Category Archives: Physical

Serious (and Natural) Help for Depression

bird singing

Depression is a BITCH, that’s for sure. It is HARD. First and foremost, allow me to validate you. IT IS REAL. IT HAPPENED FOR REAL REASONS. YOU ARE NOT CRAZY, AND YOU ARE NOT LESS THAN ANY OTHER HUMAN BEING. AND YOU CAN LEARN TO DIG YOURSELF OUT- ONE SHOVEL AT A TIME.

Maybe it’s circumstantial. Maybe you just lost a loved one or a job or you are just sick and tired of not having the right kind of support system. Or no support system at all. Maybe you have no clue why this “down in the dumps” period has seemingly become your personality. Regardless of how you got here, you got here and I am sure you see no way out- no options at all no matter how hard you search for them.

Let’s get the pharmaceutical thing out of the way: for me, it is not the way to go. Adding more chemicals to your chemical factory at this point seems like the most bizarre of ideas. We have to get our current chemical factory working for us, and throwing more into the mix (at this point in my life) makes absolutely no sense. You see, I have been there, and when I was I didn’t know or understand what I know and understand now.

Otherwise, it wouldn’t have taken me so long to get where I am now. Now, I understand. Now I have tools. Tools that I hope will shorten the timespan (and lessen the pain along the way) for you to looking back on depression as a distant memory that catapulted you to your happiest life.

Tools- here are my top five:
1-breath
2-movement
3-pets/animals
4-nature
5-knowledge

1-BREATH.
Do NOT underestimate the tremendous value of this concept. You HAVE to start breathing. Breathing has so many (many, many) positive results for so many (many,many) reasons. Oxygenating the body through conscious breath starts a whole host of positive chemical processes in the body. It will make you more aware and this is a HUGE step- becoming more aware, more conscious of what is going on inside of you is a GREAT, SUPER IMPORTANT start to the healing process.

Conscious breathing is an emotional salve. It calms down the nervous system and clear thinking can emerge. It changes our emotional state if only by a few degrees. It allows our diaphragm to open up, it brings oxygen to every cell. It changes our chemical make-up, it changes our brain waves, our pulse, our ability to think clearly, and produces within us a strength, a hope, that we didn’t know we had.

When we are depressed we don’t breathe. You HAVE to understand this. Everything collapses in on itself without even realizing it. If we don’t get breathing we cannot function. We cannot move, we cannot think clearly, and we get sucked down further into immobility and paralysis. By now, you know this is true.

Start by considering this. Start by paying attention to your breath (or lack there of). I’m certain you can hardly even find you breath much less cultivate big breaths. It’s okay, One step at a time. Once you are aware that you are barely breathing you can work with that.

Start by trying a conscious breath. Try to make it bigger, longer, fuller. Just a little bit at a time, knowing that you are doing yourself, your body and brain a huge service. This is a HUGE big start. Train your brain one slump at a time- the minute you realize you are going back down, take a breath. Try breathing in fully quickly and breathing out long and slow. Feel the muscles relax. Feel the monkey mind getting quiet. You just saved yourself AGAIN. In time you will be able to do some more advanced breathing techniques, but for now, just start. Just begin breathing again.

2- MOVEMENT.
Movement goes along with breathing- same idea here. We are getting “unparalyzed” here. Sometimes, I would have to literally yell at myself “Get off the couch”! or “get out of the bed”! Stand up, make the bed and leave the room. Get off the couch and go outside and breathe and feel the weather, hear the birds, maybe even take a walk! Again, movement jump starts so many benefical chemical processes that you have no idea of how beneficial they are to you mood, to your psyche.

Maybe you are not ready to dance. Maybe the joy that comes from dancing is just too far out of reach right now. That’s okay. You will get there, but you have to start somewhere. YOU HAVE TO MOVE YOUR BODY. Go outside and just breathe and stretch your limbs. In a few moments the thought might waft across your mind “maybe i’ll go for a walk.” DO IT! this doesn’t have to be a big deal. Actually, it shouldn’t be a big deal, just something that feels good to you. In time, there will be more that you actually feel like doing. It’s progressive.

