Old Injuries Contributing to New Injuries?

Yes! This can definitely be the case. This is especially so if those old soft tissue injuries were never properly addressed- which is often the case. Say, for instance, you broke your ankle, and the bones were properly taken care of but you had to wear a boot for awhile.  Wearing a boot of course throws off your hips a bit- one leg and hip contracts (the one with the boot) as if you have a shorter leg.  These muscles need to be released after the boot is removed.  In addition, even though the break was properly set, all of the soft tissues around that break were traumatized as well, and you have probably heard that “muscles have memory.”  The body is brilliant at protecting itself and sometimes in doing so, is a bit over-zealous.  Signaling the brain to reset the tension in these tissues will ensure that the body is back in proper balance, avoiding issues down the road. Bowen Therapy does this easily and efficiently.

There are many scenarios here- too many to list. A recent example: a client that came to me “all-of-a-sudden” having issues getting up and walking after sitting a bit, and had no idea why.  After assessment and a couple treatments it became apparent that although the current issue presented in the low back and hips, the culprit was a 20 year old injury to the achilles tendon which had excessive scar tissue severly restricting movement of the ankle.  We are currently working to break up the scar tissue in the ankle (in order to restore range of motion to the ankle) as we work to restore balance to the hips.  Rebalancing the hips without restoring proper function to the ankle would have only temporary results.

Bottom line: a new pain in one area can be attributed to an old injury in another area. Yet another reason to visit your very own Bowen Therapist!

I’m here for you~

Penny

 

New Info on Knee Surgery- From the Experts

 

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The  Treasure Coast Newspaper TC Palm (6/1/17) published an article that was in response to a doctor writing in about his experience with knee problems-specifically arthritis and mensicus tear-  with  subsequent meniscus tear surgery being ineffective.  He found relief  with medical massage and acupuncture.

Two citations were made in response to this doctor:

#1- The Journal of American Medical Association cited a study (pub 5/16/17) stating that STEROID INJECTIONS INTO THE KNEE WAS NO BETTER THAN SALINE INJECTIONS FOR ARTHRITIS RELIEF. AND, KNEES EXPOSED TO STEROID LOST CARTILAGE MORE QUICKLY.

#2- The British Medical Journal (5/6/17) states:  SURGERY PROVIDED NO LONG TERM ADVANTAGES OVER CONSERVATIVE MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES!!! A GROUP INCLUDING SURGEONS, PHYSIOTHERAPISTS AND PATIENTS HAS JUST ISSUED GUIDLEINES DISCOURAGING ARTHROSCOPIC SURGERY FOR KNEE ARTHRITIS AND MENISCUS TEARS (bmj, 5/10/17)

(can you see me jumping for joy?)

THIS IS HUGE!!   It takes what it takes, and if if takes surgeons to say out loud these things we bodyworkers know from daily experience, so be it.  I will stop here and just let this marinate for awhile.

Today I am celebrating what I do – Natural Healing Therapies may become a mainstream term. Hallelujah!

Penny

plantar fasciitis

Illustration showing plantar fascia and location of heel pain

On the internet the Mayo Clinic described plantar fasciitis as one of the most common causes of heel pain.”It involves inflammation of a thick band of tissue that runs across the bottom of your foot and connects your heel bone to your toes (plantar fascia).”  The article goes on to say that the cause is not known and that it can lead to back and hip problems. (address of the article: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/plantar-fasciitis/symptoms-causes/dxc-20268536).

In the world of Bowen Therapy (Osteopaths get this), we see the body as a whole, not pieces and parts. For us, everything is connected and therefore intimately involved with everything else.  When someone comes to me with plantar fasciitis, the first thing I am going to address is balance in the hip structures.  A “conventional” medicine person would probably not look above the ankle.

You see if the hips are out of balance, it causes one leg to appear shorter than the other, and you end of putting much more pressure on the “long leg” foot thereby straining the muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia on that leg.  All of those soft tissues transfer weight/pressure/strain to the foot causing tightening of the fascia in the foot.  You can massage that foot all you want (and this is good! don’t get me wrong) but you are not fixing the initial problem in most cases.  You have to address balance in tension of the soft tissues from the hips down, and sometimes from the neck down.  It’s all connected!

So, if plantar fasciitis is a problem for you- come see me!

 

 

What Your Shoes Are Telling You

When is the last time you looked at the bottom of your shoes? Take a look.  Are they worn unevenly? How they are worn on the bottoms tell you  much about the state of your pelvic girdle (hips, and therefore the stress and strain on the legs, knees, ankles).

If your shoes are wearing unevenly you will inevitably have an issue with low back pain, knee pain, or a bunion forming on one foot or the other.  Typically this happens as a result of an imbalance in the hips.  And typically these imbalances are in the tension in the soft tissues (fascia, muscle, tendon, ligament) somewhere, often several places along the way from the hip to the foot.

