When Background Becomes Foreground

“First, I guess I should tell you that my leg has been better ever since you treated it the last time. No pain and I haven’t given it a thought for weeks. That’s not the pressing issue for today, Mrs. M said, taking off her coat. “The thing I want you to address is this muscle right here” she stated, as she pointed to her mid-scapular region. “It’s not bad, but I find it really annoying. This discomfort surfaced almost immediately after the hip got better. If it isn’t one thing, it’s another.”

“So this surfaced as soon as the hip got better? I inquired. “Yes, very soon afterward.” She restated.

“First, I must apologize. Is the noise from the dishwasher in our break room bothering you?” I asked, as she looked at me incredulously. “Let me turn down the music a bit. Hear it now?”

“Well, yes, but I’m fine. The noise isn’t that bad and. . .” Her voice trailed off as she just smiled at me. “Okay, I get it. What you’re asserting is that because my leg was so much better, I was able to notice the background pain in my shoulder. Nice.”

“Our awareness is very much a bandwidth issue, I explained. “That which speaks in the loudest voice gets our attention and when it is silent, it seems like the background volume gets turned up when in reality it is still low, just more to the forefront now. So it probably is with your shoulder tension. Shall we see what we can do about that now?”

And so we did. . .