Interview with Beth Baron, Massage Therapist in Berkeley, CA

5.) KP:  Can you share a “success story” with your work?  Either in the context of a team effort or even just when working with somebody solo?

Beth: There is one that comes to mind, I’m not sure it totally fits with the context of what we’ve been discussing, but it is the most delicious recent one. I had someone come, a young woman who was having a lot of pain in her arm. She and her partner were about to move out of state, with all of the stressors associated with that, and she wanted to get as much better as she could before moving. The understanding was that it would take a while to get settled, find new practitioners, etc.

So, I invited her to bring her partner in so that I could show her how to help her. I had actually offered this a lot of times and nobody has taken me up on it until now. The partner came and I just had such a great time because she really got it and I got to see them care for each other. And, I know that she’s feeling better now. It’s not completely resolved, with the stressors still involved and so forth, so I don’t know if it fits the total success story model, but for me, it was one of the greatest things to be able to show someone how to help their loved one in a really substantive way.

KP: That sounds like that was very important and clearly, having supportive relationships impacts the body and mind. I’m glad to hear that you’re thinking of creative ways to get significant others involved, essentially ways to integrate additional care outside of your sessions, because that simply means more care for the client.

Beth: Definitely. In terms of other examples, I recently got a call from a construction worker that I saw at a pain clinic, probably 10 years ago. He was older and thought he was probably going to have to retire because of his chronic pain. I knew that the sessions were helpful, but I didn’t know if they were helpful enough. At that point, it was workers comp insurance covered, and there was significant improvement, but he was certainly not pain free by the end of his time. I got a call from him this year, asking if I knew of someone who could help a friend of his, He told me that the bodywork 10 years ago had gotten him back to work and he hadn’t had problems since. So, that was just so cool…I was just a baby therapist then.

KP: That is very cool. I know that in my line of work as well, I’m always curious to know how clients are doing after treatment has stopped – whether the changes made were enough, or were sustained, etc. Sometimes you don’t get a chance to get that feedback down the road.

Beth: Yes, I often wonder, “whatever happened to them?” Also, somebody wrote in a Yelp.com review of me that me that when she first came in, her doctor was recommending surgery for her carpal tunnel, but after working with me, along with an acupuncturist and chiropractor, it went from severe to moderate, and then continuously better, so no surgery.

KP: That’s fantastic. I’m always vote “no” on surgery, if at all possible. I think most people prefer the least invasive method for healing their condition.

Next: What informs your work as a massage therapist on a personal level?

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