Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Adrienne and my cranky leg

I think I lucked out at Sherwood Physiotherapy... a few weeks ago someone dropped by and left off a resumé. Once in awhile people leave resumés, usually for a reception job, but this one was from a PT. I checked it over and liked what I saw. New grad but a mature thirty-two years of age, already through one career as a professional dancer, experience with sports injuries, has already done a research project.

It seemed curious that she would pick my practice to apply to, so I gave her a call to find out more. We decided to meet so I could show her the clinic, then go for coffee. Turns out she wanted to work from my space in order to be convenient for all the dancers that live in the 'hood, where yoga and dance studios are everywhere. She had done her homework, had moved into the neighbourhood three weeks earlier, and decided to aim for employment at my place, which is the only PT clinic for blocks and blocks.

To call it a "clinic" is a bit presumptuous of me... It's more like a room in a nice office suite. A non-PT practitioner also has a practice in that suite, who I get along with quite well. Our practices have no overlap, other than we share the cost of a receptionist. My practice is one-on-one, carefully teasing the pain out of people while accompanying them for one or a few sessions.

It was dreadfully slow in Feb, so there was nothing for her to pick up, but this week is going better. She will take over my normal Wednesday off. See patients. Help pay some of the overhead.

We have been busy getting some promo material together, chatting about pain, treatment... I loaned her some books, the treatment manual I developed. Today she tried out some manual therapy on me.

Well, all I've got to say is the woman has hands on her that are like butter. My cranky right leg (which has been cranky for over 50 years) very much liked what she did to it. It's still working with what she was able to get it to let go of. It feels like it has little happy faces mixed with 7-up bubbles running through its vessels instead of blood. Walking home it felt like it was looser, stronger, longer and didn't get as tired as the left leg did, so I know my S1 cortex must have neuroplasticized a fair bit.

My cranky leg/ankle foot stems from a sprain at age 5. Age 5. I vaguely remember that it hurt for what felt like months. It was never handled, never cared for, never treated.

Lucky for me, I have the right mix of receptors or something, because it never gave rise to CRPS or fibromyalgia or anything. Most of the time it hasn't "hurt", exactly. It just felt shrunken and tight, like the antigravity suit was a bit too tight in the leg zone. No amount of yoga ever helped. Nothing I learned to do (to or with it, on my own) in over 50 years, almost 40 of which was spent being a PT, helped. OMPT certainly didn't help - in fact it made it hurt a lot for awhile. I saw a massage therapist who helped the pain, but my sense of it feeling "wrong" remained. I figured out a lot of my imaginative tape techniques by using my own leg to practice on.

This is all a big lead up to what happened today. I had let Adrienne watch me treat a few people, with their permission of course.. so today she wanted to practice a tarsal tunnel treatment, and knee treatment. Long story short, the work she did felt remarkable, and still does; all the Barrett Dorko characteristics of correction (fondly referred to as C's of C) - warmth, softening, effortless(!) movement (quite a bit of that - twitching, pulsing etc.), surprise (I've not had those sorts of results from other practitioners who've worked on me) - developed during the session. It was like my leg had been waiting for this for a very long time and was more than ready to have its nerves treated instead of its bones and muscles and joints.

So, I'm sold on Adrienne. So's my leg. Here's a little write-up about her that I attached to my website. I feel really good about the prospect, when the time comes, of leaving my practice, and all the people who've come to it for 15 years, in her very, very good hands.

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