Developed by John Barnes, P.T. Myofascial release is a safe, gentle and incredibly effective hands-on approach which consistently produces positive and lasting results for pain reduction and restoration of range of motion. The therapist uses a sustained pressure into restrictions in the fascial or connective tissue over a period of time which allows for the restrictions to unwind and return the patient to a lifestyle free of pain and restrictions.
Fascia is tough connective tissue which is spread in a continuous interconnected network throughout the body. Blunt- force injury, inflammation, repetitive stress, emotional issues any sort of trauma can create a binding down of this tissue and incapacitate the shock absorbency properties properly functioning fascial tissue should have. The excessive forces of this binding down on the fascia (2,000lbs per square inch) places enormous pressure on blood vessels, nerves, muscles, organs and osseous structures (bone). Standard imaging tests such x-rays, CAT scans, myelograms, etc. do not show fascial restrictions. Many people suffering from chronic pain, headaches, and range of motion issues are thought to be suffering from undiagnosed fascial restrictions.
The fascia is a specialized system in the body-surrounding and inter-penetrating every muscle, nerve, bone, organ and cell in the body. When healthy, the fascia is relaxed and wavy in configuration. When it experiences trauma and/or inflammation the fascia loses its flexibility, becomes increasingly tight and begins to become a source of tension to the rest of the body, sort of like a pull in the fabric of a sweater. Over the course of our lives the traumas we experience create a layering pattern, increasingly stressing the fascia until finally we experience pain, headaches, and /or restriction of motion. The man who simply bends over to pick up the daily paper and finds he cannot now stand up is an example of how this trauma layering can come into our lives. This man may have experienced auto accidents, slip and falls, surgeries, sport injuries all without major repercussions but this simple lean and grab incident can initiate a very painful response. The shock absorbency properties of his fascial tissue have been exhausted and he must now address his trauma history.
During a myofascial release treatment session the therapist will acknowledge the symptom and then look for the causes. In cases of TMJ pain I usually look at the psoas muscles in the lower abdomen to check out how tense/sensitive these muscles are. Many times palpation of the psoas will stimulate pain sensation in the very TMJ area that is causing the patient to have so much pain. The fascial tensions of the psoas can reach all the way up the body to the fascial area because the fascia is so totally interconnected throughout the body.
We speak of three layers of the fascia that which lies directly under the skin and which provides the network of tissue surrounding and supporting the fat tissue; that which surrounds every bone, muscle, gland, organ and cell in the body; and that which forms the third and densest layer of the fascia , the dura mater, surrounding the entire brain and spinal column the cranio-sacral system.
In addition to the physical aspects of blunt force trauma inflammation, Myofascial release has a very powerful connection and role to play in emotional issues. Very often in traumatic situations people experience as well highly emotional states fear, anger, sadness, etc. Watching our car slide off a road at high speed during a snow event and anticipating the crash into a retaining wall can be a terrifying event. Upon impact this tremendous fear can become locked into the tissue memory of the facial system. This tissue memory or cellular intelligence will remember and record three dimensionally how the body responded during the trauma. The emotions associated with the trauma are retained in the fascia as well. A patient's incomplete recovery from a trauma can sometimes be explained by this emotionally based holding pattern in the body. With the application of gentle pressures from a skilled therapist the fascial tissue will begin to loosen or unwind as we call it, beginning to move on its own, 3-dimensionally in space, searching for significant positions of past trauma according to its own tissue memory. Once it has achieved the exact position the body was in when the trauma occurred the body can release the physical vector of force that caused the trauma. Emotions associated with the trauma are then free to come into the patient's conscious mind, allowing the patient to make new choices. Once the emotion has been felt as it is released the physical pain patterns based upon this held emotion can dissipate, allowing for true healing to commence. The re-experience of these emotions can be difficult but the patient does not experience any further trauma. The belief is that the subconscious mind controls the whole process, never allowing a patient to be overwhelmed or experience more than he/she can handle. I have never had a client further traumatized. I have , however, witnessed many a deep, true healing event take place, restoring a person to a pain-free, active lifestyle.
Oftentimes, long-standing chronic pain conditions benefit most from intense intervention. I offer one or two week "intensives" wherein a client is treated for 3-4 hours per day over the selected time period to initiate massive changes to the fascial system, overwhelming the holding patterns that exist in the system and catapulting the client to powerful new levels of health and body awareness. If you've had enough of your chronic pain and dysfunction, investigate how an intensive therapy program can work for you.
