Why Does Therapy Make Me Feel Like My Head Is Being Ripped Off?

Today I visited an orthopedic doctor to get some manipulations done. He is someone my son knows and trusts and has been urging me to go to for a very long time. I carry my stress in my neck, which results in lots of messy symptoms that I do not enjoy. The first thing he seemed to do was to try to rip my head off. He explained the importance of the maneuver and I know he is correct, but it seemed like a very bad idea to allow a person I never met before to have that much control over my head. When I guess he wasn’t fully satisfied with his attempt to rip my head off he tried to pull my head off. Again, he assured me that this was a very important part of the process, but still it seemed like a bad idea. I want to say that I walked out of the office saying whew I feel so much better, but actually I was already feeling pretty sore as I stood at the desk to make my next appointment.


I can’t help but to see the similarities between what we do and what I had done to me today. I’ve heard it from many of our clients that have been with us through years of life changes. They explain that they came to us carrying some type of stress. It can be a financial burden, a relationship issue, or a life transition they are going through. Sometimes it’s an undiagnosed condition such as an attentional deficit, or autism that has been getting in their way. And what do we do. We try to rip their heads off right. We prod, we delve, and we explore the issue that has been plaguing them. And when we don’t make the breakthrough they had hoped for, we try to pull their head off, We prod further, delve deeper, and explore further. Often at the start of the process when they are scheduling their next appointment their heads are reeling and they are questioning if it’s worth it.


I have big hopes about this new process and my new doctor. I plan to stick it out even though I now know what appointments really mean. They will be difficult. He will pull, and prod, and stretch things on my body that are clearly saying no to him. But my prayer is that in the near future I will feel the breakthrough. It will be worth a process that may not be that comfortable. I will be stronger because of it and will finally be able to turn my neck to see the things my husband is always pointing out to me once we’ve walked by them.


One of my favorite parts of this doctor was that when he knew something might be a little scary for me, he’d quietly say, I’ve got you. Just breathe in. And I believed him and felt safe. I have big hopes for you too. We will prod a little, not more than you are ready to handle, but slowly. We will help you to explore some things that have been too scary to remember, to admit to, or to accept. Not all at once but at your pace. And I promise you that we will be there every step of the way reminding you that we’ve got you and the best is yet to come.

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