If you can’t get yourself off the couch right now, sit there and start making small movements with your feet, your legs, your breath, stretch your neck, your back. I would bet you feel like standing up now. You just have to make some effort, monumental effort is not necessary- some effort though is required. And as long as you feel like doing a little more, DO IT!

Nobody is going to do this for you. Nobody is going to get you out of this depression. It is up to you, and I promise you can do this. Do the breath and the movement regardless of what thoughts are running rampant in your brain. Right now your brain is not working properly and until you get breathing and moving your brain is on stupid mode. So, ignore it. Clear thinking will return once you get oxygen to the brain through breath and movement.

3-Pets/Animals
There is more to this than meets the eye. I get how soothing it is to snuggle up and pet your pet- nothing better. But intuitively, I KNOW there is more going on here (another research project). I mean, I get that pheromones are involved here, but I think there is much more.

There is an energetic, emotional bond here, yes. And there is something here that I would consider Spiritual. Most often we absent-mindedly pet our pets, while our brain, our conscious attention is somewhere else. Make it conscious! Even if you have to say to yourself “I am petting my cat. It feels really good, She is helping me. My body and mind are positively responding to this. I am feeling better. (thank you cat).

Animals have a way of being okay, all the time, haven’t you noticed? Don’t you think we have something to learn here? Is there not tremendous benefit of some kind here? You cannot not feel better after consciously petting your pet. Don’t have a pet? No problem! Go outside and watch animals- they are all okay! You don’t see a depressed squirrel, you don’t hear the songbirds lamenting. No! They are happy! Joyous! Full of mischief and so proud of their abilities whether it be their extraordinary repertoire in their song, or their ability to jump from a tree to the roof of your house. They are JOYFUL! Full of life and vitality. And just watching them will stir something within you…

4-NATURE
There’s this tree on my morning walk that I just can’t ignore. I call it “twin trees” because it looks like two oak tress sprouting out of one. And everything around it occasionally gets mowed. It’s an empty lot but whoever maintains it decided to leave this tree where it was. It’s a great tree. Reminds me of the fabulous book that has no words called “The Giving Tree”. I talk to it every morning. I am just soothed by the fact that it is always there, always giving oxygen and I’m sure energy to us and all of it’s tree negihbors.

There is nothing like nature to soothe the soul and make us feel like we are part of- if we just pay attention. It’s not just a tree dammit!- it is pulsing life force energy. It is intelligence of that which we have no clue. And there it is freely offering you life-sustaining energy. FEED ON IT. ALLOW IT TO NOURISH YOU, TO SUSTAIN YOU. Energy is everywhere.

EVERYTHING is energy! It’s there all around you- FEED ON IT. That is Nature’s gift to you- to all of us.

Think about it- have you ever not felt better after spending some time in nature? I highly doubt it. Doesn’t matter if it is a grand view of such majesty it takes our proverbial breath or away or if it is a “simple tree” or flower or blue sky. If you take notice, really NOTICE it, it is magnficent, and very, very healing. Take a walk, for God’s sake- and make it a conscious one.

5- KNOWLEDGE
Knowledge is POWER, make no mistake. The more we know about the nature of things, the more power we have, the more tools we have, to get better. TO HEAL OURSELVES, no matter what the malady. I actually think, doing these things helps us on the emotional side of things before the physical side of things start coming into alignment. So, in this way, experiencing depression is easier/faster to get out of than a physical disease, The mind and the emotions must get straightened out before the physical body changes in tow.

Learn what you can about how breath and movement and positive thought, and nature affect your physical body. Learn about how what you think about you bring about. Learn how you truly have the ability to change your mind, change your emotion, change your thought thereby bringing your physical body as well as the emotional and Spiritual side back to health, back to joy (which is your natural state), back to clarity, back to wonder.

