Okay, so, before getting into what would make ICE last,  I spent a lot of time wondering why ICE didn’t last longterm for many of the people that I worked with in my fibromyalgia study.

It was strange to me that after people left with ZERO pain from their session with me at the Portland Fibromyalgia Clinic,  they did not answer my followup emails and phone calls.  I’m pretty sure it wasn’t because I was a meany.  They were after all, leaving with no pain, and the front office staff kept asking me what I was doing,  “The people you work with are floating out of the office when they leave here!”  And yet,  when I called back for a followup the vast majority did not respond.

Then one day I got an answer.  The nurse practitioner whose patients I had been seeing contacted me,  “I got a strange email today, from the family physician of one of my patients that you saw.  That patient told her family doc that you what you did was “strange, and not useful.””

Other than the success of the pain relief achieved during the study, this turned out to be the most helpful feedback from the whole study.  In fact, what had happened for this woman was that she had arrived with pain in her left arm of such severity that she told the nurse practitioner,  “If you could cut this arm off to get rid of the pain – you can cut it off right now.”

When the practitioner stepped out to get a medication, I had started to explain ICE to this person.  Her arm could move only an inch or two without severe pain, but even as I explained ICE it started to have more range of motion.
“Let’s just try something, if you’re willing,”  I said.  We started doing ICE for about fifteen minutes until the practitioner returned.  By that time she was doing windmills with her arm, with no pain.  The practitioner was astounded.  The patient was astounded.  I was astounded.

Why would a person who experienced such a dramatic healing tell her doctor six weeks later that what she experienced was “weird and not useful?”

I’m going to share next time what I’ve come up with in response to this woman’s assessment of her experience, but I’m going to wait a bit, so you can really sit with this question, too, if you wish.

Dramatic healing – assessment – “weird and not useful.”  What’s going on?  My search for an answer led me toward thinking about our fight-or-flight response – more on that next time.  Have fun with the question.