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Navigating Healing
Part 1 of 3

"When I navigate a voyage, I know when the storm comes it's gonna take you to the bone. And if the storm keeps coming you gotta stand up, it's just what you gotta do."

"And it's this zone where you learn to make fear your best friend. You hold it really close to you and open up that door to believing that you can make it."

~Nianoa Thompson, Hawaiian Navigator

Healing is a voyage. The most important trip you'll ever take. It occurs when you make fear and pain your friends. When you stop fighting what is happening inside you and begin to work with it.

In 1976 Nianoa Thompson was part of a crew of visionary Hawaiians who sailed a double-hulled voyaging canoe from Hawaii to Tahiti and back using only primitive navigational tools for 5,500 miles. Proving that Hawaii could have indeed been settled by ancient Polynesians which was a ground-breaking idea at the time.

"Nobody could see the canoe here (in Hawaii). Too beaten, knocked out of you,
no dreams, no hope, can't see."

There were those in this community that loved this canoe, prayed for it. And there were those who feared this canoe because they sensed change."

This is what often happens to those of us with chronic pain and physical dysfunction and all too often to just about everyone throughout the course of life. When people finally get here for treatment, they can hardly believe that healing is even possible any more let alone dream themselves living the life they've always really wanted. So many of us have forgotten how to dream or have had it beaten out of us by life but our injuries are not punishments, they are invitations for growth, learning and increasing self-awareness.

~To be continued


Red Heart in Pieces

The Darkness Within
Part 2 of 3

I know how hard it is to believe that healing is possible and dreams can come true. I certainly had all the hope beat out of me at one point in my life too. I remember when I first learned about myofascial release fearing that even though it healed so many other people it wouldn't work for me. I was far too broken for it to work on me...right?

That was how I felt after 2 car accidents 11 months apart culminating in a fractured vertebrae in my spine and many symptoms that made me feel like humpty dumpty in a pile of pieces on the floor.

And healing was scary, it was so scary sometimes and so painful that I thought I'd never survive it and at times I wasn't even sure if I wanted to.

This is the darkness that comes when we've been hurt physically, mentally, and emotionally. This is the darkness within. Inside that darkness is where healing lies. I don't mean that as some obscure metaphor but as exact directions. At the corner of Fear and Pain in the depths of your Darkness, when you drop in and feel what is truly there. And in that darkness you let go of your inner resistance and sob a river of tears, rage tearing down all the walls or feel whatever is there. When you finally let feelings pour in and out of you again and you can breathe again.

That's how it was for me. If I had never let myself feel those terrifying feelings and that horrible physical pain, over and over again until I was really pretty well cleared out, I never would have made it out of that personal hell. I felt imprisoned in my own body. And I thought for many years that there was no way out.

That was how it was presented to me by the doctors and physical therapists I had seen. "You're screwed kid get used to it." When I was discharged from physical therapy at a reputable alternative PT center in my town I remember the therapist saying "you're just going to be like a little old lady for the rest of your life," I was 25 years old at the time. I couldn't lift a gallon of water, my gut was a mess, I was in severe constant pain and I could barely move...

~To be concluded

 



Mountain Top

Climbing Everest
Part 3 of 3

...I struggled like that for 4 years until I happened upon Barnes style myofascial release. The pain of treatment never really fazed me once the MFR therapist explained to me that it was safe since I was in excruciating pain anyway. And when I felt the relief it brought afterward, oh it was heavenly. I said bring it on, bring on the pain if it will help me get better. And it did. I have never looked back.

Going into your own depths is scary, it is painful, it can be downright terrifying but the freedom that comes makes it all worthwhile. Now I help others descend into their own depths, feel their pain and find their way back to the surface again, freeing themselves from their own pain and I love it. It is a beautiful journey to make yourself and to guide others on.

Many of you have heard me make this analogy and it feels quite true to me. Healing is like climbing Mt. Everest. Your MFR therapist can act as a guide and help you navigate the rough terrain, you likely wouldn't make it without them, but it is up to you to put one foot in front of the other and make that climb.

