taking the reins….2-27-23
Evaluate and treat: 3 X a week for 6 weeks
So would read any number of prescriptions at the physical therapy clinic I owned. The patient came in for assessment and then returned on the regular for hands on treatment and exercise progression. Not unusual for this prescription to be renewed at least once. Discharge was the ultimate goal, but there was no hurry.
This frequency was good for business, but over the years frustration was brewing underneath. Increasingly I was present to the subtle way this frequency sabotaged the patient’s ability to take the reins of their own healing. It felt like, for lack of a more tactful phrase, physical therapy babysitting. And being a participant in this dynamic began to eat away at my soul.
So I sold that clinic and slowly, organically shifted to an entirely different business model. In the fertile 3 year interim before I built the studio over my garage, I treated people on the fly, hauling my treatment table here and there. The dual qualities of efficiency and agency began to intertwine and a more relevant way to provide health care emerged. Both the patients and my soul thrived with this change.
Mostly I treat patients once or twice or thrice. Our first consideration is to insure that commitment to healing is strong and, even more important, there is real excitement about taking the reins. What does that mean in practical terms? To see me one-on-one there’s only one requirement: show up on your home mat twenty minutes most days for two weeks following that first visit and do the movements we phone video record. That way, as you track shifts in your symptoms, we find out together if you’re on the right track.
Hands on follow-up visits are for progression, adjustment, modification. And even when we arrive at a satisfying completion, things change over time. People come back for tune-ups as needed. A handful come for more frequent support: weekly for a bit or monthly. Is this a lucrative business model? Absolutely not. Do I care? No. There is such incredible freedom and honor and responsibility to be beyond that point in my life.
So let’s get a little more specific…..because it’s interesting how often our journey begins or eventually comes around to the psoas. Check this picture out:
Did you know they call this muscle the “first responder”? Because in moments of perceived threat, the psoas comes on line to help you fight or run or maybe just freeze. Known as storage locker for stress and trauma, for me, in my medicine work, it holds the literal center. This Sunday afternoon I’ll be at Summer Moon Yoga for Centered: me & my psoas, a two hour dive into the belly. A golden opportunity to go in there with expert guidance usually available only in one-on-one appointments. A focused chance to feel, breathe, viscerally touch this place where gut instinct arises. We have two tender loins (psoas’) and they differ from side to side. Tending that difference is quite often a pivotal healing touchstone. Come with your curiosity, bring a roller if you have one. I’ll have additional props and plenty of gentle wisdom to share.
If this is your time to take the reins I would be honored to be your coach and witness and biggest fan. You inspire me every single day.