For How Long Have You Been Taking the Same Meds?

The other day, I gave myself a virtual kick in the butt. A fierce one. I had a conversation with a client that made me want to slap myself in the face, even.

He used to come in with occasional aches and pains, nothing out of the norm. But the shoulder pain got more persistent, and I would have loved to see him for a targeted treatment plan of about six consecutive sessions.

Instead we’d work together just occasionally, as his traveling schedule allowed, and I expected him to be happy with the results he got.

But the other day he told me that NOW he’s doing great… because he got off the Statin.

Statin? I hadn’t even been aware he was taking it! I checked his intake form. That was from seven years ago and I had not thought to update it. No mention of medication. Now, he’s a physician himself, and that led me to being a bit more careless–but I should have asked.

Of course, I don’t tell clients what medication to take, and yes, some people should lower their cholesterol. And some should even take the Statin.

But what I want ALL OF YOU to do RIGHT NOW is check the medications you’re taking regularly, even the supplements, make a list, and look them up for side effects. If that’s too much work, SEND ME THE LIST and I’ll look them up for you.

And even more important: make an appointment with your physician, and get your meds updated.

Maybe you’re on a prescription that made sense two years ago. It might not make sense today–you’ve been living a much healthier lifestyle, haven’t you?

If you don’t know who to talk to, I have GREAT relationships with physicians and am more than happy to refer you to somebody who can take a critical look at your medication and discuss options.

Side effects can be serious, and in some cases medications counteract each other, or they are harmful when taken in combination.

YOU NEED TO DO THIS NOW. Please.

My client didn’t feel better due to the work I did… he felt better because he’s off the Statin.

A lot of drugs can cause pain–check yours now.

But DO NOT change the way you take them without consulting a physician–I’m happy to refer you to one of the excellent doctors in my network.

Thank you.

Improve Your Intuition By Reading Voraciously

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Take a look into my mind

If I had to pick one thing that makes me different from other therapists, other business owners, other educators, most other people in general–it would have to be my mind.
Now, I don’t consider my central nervous system to have any qualities that others don’t have–I can’t memorize thousand-digit numbers, I even have trouble remembering the anatomy I’m working with on a daily basis.
And ugh–I’m bad at remembering faces, and that has often gotten me into mildly embarrassing situations.

So there’s not a special thing my mind can do… it’s more about the memories coded into its circuits. Memories of books.

I read a lot. I’ve read thousands of books, but now I’m working so much that I had to cut back–it takes me about two weeks to finish a book these days. Usually I have several non-fiction books going, and another one as an audiobook, and then I read novels for just relaxation, so I get to four books a month now, on average.

They don’t all get finished anymore, especially the non-fiction ones get dropped if they’re not engaging me enough. That’s a recent development, in the past I had to ALWAYS finish what I’ve started.

You know when Mark Zuckerberg made it his lofty goal to read 23 books in one year?

If you were laughing about that (and since you’re reading this blog, you might be more like me than like Zuck), PLEASE drop me a note. I want to have a “voracious readers” club. Come join me!

 

A look at intuition

 

When I’m coaching other business owners, all the nonfiction books lurk in the back of my mind, ideas and phrases jump up as needed. OK, admittedly some fiction characters can’t be held back either. Arthur Dent might be waving his towel in inappropriate moments. My intuition doesn’t grasp concepts out of thin air–they come out of books, and are coming to my mind as if they were pure inspiration.

Of course I’ve learned a lot from other people, too, and their experiences and advice comes up as well.
To me, intuiting is the non-conscious processing of memories at rapid speed, so fast that conscious thought could never follow. Intuition happens below the level of consciousness, just like processing all the sensations we’re dealing with at all times. You don’t consciously follow how your body temperature is regulated, how your ears pick up all the sounds surrounding you, what one square inch of you shin is reporting right now–you just get a filtered report of whatever your brain considers important enough.
Good intuition is a good filter plus a great skill at picking the right memory at the right time, and even combining a bunch of them–and then you suddenly get it as conscious thought. Boom! There it is.

