Tag Archives: Physical therapy

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!

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.

Our Beloved Pets

Our Beloved pets sometimes have issues too. And they often cannot tell us what is wrong.

Many times the animal’s condition can be helped with Bowen Therapy without any drugs or traumatizing stimulation to the animal.  Bowen Therapy is a wonderful tool for correcting imbalances or dysfunctions in animals.  Musculoskeletal problems are often easily remedied with Bowen Treatment.  Even emotional distress can be alleviated and digestive issues corrected.  By the end of the session, the animal is relaxed and feeling better.

Bowen Therapy on your companion animals is a very gentle and relaxing therapy for you dog or cat.  Most times during treatment the animal is so relaxed it naps for a bit.  For animals that get regular treatment, they come running when they see me coming!

Bowen Therapy is not something that needs to be an ongoing thing for most pets- I do enough treatments to correct the dysfunction, recommend an occassional “tune up” and that’s it.  Often if the dysfunction is acute (meaning a recent occurrence) the condition is corrected in about 3 sessions or less!  Chronic issues take more time.

Animals LOVE Bowen Therapy!

Housecalls are available as are office visits.  Simply call 772-643-5199 to set up an appt. Your pet will love you for it!

*I always recommend conversing with your vet regarding your pet’s condition.

 

The Bowen Technique Explanation

bowen imageThe Bowen Technique seems very oddball at first glance.  But it is any thing but oddball when you take a closer look:

The Bowen Technique can be described in terms of acupuncture- without the needles.  Acupoint theory and associated techniques like acupuncture and shiatsu have been studied and applied for thousands of years.  Acupuncture is an accepted practice by virtually all medical societies of the world.  It is based on the energetic system of the body.

This is where the beginning of the resistance to “energywork” begins.  We are not accustom to thinking of the body in terms of energy.  We see, feel, experience our body  as a dense, physical, moving and feeling structure.  But what makes that structure function? Energy.  And what is that energy? Where does it come from? How does it work?

We do not have widely accepted  answers to most of these questions but the fact remains- we are energetic beings.  Our bodies are energetic bodies. If we didn’t have energy running through our bodies we would cease to exist- death would occur.

The Chinese spent thousands of years studying and mapping the energy system of the body.  The meridian system was developed.  The meridian system is like a freeway system with points being intersections of the various roadways.  Just like when intersections on a roadway are jammed , traffic does not flow- so it is with our body- if the meridian points are jammed, our vital energy cannot flow and musculoskeletal problems (dysfunction) or disease happens.

These meridian points tend to be located where nerves enter a muscle, the midpoint of the muscle, or at the enthesis where the muscle joins with the bone.  This is important.  This is why Bowen Therapy works.

The technique involves stimulation of various points on the body (depending on the issue at hand)- often at or near meridian points.  These points are part of the autonomic nervous system that runs our body- that cause the body to function properly (or not if disease or dysfunction are present).  When these points are stimulated by movement or pressure, signals are sent to the brain alerting the brain that there is a problem in this area. The brain responds with chemicals that cause the muscle or tendon to move/change tension allowing a more free flowing of energy through this area thus restoring the body to proper form and function.  Our physical bodies heal.

The science is complicated.  The Bowen Technique itself is not.  It’s safe.  It’s painless. And it works.  Visit one of the world’s 30,000 practicing Bowen Therapists and find out for yourself how amazing this form of physical therapy is.