Now I've never climbed Everest but I have made my way out of an injury that some might use as an excuse to 'sit life out', take pain killers, complain or use as some excuse to not live fully. And I found a way to really heal that pain and not just mask it or ignore it. That was my Everest and I made it and I continue to climb because there is always more to learn and to release. Now I guide others to its great peaks too and walk along with them as they reel at its dizzying heights and bask in its stunning views.

It is a wild ride this thing we call healing, and a fantastic voyage. It never gets old and keeps you forever young. It calls to you once you've started it and draws you onward to its naturally intoxicating highs and its bottomless lows and somewhere along the way the two become one. High and low no longer matter as long as you are on the journey you are happily heading in the right direction.

 

 

salad

10 "Fun" Facts
about
Healthy Eating

1. The fascia must be released before you can even take in the nutrients from a healthy diet or any diet for that matter.

2. When you cook raw veggies they turn to pure sugar (sorry, I know that one sucks). Raw veggies are wonderfully healthy and very low in sugar and carbs.

3. Gluten free is not really that healthy. Go Grain-free and feel the great difference.

4. Fresh lemon juice in water makes a healing antacid good for heartburn symptom relief. For actual healing of heartburn you'll need myofascial release in that area.

5. Flour and water is used to make Paper mache', gluing newspaper into shapes. Flour and
water make glue in your gut too. It's not healthy, breads, pasta, crackers... :(

6. Soda of all kinds regular, diet, all of it, it's not good for you, not even a little bit. I call it 'diabetes in a can', it can also cause your bones to lose calcium.

7. Too much protein is a big health issue in the U.S., much bigger than too little protein which is actually rare in this country. Excess protein leads to many diseases.

8. Palm oil is popular, decently healthy and in many health foods and beauty products. But its harvest causes deforestation, climate change and terrible animal killing. Orangutans and sumatran tigers are at risk of extinction due to deforestation for palm oil production. Avoid palm oil and products with palm oil ingredients. saynotopalmoil.com

9. Coconut milk or Almond Mild are tasty, healthy cow milk alternatives. Cow's milk is hard for humans to digest, as it is meant for calf with 4 stomachs and a completely different digestive system than ours. Soy milk is unhealthy too.

10. Avocados, nuts, seeds and olives are very healthy fats you want to eat daily. Don't avoid them, they have a bad rap left over from the 80's 'fat-free' propaganda. Avoid sugar, not healthy fats. Sugar is bad, healthy fats are good for you!

 

trophy

First Place in Healing
How to Get the Most out of your MFR

For truly successful Myofascial Release healing you will need to give it your all, it will have to be the top item on your ‘to do’ list. What you get out of it will equal what you put in to it.

Myofascial Release healing works, period, if you are willing to do the work.  If you are willing to put the time and effort in, feel the sensations and feelings (even the really tough ones),  if you are willing to dare to let go, soften into the pain and allow yourself to change you will heal.

If you leave your treatment and don’t think about what came up for you on the table the rest of the day you’ll miss a big opportunity for healing.  The treatment is just the beginning.  It’s like someone giving you a push on the swings.  They get you going then it’s up to you to lean in to it and see how far you can get with what they gave you and your own determination. So pay attention to how you feel in the hours/next few days after your treatment. Do you get achy, feel: calmer, anxious, sad, angry, or think of events or persons from your past you haven’t thought of in a long time, etc.  Notice what changes.

To get the best results from your MFR treatments:
~Pay the fullest attention possible to what you are feeling & soften into it

even if it hurts, feel how you feel about that pain, frustrated, sad, angry...feel it  
~Work with your therapist as a team & ask for guidance when you need it
if you are falling asleep or thinking of other things the healing will stop
~It will hurt sometimes, let it hurt, soften into the pain & feel 

therapeutic pain is a part of healing, it is safe to feel it, it will not injure you
~Do your homework, use your tools to practice softening into your pain at home
tough spots need repeated release while you feel the sensations/emotions until they are cleared

For those who have lived in intense pain there is nothing better than the relief of that pain.  True healing is so much better than just masking the pain with drugs or cortisone shots.  If the drugs/shots even relieve the pain (which often they don’t), they can have dangerous side effects. But most importantly the issue that caused the pain was not fixed and the pain was merely numbed.  This unfixed issue then can continue to get worse until it becomes catastrophic.

