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It’s awesome.

In the right context.

You know where it isn’t awesome?

When you’re talking to clients who are injured.

The Pain Science crowd have shone a huge spotlight on how pain operates in the body. And like fear, pain is awesome, in context.

And that’s what I usually tell the people that come and see me about their injuries. I tell them it’s awesome, fascinating and really cool.

What I don’t do is act all “oh, you poor thing” and start using fear inducing words like “herniation” or “fracture” Mostly because that’s not what I’m trained for, I’m not a Doctor or a Physio, so I can’t offer out diagnosis. All I can do identify and follow the breadcrumbs that may allow us figure out how to get rid of the pain, or at least reduce it.

If I can’t figure it out, I’ll refer you onto someone who is better than me.

And you know what they’ll say?

The same as me, no fear inducing nonsense.

I’m not sure I fit under the title of “Healthcare Professional” but I certainly lean in that direction. I’ll yell at you to lift heavier, move faster, breath better. But I’ll also tell you when to slow down, when to rest. And when you pick up an injury, as all hard charging people do, then I’ll be there telling you how fucking cool and interesting that is. And how much fun the journey back to awesomeness is going to be, assuming you’re willing to put the work in.

Which, as you’re in WG-Fit, or you at least read my work, I know you are.

What inspired this post today?

A member that came back to me a while ago because of ongoing injury. Who was making great progress, then maybe upped her mileage a little too fast and reinjured herself. Her physio started talking about stress fractures, disk herniations and nerve entrapment.

All these big scary words from simply putting hands on.

Now, I don’t care who you think you are and what courses you’ve taken, but to bang out all those terms with no evidence other than a bit of hands on, that’s a reach and half.

Can you detect a stress fracture with your hands? I don’t think so, they’re tiny, you’d need an Xray.

But those words get into a clients head and it stays there. Their internal dialogue is now going, “My leg hurts, my physio says I have a stress fracture, so I have a stress fracture, I’m broken”

You have potentially rocked a person’s identity based on what you guess is maybe a problem.

That’s not cool mate.

Fear is cool in the right context. Before a big event, before a job interview, facing down a bear, not in the physio department or the gym. Pain is cool in the right context, when it prevents you doing further damage, it reminds you not to do that stupid thing again, when it causes a surge of adrenaline that gives you temporary super powers. But not when you’re not carrying round an image of yourself as a broken up has been.

Lets keep fear out of Coaching and Therapying.

Speaking of coaching, I’ve two workshops coming up shortly, details are here:


Dave Hedges

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