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Am I missing the point?

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,731
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:26 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I am not a happy person.
I don't need to feel like this before Xmas. X(

I have a new PT. 6 weeks.

I have upset my PT big time cos I have refused to have reflexology!
She thinks that I will turn a corner if I have it. She says that she hopes I will let go of some of my last few years worth of traumas with my back surgery and pain problems.

I said "How?" sure yes, might relax me for a session but then what? Doesn't exactly cure the pain does it?
btw, the chair is a killer too! @)

I get the distinct feeling she thinks the pain I am experiencing is in my head. X(
I am furious. :jawdrop:

I have been to hell with my back pain and trying desperately to make some sense of it and get on with my life, as we all are on here, making adjustments and accepting the changes and trying hard to treat each day as "the one" that will make the difference.

I am low but it is hidden away. I am tired and weary of the pain and after 23 months of post surgery recovery (complications for those who don't know me) and years of problems before I don't need this.

Anyway, my question is, Am I missing something? What will Reflexology do for me?

Your experiences and thoughts would be appreciated - I want to get this sorted!
I feel so upset! :''(



  • it really is just a matter of the PT has not given you enough detail about reflexology.
    I have had it many times and find it very benificial but I know others who have felt no difference.
    In maternity hospitals here they use both reflexology and accupuncture instead of pain killers for women birthing and many swear by it.

    Reflexology works on sensors or meridians on your feet that correspond with different parts of the body. When the point in the foot is pressed it can relieve pain and also help to release emotional blockages that are stored there.
    So -I am sure the PT doesnt think the pain is in your head but that maybe there are unknown emotional blockages that may be stopping you from moving forward.
    If the chair hurts you then ask to lie on a bed instead. You do need to be comfortable or there is no point.

    Anyway the choice is yours not hers or mine so you do what you think is right for you. Oh And dont get upset over it as it is not worth it.
    Merry Christmas.
    Blessings Sara O:)
  • Emotional blockages (she used that word too) - what are they?

    I can't get past thinking she thinks i am making it up!

    Thank you, for explaining, I never realized it could be helpful in pain control.
  • I have also thought about reflexology, read a lot about it and if it works why not give it a try. I think the emotion part is how our pain has blocked a lot of our emotions and that in turn causes more pain. I will be 2 years in Feb since my surgery and yes I am in as much pain as before surgery and most days more pain. If I try and relax it does help with the pain, tension only makes pain worse.

  • Hello Itsalongwalk,

    First, I have not had my physical therapist suggest reflexology to me so I can't speak from experience.

    I have read about it. I'm glad it has helped Sara. As Sharon said "why not give it a try".

    With that said, from what I have read and how it comes across to me it is just a means to try and get you to relax a bit. So does a glass of wine.


  • I can be a bit wooden at times - it is my coping strategy.

    Mentally I am hanging on with my finger nails...It has been such a roller-coaster with expectations and dashed hopes then trying to accept "this is it" then off you go again, more surgery so then the fears, hopes etc.

    So you don't think she is being funny??

  • Hello Itsalongwalk,

    "So you don't think she is being funny??" Read my PM to you.

    Hang on by those fingernails!!!!

    AHHHHhhh, nice hugs on a winter day. And right back to you.

  • Sorry I have been arranging Christmas dinner and didn't get back here.
    Basically emotional blockages are where we hide what we are feeling both from ourselves and others. We all do it on a regular basis. I know I dont tend to tell frineds or family when I am in pain as I know there is nothing they can do to help, so why make them feel bad.
    But because I dont express it, I find I store it in my muscles. It is that tenseness that PT or exercises cant release and we are often very unaware of.

