Fascia and Inflammation

There is nothing like learning from experience. When information is gained through living the consequence of action in your own body, knowledge turns to wisdom. This is what I love about teaching fascia decompression – you are both the teacher and the student in the practice.

I remember this one incident when I had a huge “Aha” moment. At that time, for many years I had been working on patients 8-10 hours per day. This was hard on my body, and for about 2 years I had been dealing with a chronic, constant pain in my left SI joint in my back. It felt locked and the muscles in the area were incredibly tight. Then, when I was about to kneel beside my patient, there was a loud crack that released in my right knee.

Both my patient and I were shocked by the sound, and in that moment, my back released. The chronic pain and tension simply melted away. After having this nagging issue for so long, it felt like heaven. I was curious, however, about what would happen to my knee in the coming moments and days as I assumed there would be some interesting changes occurring.

That night I was heading to Vancouver to drop off information packages to massage therapy clinics in the downtown area. I was planning on walking from place to place, however, my knee had something else in mind. 

Right after the crack, I could feel the heat coming into the joint and on my way to the airport, felt the inflammation settling in. I began to limp from the pain. The time on the plane certainly didn’t help. When we were ready to get off the plane, I was struggling to move. It had become noticeably larger. It was all I could to get my luggage and make it to my hotel. Once there, I began to work on it.

By morning, the inflammation had settled in the joint and it was extremely stiff. Having said that, it also felt better, like it was positioned where it should be, even though I wasn’t aware of any issue prior to that. I had a hot bath to get the blood moving and began to work on it as I had a day planned of walking. 

To add insult to injury, it was snowing, and the sidewalks were full of slush and ice, but I went for a reason, and I was going to deliver the packages as planned. I started on the journey and made my way to 2 locations.  I must say I wasn’t well prepared. My plan was to simply drop in unannounced and hopefully have someone excited to hear what I had to share. Looking back, I laugh at my naivety.

When the second clinic basically took my package and threw it to the side, I felt defeated. As I started to walk again to my next destination, my knee was screaming. Combined with the pain, the slippery sidewalks were challenging my balance and it was becoming excruciating. I made the decision to go back to my hotel, lick my ego wounds and work on my knee. 

I woke up the next day in utter amazement. Expecting to have a similar pain as the day before, it had a completely different feel. Although swollen and stiff, it felt solid and secure. I spent another day working on it, challenging it with walking in the hotel and pushing it to the limits I could handle. I was heading back home the next day and wanted to use this time to heal before engaging back into my patient work.

By the time I was home, it was almost completely healed. The swelling was minimal, the range of motion was almost full, and the pain was negligible. I realized that the walking had created an opportunity to further inflame, but because I worked on it that same day, I used the healing potential to rebuild the tissue rapidly. I would have never thought that with the condition it was 2 days prior, that it would be this good – and it felt better than before it happened, like the joint finally fit together as it should.

We have an incredible ability to heal if we give the body what it needs. Had I approached the pain and inflammation with ice and only rest, I know the outcome would have been remarkably different. The combination of having my back release combined with an even stronger and more stable knee than before was such a blessing. It showed me the power of using the inflammation as opposed to limiting it when it is most needed. It also showed me the incredible interconnections of the body. When one area releases, another will follow!

Listen to this week's episode of The Fascia Masters below.

Breathe & Believe,


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