Pain, discomfort, emotions, this is how your body communicates with you.  These are the only ways it has to tell you what is going on inside yourself.  Instead of shutting your body up or ignoring it, MFR teaches you how to listen to your body and gives you the tools to then deal with whatever it is your body needs.  You have pain, lack of mobility, anxiety, sadness, rage, Myofascial Release gives you real tools to deal with these issues, not mask them or talk about them but instead to work them out and finally move on and live fully.

My first MFR therapist used to say “healing is not a passive event, it is an active sport”.  And like any other sport, if you want that gold medal in healing you’ll have to carve out the time, put your heart in to it and give it your all.  And you will win!

 




Choosing the right MFR Therapist

Something that comes up often for people is that their results vary greatly one MFR therapist to another.  This can be confusing, especially when both therapists technically have the same level of experience.

One thing to keep in mind, what makes a great therapist is what they have healed in themselves.  No one can show you the way down a path they have never taken. If a therapist has not really healed anything difficult in themselves or dared to dive in to their deepest darkest pains/feelings, they won’t be able to help you heal your pain either. Personal experience is how you really learn MFR.

So even though therapists may have the same professional credentials or may have taken the same seminars, like any other profession, not all therapists are created equal.  What I look for in an MFR therapist for myself is someone who has healed something serious in themselves.  Breaking physically or emotionally into a million pieces and learning to put your pieces back together is the only way to learn how to heal yourself or help someone else heal.

Another piece of MFR treatment that can be confusing is some therapists use a lighter touch and some use a firmer touch. MFR has many parts and levels of touch to it which all must be woven together for what is right for the client in that moment.  Light touch is certainly appropriate at times. But if the treatment is always super light touch it will not release the deeper fascial restriction and adhesions or give lasting results and pain relief, etc.  

If you or your clients prefer light touch MFR is it because that is truly what is best for you right now or because a firmer pressure makes you feel something you don’t like or don’t want to feel.  Going in to that, and feeling what you don’t like about the sensations/emotions that come up is essence of MFR and true healing.  To be a great therapist for yourself or someone else you have to help yourself or whoever you’re treating descend into their pain and feel what they don’t want to feel. That’s healing!

 

therapy toolsBe Your Own Therapist

Self treatment can help you get the pain relief you need in between treatments and give you time to practice softening into your tightness and pain.  Then when you do get treated you can let go faster and get the best and quickest results possible.

The basics: Get on on the therapy tools, find an appropriate level of  
   challenge, soften into the pain.
~If you are clenching against the pain on a therapy tool you will not be    able to soften and get the pain relief you need. 
~If you can soften even though it hurts, that’s perfect. 
~If you cannot soften, take the tool to a softer surface like your bed or
   use a softer, smaller tool.
~If a tool doesn’t challenge you then you need a tougher or larger one.

More advanced: Once you’ve mastered softening over the therapy tools, the next step is to really pay attention to what you are feeling during your self treatment. If you are using your therapy tools or treating someone else, what you are thinking about while you are treating is important. Can you pay attention to what you feel despite the pain/fear/anxiety/rage/etc., it might bring up instead of distracting yourself, watching TV, texting, and never really giving your body your full attention?

Focusing your attention on what you can feel in your body is an important part of healing. Being disconnected from your body while doing self-therapy, getting treated or treating someone else will seriously lessen the effectiveness of the treatment. Self treatment practice can grow your healing abilities for yourself or for helping others.

To heal, you have to go through everything your body is holding on to and decide to keep it or let it go. With a therapy tool or an MFR therapists’ help, you feel what hurts. If you can soften into the pain and feel it, that’s how you let it go. If you cannot find a way to soften and feel, that’s how you hold on to that pain and tightness.  Are you ready to feel the pain and let it go? Or do you want to keep it?