It truly is a beautiful and magical world we live in. You can come back to life, the Universe is all around you with amazing tools and gifts to help you get there.

~Here’s to You coming back to your Natural JOYOUS self!~

My Most Valuable Tool For Living

I began my journey into Reiki in 2004. It was the most natural thing to me, as if I had been practicing it forever. I dove all the way in and spent years taking classes and practicing (and teaching for the last several years). I simply could not get enough.

For me personally, it was the foundation of my healing- physically, mentally, emotionally, and Spiritually. I used it to heal my past. I used it to give me courage and hope for the future (as I still do today). I simply will not leave the house without using it in my morning meditation ritual.

I use it on my food, my pet, my home, my workspace. I use it for safe travel. I send Reiki energy to ailing loved ones and clients. I cannot imagine my life without it. It truly is a gift and I honor it with all my heart.

I have had so much fun learning from various teachers with varying approaches to Reiki. I started my own Reiki circle with a group of about twenty or so weekly and we all had so many incredible healing experiences that we would share with each other.

As a massage therapist I was continually told that I do “much more than massage”. It’s true. Everything I do is infused with Reiki. It is in every breath.

There is no limit to what Reiki can do. I have lots of Reiki stories, I will share briefly my two favorites:
The first one just makes me so happy when I remember it. One of my Reiki students had parents that were elderly and both failing. We would meet at her parent’s house weekly to give them treatments, and they both loved it. You could see (and feel) their bodies just melting into a deep state of relaxation. You could see and feel their fears and anxieties release. The sessions were so beautiful to all of us. The cutest part was the father (both of them being on hospital beds) would stop the chitter-chatter as we came in saying “Let’s get this party started”! He was 91. They both transitioned in the most beautiful and peaceful way.

The second story, being the most mind-blowing (at least to me), is about a dear friend, only in his early 40’s, who was diagnosed with bladder cancer. Apparently, there was a very large tumor that had attached itself to the bladder wall. He was scheduled for surgery to remove the entire bladder.

Me and my friends began Reiki treatments on him in earnest. I worked on him everyday. Several Friends who were Reiki practitioners chimed in when they could, sometimes there would be five of us treating him at the same time.

The day came for his surgery to remove the bladder. When the surgery was over, the surgeon came out dumbfounded. The tumor had detached from the wall of the bladder and was simply simply removed from the bladder by the surgeon leaving the bladder completely intact! I would most definitely define this as a MIRACLE. Ten years later and my friend is just fine!

I strongly encourage EVERYONE to learn Reiki for themselves. Having access to it at any given moment is a precious gift indeed! It is my most valuable tool for living, and if life gets tough at any moment I know I can create the best outcome possible by immediately turning on the Reiki!

Love & Reiki Light,
Penny
www.pennymichaels.com
www.naturalhealingblog.com

best pic

Reiki I- Reiki Master Teacher Training: Patricia Williams
Reiki in Medicine: Pamela Miles
various other teachers for CEU’s

It’s All About The Fascia!

If you are physically hurt, if your body isn’t moving, if you are in pain, you need to know at least a bit about fascia so that you can get the right kind of work done with the least amount of invasive procedures and pain killers.

Fascia is a thin casing of connective tissue that surrounds and holds every organ, blood vessel, bone, nerve fiber and muscle in place. The tissue does more than provide internal structure; fascia has nerves that make it almost as sensitive as skin. When stressed, it tightens up.

Let me repeat that so that you understand the importance of fascia regarding the functioning of the body. It is NOT the bones that hold the body and its structures in place and functioning properly. IT IS THE FASCIA. Unfortunately this is not typically understood in Western medicine. It has historically not been taught in the medical arena. Doctors and physical therapists alike have not been educated on the functioning of this all important system.

