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this article has been updated…

METAPHYSICAL CAUSES OF MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS (MS)

“If you can imagine an electrical cord with insulation that’s frayed and worn away in places, causing a short in the wire and then shorting out the electrical system, then you can visualize multiple sclerosis (MS).” THE AUTOIMMUNE CONNECTION ~ Rita Baron-Faust

Before we start unraveling the emotional causes of Multiple Sclerosis (MS), I’d like to look at Louise Hay’s perception of this dis-ease, which she describes it as – “Mental Hardness, hard-heartedness, iron will, inflexibility”.

The many people I’ve communicated with, who have MS or inquired about it, were taken aback when they read Louise Hay’s description.  They were hurt and upset at what she was implying.  I’m not even sure if I totally understand her metaphysical reason for MS, but I’d like to try.

The people I know with MS are highly emotionally sensitive (empaths).  As a result of being so open, stressful situations and people can override their nervous system causing them to feel overwhelmed and exhausted.

“Empaths are naturally giving, spiritually attuned, and good listeners. If you want heart, empaths have got it. Through thick and thin, they’re there for you, world-class nurturers.” Emotional Freedom: Liberate Yourself from Negative Emotions and Transform Your Life ~ By Judith Orloff

I’ve worked with some individuals, who counteract their sensitivity by developing a false persona.  They ‘appear’ courageous or overconfident and in control, on the outside which means they’re holding back or numbing their true essence inside.  They’ve disowned parts of themselves that they believe others (friends, colleagues, partners and intimate relationships) will see them as weak and needy. This form of false extrovert can create mental hardness, hard-heartedness, iron will, inflexibility, which actually conflicts with their inner-anxiety, insecurity and self-doubt.

FLEXIBLE/INFLEXIBLE

Flexible people believe in change, both in themselves and in others The rigid person, on the other hand, is fearful of any kind of change .. as things keep changing around them, they become more fearful and insecure.

Inflexibility creates rigid people, who are generally sensitive and nurturing, but also fearful .. a fearful person becomes more rigid as he or she hides their true identity through life.  This creates as mentioned before, an artificial extrovert who finds themselves swinging between impulsiveness and rigidity.

The more fearful a person becomes, the more rigid he or she moves through life.  This form of control is a result of insecurity and anxiety, creating tension and hesitancy which may show in their speech.  Even when anxiety is intense, they may give the impression that they’re in control and to others appear normal.  But inside they’re a mess!

Rigidity has been described as a static, stiff and strained position (self-depreciating) that interferes with body’s natural sway and limits the body’s ability to move at its joints, which link the bones together.  Healthy, well-coordinated muscles receive and respond to a multitude of signals from the nervous system, which help them to move in a balanced way.  But when the muscles are overused, misused, abused, disuse, disease or trauma, the smooth interaction between the nervous, circulatory and musculoskeletal systems is disturbed, movement becomes difficult, restricted, painful and sometimes impossible.  These dysfunctional patterns affect the nerve fibers that are surrounded by a layer of insulation called the myelin sheaths.

As commented to an inquirer in the ‘About’ section of this blog, “Nerve signals cannot travel normally when the myelin sheaths breaks down.  This causes the nerves to become inflamed. The more inflamed the nerves become, the more they begin to fail, short-circuiting the electrical flow, thus causing nerve inflammation. Damage to the brain and spinal cord is scattered throughout the Central Nervous System (CNS) causing sclerosis, which means ‘scarring’.

Normally, and through time the myelin has the ability to repair itself (remyelination). But with MS, the nervous system is continually and rapidly short-circuiting, not allowing the body’s natural healing abilities to catch up so healing can take place. Movements of the body may become impossible to control because the messages from the brain to the muscles fail to get through. Because each person experiences different patterns of scarring, no two people with MS have exactly the same symptoms.

“When our nervous systems shift into an aroused state in response to danger, and we cannot defend ourselves or flee, the next strategy the nervous system employs is immobilization.  Nearly every creature that lives has this primitive response wired into its repertoire. Psychological scars from trauma are reversible but only if we listen to the voices of our body.” Waking the Tiger ~ Paul A. Levine

CREATING THE OUTER-MASK

“Who would you be without the thought that you need to make an impression?

… How do you react when you believe the thought that you can find love and approval by making yourself more likeable? If the person you are doesn’t seem to be attracting enough interest, it seems natural to make some changes, to modify your appearance and your personality until you hit the right combination and become more appealing.  Most people begin with the physical, trying out dozens of variations of outfits, hairdos, makeup, diets, walks, and facial expressions.  This progress to figuring out when to smile, when to make eye contact, when to laugh, when to talk, when to keep quiet and what opinions to have.

A built-in part of developing a personality that’s designed to please is constantly watching for signs that you’re succeeding.  This can be a very stressful way to live. Anxiously focusing on the other person, checking for approval or disapproval, leaves nobody at home in yourself, nobody noticing your thoughts or taking responsibility for your feelings.  This cuts you off from the source of real contentment. The outward focus also leaves unnoticed and unquestioned the inevitably painful thought that if you have to transform yourself to find love and approval, there must be something wrong with the way you are” I NEED YOUR LOVE – IS THAT TRUE? ~ Bryon Katie

CASE STUDIES

One of the case studies I’ll be doing in this metaphysical article on Multiple Sclerosis is Paul (not his real name), a young man of 31 years, who was diagnosed with MS at 27 years old.  As a child, Paul lived in terror of his father.  He often saw the atmosphere in his home to be intensely emotional, he wanted to either run away or fight back (yell, scream, throw things) but instead he fought to keep it all inside.  He was afraid his intense emotions may anger his father; with his mom, he saw her as weak and powerless.  This caused him to ignore his inner feminine qualities and create a false persona that appeared logical, analytical and cold (mental hardness); it was his means to gain worldly power and success.

Looking at Paul’s astrological natal chart, and sharing/communicating with him, it seems his alcoholic father displayed wide mood swings that frightened him, keeping him and his mother and siblings, in a state of constant fear.  At times when Paul’s dad came home drunk, he beat up on the children to vent his frustrations. Feeling powerless toward authoritative people, Paul reacted (and still is reacting) with fear, suspicion and a lack of trust.

Defensiveness and rigidness harden into our character to protect us, especially when we feel threatened by others. When this defense mechanism is alerted, we either pull back or crawl into our shells at the first sign of trouble, or we rapidly boil with rage.  Autoimmune and chronic disorders can become a crutch to hide behind when painful and difficult situations arise that you don’t want or don’t know how to meet head-on. Being in constant fear can take away our strength and immunity; it deteriorates bones, delays the mending of fractures, weakens the lower back and in extreme cases, causes paralysis.

Most of us learn, by the age of four or five, to hide, squelch, or camouflage our emotions in social situations. We catch on very quickly to the fact that most people are inauthentic with one another – they lie about their feelings, leave important words unsaid and trample unheedingly over each other’s obvious emotional cues.  Learning to speak is often a process of learning not to speak the truth and attaining an uncanny level of pretense in most relationships.  Every culture and subculture has a different set of unspoken rules about emotions, but all of them require that specific emotions be camouflaged, overused, or ignored.  Most children – (empaths) – eventually learn to shut down on their empathic abilities in order to pilot their way through the social world. The Language of Emotions ~ by Karla McLaren

Paul did learn to shut down his feelings .. he pictured himself as a go-getter, full of physical daring and courage. He told himself: ‘be strong, be forceful, be independent, be brave’; and powerful.  Inside he felt scared and insecure but hid it by building an armor of steel around himself. He kept moving in order to maintain his balance, but the effort required so much attention, he didn’t notice when he went speeding off the track. He was thrown off the football team at college and lost many a job because of this. It became hard for him to remain calm, because everything stimulated him. Nervousness and excitability were the price he paid for non-stop excitement. But it all came to a halt when he started waking up exhausted and felt out of sorts, even though he’d had a good night’s sleep.   When his vision started affecting him, he thought it was from his fatigue.  He took supplements known to energize the body, but he only became more lethargic. When he started suffering tremors, he knew something wasn’t right but was too afraid to see his doctor.

Tremors are a common symptom of multiple sclerosis, experienced by around three-quarters of people with the condition [multiple sclerosis], and one that often makes sufferers feel quite self-conscious. For most, the tremors will be mild and occur infrequently, but for some, the tremors may be more severe.   https://multiplesclerosisnewstoday.com/2017/05/12/four-types-of-ms-related-tremors/

Along with the tremors, Paul started experiencing tingling in his legs and feet; his headaches were more frequent and he suffered pain in his abdominal area and bowel problems.  Frightened he turned to a good friend, who advised him to seek medical help and gave him the address of an excellent clinic.  We’ll explore this in later detail later.

 

Arlene (not her real name) age 44, is the 2nd Case study we’ll be looking at who also has multiple sclerosis (MS).   She too, like Paul, is deeply sensitive, and intensely emotional. What differs between Arlene and Paul, is that Arlene was naturally born with a competitive spirit, where Paul changed his persona.(false extrovert) to forget his troubled past.  Arlene’s parents loved her for her achievements, not for the person she was. This caused her to disconnect from her inner-self and her own emotions to focus intently on being recognized as a high achiever.  Arlene worked hard to get A’s in school, and kept herself busy with swimming, dance, and gymnastics.  No matter what she did, the love she craved for was never there.  Deep inside she struggled with pent-up rage and hostility.

Arlene hated the constant go, go, go, she just didn’t know how to stop.  Her nerves were frazzled, from turning herself inside out to win the love and approval of her parents and teachers.  She often skipped meals, even though she was doing strenuous physical work. Her body became undernourished and she stressed about money, this  further depleted her system. Too much adrenaline and cortisol ran amok in her blood, causing a tremendous drain on her immune system, and physical body.  She developed an array of allergies and physical stresses, including intestinal cramps, memory loss, sleep deprivation and depression.  With all this going on, Arlene developed mononucleosis at the age of twenty-one.  Her blood tests showed, low levels of Vitamin D, hypothyroidism and she tested positive for the Epstein Barr Virus (EBV).