    I also know and I am really putting it on the line here- that when I injured my back I was about to turn 40 and going through a pretty bad time. I was unmarried- no kids and not where I had expected or wanted to be at 40.
    I was feeling totally unsupported (back supports us) and wanted to be looked after.
    Well I got what I wanted didn't I :jawdrop: Just not the way I wanted it. Suddenly I had support and people to look after me.
    So since then I make a point of "releasing" how I feel. This can be in vocalising it to myself, maybe with some healing or the big one- allowing myself to cry. :''(
    Growing up I always felt I had to be the 'strong one' and take on everyones problems now I listen but dont add them to mine and that really helps too.

    I hope that has helped you to understand.

    Extra gentle Christmas hugs Sara O:)
  • I don't think you should feel bad for feeling the way you do. I think everyone is entitled to their own opinions on treatments, and their own take on what treatments they personally will receive. Honestly, I don't believe in that mumbo jumbo. That's all that is to me. I don't believe in acupuncture or any type of holistic medicine. I think it's even more ridiculous than someone insinuating another person has psychosomatic pain. I have nothing against those who do believe in this stuff, nor do I judge them... But I, personally, would refuse to continue seeing a doctor or therapist who truly believed in it. Thankfully my surgeon doesn't. Her P.A. does and suggested it to me once, which scared me and kind of turned me off from the practice, temporarily, but my doctor is pretty grounded and into firm medical treatments only. That's just my choice, and my doctor's choice, and it works well for me. If the other stuff works well for others, that's good. I'm happy for them. But there is nothing wrong with being on either side of the fence, or not wanting to take part in something you don't truly find beneficial. It's a waste of your time and energy if you aren't 100 percent into it. And you don't have to be. NOTHING at ALL wrong with that. Don't beat yourself up over it. I understand where you are coming from; I think many people will, and you are not alone.
  • Hello Lo,

    Your post was a "breath of fresh air". Our daughter, my wife and I were just talking about "cures". I have a scientific mind, my daughter (unfortunately) does not.

    Okay, FORWARD

    I couldn't agree with you more about "that mumbo jumbo". I'm with you regarding "acupunture or any type of holistic medicine". However, we do disagree on one thing -

    You maintain that if some form of "snake medicine" helps someone, then fine. That is where our paths separate. I'm an oldie. I worked for the FDA for my entire career. Unfortunately it is NOT the agency it once was. Do not forget that the reason it was formed at the very beginning was because of all the "snake medicine" that was being marketed.

    There is the placebo effect, it is real. That is why it is included in scientific studies. You cannot determine if a new medication/device has any merit if you do not have as a part of the study a "blind". Our minds play tricks on us. We may THINK we feel better because of this or that when in fact we have not even received "this or that". That is basically the placebo effect.

    It IS WRONG for anyone or company to be telling people they have this "magic cure" when it has not been scientifically tested in a clinical study and proven to be effective. It troubles me that my daughter and SOOOOoo many others don't understand this. For some to "market" these wacko totally unproven whatevers as the "magic cure" is extremely wrong. Wrong because the person is NOT receiving the medical attention they should be receiving, and thus may die prematurely because of not receiving proper medical treatment in a timely manner.

    Unfortunately even medical doctors get pulled into this "magic cure" stuff. I have been able to document a couple of cases where it was because the doctor had financial ties to the "wacko" company. That just makes me sick.

    I could write a book about this, but that would be improper on a forum.

    Take care, and THANKS much for sharing your most valuable thoughts.


  • Yes I have heard your stories so many times but I have also heard the other side. I am not going to get into a debate about this as it is not appropriate here and this thread is about how IALW feels. But I will say I thik it is very sad that you are both so closed to something that could potentially benifit you but if you are so closed it probably wouldn't.
    We cant scientifically test either God or Love but we beleive in both dont we? I will leave it there.

