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flamingsword: Aziraphale, the flaming sword, and Crowley (Dr. Reid)
Once you have learned to edit out behaviors that are actively threatening, controlling, or distancing, you can work toward building a sense of shared purpose. This union is the basis of therapeutic rapport. To better illustrate things to say and do, I'm going to translate common things therapists say into their component pieces.

"Hello, _____; my name is _____, and I'll be your therapist today. Our restrooms and water cooler are this way. Is there anything else you need before our session?" = "I have identified you, myself, and our relationship for this interaction and intend to respect the implied boundaries. I am anticipating your needs to ensure your comfort." Speak at a moderate pace. Respecting that new clients need time to orient and adjust themselves in the new environment is crucial in earning reciprocal respect. Rushing through the beginning is not relaxing, and is a disservice to both parties.

"I'm sorry to hear you're not feeling well. Let's see what we can do to fix that." = "I care about your pain. Let us work together to bring you to your normally healthy state."

The phrasing is important here. Saying that you're sorry to hear that someone has pain implies that you are not connected to the cause of it. You care; you do not feel obligation. WE are working on it because while they have come in for your help, your help is something you are accomplishing only with their permission and engagement, thus establishing the common goal. Never say "let me fix you." You are not fixing the person, only the pain. Implying that something is wrong with someone is diminishing and keeps them cut off from their sense of agency. Also it's insulting. Putting the pain in context of it being transitory establishes the premise for leaving it behind.

Orient the relationship.
Anticipate needs.
Respond warmly.
Express concern.
Share agency.
Denormalize pain.

If you master those, you have the fondness of your clients. That's really all you need to garner repeat business in our touch-starved, care-hungry culture. But if you want to reach beyond those into the realm of rehabilitation and improving the lives of clients while they are out of arm's reach, there are a few more skills that I have discovered so far.

Start with gentle pressure to relieve soreness, gradually increase to firm pressure to release muscle fibers. Working deeply into sore muscles before they're ready is painful and may cause clients to tense back up later. Work at the pace dictated by the body's responsiveness. Pick the arm up from a supine position until it is in the same pose that the client uses to type/use mouse/draft. "When you use your arms held out in front of you so much of the day, the muscles of the shoulder stiffen from overuse." Using words with motions provides a link between the posture and the idea that will keep coming back into their consciousness when they use that posture.

Hold the arm in one hand while pushing into the deltoids with the other. "Small muscle groups like this are not designed for continuous use. If you don't stretch the muscles back out at the end of the day it will just stay tense." Slowly stretch the arm over the head and through its full range of motion. "If you have a desk with an ergonomic keyboard tray, then you can sit with posture that doesn't hold the arms so far forward, so you don't hurt at the end of the day." Point out logical consequences of muscle tension. Don't assume that intuition will inform people who are used to ignoring their physical selves of their tension or the causes of it. Mention things like less pain, ease of movement, better appearance, and decreased chances of injury and dysfunction in association with health. Health is a general concept that people don't relate to as an aspiration, but vanity and pain relief are great motivators.

Anesthetize first, re-sensitize later.
Verbally integrate somatosensory habits.
Normalize consequences.
Strategize and inform.
Advocate ergonomics.
Motivate health.

I'm always looking for new ways to respect people and increase our enjoyment. It's why I find my job so fulfilling. Eventually this list will be added to, but it may be a while before I have enough new material to make a decent post.
flamingsword: Aziraphale, the flaming sword, and Crowley (Default)
Had nerve symptoms in hands return at work yesterday. Had a panic attack. Checked out mentally for the rest of the day. Taking today off to detox.

I hope to fuck your day was better than mine.


Nov. 11th, 2010 10:45 pm
flamingsword: Aziraphale, the flaming sword, and Crowley (Life is Goofy.)
I haven't been having migraines since I went gluten-free, and I check things. I check like crazy. But not crazy enough, because I just had a migraine after having eaten only "safe" things the last several days. I just got done re-checking my vitamins, and there were a few that I had missed before I found out about cellulose/cellulose gum. The roomie now has them.

I started having visual distortions at work, so I thought I should do everything I could to keep visual distortions from becoming a migraine, because I had one more client and I do need monies. It sort of backfired when a co-worker decided to help in a way that in her defense probably would have worked on a regular headache, but does not work so well on a migraine. In hindsight I don't think that she gets migraines, so she probably didn't know that; I don't make the best-thought-out decisions when I'm getting one, either. Either way, I had to get [livejournal.com profile] numb3r_5ev3n to come get me, because the light-and-dark visual distortions were pretty bad. I went from normal to prodrome to weird body disconnection in what may have been only 15 minutes. None of that is normal, but last week I may have been doing stupid things with my brain chemistry to make sure I would be ready to see people for the party, since I spent half of Clover's Halloween party upstairs hiding out on her computer.

