12 Apr whole body Healing
Ever wondered why your pain or symptoms may keep recurring despite having regular therapy for it?
Traditionally in Western medicine and physiotherapy we are taught to focus on treating the symptoms. Often the cause is forgotten or neglected.
In physiotherapy we have progressed to searching for the physical cause of the ailment, which may be located at a distance from the breakdown/injury. This method can help fix many issues but still there are a significant number of other physical injuries that continue to persist or return at intermittent times.
Fascial Manipulation technique is very good at addressing issues involving the soft tissue which can affect varying regions of the body. Often the body compensates for a deficit in one area and tightens up or alters the function of the soft tissue etc which can cause or contribute to a breakdown at a more distant site. The fascia has been found to connect the whole body in spiral and diagonal layers that transmit forces throughout the body. Many patients describe always having issues and injuries on the same side of the body. This can be a possible clue to the involvement of the fascial system. Sometimes more than the physical body is involved.
The body and mind cannot be separated. So when you have physical injury you need to use the mind and brain in your recovery as everything we do has an effect on our mind/brains via neurobioplasticity. Performing exercises with mindful awareness helps improve a movement pattern quicker than performing the same exercises with your mind on other things e.g the ‘shopping’ etc. Research has shown that you can achieve almost the same improvement from mentally practicing an exercise as the person actually practicing the exercise. Powerful and interesting stuff!
Today health practitioners are slowly starting to put all the parts of the body together as a whole…not just look at the musculo-skeletal system or just the immune system.
Research has shown that the central nervous system/brain communicates with the immune system as well as the immune system can communicate and affect the brain. Also the gastro-intestinal system is around 70% made up of immune system cells. In fact the immune system is related to all areas of the body, as cells are located in all tissues.
This has enormous importance in some illnesses and in some non-traumatic physical injuries because when our bodies are subjected to too much stress e.g. too much exercise intensity over a period of time that does not allow the body to recover can lead to physical breakdown OR illness; just as too much work or other life stressors can contribute to illnesses and physical ailments.
Our Autonomic nervous system (made up of the Sympathetic and Parasympathetic systems) needs to stay balanced but often in the Western world the Sympathetic system – our fight or flight system, in conjunction with our endocrine system, which triggers cortisol and adrenaline when we are stressed, stays on for much longer and more often than it was designed to do, which does not allow the Parasympathetic system perform its role of helping us digest our nutrients properly or assist us heal. We cannot heal well if we are not allowing our Parasympathetic system to work properly!
Research in the field of Psychoneuroimmunology(PNI) is also showing us the body can react to and even store/‘remember’ emotional pain from traumas or stressors, as our feelings and emotions have receptor cells throughout the body called neuropeptides – biochemical messengers that regulate our needs and feelings. These neuropeptides also regulate our immune system- how we deal with internal threats and how we heal. So our thoughts and feelings can have an enormous impact on our body. Our thoughts and feelings can influence the state of our physical body. Therefore the more we learn to get in tune with our feelings and emotions generally the better our health and wellbeing. In meditation we state – to feel is to heal!
I treat both body and mind (and if I can encourage people to add in a bit of therapy for their soul I will encourage that too) by using a combination of techniques. I teach Mindfulness Meditation in 6-8week courses to help the beginner to truly understand meditation and how it works on the body and mind, with easy to follow guiding techniques, as well as discussing and educating patients on how the brain and mind play a pivotal role in our overall health, including recovering from physical injuries.
I treat the physical aspect of a problem by using a whole body technique – Fascial Manipulation (which also can assist in treating internal dysfunctions), in combination with exercises, deep tissue massage and joint work. I also encourage patients to recognise any links to known current or past stressors/ issues that may have caused some emotional ‘holding on’ within the body and which could possibly be contributing to the problem.
This blog article is very general but if you book in with a session with me I can discuss with you an approach for your individual set of conditions.
Blog originally written for Quay Health