    Blessing to you both Sara O:)
  • Rich, I appreciate your post a lot. I was worried those who support holistic type "medicine" would lash out at me for not supporting it, and having an opposing opinion. It's nice to hear someone agree with me. And it's not that I feel this way because Im old school... I'm pretty young. Heh. I just don't fall for that pretty cover on an empty book stuff. That's my view of it, and if someone else sees it differently, that's their choice. That is really all I meant by saying if it works for someone else, that's fine. I know I can't control their choices. If it were my family or loved ones, I would put up quite a fight before letting them take part in something I whole heartedly disagreed with... But when it comes to those whose lives are not intertwined with mine, I can't overstep my boundaries and say they are wrong to do what they do. I view it as ridiculous, and I would NEVER, EVER, EVER, EVER, EVER risk my health; physical, intellectual, or emotional, on something that flimsy and new age. I totally understand the placebo effect, and I think it's pretty cool that the whole placebo deal exists. It makes quite a difference in the way medicine works. It goes to show that if the mind thinks it's cured, your body may feel it's true. However just because your MIND thinks your body is cured, DOES NOT mean your body is cured. You CAN have physical repercussions to pay later on in life because these "placebos" tided over your emotional signs of physical needs. Personally, I am with you on this one, and I think it's very scary that people would choose this path... But alas, that is their decision. I just maintain that those who feel differently need also to respect that it's not a one way street. We have the right to view holistic medicine as mumbo jumbo, and yes, they can view us as being closed minded because we aren't so easily swayed, and we want documented MEDICAL, SCIENTIFIC proof before we agree to be treated in any given area. To each his own... Really. There is a difference between believing in God and love, even though you can't see them, and refusing to believe in holistic medicine. You have nothing to lose by believing in God or love... You stand ONLY to gain. However, regarding holistic medicine, what Rich is trying to say is that there IS a risk. You can be wasting crucial time on something that does NOT SOLVE the problem... And it can be too late. Your LIFE is possibly at stake, depending on the situation. That's where they differ. No risk vs. risk. They are NOT the same thing, nor are they remotely comparable.

    I do think it's nice, though, that there are doctors still who are not into pushing the new age medicine. I value my doctors who are in the scientific field of medicine, not the psychological field. To each his own. I just know that I'd be lost without the Neurosurgeon that I have, the PCP I have, and even my Gyno! Haha. He delivered me AND also my son! One silly example... The Gardisil shot to prevent HPV... All the Gynos give the information pamphlets out here now, and he gave me the pamphlet and I said I'd read it, but I was almost positive I would pass on it. I told him it hadn't been around long enough and I didn't want to risk it. I would much rather just take the regular precautions... Condoms, etc... Than get something on the newer side and find out decades later that it had some adverse effect on my body. There was some medicine out years and years and years ago that ended up making women unable to conceive later on in life. That's crazy. You never know. Even IUDs... I got the copper IUD, not the new hormonal ones... I wanted the tried and true, not the new and novel. Just my choice, that's all. My point of this last paragraph is just that I'm glad there wasn't some major transition... That both options are readily available, and people are not forced into anything they don't believe in. On EITHER side of the fence. Ya know? I'm glad that there are those still willing to remain on the other side, and aren't so quick to hop the fence... I think it's crucial to retaining separation between psychiatry and medicine, and also to a patients free will and choice regarding their own treatment.

    I respect that everyone is equally entitled to believe in, support, or take part in whatever they feel fits their life the best, and whatever they feel is the best choice for who they are and what they want. I also am intrigued by the differing opinions of others, and I think those alone are very valuable. It disappoints me a bit when people are so quick to diffuse what they view as tension. I rarely get upset over disagreements. I love them. I love when people are willing to give their honest opinion, whether or not the rest of the world will agree with them, or even think differently of them. If everyone was too scared to share their thoughts, who knows where the world would be today. SO thanks to everyone who is not afraid to stand up for what they believe. (This means you, Rich, Angelback.)
  • Good Morning Lo,

    "I just don't fall for that pretty cover on an empty book stuff." THAT Lo is SUPERB and really in a nutshell states the "alternative" unscientific approaches very well. Nor will these approaches every truly be studied in a double blind study. Oh yes, perhaps a psuedo study, but not a truly scientific one.