The term fascia itself translates to the word “unorganized”. This is because when it was discovered nobody knew of it’s function. It was considered unimportant. Only the bones and muscles/tendons/ligaments were considered important to the structure and function of the body. NOT TRUE.

I tell you this because if you have a body part that is injured (for example, a knee or low back issues), you need to have the fascia addressed because this is what is causing the pain, lack of mobility or compression of joints or disks. Find a physical therapist that actually hands-on addresses the fascia in the surrounding tissue. Unfortunately, most times physical therapy is geared toward strengthening the muscles around the injured area. THIS MAKES NO SENSE and I will tell you why: If the connective tissue, the fascia, is restricted you are only going to restrict it more if you try to strengthen muscles before releasing the fascia (and you are likely going to do more damage).

Here’s more: by having the fascia worked properly many joint or disc surgeries can be avoided. Find a therapist that is trained in fascial work- a rolfer, a medical massage therapist, a Tom Meyer’s student (Anatomy Trains instructor and author), and some Bowen Therapists. You will be glad you did!

Starting Over From Here

Even if you were to lose everything today it would not be as devastating as you might think or feel. If you have succeeded at something, if you have amassed great wealth or status of some sort, you can do it again- much faster with much less trial and error, and therefore much less angst.

You now have knowledge and experience that you didn’t have before. You have tools that you didn’t have before. You are wiser than you were before. You are not starting from square one like you did. You are starting from where you are with what you know intact.

Abraham-Hicks says when we find that we have lost everything, even at an advanced age, we do not need to fear because we don’t have to start all over. We can start from where we are at right now. And right now I assure you you have massive tools that you didn’t have before. You have strength and knowledge and wisdom that you didn’t have before.

So start from where you are at today, use the tools that you have gained over time. Have courage in your knowledge and perseverance. You can do this! You know how because you have already done it! And it will be much easier this time because of the know-how, experience, knowledge that you have gained. And people can gain from this knowledge.

Maybe it will look a bit different, most likely what you know now is even more valuable, more marketable, more genius!

Give yourself time to mourn your losses but know that you are much more capable of doing again what you once accomplished, only in a better, more polished, and less strenuous way.

~You Got This!~

About Andrew Weil, M.D.

About Andrew Weil, M.D.

I am of the belief that Integrative Medicine is the most intelligent approach to healthcare. Yes, I am an advocate for natural healing (ie, the blog name): however, I do not rule out the need for incorporating Western medicine as needed. (I am reminded of the saying “don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater”).

Dr. Andrew Weil has been the champion for Integrative Medicine for many years. And he is a VERY busy guy. This blog would not be complete without at least an introduction to this man’s work. Allow me to introduce (or remind you about him when searching for health-related answers) to this very impressive man.

Andrew Weil, M.D., is a world-renowned leader and pioneer in the field of integrative medicine, a healing-oriented approach to health care which encompasses body, mind, and spirit.

photo of Dr. Andrew Weil
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What is integrative medicine?

Integrative medicine is an approach to wellness that combines:

Conventional (traditional Western) medicine, which includes drugs, surgery and lifestyle changes.
Complementary medicine, therapies that are not part of traditional Western medicine. Care may include chiropractic therapy, yoga, meditation and more.

Combining a Harvard education and a lifetime of practicing natural and preventive medicine, Dr. Weil is the founder and director of the Andrew Weil Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona, where he also holds the Lovell-Jones Endowed Chair in Integrative Rheumatology, and is Clinical Professor of Medicine and Professor of Public Health.

The Center is the leading effort in the world to develop a comprehensive curriculum in integrative medicine. Graduates serve as directors of integrative medicine programs throughout the United States, and through its fellowship, the Center is now training doctors and nurse practitioners around the world.

Dr. Weil is an internationally recognized expert for his views on leading a healthy lifestyle, his philosophy of healthy aging, and his critique of the future of medicine and health care.