Once we get these imbalances corrected through Bowen Therapy, it is imperative that you lose those shoes!  Shifting and balancing the tension in the soft tissues (fascia, muslces, tendons, ligaments) through Bowen Therapy allows the hard structures (bones) in the pelvic and so forth to shift to neutral position, creating a more balanced positioning of the feet.  If you put those unevenly worn shoes back on, you are walking unevenly on your feet and now have now undone all the work.

So, Happy Shoe Shopping!

Until Next Time,

Penny

 

Bowen Therapy: funny story #1

A Funny Bowen Therapy Story

So. Not much time to write – it’s been a beautifully busy week here at The Boulevard!

So, I’m going to simply share a funny story with you that along the way tells you a bit more about why Bowen Therapy works.

So, a long time client of mine who over the years came (abeit reluctantly) to believe in Bowen Therapy sent a friend of his to me.  Now this gentleman hailes from Chicago and I only had one chance with him- and he couldn’t turn his head and was in significant pain.

I gave him the appropriate treatment and sent him on his way.  The next week when my long time client came in, he said the two of them had gone to dinner the night of his friend’s treatment and the friend exclaimed: “what was that lunatic doing?! I told her it was my neck and she was working on my legs”!  (This is where I start laughing)

The next morning the two gather to play golf and the friend exclaims: “I feel GREAT! I can turn my head and I have no pain”!

I’m still laughing. Bowen Therapists are used to this.

The technical point of this funny story is as follows:

EVERYTHING is connected! Honestly, what might hurt in the neck could very well be a problem in the rear end! Why? Because FASCIA , in short, the connective tissue that runs through and wraps around every bone, muscle, and tendon (plus much, much more) weaves this way and that and criss-crosses here and there and what starts out in the toe can end up at the top of the head or elsewhere.  So this “lunatic” is telling you the problem may be far, far away from the pain!

And so it is in the World of Bowen Therapy!

Have a Fabulous Weekend!

Penny

A Little Bit About Reiki…

All of the aspects of my work are based on natural healing- hands on techniques to help you feel better.  Sometimes this looks like massage which is restorative to the mind and body, stretches, and “unsticks” restricted places in the body, relaxing the mind, opening the breath, and resulting in a a more relaxed  state of mind, and a more comfortable body.  Bowen Therapy is much the same but results from a completely different approach. Bowen Therapy really excels when it comes to chronic dysfunction and deterioration, and neurological issues.

Another system of healing I use is Reiki.  Many of you I’m sure have heard of it.  It may seem to you one of those “airy-fairy” things that new-agers like to tout.  To be sure there is some of that- perhaps even a lot of that.  That being said, there is  much more tto Reiki than giving new agers something “new” to grasp onto.  There is scientific evidence that it works.  The mechanism of action is somewhat vague, but the fact is- it makes a difference in how a person feels- it makes a difference in their physical, mental, and emotional well-being. And it makes them heal faster.  This comes directly from the National Institutes of Health(NIH) who call it a “Biofield Therapy.” According to the NIH, people undergoing any type of medical intervention whether surgery or a pharmaceutical protocol- those receiving Reiki tolerate the protocol better and heal faster from surgery.  They get out of the hospital faster, they require less medication- the whole ordeal is much less of an ordeal for them.

Recipients often report improved sleep and digestion, and a greater sense of well-being.  Unlike conventional medicine, Reiki does not attack disease.  Rather, Reiki supports our well-being and strengthens our natural ability to heal by encouraging balance.  The practitioner laying her hands lightly on the client is not channeling her own energy- she is channeling the energy that runs through all of us- call it chi, qi or prana- it is all the same energy that gives us life.  Sound weird? Perhaps, but given the fact that 35% of the hospitals in this country have Reiki programs in place for their patients- well, that’s enough for most people to stop and take notice.  This is what is called “integrative healing”- using the best of both conventional medical practices and natural (referred to as “alternative”) healing practices.

And as with every other healing modality I employ in my practice, I teach Reiki as well, and I use it on myself- EVERYDAY.

Here’s to your Exuberant Well-Being!

Namaste’,

Penny

Some Clarity On What Is Really Going On With Injuries And Joints “Wearing Out”

Image result for image fascia system

I feel the need to explain what is going on with most people that are hurt or in pain.  And I must say this carefully to not step on any toes or go outside my scope of practice.  Many different sections of the medical industry approach things VERY differently depending on their specialty.  For example, chiropractors adjust the spine itself manually.  Surgeons do just that- surgery.  Bowen Therapists address the soft tissues of the body- tendons, muscles, ligaments, fascia- that are ALWAYS involved when there is pain, dysfunction, and deterioration in the body.

Here is how we see things in my field:

Bones are held in place by the soft tissues of the body.  If it weren’t for the fascia, muscles, tendons, ligaments our bones would literally be a pile on the floor.

So.  If these soft tissues are not held in proper, balanced tension, the bones are pulled this way and that, the joints are compressed, the bursa (the fluid-filled sacs in the joints) also get compressed often causing leakage or rupture and nerve compression/pain.  If left untreated the joint begins to deteriorate (and this is just an example), more pain and dysfunction ensues and often people run to the nearest surgeon.

