook we became friends again, and I started seeing his posts about masso-kinesitherapy. At first it sounded like some fancy name (like the technique Second Cup uses to make one of their coffees sound exotic), but I figured I’d reach out to him and see what it’s all about… in fact, at that time, my back pain had flared up again, and I was planning to go on a ski trip that weekend, so I needed relief fast.
We set up an appointment at his office, and Randall took some time to make an assessement (based on my posture, and my explanation of the pain), he then promptly went about treating the problems as he saw them with the aim of getting better in the short term to enjoy my trip. He did some work on my muscles as well as the fascia (connective tissue surrounding the muscles, groups of muscles, blood vessels, and nerves, which binds some structures together, while permitting others to slide smoothly over each other)… That’s about as far as I can go with the technical talk… but I can tell you that he was able to help the pain subside enough that I was able to enjoy my ski trip.
However, It was clear that a short term solution would not fix the overall problem, so we made more appointments when I got back.
Since then, I have been going to see Randall on a regular basis, and with his expertise and his approach I feel like I am on the road to recovery. With Randall, I get the feeling the healing process is much more of a 360 degree approach then simply targeting one cause and eliminating it. In my various sessions we have discussed things like diet, exercise, natropathic solutions, philosophy of pain, and good old fashioned movement. Randall comes with as much philosophy as he does technique, and he really listens to what I have to say about my condition. It’s a discussion rather than a one-sided lesson, and I very much appreciate that. That’s actually a rarity in my experience, and it’s the reason why I would recommend anyone looking for some help with pain to go see him. Although he is a specialist, he is also a humanist, and he asses the situation from a very broad perspective, which is greatly appreciated when you have health issues but don’t know what causes them.
Anyway, it is an on-going process, and it’s nice to have someone who is open minded and who really cares about his patients’ well-being, rather than his bottom line!
Big thanks for all your help Randall! Hopefully this will help spread the word!