Back to the Basics: Introduction to Block Therapy

Block Therapy is a bodywork practice that releases restrictions in tissue by “melting” through adhesions that develop over time. The Block Buddy, a handcrafted therapeutic tool made from bamboo, is the medium used to facilitate this. Block Therapy is a simple to follow, safe and effective program that can be done in the comfort of your own home and provides the vehicle to allow the body to reconstruct damaged cells, bringing life and health back to tissue. It is for these reasons that Block Therapy is a solution with virtually limitless applications. 

Whether your health challenges revolve around pain, immune health, trauma, or aging, Block Therapy awakens cells previously blocked from life. As long as cells are fed and clean, they function with grace and ease. It is when cells are deprived of the nutrients required that they begin to deteriorate. Scar tissue from injury or surgery, or compression of tissue from gravity, creates the adhesions that become the roadblocks to blood; this is the single most important factor that needs to be addressed in order to find health and balance. 

Often when something is simple, it is overlooked. We have complicated the understanding of the body’s function and have become lost. Oxygen is the essential nutrient for life. The brain quickly dies without it; the same applies to every cell. Unfortunately, the mechanism designed to bring this vital nutrient into the body has been neglected. The deprived cells deflate and become heavy, accelerating aging. 

Block Therapy focuses on melting adhesions while developing proper diaphragmatic breathing. This combination improves blood and oxygen flow to cells, creating an environment for cells to awaken and thrive. It has applications for all of life’s struggles and for anyone, at any age. 

With any new program, it is advisable to seek medical advice. That said, learning Block Therapy teaches you to become your own health advocate. You become empowered to “hear” what your cells need, allowing your intuition to guide you. The best thing about Block Therapy is that if you do it, it works! 

Origins 

Block Therapy is a journey that began many years ago. It didn’t start with an intention to create a bodywork practice. It evolved from an accumulation of experiences that began when I was young. 

As a kid, I had boundless energy. I had a skinny, agile body and movement came easily. I had balance and coordination and I felt a sense of freedom and peace. At the time, I didn’t know anything else. I was full of confidence. Little did I know this feeling would be something that for years I would search to regain. It was the year I turned thirteen, when puberty began, that everything changed. 

Puberty wasn’t kind. Actually, it felt somewhat cruel. Seemingly overnight, I developed breasts, hips and acne, put on twenty pounds, and movements that were once effortless, suddenly became a burden. I felt ashamed of my body. Too much had changed and something was missing. Suddenly, shame took over, paralyzing my movements even more, and before long, I was thick and much less mobile. 

Over the next number of years I attempted to control my body. I worked hard at sports and found volleyball to be my forte. I was able to manage my size because I was playing on a provincial team and was very active. I had regained my equilibrium and was focused on the game. This worked for a few years, until boys entered the picture.

I was athletic and strong, but I wasn’t feminine. My girlfriends were starting to date, but boys were only interested in me as a friend. I asked a childhood friend if he thought boys didn’t like me because I was too fat. He said “maybe”. 

His honesty wasn’t something I actually wanted, but there it was. My size wasn’t appealing. Suddenly, I came face to face with my reality. If I wanted to be “attractive”, I needed to lose weight. What resulted were years of eating disorders. I treated food and my body as the enemy. I would verbally attack myself at any given opportunity, starve my body, and exercise until I felt sick. I envied anyone who seemed to have life under control. I couldn’t stand seeing others happy. I hated myself for this. I had fleeting memories of being a kid, feeling like I could conquer the world, and now I felt pathetic and lonely. How had I fallen so far in life? Thankfully, precisely when I was most open, I was introduced to a book that changed my path forever.

It was one of those coincidences where someone mentions a book and suddenly it appears. I was visiting my parents and told my Mom about it. Like magic she reached into a drawer and pulled it out: The Celestine Prophecy. Until then, I wasn’t much of a reader, but I devoured this book in three nights. The book teaches about energy, and how the way we think about things affects their reality. One of the insights is “What you think you become”. Suddenly I became aware of all the hatred I put into my physical body, most notably my abdomen. I hated how thick, hard and round it was, so it represented that exact emotion and thought pattern. I was so sad that I hadn’t realized what I was doing to myself, but at least now I could try something different. 

