For the last few years I have had pain in my hip tied into my back and all the changes that go on there with, sigh, aging. I was sort of hoping for a magic injection to make the pain disappear but the two doctors I’ve seen keep wanting me to see a kinesthiologist, where massages, acupressure and other methods are used. I’ve never had this done before so it was all new to me. I’ve been to two, one in Paris and one here in Provence and, as I like to do, I got to thinking about the differences between them.
The one in Paris is a very nice guy. When I’m in his office it is almost a spiritual experience. Between the first set of appointments and my second with him, he changed offices. The new one is absolutely beautiful with high ceilings, fireplaces, gleaming wooden floors and decorative molding everywhere. He said it-the office- came to them like a gift from heaven, he actually said it fell from heaven. I wish my French were good enough to get into a discussion on how this happened. He speaks English but not a lot. When I come in for an appointment, I lie on my back on the massage table and he stands at my feet. He places his fingers on my feet, bows his head, closes his eyes and, he says, feels for pulses. To me this seems almost magical if not spiritual. The first time he did this he asked me about pain in my shoulder. Once after massaging one hip he felt the pulses in my feet and said the other hip was “jealous” and he had to work on it some. He’s a very quiet, gentle man and he and his wife do volunter work in Nepal with homeless children. There should be some sort of eastern chant being played in his office(there is silence) while incense burns and maybe he should wear a robe. Often after leaving an appointment with him I feel like I have been to church, sort of clean and refreshed.


The new kine, this one near our home here in Provence, is a totally different experience. His office is very minimal and business like with industrial carpet on the floors. and he often has two patients at once, me getting a massage while the other is either doing some sort of exercising or soaking. The first time he opened the door to greet me I was surprised as he was very handsome. I could picture him on a motorbike with a cigarette hanging from the corner of his mouth like some French movie star. He is very young and lively, full of fun and there is always music (pop music, not rap, thank God) going on in the background to which he sings, hums or whistles while massaging my back. The first appointment he told me that he didn’t speak a word of English, none at all, but he does. He does the massage totally different from the man in Paris, all on my back not at all on my hip, finding two very sore and tender areas that he presses. He told me that my back muscles were stronger than my stomach muscles which led to my back curving as it does and thus the pain and that I should work on stomach exercises, something that I really hate to do. He teases me a lot, doing a mock head banging on the wall when I told him I was from Texas the home of Bush. He thinks Sarkosy and Bush are “la meme”, the same. When I didn’t understand something he was telling me I told him that I would have my husband call him and he said, “Oh, your Papa?” which I think was teasing for my actions. I slapped him on the arm when he said this. He asked me if I had been drinking when I dropped something twice. I often feel a little woosy when the massage is over for some reason. Anyway, I’m not sure how much his massage is doing although it feels really good as does the ten minutes with a hot pack on my back at the end. When I leave his office it is like I’ve spent some time with my son and his friends at a bar. But, sad to say, I don’t think either of them has managed to stop the hip pain.

13 thoughts to “Differences”

  1. Linda, these two similar (but vastly different) experiences sound wonderful. I really like the way you’ve described them and would love to visit the one in Paris. I suffer from chronic pain and I can totally empathize with wanting the magic cure. I love the massage, and while it feels wonderful during (and for a short while, after) the pain returns. Keep me in mind if you ever discover the magic cure!! In the meantime, please keep sharing these experiences — they are wonderful.

  2. I have a doctor who comes to my home to treat my hip pain. He too feels my feet, and i am always shocked at how he knows the other places that are bothering me with out me saying a word! Its normal to feel woozy after a massage, just drinks LOTS of water to flush out all the toxins that have been released.

  3. I have just opened a distant healing practice after years of working privately, and can only say that when you do this type of work it is important to give your clients a means to reinforce what you do – for a lot of reasons.

