Last Entry: Experiences: April 15, 2013

Friday, December 16, 2011

Left Shoulder Pain

At about the same time that I quit my job and was working toward starting vision therapy, I began to have pain deep within the middle of my left shoulder. The pain seemed to have no specific cause, but felt like a tensed muscle that didn't want to let go and no amount of stretching seemed to relieve it.

I think, because my memory is a bit foggy now, that the chiropractic neurologist first found nodules within the shoulder that needed to be broken down. He discussed treatment that would involve frequent sessions utilizing ultrasound, but also suggested that the more practical course, because of insurance coverage, would be to consult a conventional practitioner specializing in pain management. Going the pain management route, of course, would mostly involve the use of pharmaceuticals, which I was not even willing to entertain.

So, the first treatment I received on the shoulder was ultrasound, which occurred in weekly sessions. But, one day, after I had talked about how a connection seemed to be present between the pain in my shoulder, tension in my neck, and diminished capability within the left side of my brain, the chiropractic neurologist was checking me out by applying light pressure to a particular point on my shoulder, as I became nauseous and nearly passed out. Apparently, my parasympathetic nervous system had been invoked by touching this "trigger" point. So, I was immediately laid down and given oxygen.

This response, however, led to more tests from a conventional neurologist, including a EMG and another MRI, neither of which found anything. Again the use of pharmaceuticals, particularly by injection, was proposed as were anti-depressants. But, I still was not interested in going down this road. Thus, the ultrasound treatments continued for a bit longer.

To make a longish story a bit shorter, physical treatment of my shoulder also ultimately included acupuncture as suggested by my naturopath, graston technique that was provided by the chiropractic neurologist, and massage by a LMT. These methods were applied throughout a five year period, at intervals that were generally two to four weeks apart.

That's nice and all, but why am I bringing up this chronic physical condition at all? Well, it was at the end of this five year period that something else happened. I had just transferred from the Art Therapy Counseling program at Marylhurst University in Oregon to the program at Southwestern College in New Mexico. I also had been reading about trauma with specific interest in the physical manifestations of it. Then, after specific experiences during my first term at Southwestern College, my shoulder problem almost completely resolved with one exception. The details of these experiences and the unresolved aspect to follow in a future blog entry.