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Treatment Work

Intention and The Incurable Mind-Set    

From EDS Today Column  

We all know that Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome is a genetic defect in the collagen of our connective tissue.  We also all know that there is no cure for it.  Unfortunately, so do those health care providers who know anything at all about EDS in the first place.  This leads to the title of this issue’s article – the Incurable Mind-Set.  

I/you have EDS.  I/you have soft tissue dysfunction and related problems.  EDS affects the soft tissue.  There is no cure for EDS.  Therefore there is no cure for my/your soft tissue dysfunction.  If I recall correctly from my logic classes many, many years ago, this is known as Circular Reasoning.  It is also as faulty as our collagen.  

While it may be true that there is presently no known cure for EDS as such, extending that position to all soft tissue dysfunction simply because one has EDS is pure nonsense.  Yet, I see it happen all the time.  And when it does, the person with EDS starts a self-fulfilling, downward, defeatist spiral.   

And too many health care providers take on one of two primary attitudes.  The first one is to simply wash their hands of us.  Since there is nothing they can or know how to do, they want no part of the EDS patient.  Go someplace else.  The other primary attitude is invasive treatments involving surgery or drugs.  There may be no proof that these treatment protocols come even close to being effective, but since it is the only thing they know HOW to do, they resort to them out of desperation, out of a sincere, even if misguided, desire to at least try SOMETHING.   

There are some really serious problems with the Incurable Mind-Set.  The most important is that it is simply wrong.  It is not true.  It is incorrect.  It needs to be stamped out and eliminated as part of our thought process.  And more than a handful of health care providers need to be reminded that, while EDS as such may be incurable at the moment, there are a host of SYMPTOMS and associated dysfunctions that go along with it that ARE curable, or at least treatable!  

Shoulder issues are a good example.  EDS affects the shoulder JOINT in the form of lax ligaments, extra-stretchy tendons, etc, that allow for things like shoulder sub-luxations and dislocations.  This is the PRIMARY issue, from which spring many possible secondary issues.  Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, especially the Pectoral Minor and Costoclavicular variants are very common with those suffering EDS.  Another common problem directly related to these is frequent rib subluxations.  Instability in the shoulder joint can put pressure on the clavicle, causing it to sublux, which in turn can put enough pressure against the sternum to cause one or more ribs to sublux.  One thing leads to another.  And while the primary issue of EDS may not at present be curable, the secondary outcomes CAN be effectively treated with a variety of bodywork techniques.  

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