Dr. Weil’s Education

  • A.B., biology (botany), Harvard University, 1964
  • M.D., Harvard University Medical School, 1968
  • After completing a medical internship at Mt. Zion Hospital in San Francisco, he worked a year with the National Institute of Mental Health, then wrote his first book, The Natural Mind.
  • From 1971-75, as a Fellow of the Institute of Current World Affairs, Dr. Weil traveled widely in North and South America and Africa collecting information on drug use in other cultures, medicinal plants, and alternative methods of treating disease.
  • From 1971-84 he was on the research staff of the Harvard Botanical Museum and conducted investigations of medicinal and psychoactive plants.

Accomplishments:

  • Founder and director of the Andrew Weil Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona
  • Editorial director of the popular website, DrWeil.com
  • Founder and chairman of The Weil Foundation
  • Chairman of Weil Lifestyle
  • Founder and co-owner of the growing group of True Food Kitchen restaurants

Dr. Weil writes a monthly column for Prevention magazine. A frequent lecturer and guest on talk shows, Dr. Weil is an internationally recognized expert on medicinal plants, alternative medicine, and the reform of medical education.

In partnership with Seabourn and The Onboard Spa by Steiner, his “Spa and Wellness with Dr. Andrew Weil” mindful-living program is offered on all of the Seabourn cruise ships. He lives in Tucson, Arizona, USA.

Oxford University Press is currently producing the “Weil Integrative Medicine Library,” a series of volumes for clinicians in various medical specialties; the first of these, Integrative Oncology appeared in 2009. Since then, Integrative Psychiatry, Integrative Pediatrics, Integrative Women’s Health, Integrative Rheumatology, Integrative Cardiology, and Integrative Gastroenterology, and many others have been published.

Dr. Weil’s Publications

He is the author of many scientific and popular articles and many books, including these national and international best-sellers:

Selected Books:

  • The Natural Mind; The Marriage of the Sun and Moon; From Chocolate to Morphine (with Winifred Rosen)
  • Health and Healing; Natural Health, Natural Medicine
  • 8 Weeks to Optimum Health
  • Spontaneous Healing
  • Healthy Aging: A Lifelong Guide to Your Well-Being
  • Spontaneous Happiness(2011)
  • Fast Food, Good Food(2015)
  • Eating Well for Optimum Health: The Essential Guide to Food, Diet, and Nutrition
  • The Healthy Kitchen: Recipes for a Better Body, Life, and Spirit (with Rosie Daley)
  • Why Our Health Matters: A Vision of Medicine That Can Transform Our Future (issued in paperback with new content as: You Can’t Afford to Get Sick).
  • True Food: Seasonal, Sustainable, Simple, Pure(2012)
  • Mind Over Meds (2017)

andrew weil

Magazines & Periodicals:

  • 17 volumes in the Weil Integrative Medicine Library, from the Oxford University Press
  • Monthly column in Prevention magazine
  • Monthly Self Healing mailed newsletter
  • Annual volume of the Self Healing newsletters, all published in a single-issue publication, by year.
    Periodic single-issue and topic-specific publications, including the recent, Andrew Weil’s Garden to Table Cooking

Dr. Weil’s Websites

Frankincense

I believe in the power of Frankincense, . Hey, if it is good enough for baby Jesus it is certainly going to be a mainstay in my personal arsenal of healthcare. Here is what Doterra and Healthline have to say about this oil:

Frankincense Boswellia Essential Oil

dōTERRA Premium Frankincense essential oil is a proprietary blend of resins from four species of Boswellia trees, Boswellia carterii, Boswellia sacra, Boswellia papyrifera, and Boswellia frereana. Considered the ‘king of oils’, Frankincense has extraordinary health benefits when used topically or taken internally.

