In the last blog post, we talked about the physical input of pain gathered from our tissues and how pain is not processed in the damaged or diseased tissue itself, but in the fascia where the receptors of the nervous system reside.
Input of pain from receptors of damaged tissue is also mixed with other input in our nervous system from our thoughts, emotions, and memories of past experiences. In fact, these are the filters through which we process the physical pain, which accounts for how widely we experience what should be the same amount of pain for the same physical injury
New studies on the nature of chronic pain are teaching us that pain is the product of a complex of physiological, emotional, attitudinal, and social factors. It is important to keep in mind that pain is not just one or the other of these factors, but a complex of all.
In spite of the danger of continuing the traditional separation of these factors, in the interest of your time, this blog post is going to focus on the physiological nature of pain. We’ll cover the other factors in future blog posts.
Pain is not processed in the location where you feel it, but in our nervous system. How many times have you been on the massage table to say, “It hurts here,” only to have the massage therapist find that that’s not really where the problem is? My left front hip pain is often from a problem with my right back hip, but I’d swear to you that the problem is my front left hip because that’s where it hurts—and I know better!
On Saturday, March 14, after consulting with the World Health Organization, the CDC, and the Ohio Medical Board, I made the decision to temporarily close the office in response to the COVID-19 emergency. Even though I took every precaution previously, the more I researched this virus, the more concerned I grew. This is not a normal flu. Humans have no immunity to this. For some the symptoms are similar to a flu; for others it can be deadly. I researched first-hand accounts and learned that this is one sneaky virus. Folks think they have a cold or flu, think they’re getting better, only to end up with pneumonia the next day and ventilated a couple days later fighting for their lives. Those who are at high risk are those with compromised immune systems, but also able-bodied men have become seriously ill. Others who test positive have no symptoms at all. It’s baffling. Because it’s a new disease, data is still being collected and is awaiting full analysis. We just don’t know yet exactly what we’re up against, especially because symptoms are so varied.
Sanitation has always been something important at Massage Ministration. I routinely diffuse DoTerra’s On Guard in the room, which has a sanitizing effect in the atmosphere. I’ve also been putting On Guard in everyone’s essential oil mix because it’s been scientifically proven to boost the immune system. I'm mixing up a batch of oils from a recipe that warded off the plague in the Middle Ages to anoint clients with as well.
In addition to wiping down the table, bolsters, face cradle, room surfaces, and door knobs with bleach, I'm now also wiping down all door knobs you touch to get into the massage room and paying more attention to sanitizing the shared restroom and everything we touch in there. In addition, I’m giving folks their own disinfectant wipe to use as they leave the building.
Teresa Eisenlohr is a licensed massage therapist who's also an ordained Presbyterian pastor with a Ph.D. in Christian theology. Needless to say, it's been a weird and interesting healing journey.