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Suddenly I became aware of all the hatred I put into my physical body, most notably my abdomen. I hated how thick, hard and round it was, so it represented that exact emotion and thought pattern. I was so sad that I hadn’t realized what I was doing to myself, but at least now I could try something different. 


Deanna Hansen - Founder

I immediately started to pay attention to my thoughts. This wasn’t easy, because I was so accustomed to thinking negative things. I hated my belly and wanted nicer skin, thicker fuller hair, prettier feet....it didn’t seem as if I ever thought positively about myself. That was the first observation I made: it was my habit to beat myself up. I honestly never thought about it before, it was just naturally what I did. So whenever I would catch myself heading in that direction, I would immediately substitute something positive, and repeat it to myself. My belly became my first area of focus. 

It really didn’t take very long before I noticed change. I used to think to myself, “if only I had a nice, flat belly, I would never feel stress”. I put so much focus into hating my belly that I didn’t think of much else. So being aware, and consciously making a shift in my thinking, created an immediate change in how I felt. 

I was thrilled to understand this because I was feeling better. At the same time I also had started the practice of Yoga. I was very lucky that in my first class I had a wonderful teacher. She reminded us regularly to breathe, and I observed that every time she said it, I was holding my breath. The breath was starting to become very significant to me. Once I became aware, I was shocked how often I caught myself holding my breath. This started me on a mission to become a conscious breather. 

I tend to take things to the extreme. Of course it wouldn’t be any different with this. I was then well into my career as an athletic therapist, which involved deep tissue work. Most of my day was spent in silence, working on patients’ bodies as they relaxed. This gave me ample opportunity to focus on my breathing; then at night, I would come home and practice. What became clear, as if I already didn’t know, was that my belly was hard. When I would push it out with the inhalation, it felt like there was a vice around it, limiting the extent to which I could stretch it. Then when I would exhale and try to make it as small as possible, it would feel full, inhibiting my ability to contract it. 

Another thing I noticed was that although I was feeling calmer most of the time, there were moments when my anxiety would increase radically. One night I came home from work and started to do some yoga. I was in a forward bend when I felt a sudden surge of fear. I tried to breathe it out, but felt paralyzed. Instinctively, I dove my fingers deep into my abdomen and encountered something I hadn’t felt in years: Peace! This was the moment that changed everything. This was the seed for everything to come. Little did I know the journey I had begun, as in that moment, it was simply a reaction to a panic attack. 

The peace I felt, though born in pain, was comforting as it gave me something other than my chaotic thoughts on which to focus. I knew that I could breathe and the intense fear stopped. I was curious though, as I had never connected with my abdomen through direct pressure and had no idea how much pain it was holding. I probably spent forty-five minutes that night exploring my tissue, combining internal manual pressure with abdominal movements and belly breathing. I hadn’t felt this calm in years. 

When I finished exploring, I recognized something amazing. My breath was freer. I could inhale more fully and deeply, and could squeeze my abdomen to a smaller size. I was truly excited. I felt like I had regained control of something I had lost long ago. I slept well that night. 

The next day I was excited to explore the tissue again. All day at work I was able to breathe to a greater depth, and felt hopeful. As soon as I came home, I resumed the work. There was some tenderness in the tissue but it felt right. As a therapist I had learned that pressure over-rides pain. It wasn’t long before the familiar peace of the previous night kicked in and I was in full exploration mode. I spent another forty-five minutes working on the tissue and when I stood up I knew something was dramatically different. I walked over to the mirror, looked at myself, and started to cry. My belly was smaller than it had been in years!

Breathe & Believe

If you would like to try a different approach to address your stress and anxiety, I invite you to watch our free Stress Reliever video by filling out the form below. 

FREE STRESS RELIEVER VIDEO

This video will share a simple and efficient exercise to decompress your core, access your diaphragm and connect to your proper breath to manage your stress and anxiety. 

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