Since intuition is nothing supernatural, and only fed by our own memories, feelings, experiences, it might be wrong.
Intuition is like your own private search engine into your mind. A biased mind, of course. As long as we don’t forget that, we can use it freely.

 

Only practice makes perfect

 

“You really understand me”, “you sure know a lot about relationships”, “How did you know?” my clients say often.
It’s really just practice. Like everything else–you do it the first time, you have no clue, you stumble around, you’re going to bump into things.
First friendships, first romance, first business partnership, all these first ones often run into troubles and most don’t work out, especially if you have several bumbling beginners bumping into each other.
But persevere, and you’ll get into a graceful dance.

I’ve persevered in real life, and then I added books. When people compliment my English, I usually tells me it comes from the one thousand novels I’ve read by British, American, Canadian, and the occasional Aussie writer.

(Shoutout to Sharon Livinstone!)

In recent years I’ve been tracking my books on Goodreads–here’s my non-fiction list. They’re not all good.

Even bad books taught me a lesson or two. Try it! Read more! If you’re not at Zuckerberg level yet–get there!

But if time is limited, try the “Blinkist” app on your phone or tablet. It gives you summaries of non-fiction books that you can read in about 15 minutes each, and they’re really good summaries if you want quick information about a subject.

It’s not like reading the whole book, of course, with Blinkist you’ll get a lot of bullet points, and hardly any stories. Unavoidable, since it has to be supershort.
I use it to find out which books I really want to read.

My mind still wants to be fed, and all our minds like to work with stories. The stories I’ve experienced, and the stories in well-written non-fiction books make up the huge treasure chest my intuition fishes around in whenever I have a coaching conversation.

So here’s the Blinkist-type summary:

1. Read more, or listen to audiobooks. Go to my goodreads list for ideas or wait for the next post with specific recommendations.

2. If you’re short on time, and you hear about a book that’s the recent buzz, or if there is one that you’ve had on your “I have to read this eventually” list, get the summary on Blinkist.

3. Play with intuition. Listen to the thoughts that suddenly pop up while you’ve worked on a problem for a few days, and once you let it go, there comes a solution. Give your conscious thought a break now and then so your intuition can get to work… but don’t believe everything that you think!

 

 

 

Why do I recommend a “First Visit” session?

At first I started offering an introductory shorter session as a marketing tool, to give clients a brief taste of my work, and a chance to meet me without a big commitment. They’ve never been used as a sales pitch–I just like to give clients the opportunity to make an educated decision on their treatment plan, without being pressured.

Fortunately, most of my work shows fast results, so in 30 minutes of hands-on-bodywork I have a good opportunity to show the potential. Before and after this manual therapy part, we have time to talk, go over medical records, do a short evaluation, and discuss treatment options. I am very honest here, and explain clearly what medical research I’m aware of, and where we have gaps in knowledge and must rely on trial and error.
That makes me popular with skeptics and clients who have spent a lot of money and time with practitioners who promised a lot, and delivered little.

After several years of offering introductory sessions I found that it doesn’t only allow the client to try me out–I can try out the client.
First, in an evaluation of posture and movement, I can see patterns of strain and restrictions, and I get a better idea of how likely it is that my work will help. But even more important, I see how the client responds to directions about modifying their posture, or moving in a specific way. Within the first few minutes, I already know how much body awareness a new client has, and that makes a big difference on my treatment plan.

In the manual therapy part of the First Visit, I notice how their soft tissues respond to touch and mobilization techniques, and how sensitive the nervous system is.
Since some people can get sore after treatment, and a few (fortunately very few) could even have muscle spasms, it’s good to start with a shorter session anyway.
Only clients who have received a lot of bodywork and know how they respond should schedule for longer sessions (60 or 90 minutes or even more).

If I have a new client who has not gotten any bodywork or massages, who is rather sensitive, and who starts out with a whole hour of hands-on work, I’m running the risk of intense reactions and side effects.
So I’d be very careful in a first hour–maybe a little too careful, and then I’m not getting the full results.

