The 4 Stages of Tissue Freeze

The appearance of a bruise is a common result of Blocking an area that had previously been frozen. I say the appearance of a bruise because the reason for the discoloration of the tissue isn’t from the breakage of capillaries and the leaking of blood as in normal bruising, but from the influx of blood into a frozen area of fascia: the cells absorb the oxygen, leaving the blood a blue color, the same as you would see in veins. When this occurs, it is a sign to continue to work the area as progress is happening, but the area still needs more attention to provide optimal flow to and away from the cells. 


There are 4 stages that tissue goes through from healthy to frozen. The first stage is healthy tissue where flow is optimal and there is an ease of transfer of nutrients into the cells, and waste away from the cells. This, of course, is the goal throughout the body.

The second stage toward tissue freeze occurs when there is an actual injury or stress to an area. When there is damage to the area and the integrity of the cell walls become weakened or damaged, the body sends blood (inflammation) to the affected area so it can rebuild. If proper energy is put into the system to assist the inflammation, repair can occur, and the cell walls can be rebuilt. However, if attempts are made to restrict the flow of inflammation to the area through icing and lack of movement, then the flow slows. As the inflammation is what is sending the nutrients for healing, when this becomes compromised, the body receives the message from the damaged cells that more blood flow is required. 

This is the innate intelligence of the body. For us to deprive the body’s natural healing response, leaves the cells vulnerable and sluggish, and slow to heal. The tears that occur in the tissue from the initial assault aren’t rebuilt but left to harden from the formation of collagen deposits that create a scar. Scar tissue lacks flow and constricts the tissue, changing the alignment of the cells. This change in alignment affects the entire body as movement will have to adapt around the scar. As stress continues from this blockage, the body will continue to inflame in the surrounding areas as these cells become stressed from incorrect use, creating a cycle of pain and inflammation. This is the third stage towards tissue freeze. 

The fourth and final stage occurs when the tissue has become blocked from flow. There will always be some flow, like a river that has frozen, albeit far slower than when at optimal temperatures. This tissue will feel hard and cold, as flow is required for tissue to be warm and fluid when at its appropriate temperature for health.

When bruising occurs from doing Block Therapy, it is because we are taking an area of tissue that has moved through the stages to the final stage and we are reversing the process. The tissue is now receiving energy from blocking, as pressure over time creates heat, combined with the diaphragmatic breath which drives the blood and energy to the cells. This moves fresh blood into this space allowing the cells that have previously been blocked from flow, to absorb the oxygen and begin the rebuilding process. This is a sign to continue working the area, as more flow is required to push the area back to stage 2. 

When stage 2 is achieved from the added energy to the area, then active inflammation can be triggered, as the initial injury that wasn’t effectively dealt with now has the nutrients required to rebuild the damage from the past. This active inflammation will continue as long as the energy continues to be added, until the cells have been rebuilt back to where they were before the cycle began. This leads us back to stage 1.

The body is incredible at healing when given what it needs, in times of stress and injury, repair can be efficient. Understanding how to support proper healing is the path that Block Therapy will take you on. It won’t be without its challenges, but it puts you in the driver’s seat so you can assist your body’s innate intelligence and heal as efficiently as possible.

Breathe & Believe,


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