    "I can't control their choices." And Lo, neither can I, HOWEVER, I do feel we have a responsibility to warn people of the risks involved in not seeking proven effective medical care in a timely manner.

    "we want documented MEDICAL, SCIENTIFIC proof before we agree to be treated in any given area." YES!!! A story if I may -

    My first spinal surgeon suggested that I take fish oil as some said it would help arthritis. Well Lo, I did my research. There was NOT a single valid scientific published study on the effectiveness of fish oil to help arthritis. Oh yes, there were pseudo studies by those connected with the food suppliment industry, but not a one was scientifically sound. (I was a research chemist back in my working days. I did write and have peer reviewed numerous publications. AND I did review manuscripts sent to me for review. Some made it through my thorough review and others did not.}

    To continue - Well I went back to my first spinal surgeon about my back, and in the process I mentioned to him that I had researched the scientific literature for a valid double blind study regarding the effectiveness of fish oil for arthritis. I told him that I found none and until such a study was conducted and proved the "issue", then there was no reason for me to take the fish oil for arthritis. OH BOY did he ever blow up!!!! He said that you can't go out and spend all that money on a study to see if fish oil actually was effective for arthritis. HA, I wonder how much he makes off of the food suppliment industry. Man I bet they must be paying him a bundle.

    FORWARD!! lol

    "You can be wasting crucial time on something that does NOT SOLVE the problem... And it can be too late. Your LIFE is possibly at stake" - Lo, you said it PERFECTLY. That to me is the "message" we need to share with others. It IS our responsibility to do so.

    Yes, thank goodness we do live in a democracy (or at least did) where we are free to state our views. And to me the internet is perhaps the best "democracy". One that covers the globe.

    HOWEVER, there is a reason the FDA exists - and that is to try and protect the U.S. population from unhealthy foods, to make sure the medications and medical devices are effective and safe. The agency doesn't hit 100%, but can you imagine what it would be like without it. It would be like the Dark Ages. Just think of the unsafe food and toys that are being exported to this country from China. Think how much worse it would be if we DIDN'T have the FDA.

    Well, my "book" is long enough, so had better close.

    Take care partner.

  • Hello Sara,

    Yes, I agree, back to Itsalongwalk. I hope our discussions are of benifit to her.

    Take care.


  • I totally agree with what you're saying... Which is why I fully state my beliefs, even if others will think I'm closed minded. I feel like, if I DON'T say something, and something bad happens to someone, then I am partially at fault. You know what they say, "Silence is the voice of complicity". And it is true.

    Thanks for that short story. It's always nice to hear specific examples.

    I take fish oil sometimes, but not for arthritis. I was just told it's good for your heart. Tastes like crap, even in pill form, but if it's good for your heart then it's worth it. Especially since we only have one. Hehe.

    I definitely support the existence of the FDA, and I shudder thinking of what the U.S. would be like without something like the FDA. People always complain about "restrictions" and "guidelines" but yet they are what keep us safe. People want freedom until they have to pay the price and deal with the repercussions of such. People want it all... I think it's more important to prioritize.

    I don't think there is anything wrong with this conversation. It IS regarding the original subject, and I think it definitely could be beneficial to the original poster. The point of a forum is for everyone to share their thoughts on a subject and for people to receive feedback... There is no right or wrong answer, and there is no uniform way in which people need to respond... Unless someone is doing a 180, then I can't see why anyone would have a problem with someone furthering the topic into specifics. Ya know? I'm sure she doesn't have an issue hearing the thoughts of other people in situations like hers, on why they feel the way they do. It may give her validation for her thoughts and feelings. And if not, it gives her objectivity.

    IALW~ I hope you've found peace of mind regarding this area of your life and aspect of your situation. You've been through quite a bit and I think the last thing you need is to feel guilty about anything!

