I’m Grateful for the Continuous Benefits of Massage

I’m Grateful for the Continuous Benefits of Massage
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The past few weeks have gone by like a whirlwind. My horse, Cherry, and I had an awesome time at our last show of the season, most of the seniors I work with have finished their college applications, and I got together with two of my closest friends from college. I enjoy winter, but it’s tough because of the shorter daylight hours — a real conundrum when you need to be outside. I try to make sure that I layer up and stay warm. I’ve realized that when I get cold, my muscles get tighter, and as someone who already battles muscle tightness with my Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, that’s not a good thing.

My massage therapist was sick a few weeks ago, so I missed a session. Life happens, and it’s no one’s fault, but by the time my next appointment rolled around, I was an absolute mess. It felt as if every muscle was tight, and my joints were sore as a result. My back was so tight that my hips were twisted, and one shoulder was pulled forward while the other was tight and pulled toward my ear. Thankfully, my therapist, Kim, is amazing, and she spent as long as it took to put me back together.

Let me assure you it is no easy feat. Kim has been working on me for about five years now, and she still sometimes struggles to figure me out. It’s a good thing that she thinks it’s fun trying to decipher the underlying patterns of my pain. I have so much scar tissue from injuries I sustained before my diagnosis at age 22 that it can be difficult to work on specific areas. I also seem to have some unusual connections in my soreness. For example, my twisted hips were tied to my tight shoulder, which had caused a ripple effect down my back and into my hips. A day or two after treatment, I was feeling much better.

Yesterday, I worked with the owner of the farm where I live to lay new flooring in my apartment. It turned out fabulous, but, wow, I am sore today. In some ways, though, I’m kind of enjoying it because it seems “normal.” Most people would be sore after spending a day pounding in floorboards. So while I don’t like being uncomfortable, it’s refreshing to feel that perhaps my body’s response is sort of normal.

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Note: Ehlers-Danlos News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Ehlers-Danlos News or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Ehlers-Danlos.

An avid equestrian and educator, Karen has been a columnist at BioNews since 2019. She was diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome in 2009 after a years-long search for a diagnosis that explained her symptoms. Karen enjoys working with her students, riding and caring for her two horses, Cherry and Spotty, and connecting with others in the rare disease community through her work with BioNews.
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An avid equestrian and educator, Karen has been a columnist at BioNews since 2019. She was diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome in 2009 after a years-long search for a diagnosis that explained her symptoms. Karen enjoys working with her students, riding and caring for her two horses, Cherry and Spotty, and connecting with others in the rare disease community through her work with BioNews.
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