"Problem in Arm Come From Shoulder" or "How I Came to Massage"
As though he could foresee the suffering I was to later endure, my old teacher Professor Lun Wong OAM, 9th dan Tang So Do, looked me in the eye, grasped my forearm with one hand and pushed my shoulder with the other and said, "Problem in arm...come from shoulder."
Much later and five years into a strenuous career as a cleaner, symptoms of elbow pain began to dog me. Despite cortisone injections, acupuncture treatment, forearm and wrist stretches, and a reduced workload the condition continued to deteriorate. Eventually, I said to my wife, "Honey, tomorrow these arms are going to lock up and I'll have to close the business."
"Oh go see that massage lady I go to!" she said in exasperation. That massage lady kept me in the workforce. A big "Ahh Haa" moment for me, "Ohhhh...so that's what massage is!!!"
Two years later I'm getting regular massage, have no pain and am still in the cleaning business. However, the niggles are still there. It was only after much pain, disability and thousands of dollars worth of massage that I finally remember my teacher's words, "Problem in arm...come from shoulder."
What can I do? What can I do? OK...let's try stretching the shoulders. So, each day before getting in the ute, I jumped up to hang off the rafters in the garage. It had been a long time since I played on the monkey bars.
At first the pain and tightness under the arms was too much to hang full body weight. After a week the pain disappeared and so did the niggles. Once again I was able to work at full capacity. As long as I kept stretching and loosening the shoulders I was good.
This experience brought me to massage as a therapist today. It also taught me how blocked Chi circulation can affect adjacent regions of the body. Tightness due to injury, overwork, adverse weather, and emotional trauma blocks circulation. Tissue begins to thicken and harden causing pain and dysfunction and will not return to a healthy state until the blockage is cleared.