In the last post I introduced you to a personal experience I had of subluxation of my right shoulder during a holiday in Paris. A trip to the hospital got me a sling and some drugs that either didn’t work or made me feel ill. What was to be done?


The pain grew worse, though it was clear that the shoulder was now in the proper position. I saw another osteopath a couple of times who explained how important it was to do passive motion with the arm so that I did not develop capsulitis. She suggested ice alternating with heat.

It was a strange experience being the patient, subjected to so many different strategies and recommendations (hot/cold; motion/no motion). As there were some contradictions, I had to search for the “solution” most aligned to my belief system.

It is at this point that I interjected with my personal experience as a doctor. I realized that my brain was holding on to the injury and not allowing the muscles to relax and assume their normal position. It took every effort to drop my curled-up “protection position” to a more relaxed position and benefit from the small range of motion I had (about 15 degrees in all directions).

As I sat in the waiting room, the doctor on call suggested I take Arnica and Rescue Remedy, as my body was “stuck.” In fact, after I had taken the remedy, my whole body relaxed and I felt the trauma release. Not though just this trauma, but an older one, as if my body had remembered an earlier memory. And understanding that was key to grasping my objectives and objections as the patient, as we’ll see next time.