At Flexible Healing, we do things a little differently to most. That’s why (with the consent of the individual) I’m going to start sharing case studies to explain our approach, treating our patients as individual people with individual problems. Here’s the first, which showcases how my training in NLP is instrumental in my practice.

Mrs A has a frozen shoulder. It began after a vaccination for shingles just before the Christmas break. At first she was just a little stiff and the arm was tender at the point of the injection.

I was on break over Christmas, so Mrs A went to see two traditional physio therapists; one gave her a little hands-on treatment, the other recommended a guided steroid injection.

She had felt better with the massage but was very upset about the lingering pain and lack of mobility, and didn’t like the sound of another injection.

When I met her, I looked into her eyes and could see fear, tension and pain.

We checked out her range and movement which was limited on all plains. I then asked what was bothering her truly. Mrs A looked back and paused. She stated “its him.” (Husband who had just been retired 12 months)

His constant questioning of what she was doing and where she was going, plus criticism of small things such as how well she was filling her shopping bag, was driving her to distraction.

So what was the bigger root of pain – the injection or the added stress from Mr A?

Part of the treatment plan was then to do a little NLP coaching around how to change behavior at home. I asked if there was any capacity for change in him – but a swift no was the response. The next question then was, could she change how she was responding to him.

We moved on to discuss choice. As individuals, choices have to be made as to how we react to situations. Options we discussed included:

  • Walking away
  • Thinking of other things such as a colour which makes you feel calmer and makes you smile
  • Playing with the dog. Interaction with animals has been scientifically proven to reduce stress in humans
  • Thinking of a song which cheers you up in your head

There was a great deal of fun and laughter in talking about this, which was equally as important.

At her return visit the following week, her pain had improved by 40% and her range of movement had increased by 20% as she enacted these coping strategies to help her daily life.

Mrs A went on to say thank you for the extra chat  – it enabled her to stay calm and optimistic while she was healing.

Susan Bennett FLCSP (Phys)

Sue qualified in Remedial Massage in 1991 at the Northern Institute of Massage gaining a solid foundation on which to build her bodywork skills. Since 1991, Sue has continued her education to include a vast range of soft tissue techniques, giving her a great knowledge of anatomy and physiology, acquiring the title of physiotherapist in 2004. Sue also gained her Higher Grade Diploma in Manipulative Therapy in 2002.

After being in practice for a number of years, Sue wanted to expand her knowledge and find a soft-tissue technique which would enhance her treatments and create greater precision in clinic. She found this by travelling to the US in order to train under leading chiropractor Tom Hendrickson in San Francisco for 7 years.

In 2009 became the UK’s first qualified Hendrickson Method® therapist and is an ambassador for the Hendrickson Method® in the UK. Sue continues to undertake mentoring from Dr Tom Hendrickson in Berkeley, CA.

Committed to continually developing her knowledge and skills, most recently Sue completed a 10 month series in 2018 in Myofascial Anatomy & Movement for Pilates & Yoga teachers with Gary Carter of Natural Bodies.

Sue has also completed training with the Nuero Orthopedic Institute to further her understanding of pain and its mechanisms. She has undertaken the following workshops: Explain Pain, Mobilisation of the Nervous System and Graded Motor Imagery.

Sue is also a teacher and trainer of physiotherapy; she writes and delivers various workshops for physiotherapy and massage therapists throughout the UK, Ireland and Canada, and is PTLLS trained. She is also a neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) practitioner.

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