Psoas Healing and a Houdini Headache

No pain no gain? Nah...just no pain. Period.

At clinic last Thursday, the two clients I had were both suffering from severe pain.

The first came hobbling into clinic, in so much pain she could barely move her right leg. Anxious and afraid, she was eager to feel better, but was tentative to believe we could fix her.

She had come to clinic two days prior to receive treatment for mildly painful “pulling” sensations in her right IT band. Her student therapist had done a wonderful job of relaxing the tension, and the client went home pain-free–but the following morning, she woke up with excruciating pain in her psoas, a muscle that lives on the front of the spine whose primary function is to flex the hip.

The iliopsoas, a very important yet often overlooked muscle duo.

As you can probably imagine, not many people know they even have a psoas, so the panic she felt was natural and understandable- “Something I didn’t know existed, is now robbing me of the ability to function properly! Aaaaah!”


As for me, I was terrified.

The campus director came to me before we started clinic that day to tell me what had happened and what sort of condition my client would be in. She said she had known to assign the client to me because I was the only one of the seven of us student therapists who was good enough to treat her. Somehow, instead of building my confidence, this just heightened my anxiety.

I begged Holy Spirit to come work through me and guide my hands so I wouldn’t cause further damage, but my heart was racing. When it was time to go out and greet my client at 5:30, I slapped on a confident, energetic smile. I knew half my job during my hour with her would be to reassure her and inspire confidence into her that we could make her better.

My anxiety proved, as usual, to be completely pointless. The session went exceptionally well! She was a wonderful client to work with, very eager and cooperative of the things I asked her to do even through her pain.

By the end of our session, her mobility in her right leg was greatly improved after the massage, and though she still favored the leg on her way out, she was not hobbling severely as she had been on her way in. Her last words to me that night were, “We’ll see how it does in the morning.”

The following morning, I called the school and asked the campus director to let me know if the client called in with a report of how she was doing. I received no call, and spent the next four days anxiously wondering how she was.

Then, on Tuesday night the following week, I went into clinic as a client to receive massage. After my first session, one of my classmates approached me, saying she had been requested by my client from Thursday and did I have any tips for her?

I was so excited to hear that my client had come back! I hurried to jam my feet into my shoes, and ran out into the lobby to see if the client had arrived–she had!

When she saw me, her face lit up. I asked how she was, and these words came out of her mouth: “It was really miraculous! Between the ice and the psoas work, I was 100% better the next morning!”


It was really miraculous!…

Whether or not she knew just how right she was, I knew the Lord healed her completely!


The second client I had come in that night was a regular of mine, who has requested me (!!) consistently for several weeks to be her therapist. Her sessions are usually a pleasant cocktail of relaxation with shoulder focus, and occasionally throwing in techniques specializing on any pain she might be feeling.

That night, she was feeling all right everywhere below the neck—but from the neck up, she was suffering a severe tension headache with level  6/10 pain. Her headache had come on that Monday and had progressed the following four days without getting any better, unaffected by sleep, food, caffeine, or any other external factors.

In my zeal to get started, I told her we would do her normal relaxation massage, starting facedown from the feet and then moving up the legs, hips, back, et cetera. Then I would flip her over, repeat the process, and at the very end I would work on the muscles specifically attributing to her tension headache. I didn’t even bother praying this time, I just thought, “Piece of cake.”

After the session, I mentally smacked myself, realizing I should have focused on releasing her tension first, then moved on to do her normal massage. But Holy Spirit was way ahead of me.

When I came back into the room after letting my client undress and get under the sheets, I undraped her leg, told her to take a deep breath, and went in to make contact with a gentle hold under her left ankle.

My client started and gasped, lifting her head off the table to talk to me.

“My headache completely disappeared as soon as you touched me!”

Acts 5:15-16 – …So that they brought the sick out into the streets and laid them on beds and couches, that at least the shadow of Peter passing by might fall on some of them. Also a multitude gathered from the surrounding cities to Jerusalem, bringing sick people and those who were tormented by unclean spirits, and they were all healed.  


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Christi Pratt Hofman
    Dec 20, 2011 @ 17:27:53

    I absolutely love psoas work!!! So worth the bruising when my lower back doesn’t give me issues for two weeks afterward! Good job Hannah! Get ’em God!


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