Epstein-Bar Virus (EBV) is a herpes like virus thought to be the cause of mononucleosis and Burkitt’s lymphoma.  It is contracted through the cells in the lining of the mouth and throat, which means it can be spared by sharing utensils, kissing, and unsanitary habits.  EBV symptoms are known to duplicate other conditions, including debilitating fatigue, fever, swollen glands, arthritic symptoms, multiple allergies and difficulties concentrating.  As the immune system deteriorates, many people with EBV get strep throat, tonsillitis and chronic sore throats.

“EBV is a highly specialized parasite. It seems to strike humans exclusively, and its focus is the antibody-producing B cells of the immune system.  [B cells amplify the immune response]. It is as if the very cells with the task of destroying viruses entice the Epstein Barr Virus in.  As B cells carrying the viral genome begin manufacturing virus particles, the T lymphocytes try to stem the rising tide of nonself by secreting alpha-interferon and suppressing the B cell hosts. This is at best a questionable tactic, for it effectively weakens an already damaged immune system.” Chronic Fatigue Syndrome ~ Jesse A. Stoff, M.D. and Charles R. Pelegrino

PART II –

“Illness is more than a matter of imbalanced physiology. There are always psychological and emotional aspects to every health problem and unless these are thoroughly addressed no cure, from no matter how holistic or alternative a source, will ever be complete and lasting.” Burton Goldberg and the Alternative Medicine Guide

WHAT IS MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS (MS)

Trying to explain MS to friends and family can be frustrating because MS is known as an invisible disability or a hidden wound, that others cannot see.  So even though pain, poor sleep, fatigue, depression and other symptoms stop you from doing what you want or need to do, the outside world sees you as perfectly healthy.  Unfortunately, looking good on the outside and feeling awful on the inside can sometimes causes others (including your doctor) to over look the impact of MS on your life. However, as this disease progresses, it attacks your brain, spine and eyes*, causing problems with your balance, muscle control, vision and other bodily functions.

*The optic nerves (optic neuritis) and parts of the brain that control eye movement can be affected by MS, causing blurred or hazy vision and sometimes temporary blindness.  Occasionally, pain around the eyes will happen before the eyes are affected, sometimes within an hour or even up to a couple of days.

“Optic neuritis is linked to multiple sclerosis (MS), a disease that causes inflammation and damage to nerves in your brain and spinal cord. Signs and symptoms of optic neuritis can be the first indication of multiple sclerosis, or they can occur later in the course of MS. Besides MS, optic neuritis can occur with other infections or immune diseases, such as lupus”.  https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/optic-neuritis/symptoms-causes/syc-20354953

MS affects both the immune system and the nervous system of the body.  The immune/lymphatic system, is composed of white blood cells that move rapidly and specifically through the bloodstream protecting the body from attack by bacteria, viruses, and cancers. MS is an autoimmune condition in which an overactive immune system attacks the myelin sheath that surrounds the nerves in the Central Nervous System (CNS). This flux of energy is called demyelination, and causes disrupting signals between the brain and the body – similar to an exposed electrical wire. MS can be really frustrating because the symptoms are often unpredictable, sometimes flaring up for no particular reason and always at inconvenient times. A large variety of symptoms may include: blurred or temporary lost vision, spasticity of muscles, loss of sensation, incontinence, loss of balance, extreme fatigue and memory problems. Eventually the myelin sheath repairs itself, but often scarring remains (sclerosis), which continues to impair the function of the CNS. When there are multiple scars, it is known as ‘multiple sclerosis’.

The lymphatic system is like a sewage system for toxins in the body. The primary function of the lymphatic system is to transport lymph, a clear, colorless fluid containing white blood cells that help rid the body of toxins, cellular waste and other unwanted materials.

Emotions contain patterns of memories that are stored in the body. Anxieties, worries and fears can make us feel trapped in a situation. The stomach area can become inflamed, along with the duodenum and colon.

“The valves of the lymph system move the waste-filled fluids to be flushed and filtered. But since there is no pump as there is with the heart, lymph circulation depends solely upon our breathing and muscle movement. Physical exercise and diaphragmatic deep breathing are critical to lymph cleansing and to a healthy immune response.” Linda Page ~ Detoxification: Programs to Cleanse, Purify & Renew

Deep abdominal breathing and exercise are all ways to support lymphatic circulation. Every time we contract a muscle, the muscle rubs against numerous lymph vessels, stimulating them to contract. This is another reason exercise is so good for us!

“The lymph glands are a part of our immune system as they help purify the blood, keeping it healthy and strong. They also “clean up” garbage in the body (such as dead cells in the blood) for removal. Their relationship to the blood implies that the lymph glands are intimately connected to keeping us in an even emotional state, constantly purfiying our emotions. Swollen glands or blocked lymph nodes can therefore imply an emotional blocking or a denial of emotions, leaving us unprotected and vulnerable to invading poisons, or to the effect of poisonous feelings.” (Debbie Shapiro The BodyMind Workbook).

In regard to the immune system, a large percentage, about 80% is located in the gut. So the foods you eat, do have an impact on either strengthening or weakening your immune system. If you have an autoimmune disease, you may have a gut imbalance known as “small intestine bacterial overgrowth” (SIBO) which can lead to leaky gut.  When leaky gut is present and the liver is over-stressed, the door is open for toxins to reach the brain via the bloodstream. When inflammation in the brain gets out of control, you might notice yourself feeling exhausted, forgetting things, feeling confused and unable to formulate words in a sentence.

“The gut’s function is to absorb and break down food nutrients for assimilation. It also functions to keep harmful things from leaking into the bloodstream where they can harm. Imagine a barrier/wall between the gut that resembles “a net” (called the intestinal gut barrier). When there are abnormalities in the ‘intestinal barrier,’ the permeability of your “net” increases, (the holes in your net get bigger), so things that normally can’t pass through this net into your bloodstream are now able to, causing a negative immune reaction. These things include undigested proteins like gluten, bad bacteria, undigested foods particles and toxic waste. The newly introduced particles can cause health issues such as food sensitivity, IBD, IBS, autoimmune diseases, chronic fatigue syndrome, inflammatory chronic diseases, thyroid problems and even skin conditions. This new permeability called “Leaky Gut Syndrome” can be caused by an unhealthy diet (low-fibre, high saturated fats, sugars and alcohol), over-consumption of Lectins (proteins found in un-sprouted grains), chronic stress, imbalances in the good and bad gut bacteria, fungal and bacterial infections, long term use of conventional NSAIDs and stomach acid-suppressing drugs.” Nutrition House Nutrition House – Glutamine – Leaky Gut

CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM

An EXCITED nervous system forces your body to produce an excess of the stimulating and stress producing hormones adrenaline and cortisol, to prepare your body for fight or flight. The adrenals release cortisol in preparation to heal damaged tissue and stimulate your immune system, but too much adrenaline and cortisol can raise your stress levels higher.

Cortisol has a huge impact on the liver, which has an important role in regulating blood sugars and removing toxic substances from your bloodstream. If the liver can’t function at its best, it gets weary and tired.  Not only is it the breeding ground for negative thoughts and feelings, it physically affects the blood, the immune system and your ability to fight infections.

“The functioning of the liver is very involved in addiction behavior, whether the addiction be to food, alcohol or drugs, as it is the liver that removes toxins from the blood and deals with the excess fat and sugar intake.  The emotional tension that gives rise to the need for release through an addiction is felt here, as this tension may be based on anger and resent (towards the world, or towards specific individuals).  Often the toxins are ingested through the addiction as a way of hiding from those toxins already in our system: hate, frustration, rage, incompetence, self-dislike, hurt, greed and a need for power.  By taking in external toxins we do not have to admit to, or face up to, what is already inside us.

The liver is closely connected to the third chakra, that which focuses on power and self identity.  By transforming these qualities we are able to rise above them to the highest levels.   But it can be just as easy to become a victim of these energies as it can be difficult to transform them.  The liver then reflects the anger and confusion experienced in trying to find ourselves and our purpose.” Deb Shapiro The BodyMind Workbook

The constant release of the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol can sear the body in a way that is similar to acid searing metal. Even hours after the output of these chemicals, they still remain high in the body, elevating blood sugar levels, causing damage to the immune system, decalcifying our bones and thinning our skin. Long term emotional stress can reach chronic levels with the production of these hormones.  This is when toxic emotions become deadly emotions. This powerful ongoing infusion of chemicals injures tissues and organs, resulting in many different autoimmune dis-eases.

The predominant emotions of the nervous system is fear and/or anxiety which can constantly keep us in the fight/flight/freeze response.  For example, you may feel restless, unable to sit still or be at peace; feeling hot during the day or sweating at night; reckless or lack of fear; lack of ambition or purpose; lack of drive or lack of will; low libido, inability to maintain erection or reach an orgasm; feeling cold and exhausted; fear of making any move because “it could be the wrong move”; feeling powerless; overrun by the will of others; frequent or urgent bladder problems; incontinence; holding in guarded secrets; money problems; premature aging; weak bones; bad teeth.

“Immune System – This system is in charge of keeping you safe – keeping foreign invaders out. Symptoms that show up in the immune system are often linked to defensiveness and protection. Do you feel angry and defensive? Do you feel vulnerable and defenseless? What or whom do you feel like you need protection against? (Others, or maybe even yourself? Or do you feel like you have no protection at all? The immune system is your protector. If you feel unsafe being vulnerable, have no way to protect yourself, or feel defensive all the time, it can wreak havoc on this system.” How to Heal Yourself When No One Else Can ~ Amy B. Scher

Revisiting Case Study #1~ Paul

Looking at his astrological natal chart, Paul is extremely sensitive emotionally, but he’s careful not to show it.  Instead he presents a solid facade to the outer world, giving the impression that he’s quite cool, and even invulnerable.  “I feel I have always worn a mask around people. I pretend too much which causes me anxieties about myself and the world around me.  I never asked of anything from others yet I constantly bend over backwards to please the people around me. The image Paul’s words showed me was of him being an emotional pincushion to others.  He was misusing his personal power for others.

Paul did not feel safe in his home or with his family. Because of his unstable home life, Paul was never able to enjoy a carefree childhood, he repressed his youthful spontaneity and lowered his expectations because of his father’s drunken stupor. As an adult, Paul had trouble with relationships due to a resistance of becoming too emotionally involved with someone.  But he also had a huge fear of being rejected.