    Rich~ I actually find your posts to be interesting reads... Not a common occurrence for me. Your thoughts and words intrigue me. Thanks for sharing :)
  • Hello Lo,

    I couldn't help but reply.

    First thanks for your kind words regarding my posts. Same thoughts about your well thought out and written posts.

    About that fish oil - Yep I take it because of the proven benefit for the ole heart. Bad taste? NO, not what I take, no taste at all. Want to know what I take? Send me a PM.

    I really like your 5th paragraph. I TOTALLY agree.

    Nice words/thoughts to IALW.

  • Thanking you all for your time to answer me here. Much appreciated.

    Firstly, I am glad I have stirred up a bit of a debate, after-all this is the turmoil in my brain.
    If it will help - do it, but like Lo and RichT, I am quite black and white and find that the reflexology lacks a certain scientific rationally for me.

    I think I am quite emotionally aware but totally understand your point Angleback.
    However, I also object to the attitude of the PT.
    Perhaps it is just me and I am too sensitive but It feels like she is judging me.

    She doesn't know the hellish journey I have been on (like many chronic pain sufferers) and I find her attitude somewhat belittling. The roller-coaster has left me a little brittle!

  • Also, I DO believe on the placebo effect, I have seen this first hand enough times but the key here is the person buys into "it" or that the belief system is so strong or, delicately said, the person would dare not admit failure so lies about the success of something. I think all of the above is true.
    The message is all about Positive attitude which is the core of Lo's many posts on SH.

    I have a good attitude, an occasional "wobble" when pain bad / uncontrolled but I would suggest it was all ok, I am after all human!!!!

    Back to the foot massage....I don't get how it can help you unleash hidden emotions or fears?
    But I do see how such things may make you more tense and subsequently increase a muscle spasm etc.

  • This has been very interesting reading. Oh boy, RichT, now that you have revealed that you have FDA ties, have I got questions for you!!!! :D Not bad, just questions about approvals and off label use and policies.

    Anyway, back to the original thread. Itsalongwalk-you've got to feel like you can trust your PT and it sounds like you don't. I believe in trying CAM but I've got to trust the person recommending it and it has to make sense.

    I personally would switch to a different PT if I wasn't extremely comfortable. My most recent one built up a relationship with me, I trusted her, and then she suggested some non-mainstream treatments to compliment my medical plan. Specifically, she suggested massage with cupping to help break up scar tissue. When I get the bills caught up, I'm actually going to try cupping with the massage therapist the PT recommended because I trust the PT and believe that she believes in me. But I can tell you that if she had started off going on about cupping I would have walked out of her office!

    Anyway, good luck to you in whatever options you choose. Remember that YOU are the consumer and have the power of choice in your providers if you don't feel comfortable with them.
  • Hi ERnurse,
    I haven't heard of cupping nor CAMs - what is this please?

    Angleback - I wanted to thank you for your honesty and openess in your earlier post. I am not sure my PT nor I have the relationship to soul search. But I do undertstand that each and every one of us will find peace in one or another therapy, even if it is just a bit of empathy and morale support!

    I personally feel quite brittle and not ready expose myself. I have decicide that my survival and sanity check over the last few years has been my attitude and I am not ready to change that.

    Take care all and don't do too much over the holidays.
  • Good Morning Ernurse,

    Okay, send me a PM if you wish. Do understand that I've been retired since '92. No doubt there have been many changes since then.


  • http://nccam.nih.gov/

    Reliable web site, it's the National Institute of Health.

    Complementary and alternative medicine. This is everything from taking a daily multivitamin to acupuncture to faith healing. I personally don't believe that "modern" medicine has all of the answers and that a combination(approved by physician) of treatments can possibly be more effective. Simple example: Have fusion surgery to fix your back but eat healthy to lose weight and improve healing.

