So, my yoga students ask me a lot of questions. Apparently they think I have all of the answers. I get a lot of questions about wrist pain. I give them the option of doing plank and chaturanga on their knuckles. I have told a couple people about some wrist stretching and massaging techniques. Then I thought--Could I get in trouble for this? I am sort of giving medical advice, but my students don't know that I am a doctor. One lady even asked me for a recipe for something she could eat to help cleanse her system! Today I gave her the recipe for kicharee. That is innocent enough, right?
Then I started thinking about manip. Manipulation isn't just medical advice, it crosses the line to medical treatment. I really felt that Tiffany needed manipulation when she came to my class, but we didn't have time. Then I started thinking ... I have to draw the line with manip. But where do I draw the line? Is it okay if I massage someone's wrist? What about strain-counterstrain and myofacial release? No matter how tempted (by good looks (boob-in-the-face technique haha) or outright need), I'm going to resist popping people's joints. A lot of my students would benefit from some sort of manipulation, but they are there for yoga, not a doctor's appointment. And hey, I'm not getting paid for any of this extra stuff!!! I want to be helpful. I want my students to be as healthy as possible, but I don't want to get into any trouble. How much should I do? Look who's asking the questions now.
The funny thing is I never even thought about any of this when I was a (medical) student. When it came to medical advice I usually said (and still say) "Go see your doctor." When it came to manipulation I did it anytime. I did it anywhere too. I remember people looking at me funny when I popped Ross's neck on a bench in Arizona. I didn't care. Now I'm afraid of getting busted for practicing medicine without a license. Can I get in trouble if I don't charge? I think I'm being a little paranoid. I'm still going to remind people to drink lots of water. I'll still tell people about things that they can do for their plantar fasciitis or sore wrists. I just won't do (too much) manip.
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