 


Colorful hands
Monthly MFR Workshop
New monthly healing workshop for clients and therapists

For Clients: A monthly opportunity to be treated by myself and the visiting therapists joining us for a day of practice to enhance their MFR skills. Multiple therapist treatments are powerful and with all the extra hands working together we can get a great amount done in only one hour. For those who unwind as part of their MFR healing, multiple therapists to remove gravity gives you incredible freedom in unwinding and really lets you fly.

For Therapists: This is a monthly mentoring workshop for those interested in growing their MFR healing skills in a hands-on, small group experience, treating clients. Learn to feel through your hands into your clients fascia and finely hone the art of releasing their restrictions. Practice encouraging the client to work with you on the table and inspiring them to keep it up at home. Educating them on home therapy every session, helping them navigate their entire healing journey & reach their goals.

The clients healing goals are their responsibility but it is my responsibility as their therapist to make sure they are properly educated on how to make their healing goals a reality. And to walk along the healing path with them offering support and guidance.

When we start out as therapists we are just piecing together techniques learned in seminars. Over years of practice, seminars and mentoring, we grow the skills to let go of using just the techniques and begin to treat the client with exactly what they need. Going beyond the techniques by fine tuning the angle, pressure, hand position, etc, finding the restrictions and figuring out how to engage those areas best to
facilitate the release. MFR is a very creative practice and I do believe it is an art.

I mentored with some great, expert level therapists for the first 7 years of my MFR career. It gave me the practice, skills and confidence I needed to really guide people through their healing. Plus it's fun to work as a team and watch people heal!

Participating in the Mentoring Workshop as a client or a therapist will take you to a deeper level of healing yourself or facilitating the healing of others. We will all work together for the deepest healing of the client we are treating. For details, visit my MFR Mentoring webpage.

 

            Living Fascia
             Click the picture for a video of
                       fascia in motion

Fascia is a dense connective tissue that covers the human body from head to toe. There are many layers of fascia within us which lend internal strength and support to our bodies.  In fact it is the fascia that is responsible for where your bones align within you.

So if your vertebrae or hips keep coming out of alignment it is the soft tissue, the fascia, tugging the bones out of place. Releasing the restrictions that pull that area out of it’s proper placement will allow the body to self correct and come back into alignment. Fascia surrounds every muscle, bone and organ within the body and even surrounds and penetrates every cell. So healthy fascia is very important for everything from proper mobility, strength & flexibility to healthy bones, organs & glands.

With a tensile strength of up to 2,000 pounds of pressure per square inch, fascia is a powerful force within you.  It is your shock absorption system. Keeping your fascia springy and free is key to bouncing instead of breaking. Unseen even in X-rays, CAT scans and MRIs, fascial restrictions are completely invisible and yet they are responsible for the pains and problems in your body. Releasing the fascia can bring incredible relief and help you regain or maintain good health.

Because fascial research is just taking off in the last few years most people are not fully aware of fascia’s incredible influence on our bodies and our lives.  Pain, disease, lack of mobility, allergies are all signs of fascial restrictions.  Mental and emotional issues, like depression, short temper, addictions, these also have their roots in the fascial system.  Instead of drugging and just putting off issues like pain or depression why not address the fascial cause for the issue and do some real healing?

 

Fact_or_Fiction


MFR Mythbusters

There are so many potentially confusing aspects to healing. Let's look at a few common myths about healing so they don't fool you.