My point?  It is a very frequent thing that a client comes to me saying “I’m going for a knee replacement” to which I reply “give me three weeks.”  So very often it is simply (or not so simply) a matter of balancing the tension in the surrounding soft tissues- pain goes away, proper function returns, things repair.

My last point- it is much easier and faster to restore balance and subsequently proper function BEFORE it’s been years! And BEFORE  a joint replacement! If you are in pain, if you cannot function as well as you would like, do yourself a favor and call your nearest Bowen Therapist.  It may be a different approach to things but it works!

Today’s favorite Definition of Bowen Therapy

One of my favorite instructors, Australian Acupunturist, Bowen Therapist, and author of  A Textbook of BowenTechnique, Graham Pennington offers us today’s favorite (my opinion) definition of Bowen therapy:

Bowen Therapy is a neuromusculosketel appproach to Health Care that employs soft tissue manipulation, for the correction of mechanical and neural dysfunction. Treatment is based on a holistic appreciation of interrelationships within the body and is intended to facilitate the body’s natural capacity to self-regulate and heal.

We continually strive to architect a definition of Bowen Therapy that is simple, straightforward, and understandable- an insurmountable effort-  Especially since we are true neophytes with respect to understanding the brilliant complexity of our human bodies!

This will Blow Your Mind! How intelligent our Fascial network is

Attached is a youtube video showing very clearly the importance of and incredible function of the Fascial system.  THIS is the system that we are addressing during a Bowen Therapy session.  Enjoy actually SEEING how incredibly complex and intelligent the tissues of our body are ! Bowen Therapy is incredibly difficult to define and you can see why as this is just the tip of the iceberg so to speak.  We are truly just now gaining insight into the incredible complexity of the connective tissue system and its intelligence.

The bottom line to the trained observer is that  even the slightest pressure to the connective tissue  sends signals to the brain and a multitude of changes in the structure begins to happen!  This is EXACTLY what happens during a Bowen Session that results in amazing changes to the structures of the body- simply with light touch, things move, shift, balance, and heal.  Enjoy.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eW0lvOVKDxE

Explaining Bowen Therapy

I’ve been practicing Bowen Therapy for years-and for just as long I have been struggling with explaining Bowen Therapy in a way that actually makes sense to people.  One of my instructors, An Australian Acupuncturist/Bowen Therapist, doesn’t have this problem.  That is because in Australia, the UK, and much of Europe, Bowen Therapists are as abundant and well-known as chiropractors are here.  Unfortunately, this is not the case (yet) in the U.S.  I think that is about to change, and this is why: Tons of research regarding fascia that has been conducted over the last decade is being published everywhere you look! Fascinating research that explains much of what Bowen Therapists see everyday.

What is fascia? Well, again, that definition is in flux.  It is getting more complex everyday with more and more information becoming available.   From  Anatomy Trains author Tom Myers regarding fascia: “Fascia is the biological fabric that holds us together, the connective tissue network. You are about 70 trillion cells – neurons, muscle cells, epithelia – all humming in relative harmony; fascia is the 3-D spider web of fibrous, gluey, and wet proteins that binds them all together in their proper placement.  Our biomechanical regulatory system is highly complex and under-studied – though new research is filling in the gap. Understanding fascia is essential to the dance between stability and movement – crucial in high performance, central in recovery from injury and disability, and ever-present in our daily life from our embryological beginnings to the last breath we take”.

Image result for image fascia system

(image from MacKay Center for Health and Healing)

So how does this help in explaining Bowen Therapy?  When a Bowen Therapist puts her hands on people and lightly manipulates “pieces and parts”,  she is directily manipulating fascia.  Fascia to me is like the communication superhighway of the body.  Every signal sent through it through direct pressure, sends signals back and forth between the brain and the rest of the body.  This is how we “tell” the brain to change tension in various muscles, tendons, and ligaments.  And this is how we restore the body to balance; thereby eliminating pain and dysfunction! And voila! Our clients are no longer in pain, no longer have to look to invasive procedures or drugs, and they return to their normal activities.

The other part of fascia that I want to talk briefly about is how it runs through the body.  The reason for this is it is an odd thing to come to a therapist for a frozen shoulder say, and have them working on your knees! I know! More than once people have thought ‘what the heck is this lunatic doing’? The explanation is that every part of our body is connected to and affected by every other part.  How? FASCIA.  It runs through and wraps around virtually every piece of our body, oftentimes criss-crossing along the way.  So, when you say to us during a treatment, “uh, I told you it’s the LEFT shoulder” (as we work on the right)- yeah we know:)

So, there you have it- My latest attempt at explaining our trade. My hope is that at least some of this is starting to make sense to you.  I will continue my efforts until everyone says – “Yay Bowen”! Like my clients do! (And by the way, be careful in promising your house to your Bowen Therapist if she fixes your ailment!:)

Until next time- health and happiness to you!

Penny Michaels, Bowen Therapist

www.pennymichaels.com