I attended this webinar recently and it was very eye opening, both as a healthcare professional and a patient. I've been a Registered Massage Therapist since 2007 and my practice has developed along with my own personal experiences with chronic pain. I've had varying levels of pain since I was about 7, when I had my first big injury; a strained SI joint. This resulted in chronic lower back pain for about 8 years. Chronic pain is defined as pain that lasts from more than three-six months. Sometimes it was mild, sometimes constant aching and sometimes it would spasm so violently that I would be in bed for days, on pain killers and muscle relaxants. My parents took me for some treatments, but it wasn't really resolved until I started doing Pilates when I was about 15.
My lower back was pretty good until around 19, when I had a serious whiplash injury, from a knee boarding accident. I'm now 37 and have been dealing with the ups and downs of this injury for a very long time. Fortunately, as and RMT, I have the luxury of a lot of knowledge about biomechanics and therapeutic exercises that I have always used to manage things.
About 3 years ago, I had a major flare up of my whiplash symptoms and suddenly all the things I had relied upon were not effective anymore, or only gave me very temporary relief. This is when I turned to counselling and pain science.
Since then, I've taken several courses about pain science through PainBC and other resources. I've read a lot of books about the biopsychosocial model of care. And I've implemented some new strategies to manage pain, that I never would have thought could be so effective. Meditation, mindfulness, body scanning and cognitive behavioral therapy practices are now a big part of my daily self care routine. Though I still rely on other things like self massage, stretching and strengthening exercises, I've come to understand how important nervous system regulation is.
This webinar explains the importance of communication and positivity around pain experiences with children. I am left to wonder, if my first major injury had been handled differently, if the communication my practitioners and parents had used at the time had been different, would I still struggle with chronic pain as an adult?
I can't go back in time and I can't blame anybody for what happened because we just didn't understand pain in the same way we do now. I am sharing this webinar with hope that it will reach someone who will use this knowledge to better communicate with their child or children, and prevent setting that child up for a life of pain.
Neither Remedy Wellness Centre Inc or Me take any credit for the production of this webinar. It was offered through PainBC, a wonderful resource for anyone suffering with chronic pain.
Kasey Thompson, Registered Massage Therapist
When I first moved to Victoria, I noticed something that immediately made me feel right at home as a naturally Kinesthetic (tactile/touch oriented) person... People hugged here, A LOT!
Maybe it was something about the “West Coast vibes” that seemed to attract the most open, and caring people, or because of the huge alternative and progressive subcultures that I was seeing families, friends of all ages, acquaintances, and even co-workers literally in constant touch with one another. Pats on the back, supportive rubs of the shoulder all the incidental gestures that are normally taken for granted were definitely not lost on me. It made me feel safe, made me look forward to socially interacting and joyfully anticipating being embraced by my community every time I stepped out of my house.
There's a reason it feels great to be physically touched. Touch has been an integral part of our society before we even had a word for “human! Our great great furry ancestors would spend hours grooming each other everyday, and not just because there was a lack of showers in the rain-forest resulting in bugs throwing parties on their fur! Grooming was a part of creating and maintaining important social and familial bonds within primates for millions of years. It soothes infants and let's them know they are being taken care of, it allows us to slow down our nervous systems and go from being in a fight or flight response to a “rest and digest” mode. It lets you know who your friends are and who you can trust. It strengthens immunity and uplifts mood with all those fantastic endorphin chemicals that we need to thrive...
So it was with equal grief that I lamented the loss of said touch in our community. Over the past year or so as a new found fear of touch was instilled in our everyday interactions. Socially distancing quickly turned into physical distancing, our personal space bubbles were expanded, handshakes were all but forbidden, and shaking hands or heaven forbid hugging anyone who you didn't live with... was pretty much a thing of the past. Is it any wonder that this year has seen unprecedented rates of negatively impacted mental health cases, more anti-social behaviour and all time highs of drug use and suicide rates through the roof?
How do you bring back positive touch in a safe way without the “Covid police” kicking down your door? What if there was a trusted way to get all those benefits of health oriented touch from a professional and dependable source? That's where RMT's come in. At a time when we all really need all the support we can get. Allow yourself to benefit from the knowledge, guidance and touch of a Registered Massage Therapist.
-Post By Iz Shafey, Registered Massage Therapist
This blog is collaborative collection of information provided by several of our therapists. We hope you find some useful information and tips.