“Rejection: Feelings of rejection can stay with a person for many years – to the detriment of their relationships and well-being.  Often people take rejection personally, thinking that they are not good enough, that there is something wrong with them. So instead of going forward and changing, they give up, close down, and feel sorry for themselves.

Fear of trusting, opening up, or getting too close to people can also occur when a person has experienced extreme rejection. Most people fear rejection, and as a result, many fail to pursue their dreams and enjoy life.

 Feelings of rejection contribute to many diseases and dysfunctions, such as anorexia, arthritis, multiple sclerosis, endometriosis, paralysis, numbness, cold sores, frigidity. Such feelings can also create breakdowns, stress, nervous anxiety and tension”. THE SECRET LANGUAGE OF YOUR BODY: The Essential Guide to Health and Wellness ~ Inna Segal

We all want to feel safe, protected and cared for, it’s a place where we truly belong.  But as a child, Paul suffered betrayal and a lack of trust/security…he also suffered rejection… the thought of being rejected crippled him.  In Paul’s chart, it showed he was born with a strong emotional hunger and need for security.  His mother, who had her own problems couldn’t fulfill Paul’s need for security, he interpreted her reaction as rejection and in turn rejected her when she wanted to be warm. I explained to Paul that he was very difficult to approach when hurt, and has a tendency to emotionally withdraw for long periods of time. He wrote back and said it was true.

Unknown to Paul, his severely limited childhood, although long past has been intensifying his lose of confidence and inner conflict.  What’s happening here is not just the lack of support from his parents, it’s also his own feelings of self-rejection and guilt because of his mixed emotions towards his family.

Paul was under a lot of anxiety which he kept to himself.  As noted earlier, he created a false persona around others so as not to rock the boat.  And this was the image given to me during his distant-healing, Paul in an unsteady boat in stormy seas. He was so afraid of making mistakes or being misunderstood he’d created his own form of self-paralysis.  He literally took on jobs, he loathed, so that others would thank and appreciate him.  Paul was doing things to be loved, instead of doing what he loved.  Deep within he felt so inadequate about who he was, he didn’t have a clue about his life purpose.

PAUL’s DISTANT-HEALING

Reiki is a healing energy where the healer acts as a catalyst for your healing. In other words, I (the Reiki practitioner) do not heal you, you do! Reiki allows your body to relax, allowing the healing process to start. The distant-healing is complete when your body tells me it has amassed enough energy to start the healing process. How you heal, depends on you. I am not a ‘Faith’ healer (though some people think I am). I’m a metaphysical healer … helping you understand the emotional component of your dis-ease so you can begin to take the steps necessary to heal it.

With Reiki and distant-healing Reiki, we are moving to a deeper region of the inner self, becoming aware of the symbolic messages of your body from within. Here, we are trying to understand what your illness looks and feels like, symbolically. We are listening to the messages of your body.

SCANNING THE ENERGY-BODY

Scanning a person’s body before the distant-healing helps to determine where Reiki energy is most needed. Physically or remotely, the scan works on the person’s energetic field, where it’s possible to sense imbalances before they manifest physically.  Remotely, I visualize myself standing alongside your energy-body. Visually, I note if there are any areas around your field that look dark or muddy. I also look for any energy leaks or holes in your aura.

Then, with my hands 2 or 3 inches above your subtle energy, they move slowly along the length of your energy-body from head to foot. I pay close attention to the sensations in my hands as they gently move over your body. I note if I feel tingling or prickling in a particular area. I also notice if your etheric body is giving off heat or feels cold, the latter usually indicates an emotional energetic block.

to be continued …..

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“The true source of chronic musculoskeletal pain is rarely the site of the pain. That means if your wrist hurts while you are pointing and clicking with a [computer] mouse, the pain probably has nothing to do with the device and everything to do with muscular weakness, skeletal misalignment and structural (joint) instability elsewhere in the body. Those conditions can be reversed without drastic measures – and you can do it yourself.

I’ve also learned that muscular weakness, skeletal misalignment, and structural instability usually precede the onset of pain that is attributed to accidents, overuse or aging. That’s right, precede.” Pain Free at Your PC: Using a Computer Doesn’t Have to Hurt ~ By Pete Egoscue, Roger Gittines

CARPAL TUNNEL SYNDROME (CTS)

CTS Pain

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome – Wanting to be numb. Doing what you don’t want to do. Blocking the energy flow in your life. Holding on to grief and sadness from the past. Struggling; too much strain and difficulty. Feeling like you can’t handle something.” The Secret Language of your Body, The Essential Guide to Health and Wellness ~ Inna Segal

Carpal is from the Greek word that means “wrist” and ‘carpal tunnel’ is just as it sounds—like  a passageway or tunnel through your wrist that protects nerves and tendons. The median nerve runs from your neck through the shoulder and elbow and ending at the wrist and hand.  When the tunnel becomes swollen, the median nerve is compressed in the wrist area, which affects feeling in your thumb and all fingers except the little finger and half the ring finger, passes through the carpal tunnel. When the tunnel becomes swollen, your median nerve is compressed.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is a nerve compression disorder in which a peripheral nerve is compressed or pinched, causing pain in the front side of your forearm or wrist, coupled with numbness and tingling in the fingers. CTS occurs when the nerve (which controls movement and sensation on the palm side of the thumb and most of the fingers) becomes compressed inside the carpal tunnel, (a tunnel formed by 8 small bones of the wrist and the transverse carpal ligament (flexor retinaculum)) which houses the median nerve.

CTS has become of the most frequent type of work-related illnesses in the U.S. and Canada today. CTS stems from a problem with the nerves, muscles and joints and is medically known as musculoskeletal or neuromusculoskeletal problems.  CTS is characterized by pain in the wrist caused by pressure to the middle nerve in the channel that houses nerves and tendons.

(Over a long period of time CTS can become more like an illness, causing tissue strain and cell damage; this is known as “repetitive trauma’ or  repetitive strain injury (RSI).. )

carpal tunnel median

CARPAL TUNNEL AND EMOTIONAL PAIN

Your emotions are the way your body naturally expresses itself from your life experiences. Emotions are stored in the organs and muscles and tissues of the body. In fact, every cell in your body works in unison and shares an interconnectedness to each other; therefore a change in one cell affects all the others.  It is the nervous system and fascia that helps the meridians to directly communicate with all your organs and glands; this intimate communication system continually expresses what you’re feeling (sensing) from moment to moment. Emotional tension can inhibit this direct communications as well as circulation, causing fatigue, inability to focus and concentration. This can also cause muscle tension, and stiffness,(stress) which may also affect your perceptions and moods. Over time, emotionally distressful experiences can hamper your ability to be fully responsive and in the moment.

“Fascia is a graphic expression of how we feel and think—it reflects our past experiences, our attitudes and our patterns of behavior.  The fascia also dictates our basic body shape, and our upbringing, physically and psychologically.  Therefore, the fascia expresses the movement within us as well as our conflicts and confusions.

Pain is caused by a lack of proper circulation or a blockage in the flow of energy—it can also impede the flow of blood throughout the body. This can result in pain, numbness, heaviness, stiffness and swelling of the joints and muscles. Stress and tension also slows down our circulation and becomes an inflammation in certain areas of the body.” Metaphysics of the Fascia

“The meridians are a network of channels that transport Qi. An Organ Meridian is a channel that transports Qi to the related internal organ, sense organ, and body parts-including, of course, the tissues along its route. Generally named for the related internal organ, the twelve Organ Meridians are: the Lung, Large Intestine, Stomach, Spleen, Heart, Small Intestine, Bladder, Kidney, Pericardium, Triple Warmer, Gall Bladder, and Liver Meridians.” What are meridians and points

If you are holding on to a lot of emotional pain, your outer-world will begin to reflect this back to you as your reality is actually a projection of your inner-world of thoughts and emotions. When we suppress our feelings of sadness, grief, anger and/or shame, we also suppress the love and joy along with them.

Accepting your pain is the first step in healing as it stops you from struggling and fighting with yourself, allowing you to sit and feel with your painful body sensations and noticing your reaction to them.   When we sit with difficult body sensations and notice our attempt to control or resist them, they gradually let go. When this happens we may discover the pain isn’t quite as intense.  Once you’ve learned to sit with your painful sensations, you’ll react more openly to them and accept them instead of tensing your body against them.  We’ll explore ‘sitting with your painful sensations’ towards the end of this article.

ARE YOU HAPPY WITH YOUR LIFE AND YOUR CAREER?

How many of you with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) are doing what you really want to do in your lives? Are you really free to express yourself; are you coming from a space of loving and caring? Are you with someone who you’d love to hug with all your might? Do you really want to participate in life, or is fear holding you back creating roadblocks for yourself? Are you afraid to be yourself, to act freely, to do what you want? Do you pull back, withdrawing or holding back personal ideas so as to avoid a confrontation? Are you worried about what others may think?

The hands correspond to how we are handling our lives, feelings about how we reach out to others, and others to us, as well as our ability to cope, to create and to express ourselves. When we have problems with our hands, we can look at these different aspects from our inner-self/inner-wisdom and see where the conflict lies. If we continue putting out the same thought and tightening in the same area, then damage to the tissue will slowly increase. When we can recognize the messages we keep sending out, then we can connect with and help release the source of the problem.

“….problems in the wrist indicate a lack of flexibility or difficulty in deciding what your hands should be doing.  You don’t acknowledge the right to use your hands to do something that gives you pleasure, for fear of making a mistake or of not being capable. Therefore, you choose to use your hands for activities you feel are “worthwhile” – activities that will prove your worth. ~ YOUR BODY IS TELL YOU : LOVE YOURSELF ~ Lise Bourbeau 

When the body is forced to work ‘unnatural motions’ on a repetitive basis, (long hours of sitting, bending, lifting, stooping), these take a toll on the body.  Most complaints of repetitive jobs at the work-place are low back, hip, shoulder, elbow, hand, and wrist.  Most cases of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) are caused by any profession that involves repetitive use of the hands and wrists, causing numbness, tingling, burning, swelling, weakness and joint stiffness.

