I began teaching this to several therapists which really helped to create the language around it. Especially when you have been taught to view the body in a specific way and learn to approach tissue from that perspective, to see it differently can initially be a stretch. I don’t differentiate between the different parts of the body or tissue types. For example, as an Athletic Therapist we were trained to focus on the specific muscle groups, tendons, ligaments . . . and to see the body in all its parts. As much as there is a need to understand this, when you see the fascia for the fluid matrix that it is, suddenly the parts are of little consequence.
What I observe when I look at and feel a body is the fluid matrix holding all cells together. I can “see” with my minds’ eye the interconnection of it all. This makes it simple when you can grasp this different view. Suddenly, it doesn’t matter what tissue you are referring to, on a deeper level, it is all fascia. To understand the body in this way gives a whole new meaning to dis-ease vs. disease. To me, disease is a condition that is a limiting factor for health and longevity and that you are likely destined to live with and simply manage forever. Dis-ease is a temporary condition that can be adjusted, to bring the body into balance and create ease of flow.
I felt this time after time -- first in my own body, then with my clients. Where there was a blockage, I was able to melt through it. I also recognized that the blockage wasn’t releasing, it was melting – also a different perspective. Releasing is a more linear and logical phenomenon – it is a moving away from. Melting suggests a change in the actual quality of the tissue. Like ice to water, it is a transformation of the medium. This led me to learn about Thermodynamics.
Diving into this science was so helpful. At the time, I was working with a quadriplegic. I had taken a month from seeing my regular clients to work with a young man who had broken his neck 8 months earlier. Months before this when in my own meditation, I could “see” how to spark the nervous system back to life and wanted the opportunity to apply this vision and make it reality. I knew that if there were to be progress on this level of injury, that concentrated time was necessary, and when I was ready, the opportunity presented itself.
I approached this 25-year-old and asked if I could spend many hours per day for weeks at a time to see what could be accomplished. He agreed and we set a plan in motion. This was an exciting time, full of hope and promise. When I began, all he could move was his neck and he had slight abduction (drawing away from the body) of his arms. Imagine the natural response to slamming your head into the ground -- your shoulders would elevate up and around the neck to provide protection. For him, this is where they stayed. Also, because he had no connection to his core, he was strapped into his wheelchair to ensure he didn’t fall away from an upright seated position.
As I wanted to see what concentrated time would accomplish, for 5 days a week, 3 weeks in a row I committed for the initial time together. I was so motivated because I could see how this could get him back on his feet. Perhaps I was a little overzealous at the time, but I had a mission. I truly believed this young man could gain back all that he lost from this one moment in time when he broke his neck.
For the first while, I had no doubt we could accomplish the goal. I had initially met him and his parents to discuss the opportunity to work together and they all knew what we were dealing with. There were no expectations (except my own). I remember after working for 3 weeks, his dad came to see him when I was there. It was amazing as just before this, we took a video showing the new ranges that he had gained in that time. Now, he was able to take his arms up over his head and move his shoulders, almost in full range, and he was also able to bend his torso forward, and side to side and then come back to an upright position. This was huge progress and I fully believed that it would only continue.
When his dad came in a saw him, the first thing he said was – “it looks like he has melted”!
It was amazing to see the changes. Where his shoulders had frozen up and around his ears, they had now relaxed and were back to a better alignment. This resulted in him being able to lift his arms up over his head. Try it -- elevate your shoulders as high as you can toward your ears and notice the range of motion in them from this alignment. It is extremely limited compared to when they are relaxed. This was a moment of clarity for me when it came to proper cell alignment and how this impacts movement in the body.
To be continued . . .
Breathe & Believe,
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