Michael Lenihan - Chronic Back Pain

For Clare farmer Michael Lenihan, being able to walk is an accomplishment in itself. Considering what he's been through, it's not difficult to see why.

For over a year, Michael endured harrowing agony from pains shooting through his back, and at one stage, even standing straight was an impossible task. Doctors predicted a bleak future and could offer only pain management therapy when the painkilling injections proved ineffective. Fortunately Michael opted to take matters into his own hands and actively sought out alternative avenues which he hoped would hold the solution to his problem. Here he looks back on what he went through at that time and recalls a routine that many are only too familiar with - various referrals and no answers.

He explains, "my problem first began in 1997. I was driving a lot at the time and I remember experiencing a lot of stiffness in my lower back. It wasn't long however before it developed into a sharp pain. I went to a physiotherapist for a couple of months but I didn't find it helpful and in the end he actually advised me to go see a GP about the pain I was in. My GP sent me for x-rays and CT scans and afterwards I was referred to the Galway Clinic. I had my first appointment there in January 2008 and afterwards they referred me to a consultant in the University Hospital Cork. After he sent back his report on my condition, the Galway Clinic called me back for an appointment but by this time I was in so much pain I couldn't even stand up straight or sit down comfortably. Lying in bed was also extremely painful and if I turned, I was in agony. Even getting in and out of bed was painful. There was no escaping it; my life was completely turned upside down."

For Michael, the fear of experiencing the pain was equally as bad as the pain itself. "If I made any sudden movements, I would get a searing pain throughout my lower back and hip area" he explains. "I had to watch everything I did; I was all the time dreading when the next pain would cut through me. I can't describe just how bad the pain was. It would really take your breath away when you'd get a shot of it. Even the type of ground I walked on could result in a pain shooting through my back like an electric shock. I remember I was out walking in the field one day when I walked on some rough ground. I fell down immediately roaring in pain."

He went on, "The doctors identified discs in my lower back that were causing the problem. They later called me back for four injections which were meant to relieve the pain, but to be honest I didn't feel any better after them. Surgery was an option but not an advisable one. The only thing the doctors in the Galway Clinic could offer me was Pain Management Therapy. I was also told to take it easy, cut down on the amount of work I was doing and to be careful of what I was lifting. As I'm a farmer, that kind of advice was not what I wanted to hear."

Frustratingly, the source of Michaels condition could not be pinpointed.
"The physiotherapist told me it could have been one thing or a hundred things that had caused what I was going through" Michael recalls. "I personally don't remember one particular incident that might have caused it. I just remember my back becoming very stiff over a period of time. I don't think the driving caused it but I'd say it contributed to the problem."

He adds, "around March 2008, following my time with the Galway Clinic, I visited a number of healers I had heard of through friends. I travelled to various different healers in Galway, Laois, Carlow, and Tipperary. They were all doing different things, but none of them seemed to do anything that gave me some relief from the pain. Sometime during the summer of 2008 I was talking to a friend about my condition and she started telling me about Michael O'Doherty the healer and how he had treated her and her husband. When you are at your wits end with pain, you will travel anywhere to try anything that might relieve the agony somewhat so I immediately contacted the Plexus Bio-Energy Clinic and made an appointment to see a bio energy therapist that August."

Much to Michael's shock and relief, a physical assessment carried out by Michael O'Doherty confirmed the problem was not with his back discs but his hip joint. He explains, "I told Michael about my history and the pain I was in and he put me through a series of different movements. At the end of it, he told me I didn't have a serious problem in my back, but rather a mechanical problem with the joints in my hip. It seems that part of my hip joint was out. I remember Michael compared me to a car crash because my whole back had been dragged out of place. He then said he would be able to fix it but that it would take some time because the joint had been out of place for so long. That was a real turning point for me. It was a relief to actually hear Michael say that it wasn't my back that had been causing my problem because everyone else seemed to just conclude that the discs were out of place."

Having gone from being unable to move without experiencing agonising pain to being able to resume his farm work, Michael himself is shocked by the change.

"I attended the clinic four days a week for three weeks" he explains. "As part of the treatment Michael placed me on the ground and pulled up my right arm. I could actually feel the relief as he went about adjusting the joint. He had to do this on five or six different occasions as the joint wasn't staying in position. After a couple of weeks, I noticed my condition improving. The relief was unbelievable. I was given a programme of exercises to carry out at home which I followed religiously. They also advised me on which dietary supplements to take. I improved more and more with the treatment, but it was after Christmas when I really felt great. I still continue to go back for bio energy massages once every five weeks as I find them very beneficial. I found that the massages really strengthened the area. When I first began the massages, I found it difficult to get up onto the bench, but now I can hop up onto it without any bother."

He adds, "The medical profession told me to forget about doing the same things as before. Michael O'Doherty however was the first person to tell me he could fix the problem. I can now walk, drive, work, everything I used to do before. Michael didn't just tell me he would fix it, he kept his word. The one thing I really liked about the treatment process was that you were given the time you required, which doesn't happen in a lot of places. If your treatment required a lot of time then you weren't rushed, you were given the time. I can honestly say he literally gave me my life back."

What should young people do with their lives today? Many things obviously, but the most daring thing is to create stable communities in which the terrible disease of loneliness can be cured. - Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

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Unit 4 & 5 Walnut House, Turnpike, Ennis , County Clare, Ireland
Tel : + 353 65 6841844  info@michaelodoherty.com