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Thursday, September 23, 2010

What I am thinking when I have physio

K was curious to know what I am thinking about when I have physiotherapy, so I thought I would try and explain myself. I am generally quite focussed on what is happening to my body and what I am 'hearing' through my body - I "sense" vibrations, tingling, heat, rushes of energy, at times pain and sometimes I hear or feel nothing at all (rarely). I block out all superfluous brain chatter such as what I need to do next at work, or what I need to buy in the supermarket. I am often almost responding "in the moment" Sometimes I want to move. In other therapies I might cry, sigh, my breathing might change, or I might make more emotional responses. I either feel that it is inappropriate within the realms or physiotherapy, or that my body isn't responding in that manner, or just that I don't feel comfortable doing that.

Sometimes I want to run away and be a million miles away from my body. Sometimes I wish I could separate my head, which is intellectualising what is going on in my physical body. I respond to what K says and if she gives a positive comment -e.g. 'that neck is so much better' - I believe that I am taking this on - it is almost as if I have to "let go", and trust that it is OK, but I am not always convinced either. I am sometimes not convinced not because I don't believe K, but because I don't intuitively trust my body and I cannot let it go. I think that I am quite terrified of it at one level and all these things I feel and experience - it gets too much. Perhaps that is partially why my pulse rate rockets. I am not comfortable in my own body, never have been, and although I am much better than I was before (mainly owing to emotional Bowen work and Cognitive Analytical Therapy), I still resent the messages my body ever sends me and I try to reject them. When I have any treatments, I am forced to confront these things and therefore they are pushed to the very forefront of my mind and I need to process them.

The reason I hate my body in many ways is because it has let me down so often over the years and sends me really unpleasant messages, mainly pain, which I spend a lot of energy trying to reject. My body wastes my time and other people's time. Often. It feels a huge burden. The information I receive during physiotherapy is sometimes like being shouted at very loudly, and I have to go deep to a place within myself to cope with that, and what is necessary to accept the change and hear the conversation. I am processing it then and there because I don't have the energy for it to go in my intray and be dealt with later. There is no time.

It is possible I am easily suggestible, but in the end, at whatever level, I trust K, and I want to recover, improve and get better. I have made tremendous progress over the years in both my relationship with my body and then in responding to work. The messages that I receive need to be clear, and K is very conscious never to overload me. If I cannot say the words to stop K, my physical body seems to do this for me through muscle spasms and 'tics.'

I am usually positive in myself and in my outlook about things, although I can be known to dwell on things - usually things I cannot intellectualise or "sort out" in my head. It is as if I have to understand my body like a mathematical problem and fathom the answer. I brood on things I cannot solve - even when sometimes ignoring them might mean they go away on their own.

I think that K once said to me she realised there were years and years of tension in  my body that needed to be released, and this is what is happening, and I am getting more and more breakthroughs which are improving my quality of life little by little. However, the unpredictability of things and the changeable nature of my body is extreme. Quite what is making it respond in this chaotic fashion is beyond my understanding. I go from one extreme state (e.g. yesterday, hypermanic, to today, subdued, calm). If my relationship with my body is not what it ought to be, then I believe this 'manically' changeable state is very much part of the problem. If there is a possibility that there is a neurochemical imbalance in my system, and that of other HMS patients, it could explain why we are not able to maintain states for long (e.g. postural endurance muscles) and why our hypermobility changes from day to day.

When my body goes into these very extreme states, it can feel very alarming to me and I am sure that this is where anxiety ties into HMS, coupled with speculative problems with dopamine. By the time K gets her hands onto me when I have got myself into this mode, my body is shouting "help me, help me." I am normally an articulate person, but I believe I struggle to communicate this very clearly in an intellectual way. My body is better at this than my mind - it just throws out distress signals (e.g. muscle spasms and pulse rate changes). I don't think my mind has anything logical or intelligent to communicate at all. Therefore I think that when I am having physiotherapy, I am taking things on at a very gutteral and even cellular level. It is the intellectual brain that processes the re-patterning. This takes 24 hours and then my body is different again. When I have physiotherapy, there is a constant battle about whether my body will be brave and accept the changes that have been suggested to it. The fuzzy feeling I experience for hours later is my brain processing and accepting or rejecting. Just every once in a blue moon I get absolute clarity and it is worth celebrating. My body behaves beautifully, my brain fits in and we are all in a state of equilibrium. Mostly, it is a war-zone.

It would be good to know what K thinks about when she is treating me and how she is interpretting my response - or is there a response?

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