I've felt better since I increased the 5-HTP to everyday and added St. John's Wort on the off-days since I only take the SAM-e every other day (if I take it every day my sleep schedule gets messed up and I get restless and nervous). But you're really not supposed to mix antidepressants, and the St. John's Wort I'd been taking listed cellulose gum in the ingredients. No more of that for me. :(
flamingsword: Aziraphale, the flaming sword, and Crowley (rip off your logic)
Despite the fact that I am moving and mostly broke, I will end this month with less than $1,000 of debt.

Even when relationships get their most difficult, as long as there is communication there is hope.

Not everyone is going to tip well. Even people who look and act like they can afford it - it may be an act. Even when you put a lot of focus and effort into your work - they may not be paying attention. Even when you feel like you have done a spectacular job - they may just tip a miserly amount. That is their issue, and they get to keep that.

The physical world breaks down sometimes. It tends to need repair. That is not your doing, or your fault.

flamingsword: Aziraphale, the flaming sword, and Crowley (Life is Goofy.)
I have very little that is interesting to share, since most of the theater of crazy people that is my mind has been occupied with getting stuff done. It sucks a bit more than usual lately.

* Most of the folks I know have had either major surgeries, employment snafus, relationship troubles, financial troubles or crises of conscience this summer. I agree with Nyyki: it's an uncertain time. Some of my RL friends are putting the relay in relationship. I have worry.

* On 14th September I start moving across the street to an apartment I will be sharing with [livejournal.com profile] numb3r_5ev3n. The House of Wheatless Fangirls will be lametastic and more fun than kittens, or so I hope.

* Work needs more people for weekday evenings, so I'm thinking of rearranging some stuff to see if that's feasible.

* Yes, Inception was that awesome. But I don't want to talk about it except to say that it is perfect and I had never before seen a movie with no plot holes. Also that Joseph Gordon-Levitt is a seriously GQ motherfucker.

* I am watching a lot of television shows: Whitest Kids U Know, an anime called Claymore, The Wire. The Wire is complicated and intense and true. Why did it not win a dozen awards? I do not understand television and people's relationships with it as well as I think I do, obviously.

* I'm learning vidding, wire sculpting, and possibly creating a new medium of energy-saving window treatments. I may be making most of this year's Yule gifts.

* The Xenoix has been on vacation this week and not answering his phone or text messages. There will be many things to discuss on Monday.
flamingsword: Aziraphale, the flaming sword, and Crowley (Default)
Someone got me thinking. What WOULD I do if I won the lottery? Would I lose myself because I had no financial goals? What would change?

  • I wouldn't stop working - I LIKE my job. I like my co-workers, and my clients, and fixing things. If I needed to make more money than I do right now, I would go work at the Four Seasons. And I could, but I'd have to dress better, act like I have class, wear make-up and do massage on people who didn't really need the work. It wouldn't be fun, or feel useful. No.
  • I would probably buy one of the local foreclosed-on churches and have it made into a house. Chapel/workshop/party & venue space? It would be fucking rad.
  • I would pay off everyone's credit card debt that would let me. You can worry if you want to, or if the challenge enriches your life. If it doesn't, then scrap it.
  • I would buy some new shoes and work pants, an iPhone, and a food processor.
  • I would hire a rotating set of underemployed friends to be part-time personal assistants to the artists I know who can't keep track of their bills, where the charcoal pencils got to, or where their beige taffeta is. I know a lot of people who are good artists, but don't get much done because their skill set applies only haphazardly to the real world. Paired with people who could handle organization and one extra person with marketing skills, they could have a tiny corporate entity with everything they need to keep making my world shinier without torturing themselves trying to handle the external world that they dislike.
  • I would probably sink most of it into one of those organizations that does microlending, but one here in the American Southwest geared toward Native Americans and the rest of our local poor. We have a better chance of fixing problems we understand and are a part of, right?
  • The Make Dallas Weird plan and the rest would be largely unaffected since those are social initiatives and not susceptible to market influences as I understand such things.

    So at that point I wouldn't qualify as "rich". I would still live on a budget. I would still put money aside. Most of the problems I have currently that concern money are about spending choices, which will still apply. And I'm not sure that I want to spend all that much time with anyone who gets weird about it, although I'd like to believe that most of my friends would be largely unaffected by material envy since we're all nerds. I have a few friends who are materialistic, some who are just pack rats. I'm not sure how they would handle it.

    EDIT TO ADD: I don't actually play the lottery, since I agree with Robert Heinlein that it is basically a tax levied on people who don't know how to do math. I do not endorse the idea of spending money on games of pure chance.
  • flamingsword: Aziraphale, the flaming sword, and Crowley (Default)
    Shamelessly swiped from [livejournal.com profile] gryphynshadow, mostly because I gave up on trying to figure out what I was good at last time before I got to ten. Some of these are stolen from other people's lists, because I'm a pirate like that.