    The ultimate point of course is to get to the source of the pain or problem, which sometimes happens quite simply, may take a few sessions, or may not be possible at all in some cases. Results are somewhat individual and can be a matter of persistence and even luck to hit the button. But success rates for subtle energy therapy are good, even at a distance.

    Unless you can touch the source of pain [emotional, physical, spiritual] with energy, your client will often reverse the process either in their minds or in their bodies without realizing what they’re doing. After which you’re back to square one.

    Especially until you’ve found the source, they must have a means to bolster on a regular basis what is done by the therapist in consultation. Simple reinforcement techniques can also help people to address small problems on their own and perhaps manage self healing.

    It keeps the healing Arts in business to not ever get to the source, or to not acknowledge there is a source that isn’t being addressed. Only purely physical problems can be handled in a purely physical manner. For example, if you have appendicitis you need surgery. If you break a leg, somebody needs to set the bones. If you strain your muscle, massage might be the answer. But most physical problems are caused by emotional disruption or trauma, or a spiritual [energy] vacuum, and that is the main issue, not merely the spasm or the pain.

    It isn’t necessary to know precisely the emotional or spiritual issue to solve the problem either, it’s only necessary to use the proper means to carry healing energy that far and hold it long enough to eradicate the real issue.

    More superficial therapy can feel great for a while, and then it wears off. For some people, it’s enough and they don’t mind dealing repetitively with the same thing. However, many clients are discouraged in the long run if they were expecting to be back to normal, and they don’t know why it’s not “happening” for them.

    Sorry to ramble on, and hope I’m not violating the rules by discussing this, but your post gives such a detailed account of your efforts and disappointments about healing, and this happens to be my personal calling.

  4. Sorry about your roses. It’s either too wet which turns them brown or too hot which wilts them quickly from the many comments.

  5. I’m so sorry about your hip pain! Isnt if fascinating how different medical treatment can be. I’d personally rather have the incense and fireplaces… but I probably wouldnt care as long as someone was fixing the problem. Hope you find some pain relief soon.

  6. I’m so sorry about your hip pain! Isnt if fascinating how different medical treatment can be. I’d personally rather have the incense and fireplaces… but I probably wouldnt care as long as someone was fixing the problem. Hope you find some pain relief soon.

  7. That Provencal sounds like a wolf; watch out! I just had my hair cut, and the shampoo guy, who is quite a character, gives the most amazing head massage. I almost slip out of the chair . . .

  8. Linda, so sorry about your pain and sincerely hope these two Frenchmen can come up with something between them to help you you and heal you! Enjoyed reading about the different offices and treatments – only you could make it so endearing.

    I will be staying in the Minervois but hope to take a trip to Provence (Luberon) for a few days. I hope to meet up with Corey Amaro (do you know her?) either in Aix or Apt. Do you live near Loumarin – I would like to visit there on market day! I’ll be working on my itinerary but looks like I’ll be in Provence around Oct. 9-12 perhaps. Would also love to be in L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue for the Sunday market – do you go there?
    Would be really great if we could meet for a drink somewhere along the way.

    Feel better soon – Mary (ACROSS THE POND)

  9. I had terrible hip pain, in both hips. Walking was torture. I was given a shot of Cortisone in each hip and it was gone the next day and it hasn’t returned to date four years later.

  10. I have found this type of treatment very helpful. I carry emotion from my past and once released I feel much better.

    As a child I had trauma to my feet *twice*. For years I couldn’t stand for anyone to touch my feet, after treatment I’m much better. I can actually let my husband massage my feet and it brings me such joy. (long story for a day with you sipping wine)

    Linda, I know you will feel better one day.

  11. I guess I’ve been fortunate to avoid any hip pain so far, but I do hope you’ll soon be rid of your discomfort.
    I had a full body massage a few years ago at a metaphysical shop….dimmed lights, candles and incense burning, mystical music playing. I swear I felt like jello when I walked out of there! Talk about relieve stress! And now I’m wondering why I’ve never done it again. Will have to add it to my list.

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