“The musculature of our hands has to do without competence and ability to have a grasp on things.  If we feel we are losing our grip then the hands may reflect this through cramps, weakness or damage. Or they reflect our feelings of incompetence, a fear of failing, of being unable to produce what is required of us.  When we reach out too far, extend ourselves too much or push ourselves forward at an inappropriate time, invariably we will cut, bruise, burn or otherwise damage our fingers.” Deb Shapiro “The Bodymind Workbook

Deb Shapiro also speaks of wrist problems indicating that there is something we should be or want to be doing but are not; if this is the case, why are you holding back? From the wrists we reach the hands, which express how we think or feel about what we’re doing in the world.  Are you pushing your hands too far? Are you trying to do too much or confused about you’re doing?

“Carpal tunnel syndrome has been associated with certain tasks including:

  • Repetitive hand motions.
  • Awkward hand positions
  • Strong gripping.
  • Mechanical stress on the palm.
  • Vibration.

Cashiers, hairdressers, or knitters or sewers are examples of people whose work-related tasks involve the repetitive wrist movements associated with carpal tunnel syndrome. Bakers who flex or extend the wrist while kneading dough, and people who flex the fingers and wrist in tasks such as milking cows, using a spray paint gun, and hand-weeding are other examples. Excessive use of vibrating hand tools may also be related to carpal tunnel syndrome…..

… Carpal tunnel syndrome is associated with several diseases and situations. They are:

  • Arthritis.
  • Diabetes.
  • Gout.
  • Amyloidosis (infiltration of the liver, kidneys, spleen with a starch-like substance).
  • Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid gland).
  • Tumours of tendon sheaths.
  • Wrist fractures and dislocations.
  • Wrist cysts.
  • Pregnancy.
  • Use of oral contraceptives.
  • Menopause.

All these diseases and situations increase the volume of the contents of the carpal tunnel, resulting in compression of the median nerve. Also some individual factors, such as the size and shape of the wrist and the shape of the median nerve, may contribute to the development of carpal tunnel syndrome.” https://www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/diseases/carpal.html

I’ve also received emails from nurses, surgeons, computer workers, golfers, tennis players, musicians, hair stylists, mechanics, waitresses/waiters wanting to know and understand the deeper (emotional issues) from their carpal tunnel.

Most people who suffer from CTS are  hard-working, conscientious, meticulous and well-organized. They’re proud of their work and their dedication to duty, and can always be depended upon to get the job done. What carpal tunnel people lack in creativity they make up for with effort .. they don’t see themselves making a name for themselves as they identify themselves with the common people rather than making a splash out into the world.

Generally, the clients I’ve met with CTS are close to workaholics in many cases. Somewhere, workaholics have lost touch with their deeper emotional and instinctual nature .. in fact they can be ‘destructively compulsive’ which tends to depress the vitality of the office and the people in it.

Carpal Tunnel people need relaxation more than being pushed to work harder. If the client is in a high-pressure job or required to work long hours, it’s important that once the work is done that they do something ‘for the love of it’ which also induces relaxation. Meditation and spiritual activities often prove to be helpful antidotes as well. Many clients have been drawn to these.

What I’ve learned (from clients) about the deeper emotional issues of CTS, is that at some point the job they’ve been working at for quite some time isn’t pleasurable for them anymore.  The enjoyment, the passion they once had seems to have vanished.  But rather than look at why their unhappy, they avoid it at all costs. Emotions are the key to creation but many of us have deeply hidden beliefs about expressing our emotions, we may have been told to ‘stop crying’, and therefore grew up with the belief that to express any emotion is a no-no!

Some people with carpal tunnel had parents who were highly efficient, super-critical and demanded perfectionism. This frustrated and inhibited their emotional growth and fragile self-esteem.  As children, they learnt to hold back emotionally, and carpal tunnel people are not unemotional, they just find it difficult to express what they feel. The problem is that, others might consider them cold, detached, perhaps a little prudish and stuffy. Actually, they are quite sensitive and their feelings are easily hurt. They try to hid it behind a mask of being aloof or coolly professional – even in situations that call for warmth and openness.

Tony (not his real name) was a former client who had  been diagnosed with carpal tunnel. Working as a mechanic, for a major car manufacturer, his job required a lot of flexing and grabbing with his hands. He was quite upset when I received his email, because he desperately needed the strength back in his hands to do his job. 

Tony’s hands were constantly going numb; the most noticeable pain was at the base of the thumb .. he was losing his grip and dropping tools more often.  As we wrote back and forth, Tony felt frustrated and exhausted in many areas of his life, not just his work and these emotions were triggering physical symptoms in his wrists and hands.  

The hands correspond to how we are handling our lives, feelings about how we reach out to others, and others to us, as well as our ability to cope, to create and to express ourselves. When we have problems with our hands, we can look at these different aspects from our inner-self/inner-wisdom and see where the conflict lies. If we continue putting out the same thought and tightening in the same area, then damage to the tissue will slowly increase. When we can recognize the messages we keep sending out, then we can connect with and help release the source of the problem.

Your emotions are the way your body naturally expresses itself from your life experiences. Emotions are stored in the organs and muscles and tissues of the body, but they just don’t sit there, they are in constant communication with your brain and entire body.  And as we learnt earlier, the slightest bit of information sets off a whole communication system through your nerves, fascia and meridians (an intimate communication system, expressing what you’re feeling (sensing) from moment to moment).

Attempting to hold back emotionally, causes muscle tension and stiffness (stress)  which can also affect your circulation, cause fatigue, disrupts focus and concentration.  Over time this will affect your perceptions and moods and hamper your ability to be fully responsive and in the moment. If you are holding on to a lot of pain, then your reality will begin to reflect that back to you as the outer world is a projection of your inner thoughts and emotions.

Let’s look at the symbolism of an interesting tarot card for the moment.  It’s the ‘Eight of Shields (Pentacles) from the tarot deck “LEGEND The Arthurian TAROT.  Why did I choose Anne-Marie Ferguson’s art-work?  Let’s take a look ….

8 of pents

It’s a painting of a blacksmith working deep within the bowels of the earth. Blacksmiths learned with their hands to take nature apart and put the pieces together in a new and more powerful combination.  But in this card, the blacksmith doesn’t look too happy.

If we look at this card symbolically, what do you see?

Metaphysically, this blacksmith (Wayland) looks separated from his ‘aliveness’ or disconnected from his mind and body—he’s lost the joy and passion of ‘present awareness’ of being in the moment—instead, he’s doing a job that is machine-like, routinely repeating the same procedure over and over again. Look at how he’s slouched over, how one arm and hand grips the shield, while the other hand holds a small tool-like screw-driver that involves repetitive action of his wrist and fingers. Remaining in this position would definitely affect his hands and hurt his back.  Repetition, force and posture are risk factors that can contribute to the development of CTS.

If we look around the room, there’s nothing, except the fire that would force him to get up and put on a log, to keep the flames going.  Without enough motion, Wayland will lose his full range of motion (major muscle groups will start to atrophy from disuse); as he moves less and less this will reduce his physical activities causing a reduction in oxygen to the brain and affecting his function to move his arms, head and spine.  When this happens, the musculoskeletal system is affected and begins to shut down weakening the body’s internal systems and organs.

Why is Wayland not relaxed and enjoying his work?  Is he so afraid of failure he can’t enjoy what he’s creating? I wonder if the shield is for King Arthur or perhaps his knights? No matter who it’s for, working long hours for someone else and ignoring the body’s cry for help will cause this ‘bent-over position’ (day-after-day) to become Chronic.  CTS can become severe enough to limit a person’s ability to work. Without adequate care or rest, permanent damage to the soft tissue and nerves of the hands may result.

Maybe he’s unable to express himself with people of authority or maybe he fears them. Fear puts us on guard and makes us anxious and defensive. It breeds suspicion and doubt and causes us to not trust anyone, including ourselves. It fosters envy, jealousy, helplessness, disappointment, despair and hopelessness. It separates us, making us feel alone and isolated. It can cause us to lash out at others, to be hurtful in our words and actions.  Back pain can be caused by feeling you have to carry everyone and everything while ignoring your own survival issues .. stooping or rounded shoulders indicate trying to hide or withdraw from the world because of lack of confidence.

“When we live in an environment of danger or deprivation, we experience fear. … The sense of fear is our only feeling of safety, as paradoxical as that might sound. We feel safe only because we are hypervigilant and become even more uncomfortable when we try to relax.   The nervous system and the adrenal glands remain overworked. In this state of hyperarousal, our triggers are more sensitive and more likely to react to extremes.  Our foundation is literally shaky and concentration may be difficult. As a result, the body is in a constant state of stress, which becomes normal.” Eastern Body Western Mind ~ Anodea Judith

Aeclectic Tarot forum (now closed but still online as read-only)  was a great forum where tarot-minded individuals and astrologers enjoyed learning and sharing with each other.  Of the many tarot decks discussed and researched was, Legend ~ The Arthurian Tarot.  You can see the many different posts on the Eight of Shields here. https://www.tarotforum.net/showthread.php?t=37801

An individual’s username ‘Sophie-David’ commented in this thread … “In A Keeper of Words, Anna-Marie tells us that Wayland is deep within the earth as he practices his craft. I can’t help but feel sorry for him as he works on the shield out of the light of day. This deprivation of natural lighting and fresh air is common to so many modern workers in factories and maintenance shops, underground malls and office towers. Space seems to be at such a premium, or security so tight, that we can’t afford windows any more. Although he wears a protective leather apron, Wayland has no shirt because of the heat. Whether or not he enjoys his work, this can’t be good for him, no sunlight or good air, the heat of the stifling furnace, and the fumes given off in the shaping and annealing process.

This is an Eight of Shields (Pentacles) that really gives one pause to consider the modern nature of work. Anna-Marie tells us that “Wayland was the master craftsman to the gods, whose weapons were so fine that they sang in the air”. But no matter how good the product produced, working hours seem to be going up again, conditions in many places are deteriorating, and spending power is decreasing. Wayland is an admirable worker, but his wild grey hair and the poor conditions make this rather a sad Eight.”