    1. remembering things that I read
    2. riding bikes
    3. dancing
    4. baking cookies
    5. writing poetry
    6. sing-alongs and harmonizing
    7. being enthusiastic
    8. preparation for contingencies
    9. pressing just enough to release a muscle without pain
    10. beading
    11. maintaining a comforting presence
    12. being forthright
    13. observing my own mental processes
    14. being flexible
    15. google-fu and internet stalking
    16. making lists
    17. critiquing
    18. remembering the lyrics to songs
    19. turning off my emotions
    20. recommending person-sensitive interesting things to read, see, and do.

    This was harder than it looked, so I made one of my co-workers do it with me. She's still in process. It is harder than it sounds. Our culture teaches us to be proud of our looks, our possessions, and things that we may or may not have done anything to accomplish. This is foolish. I scoff in it's general direction.

    Also, I'm glad I had this typed up and saved, because now I'm on a bunch of drugs because my knee just went out. Argh.
    flamingsword: None can take the stars who do not reach. (Take The Stars)
    This week is like being 14.
    Migraine out of fucking nowhere? Wait- that's not true. I totally should have been expecting this. If gluten can be a hidden migraine trigger, and as much as I was looking forward to never having another migraine now that I'd gone gluten-free, in hindsight it makes perfect sense that gluten exposure would have migraine as a sequela. My bad. Somewhere I had the note to myself to never leave the house without medicine for migraines should one occur, but my vigilance this week is dependent on the amount of concentration I can muster, which is not much. I'll put up reminder post-its on the door after I post this entry.

    My week, ladies and gentlemen: )
    flamingsword: Aziraphale, the flaming sword, and Crowley (Default)
    *I was going to do the April Fool's Day post about how Xenoix and I had broken up, and put the 'details' under a cut-tag that only went to the words "Do you know what day it is?" Unfortunately I just don't feel like it. I feel kinda crappy, physically, like sinus-shoggoths are trying to invade my throat. What I wouldn't give for some nice homeopathic Elder Sign extract! . . . See? I just am not funny today, and I don't feel like failing continuously. Meh. :|

    *So: in order to come up with some direction and feelings of continued utility and relevance, I've decided to go through old journals for records of my uncompleted goals. And knowing me there will be enough things that I've forgotten about to fill several pages. I'll then winnow them down according to whether they appeal to me currently, see what I've got left over, and post it up here to see if any themes emerge. Y'all might have to help with that bit, I totally won't be able to spot the obvious stuff. If you get the sense that I'm kind of down on myself at the moment, you'd be right. I had to explain the way my memory works to not one but two different co-workers today, and other people's pity is uncomfortable to me. I'm kind of glad that "I meant what I said, even though I may not remember it later" a convo you only have to have with people once.

    *I was at the library the other day to find Women From Another Planet which apparently they don't have in any library in Texas (fail!). And when I was up in the psychology section for books on the autism spectrum, I picked up a mis-shelved copy of The Sociopath Next Door and read a bit. And it disturbed me. I'm not gonna lie. [livejournal.com profile] cluegirl says it's a fascinating read, and I believe her, but I'm not entirely sure that people understand sociopaths correctly. Because according to the most fundamental definition, I qualify. I don't feel shame or regret when I've hurt someone. I feel stupid and like a failure, because hurting people is bad for a system which ~hello, I live inside of~ and I hate making bad judgment calls that I will have to fix the repercussions of later so I try to be as nice as is reasonable and practical. I don't feel jealousy, or fear of mortality, or greed in any normal sense, and my expression of a lot of emotions is not what it is for other people. But just because I have fewer and more limited emotions doesn't mean that I want to destroy society or be a serial killer. I would have to also be under several delusions about my impact on the world and in a lot of chronic emotional pain for either of those to occur. I think it's possible that there's another invisible spectrum in human behavior, of the weight and importance of feelings. For some people emotions are this dominant, inexorable force. I have no idea what that's like, so my lack of affect must be just as freaky to them as their paradigm is to me and the sociopaths. :\

    *When I was a teen, every day was Opposite Day. I'm an adult now. Can I have just one Apposite Day? That's all I'm asking for.
    flamingsword: Aziraphale, the flaming sword, and Crowley (city)
    Yesterday was such a success, I have decided that I am at home to visitors on the second and third Sunday of every month. Baking, music and tea will be happening at my place. Call to let me know you're coming over.

    In recent depressing news Utah is trying to criminalize miscarriage. There are more earthquakes in areas that can't afford it. The recession is still going, and still over-represented by unemployment in the young and black demographics. Those are the suck. But DADT is wearing away, Haiti is starting to do better and may get more infrastructure improvements out of the foreign aid they're getting, and the internet continues to be a hub connecting all of its users to shared spaces where connection and outreach are possible.

