Tag Archives: acute pain

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Chasing Pain or Finding the Cause of Pain

When was the last time you had a headache? What did you do about it? Did you just think it would go away? Maybe you just thought it would get better and go away if you waited long enough. Pain is real, and it does exist. There are lots of people who will tell you about their pain, even, when you didn’t want to know.

For as long as people have pain site 2been around, there have been people helping other people chase pain away. Centuries ago, pain-chasers were called things like, medicine man, holy man, shaman, or healer. Within the last 50 years we have begun to have new names for these people. Now we call them, doctor, chiropractor, acupuncturist, massage therapist, physical therapist, occupational therapist. Now, there are so many different names for pain chasers, and they all have their own “technique(s)”, for chasing your pain away.

The sun and moon chase each other day after day. This is a cycle that will continue for an eternity, and that’s ok. Actively chasing pain has become a normal part of some people’s lives. Pain itself, is a normal thing to have, because it is our alert system that tells us internally that a problem is happening. Problems happen when people are not able to chase their own pain away. Let’s get back to headaches. When you figured out you had one, what did you do? Lots of people take pills from the local pharmacy, others don’t. So does that mean headaches are a deficiency in pain medication?

With a variety of pain-chasers to choose from, how do you pick one? I would not suggest seeing a general practice physician if you had heart problems – you would see a cardiologist. One general issue people regularly face is the active advice/ prescription. Are they giving you good or bad advice? Many people follow the advice because the other person is supposed to know more. They are supposed to have the answer you are looking for. Why would these people want to give bad advice? If they know more than you do, isn’t that a good enough reason to listen and do what they say?

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There may come a point when you will follow their advice not knowing if it truly is the best advice you can take, because it is their job to know. This advice may only be the best they can offer, based on their training and experience. When you decide not to follow their advice, the circumstance is still the same. Are they offering you advice because they do not see any other way to help you, or will they only help you if you follow their advice?

I used to chase people’s pain without the concrete knowledge that I might actually catch it. Not every technique will work for every single person. I am still in the process of learning new and more advanced techniques. The reason why all techniques do not work will every single person, is simple: everyone is different. I choose to treat people with a variety of techniques. No one has the same time table for healing. Some people have structural imbalances that require me to think differently. I treat people with autoimmune issues different from people who have tired hands from yard work.

Years ago, when I primarily treated muscle pain with trigger point therapy, I found myself being limited by people tolerance to pressure. People always came back with the same issues. I eventually figured out that I was not doing enough to help them. So I started learning different techniques because what I was using was not getting the results I thought my clients deserved. I was chasing the sun and moon.

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Is your practitioner simply chasing pain, or are they actively trying to eliminate the source of that pain? The variety of techniques I use now all have their uses. It is my job to figure out when to intentionally utilize each one for maximum effectiveness. A pain-chaser will never fully understand why you have the pain, and they are not willing to do what is necessary to help. Pain-chasers do not get to the source of your pain, help you to understand it, or help you to resolve it. I chased pain for the better part of a decade. Worst of all, I didn’t even know it.

Matt Williamson, ART Certified CMT