Tuesday, 20 December 2011

The Travelling Web (Part Three) Getting Stuck

After a long pause in the proceedings I am happy to be sitting in my living room, with my feet up, the Christmas tree twinkling, a cup of tea by my side and mince pies warming in the oven. Yes, it's true, I am now on the wind down to Christmas, which means that I have time to gather some great information for you about Fascia; how it gets stuck and what we can do about it!

Last time we took a look into the history of Structural Integration with Dr I. Rolfe; the woman who in my mind set the gold standard of fascia movement. One of the clear outcomes that she noted, (and that therapists see today) is that people who suffer from musculo-skeletal limitations often suffer within the restriction due to a trauma that has happened in the past. Whether the trauma was psychological, physical, emotional or spiritual will be personal to each person's own past; for one it may be a car collision, another may have lost a parent in a mall when they where five, a long term chronic illness, or maybe a problem with a belief system or structure in the past … the history is important to the individual and the residual manifestations may be physically painful.

Why, though, do these shocks to the body have such a lasting effect? One theory, (and it is a theory but one that makes a lot of sense to me personally), is that the body goes into a state of 'Fight and Flight'; the connective tissue holds you in a position that enables you to cope with the situation at the time and then it simply becomes an habitual learned pattern.

A nice easy analogy of this is if you think of a broken leg. A right leg is broken and has to be put in a cast. For six weeks the person has to realign the whole body to be able to limp with a cast on and learn how to use a set of crutches. A cast on one lower leg requires the whole body to act in a new manner to enable the person to function. After six weeks the body has learned enough to think that this state could be normal, so it fixes the connective tissue down to enable this state. The fact that the cast comes off simply means that the body has to learn how to walk again in a correct fashion as it wont easily learn on it's own.

The above analogy shows how important it is to find good physiotherapy, fascia release and massage early on in any trauma situation as it can help keep the whole body free in it's movements and not get stuck in dynamic ways that impair the body at a later date. All Sports Therapists and Physiotherapists should be able to help at the point where the cast is on. For example; the shoulders and neck can be treated so they don't become stuck through the slump into the crutches. The opposite leg, which will be weight baring a huge amount, will also benefit from therapy as well as the hips and the lower back.

The web of connective tissue travels through us endlessly, so why are we still stuck in the thinking that if one part of the body is causing a problem then we should only treat that? Surely it is time to see they whole body as a whole and treat it with due respect!

If you would like to read more about how fascia sticks, then I would really recommend looking at Anne Cheshire's website: Trauma Recovery Clinic. It's got loads of great advice and is a lovely read if you want more in-depth reading into how the nervous system plays a part in the 'Fight and Flight' cycle as well as how to distinguish a normal amount of stress to an amount that may cause the body to get stuck.

One last example is for all who may have restrictions but have never had much trauma to deal with. The example is of a taxi driver: The taxi driver has been doing his job well for the past six years and he likes to talk to his customers when he drives. He ends up driving with his right hand on the steering-wheel whilst the left hand helps gesticulate his points to the customer. The right hand, arm, shoulder, chest and back have to do a lot of work to pull the steering-wheel around as well as cope with a seatbelt crossing over the chest. Over time layers of connective tissue are put down to help allow the right side of the body to do it's job, as well as cope with the seatbelt. The taxi driver one day notices that his right shoulder hurts a bit when he pulls down on the steering wheel and that his shoulder looks as if it is coming forward. It could just be that the thick band of fascia that is now there is pulling the shoulder out and making the chest compress a little. Fascia release and massage into the trigger points may help loosen it off and ease referred pain around the arm, hands, neck and head.

I am sure I have loads of stuck fascia knocking around in my right leg due to a very tight hamstring and a knee injury. The key is to get it flexible and healthy and that is what we will be looking at in the last blog of this mini series; How we can help release fascia!

What I'm loving in the Treatment Room today:

I have been really enjoying doing a lot of Dermalogica Skin Care Therapy lately! It's great to get the steamer on and the products out, ready to calm the ailments that people suffer from in the winter on their skins.

I have particularly fallen in love with mixing Tri-Active Cleanse with Daily Microfoliant for a super way of brightening the skin for a night out! 

After using Pre-Cleanse, simply mix the Daily Microfoliant up to a thick bubble mixture and pop a pump of the Tri-Active Cleanse to it and massage onto damp skin! It's a heady mix so don't over do it, but once a week will whisk those dead skin cells away and allow your make-up to sit flawlessly on the skin.

Follow with your prescribed toner and moisturiser to enjoy radiant skin. Allow a couple of days to go by until you use your normal exfoliant again and then use Multi-Vitamin Power Recovery Masque. Power Recovery Masque helps you to regain a happy lipid barrier so that the skin doesn't suffer the winter sting.

Music of the day:

Paul Simon's Grace Lands … classic! 

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

A Pause in the proceedings.

Firstly, I would like to thank those of you who have been in touch over the past couple of weeks asking me to hustle! It's great to know that you guys are reading and wanting more information.

I can only apologise for not being around lately. I have had a mammoth time with my Level 6 Diploma studies. As I want to eat all my cake over Christmas, I have had to get 3 assignments and a dissertation plan submitted before December 19th. Along with doing end of year tax submissions and doing my day to day job, (you know the bit of life I love, which is treating you guys!) over the past 6 weeks writing the blog has had to take a back seat. The assignment  deadlines are for mid January, but Christmas with family and friends is more appealing than studying over the festive season. As of now I think I can safely say I am back on track with a couple of hours a week to give to writing to you again. :) 

I'll get down to it this evening and put a blog together for you so you won't be hanging around in Big Sur with Dr Rolfe for too much longer.... There are worst places to hang out though!

I'll be back. 

Shop Dermalogica