    Cupping is an ancient Chinese(I believe that's where it originated) method of healing. Warm cups are applied to the back and the suction and negative pressure it creates is supposed to stimulate circulation and help break up scar tissue. Sounds kind of strange, but as long as my incisions are healed, I see no harm in trying it and if nothing else, I'll have a great massage to go along with it. It leaves you with a bunch of hickie marks, tho! Early in my nursing career I actually had to stop a coworker from calling the police on a family. She had seen the marks on an adult female's back and believed it to be abuse and was not aware of cupping.

    I don't go for way out things like chiro's being able to "cure" allergies, but some treatments are worth investigating(with your doctor's OK, of course.)
  • Thanks, Yes it is really really important to have faith in any thereapist whatever modatily thay use be it PT, accunpuncture, massage or a surgeon. How can we open up otherwise.I hadn't realised that the PT was the one wanting to do the reflexology.

    I do understand that for you the time and the circumstances are not right and I trust that one day if you feel ready the right person will come along to assist you if necessary.
    Our 'Shells" are essential till then as they hold us together. :))(
    Blessings Sara O:)
  • I am sure people think thay are doing a good job but who would think that when they allow such posion like aspartame and aftificial colourings and flavours in to products that get called food.

    Processed foods have so much garbage added and little nutritional value, why do much of the population consume it? Because they lack the knowledge to make better choices.

    Why are manufactured additives alowed into foods, because they make certain people a heap of money.

    Why is there a pharmacautical industry with a pill for every ill? Because it makes many people heaps of money.

    Arm yourself with good education, there is good and bad in allopathic and holistic treatments. Many holistic treatments are scientifically tested to the same standards as testing a new drug. Look up info in pubmed for all the medical research you want.

    Holistic claims and allopathic claims should be evidence based and take time to gain knowledge about how a particular drug / product came in to use.
    look up medical data sheets to learn how a drug acts in the body and all the potential side effects/ long term effects.

    Making decisions to the best of your knowledge is worth the effort of information gathering.

    I like this video. http://www.mercola.com/townofallopath/townofallopath.htm

  • Hello Natural scientist,

    "Many holistic treatments are scientifically tested to the same standards as testing a new drug." I take exception to that statement. You will need to prove it to me by providing me with the details of the publication (title, authors, name of journal, volume and page no. and where I can obtain a copy of the publication(s)) as well as who sponsored the study. And that study must meet the same rigid double blind clinical trials to show that it is effective and safe as is required of a pharmaceutical company. You may provide the above information to me by PM if you so wish.

  • You have obviously already found some referenced material on fish oil =D> , quoat * About that fish oil - Yep I take it because of the proven benefit for the ole heart * and made a decision to take it. But I will take you up on your offer when I have unpacked my txt books (currently in the middle of shifting house).
    Happy New Year.

  • Thanks all for your input.

    I agree big time with the trust and rapport comments - one must trust the practitioner and have a rapport and that may well be my problem. The PT is a lovely person and perhaps under different circumstances, but I have been to hell and back (least I am on my way back!) and need the support of my doctors, therapists and not to feel belittled, like I do.
    Hopefully it is just an unfortunate manner but I have since decided to stop seeing this person and with the permission of my surgeon, have done this.
    I feel better already!

    My journey to hell...right now I feel so emotionally delicate and like a broken egg shell held together with sticky tape! I am emotionally drained and suspect that now things are (slowly) showing real positive signs of recovery I am letting go a little bit myself anyway - some kinda of survival instinct or something.

    I am really truly fearful of my worst pain. It scares me. Not because I know I won't die from back pain, my brian is far too logical but I have a deep impending fear and it is so overpowering.

    Fortunately, those days seem fewer and more apart.

    Finally, apparently mustard is good for back pain!!
  • You started the new year right, if the fact that you stopped seeing this PT makes you feel better already. Obviously it was the right choice for you as it is very important to have confidence in our professional care providers.

    This is a new year and a new beginning. Hope that you will feel better soon. Meanwhile we are here to share your concerns with you.

    Hugs and best wishes,

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