What is the difference between Block Therapy™ and Yoga?
Years ago I was studying to be an Iyengar Yoga instructor and I learned so much about the proper alignment of the body. In fact, I came away with a greater understanding of posture than I did through my years of studying to be an athletic therapist. However I didn’t follow through with the Yoga Teacher Training because when it came to my personal practice, I intuitively did what I now call Fluid Isometrics™.Block Therapy™ came from the need to teach people what I was doing with my hands on my own body so others could apply this effective, deep work into their own body.
I first realized the difference in what I was doing at my Yoga classes. I would get into a posture, for example a forward bend, and I would become aware of the areas that were limiting further range and movement. I would then go home and work with my hands to melt the stuck tissue and very quickly found I was moving to new depths in my body. After a short time of doing this I realized I was unique in my approach.
Yoga allows us to access the available tissue and keep it open and spacious. Block Therapy™ goes further as it releases the tissue that has adhered to bone, thereby granting you more available tissue to work with.
Tissue will freeze or glue onto bony surfaces with a force up to 2000lbs’square inch.
This incredible seal requires heating and oxygenation at the root in order to release and become available for our use. Yoga alone doesn’t get deep enough through the layers of tissue to grant this depth of freedom in the body. In order to affect the tissue to the depth of the bone, the tool needs to be similar in density to bone. This is why the Block Buddy™ is made from wood.
Can you get injured doing Block Therapy™?
If you practice Block Therapy™ as instructed in the video series, it is totally safe.
It is all about connecting to pain and befriending it. So it isn’t without pain, but it doesn’t cause injury if you listen to your body and your breath as you are guided. You are consistently given instruction if something is too painful for you to handle, and alternate ways to approach an area, such as practicing first on a mattress to decrease the initial depth into the tissue and allow your body to adapt.Having said this, a healing crisis can and will result, which is a good thing but in the moment doesn’t feel great as once we put positive energy into the body, the negative energy will move and come out of the body. This can be in the form of a skin rash, flu-like symptoms, changes in pain, emotional releases etc…(see my blog post about healing crises).The most common thing that can happen and may appear “scary” is that when we are melting through the frozen tissue in the rib cage, sometimes there can be a significant shift of the ribs. As a “gap” is created from the release of scar tissue, it can be painful. And every movement or action in the body taxes the ribcage, so we can be aware of this area for some time. The pain comes from the body sending extra blood flow to the area, or inflammation, to rebuild the tissue to become healthy.Depending on how significant the shift and how much tissue needs repair will determine how long the pain will last. It is natural to want to ice the area but that will just cause the tissue to freeze again and become restricted.Sometimes we may also see broken capillaries in certain areas. Where there is a lot of congested tissue, as in the armpit, groin or the breasts with the sternum placement, bruising or redness may occur but is an indicator of improved blood flow.The rule of thumb is, as long as you are breathing you are feeding and healing the tissue. If something hurts so much that you can’t breathe in a relaxed manner then you need to back off the intensity and find a different approach. You are completely in control of how much pain you allow yourself to experience and are properly guided through this on the video series.This program is not recommended for women who are pregnant or for people with osteoporosis or a serious medical condition. And as with any new program, you should always consult a physician before beginning.
Can I spend too much time on the Block Buddy™?
This is a commonly asked question.In the Block Therapy™ Intro Series video you are instructed to stay on the Block Buddy™ for a minimum of 3 minutes. As this is a technique of melting frozen tissue, we can’t rush it. Having said that, we must always respect our limits and if you feel you need to come off sooner than instructed, listen to your body, using your breath as your guide.
I spend as much as one hour on the Block Buddy™ in one position at times. I love to put on a movie and lie in only a few placements.The longer we can be in one area, the deeper and more effective the melting of that tissue will be. However we must understand and respect what we are doing.
For example if you doing a leg position, the iliotibial band for example, you may be in a plank position. Too much time here can stress the neck and shoulders. If you feel an area going numb, it is because we are causing compression on the roadway for blood and nerve flow. Once we release the pressure the flow comes back, but I don’t recommend spending more than 3 minutes on an area if it is causing numbness.