The First Visit gives me the chance to try out how the client responds, and in the days afterwards, the client gets a clear impression on how my work affects the body, and how long the results last.

Once my clients come back for a full session (usually 60 or 90 minutes), they can report back to me, and I can treat them accordingly–very carefully, with a focus on nerve work if they had averse reactions, or with a lot of deep manipulations when they responded well to the short treatment.

The First Visit also includes a lot of practical advice, and that’s especially valuable for clients whose first visit is the only one they can afford. I like helping clients out of pain, so I’m happy to offer this one-off option at a lower price, and I use the time to refer them to other professionals, massage therapists, medical doctors, or sometimes even massage schools.

I usually give information on what pain is, how pain intensity changes depending on experiences and expectations, and especially how nutrition, sleep, and exercise influence not only overall health, but also pain.

Of course clients also come with other concerns than pain–some want to improve their posture or movement patterns, some want to age gracefully, some are looking for advice for their kids, especially during growth spurts.

Continuing LMT Education

Since 2013, Lu has been an approved Continuing Education provider for Licensed Massage Therapists (LMTs) in Florida. In addition to classroom instruction, Lu has also produced a series of video Continuing Education Units (CEUs) that are available to LMTs throughout the U.S.

In addition to providing CE training, Lu is a proven mentor for those new to the massage industry. In addition to sharing techniques and philosophies, she has also guided many LMTs as they transition from the school setting to building a successful practice through best practices she has developed from opening Balance Orlando.

Starting in 2013, Lu has been offering myofascial mobilization classes, see MyoMob.

First up will be a 12-CEU introduction into easy evaluations and basic techniques for low back, upper back and neck treatments.

Here are the general topics for future classes:

Effortless Posture: Evaluation in standing, sitting, walking, easy and fast interventions with manual therapy and movement cues.

Building a foundation: Evaluations, manual therapy for feet, legs, hips.

Core: Evaluations, manual therapy for structures around the spine, discussion of spinal alignment, focus on low back problems.

Upper Back: Evaluations, manual therapy to loosen up tissues around the thoracic spine and shoulder girdle. Discussion of spinal alignment, posture and movement.

Arms and Neck: Evaluations, manual therapy for… yes! Arms and neck. Discussion of typical problems like “a crick in the neck”, carpal tunnel syndrome, epicondylitis.

Treatment strategies: Learning how to decide on a strategy for a series of sessions. Each student will evaluate and treat another student, and explain the plan for further sessions.

Walking the walk: What is a natural, effortless gait? What patterns hinder it? How can we help? Evaluations and interventions with manual therapy and movement education.

Practicum 1: We’ll work with clients. Each student will evaluate and treat a client with a first session, teach exercises or give movement cues for homework, and explain the plan for further sessions.
Before the clients come in, we’ll prepare strategies, repeat what we learned in July, and practice with each other, after clients leave we still have time for recap.

Practicum 2: We discuss client feedback from the first practicum, practice, then have the same clients come in again for a follow-up session. Ideally, students will have worked with their clients between classes.

Goal! Goal setting, maintenance, compliance. We’ll discuss and practice by roleplaying typical situations in consultations with clients. High emphasis on professional ethics, especially regarding scope of practice.
We’ll also compare notes on best practices, how much “selling” is useful for better results, and how we can work with colleagues to build a referral network.

Classes will include:

• easy and fast posture evaluation
• teaching effortless good posture
• learn which structures to work on for better posture
• gait analysis and gait training
• myofascial mobilization techniques for feet, lower legs, knees, thighs, hips, lower back & core, upper back, ribs and diaphragm, shoulders, neck, arms and hands
• short movement exercises to improve mobility
• developing a treatment plan for a series of treatments
• determining the client’s goals and advising the client on a plan to reach those goals
• helping the client find a maintenance plan after treatments have ended

A full certification will be available for students who have passed each class and both parts of the practicum