Carpal tunnel people are comfort-givers and empathizers, you couldn’t meet nicer people on this planet. They go out of their way to help you because your time is more valuable than theirs.  This is because deep down they struggle with feelings of unworthiness, they don’t believe in extending their kindness and empathy to themselves. This is because they can’t see themselves for who they are, so they go out of their way trying to make everybody else happy.  They can’t say no and give too much.  As a result they become exhausted from overwhelming responsibilities causing self-esteem issues to arise.  This leads to a form of paralysis or feeling incapacitated in some way, forcing them to stop what they’re doing. Carpal tunnel then develops as a way to force them to look at doing something new.

CARPAL TUNNEL MIND/BODY HEALING

When we self-doubt ourselves, we tend to keep a low profile.  We pretend everything’s ok by faking it and being something we’re not. When we are unable to express our feelings or fears, we don’t feel safe or secure. When we don’t feel safe, we either withdraw (keep a low profile) or get angry.  We get angry but we don’t express it; we keep it shoved down pretending everything’s okay. Pretending and faking is so exhausting -it feels as if your life is totally out of your own hands – experiencing actual symptoms of pain, coldness, and numbness flowing down your arm(s) to your hand(s).  You see other people who  hunker down and get things done.  Why them and not you?  I think it all has to do with self-confidence. Self-confidence allows you to be who you are .. fully and freely.  It’s possible you’ve had to compromise yourself, or mould yourself to fit the image of ‘what you’re supposed to be? That’s when we lose a sense of who we are … and we find ourselves banished in the dark regions of our unconscious (the shadow).

Some people in their attempt to find themselves, are ‘lured’ by programs that promise ‘unlimited power’ or a life without fear, guilt or other not-so-good feelings. When they fail to reach this ‘perfection’ they take it as another sign that something is wrong deep within.

TUNING INTO THE HEART

Before we start, I want you to know you don’t have to become a better person or develop a different attitude to have a life you love – you are good enough as you are!

The area of the breasts and chest reflect the ‘self to the self’. It is our private and personal area and symbolizes our sense of self-identity .. notice how when talking you touch the chest to indicate self or when talking about your feelings or opinions. We express heart energy through our mouth, lips, through our arms, hands and through our genitals. Heart energy also has to do with the Self. Its message .. We have to love and accept ourselves before we can really love others.

Problems with the arms and hands (extensions of the heart) can be metaphors for carrying too much for others, feeling like our hands are tied in certain situations or that something in our life has become too hot to handle.

Remember Tony, the mechanic with carpal tunnel?  His story was a little bit different. After looking at and discussing his astrological chart, we were able to understand why he was having problems at work and gripping/holding onto his tools.  Tony realized it was his mother that dominated the home and constantly criticized his father for his incompetence and lack of interest in the home.  As a child, Tony took on the attitude that if his father had been a better provider in the home, his mother wouldn’t be so miserable.  So Tony decided he didn’t want to be anything like his father. With his trade as a mechanic, he continually worked hard to prove he wasn’t going to be a patsy like his dad.

But Tony overestimated what was expected of him at work and went to great lengths to prove he was a valued and competent employee.  His employers greedily took all that Tony gave and more until he became mentally and physically exhausted.  No wonder he developed carpal tunnel, he had become a ‘willing victim’, working day and night to put together a lifestyle that ‘seemed’ solid and steady.

But then he started to worry about all the things that could go wrong.  The other employees didn’t seem to like him much.  So he tried to work harder to be accepted by his peers causing him to build up even more responsibilities.  He took on working weekends for the other mechanics so they’d appreciate him.  After all, they had families to care for, Tony hadn’t had anyone in his life for a very long time.  But hey what about himself?

Tony was struggling with a great deal of confusion about his personal identity. He realized his unconscious values and attitudes were the driving force behind his life .. as long as he repressed them, they remained out of his control.  But if he could sort out which of  his childhood beliefs made sense and served him well and changed those that didn’t, he’d be able to stop taking responsibility for others and take charge of his own well-being.

Tony suddenly felt resentment towards his mother, which is a normal reaction when he saw that his father actually did his best to ‘try’ and make her happy.  He realized no matter how much his father did for his mother, it wasn’t enough, she wanted more!  Tony realized no matter how hard he worked, it wasn’t acceptable .. he had to keep trying harder.

I’ve found that people who go, go, go, over committing themselves are going out of their way to avoid conflict (both internal and external). They try to keep their pain (fears, aggression, or sorrow) hidden from their day-today living and hidden from themselves and everyone else. Unfortunately these fears/aggressions/sorrows are projected onto other people, who then feel compelled to act out what you’ve been hiding. It’s time to withdraw your projections and fears and return home to your heart for healing …..

I asked Tony if he’d ever done anything creative for himself that wasn’t for others?  Since Tony loved creating with his hands, I asked him if he’d tried painting, wood-working,  gardening, playing an instrument, writing or drawing.  Any of these could help him get in touch with his feelings and help balance his energies.

AUTHENTICITY

The greatest challenge in life isn’t to succeed to but to feel at home with who you are and where you are and what you’re doing.  

To be authentic means that you ‘observe’ your inner fears.  It doesn’t mean that you act them out or allow your fears to lead to you. Being authentic means that you notice it, you are aware of it, you work with it, and you decide how to deal with it.  This way you make sure your actions are aligned with what you intended.  

There are four basic components to building your personal power .. grounding, centering, and maintaining boundaries. Grounding helps you to stay ‘solidly connected to your body’ your vehicle of awareness… when you’re present you will have access to all sensations, feelings, energy flows and emotions going on in and around you.

-Learn to recognize when you’re acting out of character..
-Give yourself a break and time to relax ..do a body check and ask how you’re feeling? -Balance your emotional and physical well-being.
-Share your deepest feelings with someone you trust.
-Enjoy a hobby or take on one, painting, writing, drawing .. anything to get in touch with your feelings and help bring you into alignment.
-Meditate or do ‘nothing’ .. which might not make sense to you … but it does make sense to your soul.
-Learn to work and cooperate with others ..

SELF-DISCOVERY EXPERIENCE

Choose a quiet place to sit where you can do this introspection without being interrupted. After reading each question, close your eyes, take some deep breaths to relax your body and calm your mind, then begin to let the thoughts, images and associations flow.

– Reflect on a recent situation in which you were conscious of experiencing tension in the form of impatience, fear, anger, irritation, guilt or blame. Allow yourself to relive that situation in your mind’s eye. See clearly the person(s) involved and reexperience the thoughts that came. Let the emotions flow over you, as if it were happening now. In this setting, you don’t have to control or hide your feelings for social reasons, so just let them envelop you. Sink into them without judging or rationalizing them.

– After a few minutes, notice what is happening to your physiologically. Has your breathing changed? Do you feel hot or cold? Is any part of your body tense (tight jaw, clenched fist, tight abdomen, frown?) What are your thoughts? Are they clear and objective, or confused and blurred?

– Ask yourself “How do I feel about the person(s) involved? Can I clearly see a solution? —What is it I wanted and didn’t get?
-Do I know exactly what to do next to remove the stress?
-What do I want to do, right now, to feel better?

When these answers are clear to you, slowly open your eyes and write them down.
a) Physically, I felt/noticed …
b) My thoughts were …
c) About the person(s) involved, I felt …
d) I wanted to feel better by …
e) In this situation, what I wanted (and didn’t get, .. or thought I wouldn’t get) was …

– Repeat for several situations, to get a clearer picture of your reaction patterns.

ravenstarshealingroom@gmail.com

Great LINKS

5 wrist exercises for Carpal Tunnel

Forearm Pain Relief

Acupuncture & Acupressure for Carpal Tunnel

Carpal Tunnel – Check your Thyroid

10 natural & Home Remedies for Carpal Tunnel

 

 

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low back muscles

Picture compliments of 

“The low back is the base and root of our activity in the world. When we experience a loss of support or feel that challenges or responsibilities are too great, we simply “can’t stand it.” Rage, frustration, humiliation, or depression may be held in the low back which is neurologically and psychologically associated with our “gut” feelings and deeper, suppressed instincts. The lower back carries the most weight, and expresses the extend of burden or load we bear, or if we feel overwhelmed or hopeless.

The ability to adapt, withstand or face up to stress or perceived onslaughts is expressed in the back; e.g., being spineless, having one’s back against the wall, getting ones back up, oh my aching back.” ~ Asa Hershoff N.D., D.C.

The gut is one of the primary filtration systems of the body, when its plumbing, electrical and drainage system aren’t working quite right, the body starts absorbing toxins, clogging the system. When the gut can no longer protect us, autoimmune problems can be triggered by a network of cellular communications and through our lymph nodes. Constipation, diarrhea, bloating, poor motility, and trapped gas can all lead to obesity, high cholesterol, diverticulitis, pancreatic problems and more. Toxic buildups are stored in the fat cells of the body…if these toxins leak into the fluids of the body, which includes the blood, they can cause fatigue, body aches, thyroid, heart and brain problems, as well as depression.

Most back pains are 10 times more painful than any other muscle strain in the body.  The reason for this… the back muscles are designed to ‘protect’ and ‘defend’ the spinal column.  Also, the back muscles are closely connected to the Central Nervous System (CNS) that transmits pain messages to your brain—muscle pain is an early warning that your spine might be in trouble.  When we are tense, our back muscles can go into spasm, causing excruciating pain that can last for weeks, months, even years.

The spine is generally flexible and quite resilient and when properly aligned is able to learn from and integrate a variety of life experiences.  These experiences either stressful or ecstatic are able to flow easily through the awareness of the body/mind as long as there is no disruption, which could knock the vertebrae(s) off course. But when we experience a stressful or traumatic/shocking event, the spine’s shock-absorber’s become inflexible from the shock, causing the muscles, ligaments and tendons of your back and abdomen to work harder to keep you upright.

“It would appear that most cases of chronic back pain are actually caused not by spinal problems, but by muscle tension and spasm. This is not to be dismissed: It is extremely painful. Such muscle tension is caused by emotional tension, and the deeper the emotional tension is explored the more the story behind the pain is revealed. It may be a story of anger, fear, exhaustion, of trying to prove something to someone, of denial, of a lack of forgiveness—whatever it is, it is in the back because it is well hidden there. But it also hurts.” Your Body Speaks Your Mind: Understanding How Your Emotions and Thoughts ~ Deb Shapiro

The backside of the body reflects private and unconscious elements of your life. The back becomes the storehouse for everything you don’t want to deal with or don’t want other people to see. Hidden or unexpressed feelings become frozen in the structure of your body. That means a lot of negative emotions becomes stored along your spine and in the backs of your legs. Most of your powerful emotions such as anger and fear are stored in your back and it is these emotions that pull your body out of balance.