This work is in part about becoming aware of your body and learning the language of your tissue. If at any time you are uncertain of your body’s response, please let me know so I can address your individual concern.
Does Block Therapy™ replace exercise?
Block Therapy™ is an exercise, therapy and meditation all in one. With it you are improving blood flow, increasing metabolism, working muscles and strengthening your heart.The work can be done in a passive manner or the intensity can be increased for a more dynamic workout. The soon-to-be-released advanced video series demonstrates how to increase the intensity.Having said this, Block Therapy™ is a wonderful complement to any exercise practice because it is incredibly effective at improving blood flow. This benefits tissue in general and increases the benefits of whatever else you are doing. You will also find that post-workout recovery is much faster as the bi-products of exercise will be taken away from the cells with greater efficiency, e.g. lactic acid, decreasing the time the muscles experience stiffness.
How does Fluid Isometrics™ differ from Myofascial Release?
This is a challenging question for me because I have never taken any other courses to teach how to address the fascia. Fluid Isometrics™ grew organically from my experience as a means of countering anxiety (see the explanation of Fluid Isometrics™ under the About section of the website).I have trained many therapists and worked on many patients that have shared with me that the technique is very different, but I personally cannot explain why. What I can do is explain the technique to the best of my ability.
Energy moves in waves and spirals, and the tissue compresses over time in this same pattern. Fluid Isometrics™ teaches to follow the “seams of time” in the patient’s tissue to melt through the “fuzz” that has accumulated in the body. Watch the YouTube video “The Fuzz Speech” by Gil Headly to see a great explanation of fascia and how it freezes.
In order to penetrate any medium, we need screw into it. Think of a cork in a wine bottle, we don’t push the corkscrew into the cork, we screw it in. This is how we approach frozen fascia. When confronted with layers upon layers of fascia that has entwined, and sealed in a chaotic pattern, we need to unzip those seams in the same manner they were created. Essentially, we need to melt them.
The combination of the actual technique, combined with teaching the patient to breathe diaphragmatically thereby heating up the core, is very efficient at melting through scar tissue and compressed fascia, allowing blood to reach cells previously blocked.
In the coming months I will be creating video to demonstrate Fluid Isometrics™ as it needs to be seen, and experienced to truly understand the work. Block Therapy™ is the self-care version of Fluid Isometrics™.
Please continue to ask questions so I can create a comprehensive guide to share this amazing work.
Who Should Not Do Block Therapy™?
Contraindications to Block Therapy™
Block Therapy™ is generally a safe body work practice that anyone, any age can do. However, there are few situations in which Block Therapy™ is not recommended:
For someone who is pregnant, it is the direct contact with the belly and surrounding area that should be avoided. The other areas of the body are safe to practice, ie., legs, face, neck.
If you have had a surgical mesh placed in your tissue, Block Therapy™ is not recommended, as the release of tension in the tissue may cause irritation and added discomfort.
Because Block Therapy™ improves flexibility and range of motion in the tissue, it may cause complications to someone who has had their spine fused.
Serious Medical Conditions
For anyone with serious health concerns It is always important to seek medical advice before starting any new body work practice.
BLOCK THERAPY™ DURING PREGNANCY
My wife is almost 7 months pregnant and we just did a prenatal class where the instructor stressed open pelvis stretch & pushing the hips together Are they any specific exercises with the block for pregnant women?
We recommend that she avoid using the Block Buddy™ around the belly, but continue to use it everywhere else, as long as she can breathe easily through the positions. Block Therapy™ will improve the blood and oxygen flow throughout her body.
When she is in labour, you can have her sit in a chair with the Block Buddy™ against her lower back to help relieve the pain.
Block Therapy™ will definitely help with keeping the pelvis and hips aligned and flexible. If you have the intro video series, just have her follow along with the video (still avoiding the belly area).
If you have any concerns or questions along the way, please feel free to contact us.