Developed by John Upledger D.O., this remarkable therapy uses lighter pressures than might be employed in Myofasacial Release. The cranio-sacral system is composed of the densest fascial layer within the body the semi-hydraulic system which envelops the brain and spinal cord. This therapy is based on a 10 step protocol. Using very light pressures I will first palpate the cranio-sacral rhythm present in the body. Then, following the protocol, I will treat the transverse planes of the body pelvic, respiratory diaphragm, thoracic, hyoid and cervical base. I will then go on to treat the 22 bones of the skull, assessing and influencing the unique motions of each of these osseous structures. In so doing I will be working towards influencing/changing the symmetry, quality, amplitude and rate of this dynamic cranio-sacral system, reducing or eliminating fascial restrictions within the system, and improving the movement of the cerebrospinal fluid throughout the system, thereby influencing the fluids flow into the spinal nerves which enervate every portion of our bodies.
Similarly I can treat all of the bony structures within the oral cavity addressing a host of potential issues, including temporal-mandidular dysfunction (TMJ) and palate problems.
During treatment I will often encounter fascial restrictions called 'energy cysts' which the body has walled off from our daily consciousness. As the connective tissue in this system experiences the gentle pressures of the therapists touch these energy cysts have the opportunity to release often releasing the emotional content of the traumatic event which precipitated the development of this energy cyst in the first place. The client can experience the emotions deeply held in their fascial system, taking them through a very safe, deeply emotional re-experience of the body's stored response to a traumatic event and allowing the physical vector which harmed the body initially and opening up the client to re-examine belief systems and holding patterns which have been locked away. The opportunity afforded to the client in this experience can allow for a change of these belief systems. The amazing experience of tissue memory or cellular intelligence which is manifest within our fascial or connective tissue is very liberating and is the essence of the Somato-emotional connection. As with Myofascial Release, Cranio-Sacral therapy has a wide array of therapeutic applications chronic pain conditions, TMJ, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, migraines, pelvic/menstrual issues, restricted motion ad back/cervical/cranial conditions.
Developed by Aminah Raheem, Ph.D., this cutting edge therapy is a wholistic method for understanding and processing who we are, how our individual growth process operates in the body/mind/emotions/soul matrix, and how we live from these. Using aspects of traditional acupressure, Fritz Smith's Zero Balancing and chakra energy work combined with the use of significant power points related to those systems Process Acupressure opens up a client to a new awareness of what is going on within their own body during a treatment session. The fundamental objective in each session is to bring a clearer, stronger force field through the whole person, following a protocol to open up the body's current process to facilitate greater awareness and vitality in all areas of the body. Combining recent advances in psychology, medicine, bodywork and process Work and working with all aspects of body, mind and spirit Process Acupressure uses the dynamic flow of energy in the body as it interfaces between consciousness and matter. Working in this way with the energy of the body I can access consciousness within one or all parts of the person. In Process Acupressure the most important emphasis is placed on soul-centered development. Therefore the work can be utilized for as long as it works and assists the clients' process. Time for these sessions is variable, usually 60-90 minutes to allow for individual process experiences to manifest.
Emotion Freedom Technique
Evolving from the thought field research of Dr. Edward Callahan in the 1980s, ETF as it is widely known has catapaulted onto the mind/body/spirit landscape in the last few years. Largely codified and expanded upon by Gary Craig, a performance coach, the work is safely used in just about every condition imaginable! Chronic pain conditions, fear/phobia issues, anxiety problems, you name it, it works as sort of an emotional version of acupuncture. Instead of needles, however, EFT uses a simple, easily learned, two-pronged process to (1) mentally tune in to very specific issues and (2) stimulate certain points on the body's energetic meridian system (from ancient Chinese medicine) using fingertip tapping sequences. This protocol appears to balance disturbances or short-circuits in the meridian system, the body's energy circuit, producing remarkable results in very short periods of time! My experience with EFT allows me to use the techniques safely in just about every situation. There are no side-effects so it is completely safe. My clients' experiences with fear/phobia issues have been most profound but simple everyday applications can be just as satisfying.