Trying to distance and suppress your feelings only aggravates the problem..as you are still continuing to carry the past, which continues to grow heavier and heavier.If you’ve been protecting yourself all these years and defending yourself from real or imagined dangers, you are living in a constant state of alertness.  As well, you learnt to take protective steps to feel safe….this has been known to create an unsteadiness from the lower back, hips, and right down to the feet. The pelvis represents our inner direction and our deepest feelings and thoughts…it’s about our personal movement. Our 1st (root) chakra basically connects us to the earth as well as our survival instincts. Excessive tightness in the hips and buttocks may reflect a person’s need to ‘hold on’ in order to survive.

“Sacrum – Feeling unsupported, carrying unresolved family issues, holding on to childhood anger and resentment. Experiencing a lack of confidence and belief in self. Feeling uncomfortable in your body and in your life. Carry guild resentment and shame. Physical: Hip bones, buttocks, sacro-iliac conditions, spinal curvatures.” THE SECRET LANGUAGE OF YOUR BODY ~ Inna Segel

“Although seemingly soft and spongy, the buttock or gluteal muscles are often the most clenched and tense muscles in the body, for it is here that you can hide any tension or nervousness you may be feeling by literally sitting on it.  Although that tension is hidden from view, its effect will be felt throughout the body.  Consistently tight gluteals will throw off your posture causing spinal distortion and backache and then they can affect the functioning of your bowels….

Just for a moment, right now, check your muscles in your backside. Are they relaxed? Or are they clenched tight? If so, consciously relax them and notice the difference in your attitude.

  • What are you sitting on, repressing or holding down?
  • What energy is being held in  your backside?
  • Are you sitting on feelings of insecurity?
  • Are you sitting on a need for support and comfort?”

YOUR BODY SPEAKS YOUR MIND ~ by Deb Shapiro

THE SECOND (SACRAL) Chakra

“Sensations and feelings contribute to emotions, another aspect of the second chakra. Emotion – from the Latin e, meaning out, and movere, to move – is the moving of prana through the tissues of the body. Emotions are the result of feelings stored up in the body. For example, you may have a feeling of irritation at something, but if that feeling is repeatedly stored in your tissues, it can become the emotion of anger. I like to think of sensations as the words, feelings as the sentences, and emotions as the story that emerges.

When you repress emotion, you restrict the body’s natural movements. You become rigid, creating the opposite of the second chakra’s watery flow, inhibiting flexibility. Therefore, developing flexibility in your body may require willingness to feel old emotions that are stored in your body. ” Anodea Judith’s Chakra Yoga ~ by Anodea Judith

The lower back is associated with the 2nd chakra which is associated with the hips, sacrum, lower back, genitals, womb, bladder and kidneys. This chakra is about sensuality, sexuality, emotions, intimacy, and desire. All watery things have to do with this chakra: circulation, urination, menstruation, orgasm, tears. Water flows, moves and changes and a healthy second chakra allows us to do so.  It is also this chakra where, as a child, we were supported and reassured  from our parents.

Your aggressive nature might have caused you some anxious moments while you were growing up, when you had to confine yourself to the limits imposed by your parents. They may have considered you too big for your britches then, or simply reckless and immature. Your need to demonstrate your independence might have alienated you from them. Your subsequent development made you realize that you had to act when you felt that it was appropriate, knowing that ‘he who hesitates is lost’. Even now, you aren’t easily dissuaded by people who say that your plans won’t work, and you always manage to prove them wrong.

If we didn’t get the support we needed as a child.. it can affect the areas of the lower back and knees. See the kidney meridian runs along at the back of the knee as does the bladder, liver and spleen.  Inflammation is caused by a buildup of fluid.. the area of the skin very sensitive to be touched.  When a large amount of the 2nd chakra energy is released through exercising, it can make us sensitive to energies in the environment and from other people too.  It can also make us feel young, happy and bright!

When the 2nd chakra is balanced and healthy, we can be emotionally fluid, allowing ourselves to feel freely and without guilt. When it is excessive, we are overly emotional, have poor boundaries between ourselves and others, and are prone to obsessive attachments. When the 2nd chakra is deficient we tend toward emotional numbness, rigidity, and fear of pleasure.

PSOAS MUSCLES (major contributors to low back pain)

Buried deep within the core of your body, the psoas (pronounced “so-as”) affects every facet of your life, from your physical well-being to who you feel yourself to be and how you relate to the world. Acting as a bridge between the lower trunk and legs, the psoas is critical for keeping the spine aligned, allowing the joints to freely rotate and giving the muscles a full range of motion. The abdominal muscle, are surrounded by a complex network of nerve ganglia which lies approximately at the level of the psoas and the diaphragm. If the psoas is constricted for whatever reason, it will press on the nerves in the abdominal area. Constriction of the diaphragm may shorten the psoas, and tightness in the psoas may restrict the ability of the diaphragm to move freely. Any constriction in the the diaphragm will prevent full body breathing, a process which massages the internal organs and promotes strength and vitality.

Whether you suffer from a sore back or anxiety, from knee strain or exhaustion, there’s a good chance that a constricted psoas muscle might be contributing to your problem. When the psoas muscles go into spasm, they pull down on the shoulder and create an actual physical imbalance… you actually may feel yourself leaning over more to one-side.  Metaphysically the psoas muscles can indicate complex traumas and unresolved ‘unconscious’ issues from early childhood.  People with chronically tight psoas muscles have cut off their deeper feelings altogether, exerting rigid control over themselves as a way of defending themselves against these raw emotions. And yet there is always the sense of some imminent danger.  For some people, their whole life is built around suppressing what’s down there, and in this respect they are dominated by those very things they are trying to keep at bay. Finding the self is like Peeling an onion – layer upon layer has to be removed to reach the core. This is similar to the deep-sea diver who plunges into the depths of the personal unconscious bringing hidden complexes to light so that they can be examined worked on and hopefully transmuted.

Since the home sphere is where most people feel the most vulnerable, they may attempt to manipulate and, control those around them so that nobody slips up and detonates their inner time-bomb. Obviously, this does not lend itself to the most relaxed of home atmospheres, in which there are probably many unwritten rules about what is or isn’t allowed to be said or done.

“The kidneys are actually situated behind the psoas, while the intestines and reproductive organs lie in front of it. When the psoas is tight and constricted, the lumbar curve becomes exaggerated, causing the abdominal organs to fall forward against the abdominal muscles, which were not designed to carry this weight. …When displaced, the intestines are unable to absorb nutrients, eliminate waste, and the sexual reproductive functions could be impaired. The problem as well, is that no matter how many sit-ups you do they won’t be able to support the constricted psoas pushing the abdominal cavity forward.” Yoga Journal ~ By Donna Farhi

Healing the psoas can help to improve your overall structure,  and bring to light, old traumas and fears (physical tension) locked in the body.  In regard to the fight or flight response, the psoas have been known to curl you into a fetal ball to protect the front of the body, or prepare your back and leg muscles to spring into action. Because the psoas is so intimately involved in physical and emotional reactions, a chronically tightened psoas continually signals the body that you’re in danger, eventually exhausting the adrenal glands and depleting the immune system.

One on each side of the spine, each working independently yet harmoniously, the psoas attaches to the side and toward the front of the 12th thoracic vertebra and each lumbar vertebrae. Moving though the pelvis without attaching to the bone, the psoas inserts along with the iliacus muscle in a common tendon at the top of the femur.

The psoas’ main function is to act as a hip flexor….without it walking or running would be impossible. These muscles also contribution to the outer rotation of the hips. When the psoas is so tight, they can’t release, causing the legs to turn outward during intense back-bending, which can pinch the muscles and nerves of the lower back.

The major aorta that carries the blood from the heart run very close to the psoas muscles and it has been thought that an imbalance in the psoas may affect blood circulation throughout the upper and lower extremities. Many people feel a flush of heat down the legs and up into the chest when the psoas releases. So the deep muscles of the psoas can affect circulation, respiration, nerve impulses as well as organ function. And we still haven’t considered the effect the psoas have on the musculoskeletal system.

In addition the psoas also forms a supportive shelf for the vital organs wjithin the abdominal core. In walking, a healthy psoas moves freely and joins with a released diaphragm to continuously massage the spine as well as the organs, blood vessels, and nerves of the trunk. Working as a hydraulic pump, a freely moving psoas stimulates the flow of fluids throughout the body. And a released, flowing psoas combined with a stable weight-bearing pelvis, contributes to the sensations of feeling grounded and centered.

 

CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM (CNS)

Have you ever wondered with the body’s amazing ability to renew itself, why we have, or seem to have the same or similar back problems throughout most of our lives?  The answer lies in the central nervous system (CNS). The CNS coordinates our consciousness with billions of neurons (individual nerve cells) that are sent to the brain to be interpreted.  Messages are then sent back to move the countless muscle fibers through the body.  This is why most of our back pain begins with problems in the muscles because they are directly connected to the nerves that transmit pain messages to your brain AND many back problems are made worse by stress or tension in the mind.

The CNS consists of the brain and spinal cord. The brain carries out most of the ‘computing’ in the nervous system and communicates with the rest of the body through the large bundle of nerves called the spinal cord. The peripheral nervous system (PNS) is the intricate network of nerves that carries information between the CNS and the rest of the body.  Thirty-one pairs of spinal nerves carry sensory and motor messages to and from the spinal cord. Together these nerves keep your entire body in communication with the brain.

“The nervous system maintains our body’s inner environment and regulates the digestion of food and the amount of carbon dioxide in our blood without our awareness…..