bustedMyth #1  One of my legs is shorter
Actual leg length discrepancies are incredibly rare. It is the rotation in your hips (which most people have to some degree) that makes one leg seem longer than the other. This can then cause other issues like back pain, sciatica, plantar fasciitis, etc. Balance the hips to remove the rotation and the legs become even length. Wearing shoe inserts to even leg length will only keep your hips twisted and pain growing.
bustedMyth #2  When I have pain I should ice it  
Icing is only potentially useful for the first three days after a fresh injury. After that, icing for regular pain relief can slow your healing process. The body's natural inflammatory response is an important part of the healing process. When you ice you stop that inflammatory process from finishing. This traps inflammation in your body and causes fascial restrictions. To heal we have to get that trapped inflammation out of your system. Self therapy and MFR treatment are meant to kick up your body's natural inflammatory response on purpose to get that old inflammation out.
busted
Myth #3  Immobilize areas of pain by wearing a brace  
Unless you have a broken bone or an injury which must set or knit itself back together, you want to avoid immobilization.  It should not be used for daily pain relief. When you immobilize an area of your body it will increase the fascial restrictions there which in turn will lead to decreased mobility and strength and an eventual increase in pain.  Release the restrictions that cause your joint pain or foot pain instead and you will relieve the pain and make the joint healthy again.

All of these myths come down to healing the true cause of the pain vs. short term symptom relief. The real trouble with just relieving symptoms is without the pain you can't feel that you are leaving fascial restrictions in your body that can misalign your spine, wear down your joints, herniate discs and impair organ function.  This leaves these issues until they become catastrophic instead of dealing with them when they are just aches and pains, which are your body's way of asking you for help.
Listen to your body's messages and heal it now!


flame

Pain, Friend or Foe?
We are constantly bombarded with images and messages telling us that all pain is bad. But in truth pain is how your body communicates with you.

If you are given a prescription for pain killers, you may want to think twice before filling it. Those drugs are symptom management, healing the issue instead is a healthier option.

People seem to think that they have to take pain meds if they have pain. But this is completely untrue, in fact those meds can slow or completely stop your healing process.  They do not 'cure' you, they just make it so you can't feel the pain anymore.  The trouble is with the pain removed you won't seek out a real fix for the issue, you just numb yourself.

Shutting your body up with pain killers leaves the problem within you to worsen. This is like seeing that your house is on fire and just taking the batteries out of the smoke detector. If you don't put the fire out the house is going to burn down.  The sooner you act the easier that fire will go out.

So the question is, is pain really a bad thing?  Getting upset about the existence of pain in your body is like being angry at the smoke detector that your house is on fire.  It's trying to save your life. Maybe pain is really a friend trying to help you not an enemy trying to ruin your life?

For authentic healing, you want to feel the pains in your body, that is how you fix them.  You don't have to resist the pain, you can give in to it, feel it and let it go.  Use therapeutic pain in treatment or with your therapy tools, follow it into the pain and feel it. With pain, the only way out, is in.

 


story

"This is my Testimonial"
by Gerianne

Liana has been the best thing that could have happened to me.  I was in severe pain and taking 600 mg of ibuprofen at least 4 times a day and the pain was getting worse.  My back was twisting (twisting like scoliosis) and pain was going down my right leg.  I could not walk for long periods of time.

I started seeing Liana in February of 2013.  My drive is 2 hours (each way).  My husband drove me to see her and when I was done with my treatment I had to sleep going home.  I went every week and by May I was good enough to drive by myself.  

I continued to see her that year every week.  Also I was taking very little pain pills.
When we fixed a spot on my body and it healed, we pealed another layer of the onion and worked on that (next) spot.  As time went on I got better and better.  
 
Have patience and do what she tells you to work on until your next appointment. You will have progress and sometimes regression to your path to healing.  You are worth being healthy. Remember that your body did not get the way it is now over night.  It took time to get this way (and it will take time to heal).
 
For me it is a journey of healing the whole body.  Physical, Emotional, and Spiritual. I truly wanted to heal my whole body so I had to face somethings in my life that I did not want to face.  I had to be truthful with my self.
 
I have people tell me that I look great and still look the same as I did and it has been 10 years since I have seen them.  I am 72 years young and feel great. My body is limber. I can get up and down with ease, I can work off a ladder, get on my hand and knees and do yard work, and many other things.  
 
I still see Liana now and will keep seeing her.    ~Gerianne, Bloomington, IL

 



meditation

MFR and Meditation

The practice of quieting the mind to feel and be with what is behind the chatter is used in both meditation and in MFR.  It is what we should be doing while we are meditating, receiving MFR treatment or working with our self therapy tools.

