Four years ago, I had an altercation with a cute terrier named Ryan. I watched in horror as the vehicle in front of me hit him. The poor thing lay dead still on the wet asphalt, bleeding through his nose but still breathing. It didn’t look good. No owner was in sight and the situation looked dire. I scooped up his limp little body in a towel and put him in the passenger seat, as I hurriedly drove off to the emergency hospital. Probably not the best decision I ever made. Out of the corner of my eye I saw the dog move forward, so I reached for his collar to keep him from falling. In a flash, he became a Tasmanian devil, emitting an ear splitting scream. Blood and feces were flying everywhere! As his gnashing teeth sliced through this surreal scene I knew if I lost control of his collar I would be eaten alive or in a car accident! All the while my arm and shoulder were being yanked into an unnatural ranges of motion. The good news: The dog was fine! The bad news: I wasn’t. A few days later I went to reach back behind me to get something and searing pain shot through my right arm. Whoa, that’s not good! Resting it didn’t help. The next thing to do was make an appointment with the orthopedic doctor, who said, it wasn’t a torn rotator cuff. That was good. He gave me a cortisone shot and sent me to physical therapy. The shot did zip and the physical therapy sent me into blinding spasms. Back to the doctor I went. This time I was told I had: Frozen Shoulder. What is frozen shoulder? Stiff shoulder…right? The name doesn’t begin to address the agonizing phases or pain associated with it. It was not an easy fix. I read the claims and tried the different therapies but they were all a disappointment. Like a cold, there are a thousand remedies but it usually clears up in 10 days either way. Therapy can help, but nobody has a miracle cure. I could not longer do facials. I could however still do Ashiatsu massage. I had just accepted a position as the head esthetician at a Country Club that had me in perplexing dilemma. I was teaching and practicing Ashiatsu right up to the time I made my decision to have surgery. I could give up the new job and wait a year, when my shoulder would resolve on its own or have surgery. After another month of unrelenting pain and no improvement I was ready to gnaw my own arm off for relief. At least with surgery they would use anesthesia. It was not an easy choice. Eight weeks after surgery and intensive physical therapy, I started my new job. Other therapists have had to learn Ashiatsu while out of work due to an injury they were recovering from. Ashiatsu gave me a choice. What happens if you get hurt and can’t work?

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