By acting as a conduit for the expression of Universal Consciousness (our innate wisdom), the nervous system establishes who we are and how we deal with the world. What our body feels—not necessarily what we are conscious of—actually changes the way we perceive the world. If the nervous system is stuck in one perspective, the messages it will send and receive will be stuck in that perspective as well. In other words, when the nervous system has not been able to recover from the trauma of past events—whether physical, emotional, or chemical—our emotional reality is also stuck…..The combined effect of various stress and the inability of the nervous system to deal with them produces a subluxation (interference) of the spine….This interference disrupts the nervous system’s natural ability to assemble and sort out neurological instructions.  Like a computer, if the input (messages to the system) is distorted in anyway, then the output (messages from the nervous system to each body cell) will also be distorted. Emotional trauma, accidents or breathing polluted air are challenges to a compromised nervous system.” The 12 STAGES of HEALING ~ by Donald M. Epstein D.C.

There is a deep and powerful connection between the mind and back—to begin understanding the cause of your back pain, begin the healing process.   The more rigid, tight and unyielding the mind, the more rigid, tight and unyielding the physical body (tight shoulders, neck, chest, abdomen, hips hamstrings, psoas, ankles, etc… ).

TRAUMA RELEASING EXERCISES (TRE)

Trauma Releasing Exercises (TRE) “TRE® is a simple and quick set of movements that turn on our body’s natural rebalancing process—providing an immediate experience of relaxation. By releasing everything from everyday stress to deeply held physical tension and trauma, TRE® frees us up to meet life’s challenges with greater skill and ease. Best of all, our bodies do the work; we get relief without needing to process or retell our story.” Tension Release Exercises

A client of mine (J.S) has a friend who is a trauma counsellor which was originally designed for post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)… specifically for soldiers who had returned from war. “It takes you through a series of movements.. then you end up in a position that releases the psoas, which is described as being a muscle that holds emotion (hence trauma release exercises to target it).”

TRE relieves the accumulation of everyday muscle tension as well as past traumas Trauma Release video

Another video on TRE

EMOTIONAL FREEDOM TECHNIQUE (EFT)

Emotional Freedom Techniques – EFT – also known as Meridian Tapping – is a very effective healing method, that is known to eliminate past trauma and abuse, anxiety, fears, and phobias, negative emotions and beliefs, self-judgement, physical and emotional pain, bad habits, migraines, and often helps to heal physical injuries and illnesses.

“BATTLE TAP is an easy-to-learn self-help tool that is designed for armed public service professionals who are experiencing emotional or psychological distress. It’s based on Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), an emerging intervention that uses acupressure-point tapping, re-exposure, and cognitive scripts to rapidly resolve undesired emotions and memories.”  http://www.battletap.org/home.aspx

Web-page on … What is EFT Tapping

This is a great site demonstrating EFT techniques  http://eft.mercola.com/

 

HEALING LOWER BACK PAIN

“Muscles absorb and respond to tensions and feelings.  If they do not relax sufficiently following stress, then the tension accumulates and causes deeper, long-lasting damage. If this continues over a period of time, the muscles become set and fixed in this restricted form. This is where you “hold” issues, emotions and trauma.  Frozen anger, fear, or grief creates a kind of body armour, which further blocks and holds back feelings, locking the musculature into fixed positions…

The muscles enable all the bodily systems to function, such as circulation, digestion, breathing, and nerve impulses.  Their freedom of movement is essential for optimum health. When the muscles are restricted…your energy will be unable to flow smoothly…Stress release and emotional expression are therefore essential for muscle ease. Exercise is also vital–it not only releases muscular tension but psycho/emotional tension as well.” YOUR BODY SPEAKS YOUR MIND ~ Deb Shapiro

 

to be continued….

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The Fascial Web

The Fascial Web ~ Created by British Sculptor Jason deCaires Taylor Barcroft

“Fascia is wrapped throughout the body on “lines of pull.” It connects toes to brow in one uninterrupted sheet of fascia, and fingers to chest and neck. The heart fascia is connected at the collarbone, which connects to the arm and fingers. It coils around the bones, muscle fibers, muscle bundles, organs, arteries, veins and nerves, applying tension and compression to the body material it surrounds. http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-17936/understanding-fascia-what-it-is-why-you-should-care.html 

Fascia, the connective tissue of the muscular system

Fascia, the connective tissue of the muscular system

Fascia magnified 25X https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uzy8-wQzQMY 

METAPHYSICS OF THE FASCIA

Resistance is an inner contraction,a hardening of the shell of ego. When you surrender, a new dimension of consciousness opens us. ~Eckhart Tolle

Even though great strides have been made to bring awareness to the fascia, it is the least most understood energy system and quite possibly the most important. The fascia or connective tissue is a continuous web-like membrane that wraps, interweaves and connects all bodily parts and processes (creating, supporting the body as an integrated ‘whole’). There is no part of the body, not one single cell that isn’t connected to this crystal-like lattice. It’s elastic and liquid-like connective tissue, delivers energy and information through its own independent nervous system. The fascia even forms the walls of the individual muscles, holding and binding our muscular network together; this web exists to help in our function and depending on our repetitive movements, creates patterns and cycles of our postures and habits. Over a long period of time these patterns and cycles can cause pain affecting our movements. One of the building blocks of  fascia is collagen which forms, thick twisted bands of densely packed fibres that support our movements and posture.

“In terms of fascia, however, collagen has a particular role, and supports our frequent movements and postures. If we were to hold a certain position for any length of time, we would experience stiffness. This stiff feeling is the beginning of collagen fibres lining up and thickening. Continued lack of movement or stiffness may eventually lead to ossification and atrophy, and is characteristic of so many stooped and painful postures we see around us. Bowen Unravelled: A Journey into the Fascia Understanding of the Bowen Therapy ~ Julian Baker

Fascia is a graphic expression of how we feel and think—it reflects our past experiences, our attitudes and our patterns of behavior.  The fascia also dictates our basic body shape, and our upbringing, physically and psychologically.  Therefore, the fascia expresses the movement within us as well as our conflicts and confusions.

Pain is caused by a lack of proper circulation or a blockage in the flow of energy—it can also impede the flow of blood throughout the body. This can result in numbness, heaviness, stiffness and swelling of the joints and muscles. Stress and tension also slows down our circulation and becomes an inflammation in certain areas of the body.

Stress doesn’t come from what we do, but more from how we react to what we do. We contract or tense the diaphragm to protect ourselves, the tightness in the diaphragm creates restriction in the mid back and lower ribs through its fascial connections. Indeed, stress and tension can literally tie our fascia in knots anywhere in the body. As tension in the fascia escalates, it forces our muscles to tightly grip us to a point it’s nearly impossible to disentangle ourselves from it.  If the fascia can’t return to it normal liquid state, we end up with a lot of toxins in our muscles. One surgeon was quoted as saying, “on cutting into thickened fascia, a large of amount of pus gave way”..

Metaphysically, fascia dysfunctions can leave us feeling restricted, helpless, fearful, frozen, angry, frustrated, brittle. In many cases it’s as if we’re stuck and no matter how hard we try, we can’t seem to move forward. Fascia grips and hardens wherever we have repressed an emotion. Stiff or rigid muscles indicate stiff or rigid thought patterns.

Fascia restrictions can cause an individual to struggle with a lack of personal power, self love, self-worth, competency, resources (both time and money), and lack of support. The person may feel separated from the world as if they’re outsiders watching others live happy, healthy lives. S/He may feel resentment and frustration because they can’t seem to execute and manifest their desires and dreams. When the fascia contracts, our perception of the world is becomes confused, disoriented, we retreat inside with our emotions. When fascial dysfunctions affect home, or work, we may feel trapped, either in a negative relationship or bad job, and are afraid to take the steps necessary to change. When we’re in pain we tend to pull away from our bodies and have difficulty staying grounded in reality. When that happens we easily become overwhelmed by the demands of life; and see the world hostile and people unkind. We can’t understand why everyone can’t just get along and accept each other rather than causing conflict and creating emotional pain. Rather than going with the flow, we pull back; and rather than dealing with problems, we carry them around in the fascia and the muscles.

When the first chakra is disconnected from the feminine Earth, we can feel orphaned and motherless. The masculine principle predominates, and we look for security from material things. Individuality prevails over relationship, and selfish drives triumph over family, social and global responsibility. The more separated we become from the Earth, the more hostile we become to the feminine. We disown our passion, our creativity, and our sexuality. Eventually the Earth itself becomes a baneful place. I remember being told by a medicine woman in the Amazon, “Do you know why they are really cutting down the rain forest? Because it is wet and dark and tangled and feminine. ~ Alberto Villoldo

Resistance manifests in the fascia whenever there is fear, denial, withdrawal, or separation.  We experience it in the body as hard, dry, unyielding, crystallized…

“Yet resistance is a natural and unconscious reaction to change. To free ourself from its clutches, we simply need to acknowledge it as a part of the process of growth. When we have a context for accepting change, then resistance is acceptable. Within a spiritual context we embrace our negativity. We become our own best friends and allow our feelings to be what they are.” LIFE CHANGES WITH THE ENERGY OF THE CHAKRAS ~ Amika Wauters 

Let’s backup a bit and learn more about the fascia and its importance to the cellular function and function to the body…

“Fascia plays a vital role in the following functions: Cellular respiration; Elimination; Metabolism; Fluid and Lymph flow; Repair by deposition of repair tissue; Conversion of body heat; Fat storage; Cellular health and the immune system ~ Myofascial Release ~ Ruth Duncan

Many forms of healing help to reverse the hardening effects of the stress on your muscles and fascia tissue. With hands-on healing, areas of holding begin to soften. Fresh blood begins to flow where hardened muscles previously squeezed the blood flow out. Fascia tissue begins to separate from each other, calming the nervous system and relaxing the body/mind.

INTRODUCING THE FASCIA

It’s important we learn a bit about the fascia before exploring the many muscle groups of the body and their metaphysical meaning.  The fascia surrounds and embeds every living tissue, including all the muscles; without this 3 dimensional web, the body would quickly collapse.  There’s many web sites on the subject of the fascia if this introduction tweaks your interest…

If you’ve ever studied  the intricate web of a spider then you probably know its threads are woven from the inner vibration of the spider.  As the spider evolves, all that it has learned to survive is recorded and stored within its body.  Its web of life blends the past and present together attracting future events to come.  Without its web the spider could not survive.  It has become for the spider the visual point of the self, that continually evolves, disintegrates and then comes into being again.   A dynamic tapestry of energy, a universe within a universe never at rest but constantly sending and receiving even the most minute vibrations of its world.  It is and has become the instrument for the conscious expression of the spider.  A matrix of interlocking energies uniting the spiritual with the physical a powerful symbol of the creative spirit manifesting into form.

