Why do clients sometimes feel more pain and discomfort after a session? by Beth Beauchamp
There are times when a client may experience more discomfort or pain in their body after a session. This reaction is not the norm but it is good to understand why this might happen.
First we want to consider whether the client has more going on in their body than we know and whether we have gone too deep and aggravated something. Some clients may for example have a herniated or bulging disc that has not yet been diagnosed. With this possibility we would work very consciously superficial to deep and not work deep toward the spine where we might interfere with a compromised disc that may be protruding from the spinal column. We can still have a very positive effect by soften the tissue around the area and releasing some of the protection pattern the body has created to cope with the pain.
Next we want to consider if there are any ways we can support the client’s body with pillows or bolsters to take away any
stress in the body while it is lying on the table. With anyone who has acute or chronic low back pain I always put a pillow under their hips/low back to support the lumbar spine so it doesn’t over exaggerate and sink into the table. We can also bolster under the chest with a pillow or with hand towels rolled up under the shoulders to create more comfort so the muscles can relax. This suggestion proved to be helpful with the student who asked this question.
Sometimes the body will over react with treatment because it is in a fragile state. Chronic pain is a lot to endure and the
body ‘efforts’ a great deal trying to cope. So getting work on an area can temporarily overload the area and cause the body to overreact to the treatment and temporarily experience more discomfort.
With MFR we are also changing the structural holding patterns of the body. So if muscles have been supporting a pattern for a long time, even if it is a pattern of imbalance, they may need some time to adjust and support a new pattern. We may actually put them under strain although ultimately we are realigning them into a more balanced position.
So sometimes the fact that the client has a ‘negative’ reaction can actually be a positive sign that change
is happening in the body.
These are a few things to be thinking about if you have a client who has this reaction. I am always happy to consult with you
on a specific client if you have any concerns or want further insight.
I hope that this has been helpful.