Healing does not occur when someone is thinking, if we could think ourselves to health we'd all be healed.  It is only when we are feeling and being present with what is inside us (beyond the chatter, without resistance) that true, deep healing, transformation and quantum shifts in perception occur

I remember when I first asked my father how to meditate he told me meditation is like sitting at a train station inside yourself.  The thought trains come and you just watch them pass, you don't get on the train.  If you find yourself thinking, 'riding a thought train', you let it go and bring yourself back to the station again.  When an emotion 'train' comes it's the same thing, I let myself feel it as it passes through me but I don't need to think about it, I just feel it. In that state I am deeply connected to myself and my instincts and I can have deep insights and profound shifts and gratitude for my life.

When I was doing my yoga teacher training we had to sit in meditation and after my accidents sitting was the hardest thing on my body, especially sitting upright with nothing supportive behind me. But I knew from my MFR training that going into my pain was the best thing for my healing.  

So I sat in mediation with the group and it hurt so bad that tears would stream down my face as I sat silently exploring my pain and feeling it without resistance.  That went on for a few months and then one day I had this picture pop into my head of a section of my spine shifting back into place and in that moment the pain stopped abruptly.  It was awesome and showed me the power of being present with my pain, not resisting it but instead moving into the pain.  

In this case I was moving into the pain internally but in MFR unwinding then I actually move my body into the pain in order to release it.  Myofascial release and unwinding allows me to take these principals used in meditation to the next level, moving into my pain, fear, anger, sadness but with that presence and connection to my internal self that is necessary to power the release and the unwinding.

Connecting to your body is not always fun, but it is always healing and as you clear some of your physical and emotional pain your body can become a beautiful place to be again.

 

emotions

Emotions Make You Stronger
The word 'emotion' comes from an old latin word meaning 'energy in motion', so emotions are simply the movements of your energy within you. There is nothing to be embarrassed or ashamed of about having emotions. Our ability to heal ourselves (and others), our instincts, our ability to connect and empathize with others all come from our ability to feel.

Our society has taken this amazing and completely natural part of being human, having emotions, and made it a bad thing. Often, when I treat a client, I can feel we are treating an important spot that needs to release and has emotions within it. But I can also feel the client desperately trying not to cry, shout, feel their fear or 'fall apart' and it keeps the spot from releasing, which keeps them from healing fully.  

If you don't let your emotions come up in a healthy way they can have a negative effects on your health. They can also come out in unhealthy ways like road rage, etc. This dysfunctional emotional expression happens when we suppress our feelings until they erupt out of us in inappropriate ways.  It is not the same as expressing healthy emotions which is an important part of your healing and a healthy part of life.  

So when a wave of emotion comes over you there are 2 healthy choices you could make: 1) you let yourself feel the emotions and express yourself fully right then and there (while emotionally good for you this is not always safe or appropriate). Or 2) you tell yourself 'I'm not in a place where I can feel this fully right now, so when I get home tonight I'm going to let this emotion come up again and feel it fully then', then you keep that promise to yourself.  

You just have to replay the situation in your mind once you're home and the feeling will come right up again. Then you can beat up your bed, scream, cry, shake, feel the fear or whatever the feeling is that comes up for you. When you let the emotions move through and out of you, then you don't leave them to solidify within you into fascial restrictions and unhealthy emotional baggage.  Instead you let the emotions fortify and power you and find energy or calm you didn't know you had within you.

Be brave, feel your pain, feel your emotions, they are completely natural, healthy and the key to your healing. You've got to feel it to heal it!