Boswellia trees have been celebrated for centuries. The Babylonians and Assyrians would burn the tree resin in religious ceremonies and for contemplative meditation. The ancient Egyptians used it in perfumes and salves for soothing skin. Oil from the resin has long been used in Ayurvedic and traditional Chinese health practices.
To purchase, click on the bottle:

purchase here

purchase here

According to pre-clinical research, Frankincense essential oil may promote healthy cellular function when taken internally. Experimental research suggests internal use of Frankincense, high in α-pinene, may provide soothing effects to the body.

Because of the oil’s significant level of α-pinene, preclinical research also indicates Frankincense may help maintain healthy skin structure.† Nourishing and clarifying as an addition to daily skin care, the oil’s warm, spicy, herbal aroma creates a relaxing yet uplifting atmosphere.

Because Boswellia species used in dōTERRA Premium Frankincense essential oil grow best in different soils and regions, dōTERRA Co-impact Sourcing® is helping to diversify supply pressure and create future sustainable harvesting solutions.

Uses:

Diffuse during reflection or meditation.
Apply topically or add to cream or lotion to nourish and calm skin.
Add a drop or two to a veggie cap as a part of your daily regimen.

Directions for Use:

Diffusion: Use three to four drops in the diffuser of your choice.

Internal use: Dilute one drop in four fluid ounces of liquid or take one to two drops in a veggie cap.

Topical use: Apply one to two drops to desired area. Dilute with a carrier oil to minimize any skin sensitivity. See additional precautions below.

World Healing Meditation

This morning I decided to do a body healing meditation with Dr.Joe Dispenza (who I think is one of the most brilliant minds of the times). The Universe had other ideas. The title is “Dr. Joe Dispenza Heal Your Body Meditation” but the meditation was actually about healing the world and all of its inhabitants. That means you and me and everyone around the world and Mother Earth. It’s powerful. And it’s the perfect time. Please join me…

How Much Do Emotions Affect Our Physical Healing?

I have always held the belief that there is an emotional component to all physical pain and disease. I have recently been reminded to not forget this part when we are physically healing from something be it disease or physical trauma. Lately I have been discouraged about how long it has been taking my knee to heal. My body usually heals very rapidly!

So, I turned to another energyworker and she helped me to identify some trapped emotions that I thought I had completely dealt with. Over the next two days I did some inner work on these emotions, remembering what kicked them off, journaling about it and shedding a tear or two. This work along with some healing meditations, and lo and behold, the pain level went from a 6/10 to a 2/10 in just 2 days!

There are lots of different types of therapies that may help you with this: psychotherapy, transpersonal counseling, inner child work, neuroemotional technique, Reiki, emotional coding- just to name a few. The idea is to identify what emotions may be stuck physically in the body and then go from there.

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I find admitting to the fact that there is still some emotional residue from a particular event is the first step. Then we can choose to work with that emotion to release it more fully. This work can make a big difference in physical healing. In just 2 days I experienced a 40% reduction in pain! That is pretty significant!

If you want to try this on your own there are quick reference books to help get you started. Louise Hay, founder of Hay House books, and author of several self help books has something to say about this connection between parts of our bodies and corresponding emotions. For instance; in Heal Your Body regarding the knee she writes Knee Problems: Stubborn ego and pride. Inability to bend. Fear. Inflexibility. Won’t give in. Forgiveness. Understanding. Compassion.

Now this may or may not resonate with you but I find taking a look at what she has to say about a particular malady sometimes kicks off a particular emotion and that might be something to take a look at. I have found our emotions can and do have a profound effect on our bodies in lots of ways.

We are not separate from our emotions, whether we deny them or not. Worth considering if you are struggling to heal physically!

~Here’s To Your Vital Health!~

Nutramedix Natural Products

“Powerful Bioavailable Supplements For Today’s Health Challenges”- this company is amazing and their products are amazing as well. Natural plant extracts carefully, mindfully, and sustainably sourced by a company that honors people and the earth.

Myself, my friends, and colleagues have used these supplements for everything from immune system issues to skin infections to bronchitis and everything in between. Besides promoting superior natural products, I love to promote companies that respect the earth and work with people and the land and give back as well. This company fits with my integrity for sure.