Just as the web is the foundation for the spider, so is the fascia system the matrix to the human body.  The purpose of fascia is to maintain our body shape and keep our organs in their proper place; It is a catalyst and one of many different sources of power to our bodies. Without it we could not survive.   It hugs our human form in a continuous web of threadlike energy which possesses 10 times more sensory nerve receptors than the muscles in our body, and has a signalling system very similar to that of the nervous system.  The fascia system is a totally integrated system in which every cell in the body is embedded in its structure .

“Research is revealing that the body is made up of unique molecular crystalline structures. These living structures can create, transmit, and receive biophotons to facilitate communication between tissues and molecules. This communication also relies upon a quantum field of biophotons. These two processes—the crystalline and the quantum—interact to spread information around the body.

This crystal matrix is critical for health, as it interconnects a person’s internal self with the environment. Light travels through the body’s crystal matrix into the DNA, which then produces “bio-holograms” that create the body. The most conductive light-matrix is the connective tissue, the largest organ in the body. The connective tissue is crystalline information;  the collagenous molecules that encase the organs are liquid crystals and the other, firmer tissues are considered solid crystals. The collagen molecules are also interesting in that they are semiconductors, able to convey electricity and information. The connective tissue can therefore process information just like the semiconductor chips in your computer.” The SUBTLE BODY: Cyndi Dale

If you can accept the concept that our bodies are like tiny microchips containing a library of  thousands of files  then you may also accept the theory that the fascia can store large amounts of information and arrange it in an infinite variety of ways—yet it isn’t that intelligent—that’s the brain’s role.  Its ability to retrieve information is quite miraculous and it can perform many complex operations in a twinkling of an eye. It is, an excellent record keeper of every injury, every memory (good and bad) that has had an emotional impact on our lives.  When we discover “balance” by learning the lesson, these events are no longer stored in the fascia where information would be pushed up for recognition.  Instead it is sent deep into our ‘energy systems’ for “reference”.

The fascia contains numerous cross energy currents, that needs to be moist to allow the free flow of energy. .It’s only been recent that we’ve begun to understand its intimate connection to the natural currents of the body. In different areas of the body, the fascia varies in thickness and strength, forming a shield of protection and location to the more delicate organs, like the spleen, liver, pancreas and gallbladder.

The fascia, also known as connective tissue is made up of three basic components: Elastin, Collagen, and a Ground Substance. Elastin, a fibrous substance, allows the fascia to be stretchy, flexible and expandable. When you think of elastin, think of an expanding and contracting elastic. Collagen another fibrous substance, allows the fascia to be strong, supportive and structural. Collagen gives fascia its strength and integrity. Blended in with, and in between, these fibrous elements is the ground substance. It is the gel or goo, so to speak, that allows the fascia great fluidity, in its normal state.

Apparently there are approximately 120 types of fascia found in every region of the body.  The abdominal area has may levels of fascia; in fact it has the greatest concentration of fascia in the body. Together the deep and superficial fascia hold our skin, muscles, bones, organs and systems together, offering them  a shield of protection and lubrication…certain areas hold stronger concentrations of energy..interconnected with all the inner workings of the body.

Habitual poor posture causes the fascia to bind down or clump together to support the pressure that’s been imposed on it. This causes the fascia to deform, creating an abnormal pull , which in turn worsens the condition. Because this imbalance occurs over a long period of time, We don’t usually realize it until the pain becomes excruciating.

“Fascia shrinks and toughens in response to any kind of stress; physical, environmental or psychological. When your posture closes for an extended period, pressure through the crystalline ground substance signals special cells within your fascia to produce more fiber. This causes overlapping fascial sheaths to adhere to one another. The knots we feel in our muscles when we are tense result when adjacent layers of fascia stick together. Chronic tension in the upper shoulders for example, causes fascia around the involved muscles to form adhesions that make it difficult to stretch out. “The New Rules of Posture: How to Sit, Stand and Move in the Modern World ~ by Mary Bond

“The long-term effects of stress on your body can be devastating. Not only are you plagued by an increase of stress hormones you also suffer from other aspects of the Fight or Flight Response. In Fight Response you hold on tightly. You tighten your muscles as if you were preparing to do battle with an enemy. If you remain frozen in this state of consciousness over time, your muscle tissue continues to shorten, harden, dry out and bond together. The fascia, or “connective tissue proper” as it is often called, forms layers around and between your muscles. When the muscles remain in a constant state of contraction, they bond together in a process called “hydrogen bonding.” Return to Nature: The Five Pillars of Healing ~ by Jon Burras

Fascia is designed to counteract stress by absorbing and distributing it along its entire network to maintain balance and to help reduce both physical and emotional trauma to the body. “Restrictions” of any nature can cause the fascia to shorten, solidify and thicken as it constantly tries to deal with stress and tension throughout its entire network. Because the fascia works as a complete network from head to toe, it effect and cause structural problems anywhere in the body.

“Over time, fascial restrictions insidiously spread like a pull in a sweater or stocking. Flexibility and spontaneity of movement are lost, setting t up the body for more trauma, pain and movement limitation. Although fascia is predominantly aligned top to toe, abnormal forces can cause it to twist and turn increasing the tensile force, pulling the body out of its three-dimensional alignment with the vertical gravitation axix. This results in biomechanical inefficiency and highly energy-consuming movement and posture (Barnes 1990). Deformation of tissues and the tensile force of the entire fascial unity can create pressure of up to 2,000 pounds per square inch on pain-sensitive structures (Katake 1961). MYOFASCIAL RELEASE ~ Ruth Duncan

It is important to know that restrictions in the fascia do not show up in any of the normal testings, such as CT scan, X-rays, myelograms, blood work etc.  This is why, for a long time, myofascial problems were misdiagnosed or completely ignored.

Imagining the fascia as liquid crystal flowing into every cell and nucleus in the body, we can sense its extreme sensitivity/receptivity to our insides and emotions. Metaphysically we know unexpressed emotions of the past can become locked in our tissues and organs; the fascia then would undoubtedly retain physical trauma, memories, scars, pain and stress. This ‘irritation’ also causes inner friction, reduced movement and restrictions in tissue growth. . All these can cause the fascia to tighten, becomes knotted, congested, sticky or brittle; not only is there restriction in the area of the injury; but also affecting other areas of the body.  This can cause layers of the fascia to become glued together restricting blood flow to joints, limiting nerve activity and muscle contractions. Movement would be more painful, putting us in a holding pattern that affects the body, mind and emotions. Because the fascia is a web, like a spider’s web, a pull in any one part will cause a reverberation through the entire system.

“Because the fascia connects to all body regions, adhesions in one place can create strain in distant areas. A stiff knee can derive from restricted fascial organization in a foot or hip, from adhesions around digestive organs, or even from imbalanced head position due to hearing loss in one ear. Any immobilized region tugs on distant strands of the holistic fabric, distorting the entire organ of posture.” The New Rules of Posture: How to Sit, Stand and Move in the Modern World ~ by Mary Bond

As well, the fascia is a web or tapestry of family threads, inborn traits and emotional memories. The emotional pain originates early in childhood when the unconditional love that the child needs is not received. The parents usually mean well but their love wasn’t freely given, because they’ve were hiding from their own emotional pain. Not only are they afraid of showing emotions, they’re also afraid of feeling them. This emotional suppression tightens the threads of fascia in a stranglehold and the individual looks like they’re sitting on a time-bomb of sadness, anger and fear, which either explodes, or trickles out in states of moodiness.

If we try to avoid or deny we’re suffering, most of the time it becomes more intense, often showing up in different areas of our bodies with increasing vengeance.

“Copper wire is a well-known conductor of electricity. If copper wire becomes twisted or crushed, it loses its ability to conduct energy properly. It is thought that the fascia may act like copper wire when it becomes restricted through trauma, inflammatory processes, or poor posture over time. Then its ability to conduct the body’s bioelectricity seems to be diminished, setting structural compensations and, ultimately, symptoms or restrictions of motion.” Treatment of Chronic Pain by Integrative Approaches: ~ by Albert L.Ray 

HEALING THE FASCIA/MYOFASCIA

MYO means ‘muscle’, and fascia means ‘tissue’.  We already know the fascia or connective tissue is a continuous web-like three dimensional structure that intertwines, surrounds and supports every muscle and cell in the body.  The term myofascia, refers to both the muscle (myo) and its ‘fascia’ as a single unit.

In truth, when we move, we are mostly feeling this through the fascia layers and not so much our muscles. The fluidity of the fascia allows to the muscles to slide and glide through, next to and across one another. Even when the mind is going through all ups and downs of glory and defeat, your fascia is going through a thousand details (involuntarily) before you move a single muscle.  So even though your body hasn’t performed a task, the fascia is working hard at fighting and resisting your perceived circumstances.  In truth, it shouldn’t be fighting at all!

There are several modes of healing that aim to release tightness in muscles by stretching tight bands of fascia in the muscles and skin. Myofascial Release, Bowen Therapy, Reiki, Quantum Healing, Shiatsu, Acupuncture, Acupressure are designed to release chronically shortened muscle fibers through hands-on-healing and slow stretching.

“Shiatsu as ‘bodywork’ is distinguished by pressure, which has a specific effect on the connective tissue….body tissue which have become congested, brittle or poorly circulated can rapidly regain hydration and flexibility through the application of pressure…and a better connection in communication throughout the cells of the whole body (piezoelectricity).  SHIATSU THEORY AND PRACTICE ~ Carola Beresford-Cooke

~ to be continued….

Great Links

Excellent  article on the fascia https://chirobeans.wordpress.com/2012/02/01/fascia-havent-you-heard-everyones-talking-about-it/

This is a great site on the fascia http://www.selfcare4rsi.com/fascia.html

Fascia ~ Strolling Under the Skin https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eW0lvOVKDxE

TV Documentary on the Fascia https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vIFDwDdGnhQ

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