Body Sense

SPRING | 2015

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Page 13 of 17

Now, I am sitting on the edge of the bed. What a massive accomplishment. One foot down, two feet down, and I am ready for takeoff—just a little slower. The small journey to the stairs gives me enough time for my second pep talk of the day: "Just take it slowly; hold on to the rail." Living in chronic pain turns even the smallest tasks into victories. Getting out of bed is victory number one. Getting the kids off to school is victory number two. My next victory will be a shower. A BETTER PRACTITIONER Chronic pain isn't something everyone can see. In fact, sometimes I wish people could see the pain. As a massage therapist and someone who suffers from pain, I see both sides of the coin. I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia three years ago. I used to think of fibromyalgia as a box that doctors simply put their patients into when they got tired of listening to their complaints. But for the past three years, I too have been complaining daily of some sort of pain, dizziness, memory problems, fatigue, weakness—the list goes on. I have a new respect for people who live with invisible pain. Since my diagnosis, I have become a better therapist … because I live in pain. I massage my clients as if I were the one receiving the massage. I care for them in the same way that I want to be cared for, too. I hear their complaints every week as if they are new, because sometimes they are new, and even though they tell loved ones of their pain, their loved ones get to forget. My clients don't have that luxury. They never get to forget. I have come to realize the importance of massage and massage therapists more than ever before. 12 Body Sense

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