Read on to hear some of their story:

We begin with a truly holistic approach to making products. Each addresses medicinal, economic, social, spiritual, and environmental well-being. We choose herbs for their quality, then scientifically validate their efficacy and safety. We pay fair and honest wages to support the local economies. We honor the social and cultural laws and traditions. We recognize the spiritual bond between people and healing herbs. We support regenerating the land and protecting its biodiversity.

When we source our herbal ingredients, we bring expertise to the jungle: botanists who understand the local ecology, doctors versed in indigenous traditions, and guides who have developed a trusting relationship with the villages and tribes.
But we are not there to take — we are there to listen with humility, to learn selflessly, to collaborate willingly.

These botanical plants are the Creator’s gifts that we honor throughout every step of our process: from sustainable growing and harvesting, to drying and processing, to testing for vibrancy and safety, to investing in clinical studies at major research institutions around the world.

Globally, a minimum of 50% of our profits are given back to the physical and spiritual needs of people around the world.

With a full line that supports detox, microbial defense, and sleep/mood, all of our herbal supplements are strategically designed to encourage optimum health. We pride ourselves in our special product formulation process that keeps you and your unique needs a priority.

We conduct extensive research to secure the highest quality raw materials from nature’s richest botanical resources. Our unique enhancement process optimizes the whole herb for a more powerful, broad-spectrum concentration.

I encourage you to go to and explore their wonderful natural products. www.nutramedix.com

Now that’s my kind of company!

Some Important Limitations To Physical Therapy and Surgery

I have been a bodyworker for over two decades and have worked on a lot of hurt people. I myself have been hurt, and I myself have experienced both as a practitioner and a patient some unfortunate limitations to physical therapy and surgery. Physical therapists and surgeons do indeed have credentials and there are many that are very talented. I certainly would and have had surgery to be put back together again. I find it very unfortunate though that physical therapists are so restricted in what and where they are allowed or directed to do in their practice.

Just out of massage school my first job was in a physical therapy practice. I was very discouraged by the restrictions put on us practitioners, mainly by the insurance companies. We were required to do only 15 minutes of hands-on therapy and that therapy was only allowed in the specific area of pain or dysfunction. We were not allowed to explore other areas of the body to determine their involvement in the problem.

We were also dictated by rules and protocols to do this particular exercise for this particular problem. We were not allowed to use common sense at all. And this is where many get misdirected sometimes with serious detrimental effects.

I have seen time and time again, clients who have had surgeries for joint pain and dysfunction like knee or hip replacements or carpal tunnel syndrome and the surgeries did not turn out so well. Let me explain this to you. I will state a couple of examples so that you get the idea:

-A knee replacement job that looks good on the MRI, the surgeon did a good job at mechanically stabilizing the joint but the knee still does not function and the patient is still in pain. After some thorough bodywork (a real exploration into what tissues are restricted above and below the knee) demonstrates to us that what was keeping the knee structures out of alignment causing deterioration to the structures of the knee were other structures (soft tissue, muscle, fascia, retinaculum) that were spasmed or bound together pulling on the knee in an unbalanced way. Once these tissues were released normal structure and function returned and pain was eliminated. What if this were done BEFORE surgery was the route taken? What if the physical therapists were allowed to do more exploration in the surrounding tissue?

-Unsuccessful carpal tunnel surgery where the patient’s tendons and/or fascia in the wrist were severed only to have no relief at all? Upon proper exploration and following nerve pathways it was discovered that the problem was actually in the cervical area (the neck). Once the muscles in and around the neck were released, pain and dysfunction were eliminated, but now there was permanent damage in the wrist.

My point is this: practitioners should be allowed and encouraged to do what they were taught to do and to use their minds and even their intuition to determine the root cause of the problem, allowing the bony structures and soft tissues to return to balance and avoiding any further deterioration of the bony structures ending in the need for surgery.