The body is meant to move! It was designed to move! Movement problems and postural problems can cause the body to function below optimal levels. Restoring proper function and movement in the body often restores many injury conditions.
Breathwork is often incorporated into many treatment sessions. The breath is both automatic & has a component that is under cognitive control. Diaphragmatic breathing is the type of breathing that should be the standard breathing pattern. The diaphragm is part of the core – upper & lower cores – so it is vital in exercise and in modulating the voice. Life stressors including anxiety etc can tip us into a Sympathetic Nervous System/’Fight/Flight/Freeze breathing patterns which do not use the usual diaphragmatic pattern.
Research has shown diaphragmatic breathing can assist in increasing the Parasympathetic Nervous System’s role which is one of healing and maintaining the inner body balance. Some breathing exercises have been shown to calm the nervous system and assist in self -regulation.
Research also shows that the heart has more nerve fibres going from it to the brain than the other way round. This means the sensory information from the heart is very important in emotions & cognition and brain functioning. The heart also has the strongest electrical field in the body and if this field is in coherence it assists the rest of the body, including the brain to be in coherence and this is good for optimal health. Conversely, incoherence has been proven, especially if long term, is not good for health. Heart Math Institute also has a series of scientifically proven heart-focused breathing techniques which assist getting the heart- brain into coherence.
If we are holding on to unresolved issues it can cause changes in your body’s biochemistry – increased cortisol & adrenaline etc which leads to increased inflammation – this can cause areas of the body to increase or decrease in ideal resting tension. Mindfulness of breath & body sensations, as well as physical movement including breath work can assist in releasing these abnormal tensions and restore the body’s homeostatic self- regulation. Some may also require the added support of a psychologist/counsellor depending on the issues.
If the body moves well we want to move more and moving more is good for our bodies!
Our emotions influence our heart-brain coherence so learning how to optimise your heart coherence by learning to regulate emotions is vital in health and improving chronic pain, stress & many chronic conditions.
The fascia is soft tissue and fascia surrounds EVERY muscle cell, EVERY muscle, EVERY organ in the body and effectively connects the feet to the head or the feet to the hands via the continuous spiralling, weaving network of patterns in the fascial system.
Superficial and deep fascia contain many receptor cells important in receiving external signals from our environment. Within the superficial fascia most of our receptors for touch, temperature and stretch etc are located. Whereas within the deeper fascia receptors involved in body positioning accuracy/proprioception for the timing and activation of muscles. Both superficial and deep fascial receptors send signals/information to and from the central nervous system via the Autonomic Nervous System.
Mindful exercises, mindful breathing & mindfulness of body sensations are integrated into a session along with education & manual therapy, as required by each individual case.
Mindfulness keeps our attention in the present moment which is vital for making changes. Only with conscious awareness & attention can new strategies be employed. Learning to listen to your own body’s wisdom is a key ingredient to changing how our body is responding. The body knows how to do its job but sometimes ‘blocks’ get in the road and prevent it from doing its job. Paying attention to what your body is telling you usually in sensations/feelings allows you to work with your body for the possibility of healing. This sounds easy but is in fact can be quite difficult,but it is a skill that can be learned like any other. Mindfulness meditation practice can assist this but other strategies can also be implemented.
The thoracic spine is made up of 12 ribs, 12 thoracic vertebrae, the sternum and associated cartilage. The region has not only got the usual between vertebra joints, but each level also has an extra joint on each side of the body where the ribs attach to the spine. It is an area where balance is important and where imbalance can create issues as far away as the feet or head.
The thoracic region also has the heart and lungs underneath as well as the Sympathetic Nervous System (SNS) which as part of our Autonomic Nervous System (the involuntary part of our body and nervous system that runs without our conscious instructions) activates our stress ‘fight, flight or freeze’ response. An overactive SNS can lead to injury and illness if the imbalance is prolonged. Physical therapy techniques as well as meditation etc can help correct such SNS overactivity.
If the thoracic ring is found to be driver or cause of an issue there are gentle techniques which can help restore normal functioning and movement to this area.
Thoracic ring correction techniques gently help to restore balance to the thoracic region and to any other region it may be affecting.
Workplace assessments can be arranged or general advice can be given regarding the ideal set up of a workstation.
Having a perfect workstation does not guarantee your musculo-skeletal issues will go away but if you have a terrible workstation, it will not matter how good your therapist or medical professional is, your musculo-skeletal issue will prevail, simply because you spend so much time in your workplace.
A good workstation is vital to minimise poor postural habits and imbalances that may go on to create issues outside of work as well.