Adapting and Changing.
I have met many clients over my years of being a Therapist. All of them have either taught me something or have helped me to realise that I need to adapt and change how I do things.
This became immediately evident with one particular client I began working with in 2020.
Before I begin, permission to post and write about this has been granted by both John and his wife.
I had received a phone call from John's wife asking if I would be willing to see John for homeopathy.
John had a diagnosis of primary progressive M.S. His mobility was very poor he was unable to walk more than a couple of steps making him wheelchair bound and his range of movement was severely limited.
His most prominent and debilitating symptom was chronic spasms in his back which we radiating down his right leg making it contract every time he made slight movement or he was running over a bump in his wheel chair. Even being a passenger in a car was difficult.
I booked him in for his first appointment. Due to difficult access to the clinic and Johns symptoms I arranged to see John at home.
On seeing John for the first time he asked me about Bowen and asked if I could give him some Bowen treatment as he felt it would at that point benefit him more.
My couch wasn't an option for treatment for John due to its stability and Johns mobility being limited.
Although Bowen can be performed in a seated position, John felt relief more form lying down so both myself and John's wife assisted him onto his bed.
From there and on assessment I could see John's spasms and how they affected his leg and back. Movement on the bed independently was also limited.
I began treatment. I had to think on my feet and adapt how I did things. There were some moves I either wasn't able to do or I did them in a completely different order. Johns spasms continued throughout the treatment and so I was working around those too.
There were parts of his body that on palpation I was unable to define what was lying underneath due to muscles constantly being in spasm. It was a little bit like painting by numbers but in a jumbled up way and blindfolded.
With the first treatment done and with John safely back in his wheelchair I left and rebook John in for his next appointment.
I wondered realistically if The treatment I had given would work for John, mostly due to the fact of how severe his condition was and because of the fact I felt I had no choice but to miss some moves out and do some things in a different order.
I returned the following week and John reported a little relief and that he felt he was sitting straighter. Over time and with weekly treatments continuing Johns spasms became less intense.
Each week it was about adapting the moves a little, doing things in a slightly different order, working around Johns limited movement and spasms too. Palpation was becoming easier and definition of what was lying underneath was also becoming easier to define.
The spasms were continuing to improve and John felt his mobility for transfers was getting easier for both him and his wife as she was having to help him with all aspects of daily living.
For John the treatment was working by giving him relief. This provided me with confidence and knowledge that not everything is black and white and as long as something is achieved it doesn't necessarily matter what order things are done in.
It taught me to work with and around what I'm presented with and to be realistic in what can be achieved by both client and therapist.
In some ways John has revolutionised how I work With Bowen. It isn't just a one size fits all. Its about doing what's in the best interests of the client and their condition
I feel very privileged to know John and his wife and for the way they have both taught me not only the things I have discussed in this post but also to keep a sense of humour no matter how things are in life and I thank them both for believing in me.
Have any of your clients made you think and change how you work and in what way?
Until next time