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Mon, Sept. 16

Howard: Pain relief and some better health news
My Point

A couple weeks ago I had a column that went into the aspect of dealing with a health curve-ball of a bad hip situation that had taken me from not only being able to compete, but to not even being able to stand in one place and teach tennis for an hour at a time. The pain would force me to sit down and occasionally make me want to throw up.

I went to the doctor, got an X ray, drove to Phoenix for a cortisone shot, with no relief...even got an MRI to see what was going on. My thoughts went to believing my hip joint must be a mess and a specialist would be needed.

A good tennis friend of mine Dan Salcito had given me a phone number of a person he goes to when his back gets messed up (he shoes horses as part of his living) and called this therapist a “miracle worker.”

I needed a miracle, so I called.

All I had was a name and a phone number, didn’t have a clue what to expect, the type of therapist or procedure that would take place, but I did trust Dan.

928-713-6672 Jan Wheeler. 1000 Ainsworth Drive.

Made the appointment and limped into her office at 2:30 last Tuesday. The door was open and I could hear a couple people down a hallway, so I just sat down and waited for Jan to appear.

She came out, finished with the client she was with in a cheerful manner and I filled out the paperwork handed me and waited until she was ready.

Intrepidly I followed her back to a very nice room with a massage table and she explained what would be taking place - the “Bowen Therapy”. That phrase meant nothing to me.

I explained what my body was going through and she gave me a quick assessment and assured me I would feel much better on my way out the door.

I laid on my stomach with my head peering through a donut staring at the floor as Jan touched my neck, upper and than lower back on muscles, tendons and ligaments/nerves that she said would send signals to my nervous system and the body would respond. Then she left the room for about 5 minutes to give my body time to respond.

Was I skeptical? Yes. Not only that, but my leg was throbbing and there was no comfortable position.

When she came back she had me roll over and touched spots on my neck, chest and stomach and then left the room again. It’s all about sets of moves that are gentle, but specific.

Jan combines this Bowen Therapy with another called the Emmett Technique where the body has direct influence muscle action, and the bodies light touch responses have a memory and emotional attachment that helps release stress and shifts it to a state of “rest and relaxation”.

Every 5 minutes, Jan was back to make another set of touches and then stretched my right leg gently in different positions and put some pressure on some muscles and ligaments helping to release a good deal of stress and tightness.

When the session (60 minutes or so) was over, I could walk without a limp and the pain went from a 7 to a 1 or 2. I was elated and in disbelief.

I asked how often I would need to be seen and she said probably only one more time, but essentially the next few days should give more relief and it did.

The next morning I was stiff, but I was able to give a couple hour lessons and the pain was much relieved.

Look up “Bowen Therapy” - I would not have believed the results if I hadn’t gone through it myself and would highly recommend it to any of you that are having pain you can’t seem to get relief from. Thank you Jan, and thank you Tom Bowen.

Chris Howard is a local USPTA Tennis Professional with over 45 years in the racquet and fitness industry. He can be reached at 928-642-6775 or choward4541@gmail.com.

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