    Most awesome video log of the week: An Open Letter To Educators

    Second most awesome Why I will not make a John Mayer response video.

    I have an Etsy! I wish I had more than 1 item posted, but oh well. I had to redo the lightbox and I now need sunlight to take more photos. Maybe tomorrow morning if I can drag myself from the comfy bed.
    flamingsword: Aziraphale, the flaming sword, and Crowley (Like You Mean It)
    If you do not wish to hear the tale of stress and ZOMG CAPSLOCK WOE, you do not have to click here )

    That is what I have been doing instead of commenting y'all's posts. Things will calm down by the fifteenth, and I promise not to kill anybody or shake people 'til they make sense. But right now I'm a bit on edge.
    flamingsword: Aziraphale, the flaming sword, and Crowley (Default)
    I sliced open my thumb today. At work. On a fork. And dripped blood for half an hour. Of course, you know what this means.

    You are all commanded to make the most of this day, which I have made sacred by my very blood.Because SOMEBODY has to have an awesome day. Haiti, my thumb, and Iraq's freedom will all be hanging out on the other end of the bell curve.
    flamingsword: Aziraphale, the flaming sword, and Crowley (Default)
    Like Sea Foam Up All Night Dancing

    Iridescent Amethyst

    Crystal To Sparkle

    I'm thinking of building a lightbox or messing with the camera settings to fix some of the optical effects. Photography peeps: any suggestions?
    flamingsword: Aziraphale, the flaming sword, and Crowley (Default)
    So, yeah. I was sick my entire vacation. I got the swine flu, a secondary infection, and Friday I started my period. We got less done on the apartment than if this had been a regular work week, nothing done on decorating for the House-o-Ween Party this coming Saturday, and no project completions of any sort, and I'm pissed about every bit of that.

    But I'm just gonna let it go. I acknowledge the feelings of betrayal and frustration and loss. And I realize that they are valid, and they are my feelings. And now I'm going to go take a hot bath and clip my nails off and get ready to take care of people tomorrow with a cheerful heart, because I DO love my job, and I like having joy to contagion onto people. Inner peace: this shit is still really new, yo.

    In other news, season 2 of True Blood is hella awesome, and anyone who wants to get me the vampire Queen for Christmas is my favorite. :)
    flamingsword: Aziraphale, the flaming sword, and Crowley (Default)
    This is me complaining about work while typing one-handed.
    And you don't have to read it if you don't want to. )


    Aug. 13th, 2009 12:12 am
    flamingsword: Aziraphale, the flaming sword, and Crowley (Default)
    I slept from 6 this afternoon to just before 10 this evening. Yesterday I slept from midnight 'til about 4, and then another half hour about 9am. I'm getting enough REM to not get too weird, but I just feel irritable and worn down. I'm considering cancelling this weekend's plans and just being a grump. Nobody should have to talk to me when I'm like this.

    My dreams continue fucked up, and I wake up restless and confused. Something is not right, but so far I have not been able to figure out what that would be.

    I hope to keep faking it for my clients this week, but I feel bad that I am not emotionally present for them. And that can't last.
    flamingsword: Aziraphale, the flaming sword, and Crowley (Default)
    And let me just say that professional jealousy is weird. I'm proud of myself for figuring it out, and for triaging it for future fixing, but until the economy picks back up, some of my coworkers aren't going to be doing as well as they had been, and most of my regulars are pain clients, they're not going anywhere. There's a little less friendly tolerance of me than there was before Thanksgiving, a little less warmth to the breakroom conversations, more odd looks. No, I haven't pissed anyone off, and even if I did, the two other people who are still booked wouldn't be getting similar treatment. >:[

    It's very human to feel threatened by someone who has the things that you want, but it's not a part of humanity I can share in. So I just get to be uncomfortable in a new way for a bit.

    flamingsword: Aziraphale, the flaming sword, and Crowley (Default)
    Hey, Mac. Sorry about being so moody, but I was so sure they were going to call. I did well at both interviews, and I have good availability. I'm nice, I have clients I'm bringing with me, why haven't they called me and said I have the job? Because I haven't passed the state boards? I told them that wouldn't be a problem, and it won't. Because I don't have RMT accident insurance? I can get that.

    They WILL call. See, Mac? This is me believing in myself. Because I know I'm good at this. And I'm confident that now that I'm ready, a good employer will show up and we'll click, and together we'll work our asses off happily ever after.

    Enough about me. I feel like furniture today. Let's focus on things outside the immediate self. family stuff . . . )


    flamingsword: Aziraphale, the flaming sword, and Crowley (Default)

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