 



Fact_or_Fiction


MFR Mythbusters II

There are so many potentially confusing aspects to healing. Let's look at a few common myths about healing so they don't fool you.

bustedMyth #1  Wear a night guard to stop grinding teeth 
In truth the only thing a night guard does is stop you from wearing down your teeth. But you are still clenching your jaw all night as you wear it. This clenching can lead to headaches migraines, tightness in the neck and much more. MFR treatment or self treatment to your jaw, neck, belly and other related areas can relieve the constant clenching and remove the need for a bite plate or night guard altogether.
bustedMyth #2  Self therapy made me feel worse, it didn't work  
Usually when self therapy or MFR treatment makes you feel worse it means you did it just right. That is called a healing crisis. While it can be uncomfortable for a while after you get off the therapy tool or off the treatment table, it is a great sign of healing and change. Once it passes you'll feel the progress you've made. Or sometimes when you first start working with therapy tools you forget to soften over them. If you lay on a therapy tool for 5 minutes clenching against the pain the whole time you might feel tighter afterward. Get a slightly gentler tool or take it to a softer surface and try again. 
busted
Myth #3  Corrective insoles for foot pain and issues    
Foot pain like plantar fasciitis occurs when the fascia on the feet and in the low legs has tightened, dehydrated and lost its spring. Freeing the tissue in these and any connected areas will relieve the pain and return their spring. Insoles to even leg length or correct over pronation will interfere with your healing process. This is because both of these issues are caused by unbalanced hips.  If we balance your hips and then you walk on your corrective insoles again it will unbalance your hips again and again. If you need extra padding in your shoes regular insoles from the grocery store are best.

All of these myths come down to healing the true cause of the pain vs. short term symptom relief. The real trouble with just relieving symptoms is without the pain you can't feel that you are leaving fascial restrictions in your body that can misalign your spine, wear down your joints, herniate discs and impair organ function.  This leaves these issues until they become catastrophic instead of dealing with them when they are just aches and pains, which are your body's way of asking you for help.
Listen to your body's messages and heal it now!

forward head


Forward Head

For every inch of forward head posture, the weight of the head increases on the spine by an additional 10 lbs.

This may not sound like much but an extra 10 lbs sitting on top of your neck is very serious. It will make the muscles on the back and sides of your neck, front of your throat, shoulders & upper back very tight and hard. Forward head is also a symptom of misalignment lower in your body.

Keep in mind that just pulling your head backward, if it is forward, would be a very bad idea since this will further tighten these areas that are already a problem and make things worse in the long run. Upper body strengthening, such as lifting weights or using resistance bands, should be suspended if you are actively working on healing this area.  Once it's free and your symptoms are completely gone we can make a plan for reintroducing these activities in an appropriate way.  

Extreme tension in your neck, shoulders and upper back can lead to headaches, migraines, vertigo, nausea, vertebral issues that might lead you to a cervical fusion, numbness or pain down the shoulders, arms or hands, herniated discs, vision issues, ear trouble, TMJ, rotator cuff tears, strokes, and more. It is a very important area to free up and return to it's natural, springy state of ease.

 Take the Forward Head Challenge:  Hold a necklace on the front of your chin and notice where the bottom of the chain or pendant touches your sternum while your head is in a neutral position.  If it doesn't touch anything and just swings in the air out in front of you, you have a serious case of forward head.  Ideally the bottom of the necklace would touch the middle of your sternum if your head were balanced right above your shoulders nicely.

 




fasciawoman



Can MFR Help

(insert your symptom here)?

I get these questions all the time. Can MFR help chronic pain, fibromyalgia, migraines, TMJ? Yes. Can it help plantar fasciitis, calcifications, IBS, PTSD? Yes. How about herniated discs, bone density, spinal misalignment, decreased organ function, tumors, cancer, the answer is yes MFR can help.

But how can releasing the fascia and dealing with the tissue memory within it make such profound healing changes throughout the entire body?  

Remember back to the article on fascia (click for fascia article).  It surrounds and penetrates every muscle, bone, organ, tendon, even every cell in your body.  If your body were an ocean the fascia would be the water.  The health of your ocean depends on the health of it's water 100%, it houses, feeds and cleans everything in your ocean just like your fascia does for you.

In a society where we see a specialist for this and a different one for that, it can be hard to understand that one part of you could be so important.  Fascia effects the entirety of you head to toe, bones to skin and far beyond.  

Fascia is still the 'new kid on the block' so many people, even many doctor's, don't yet know just how important healthy fascia is to your body.  Myofascial release has been achieving great pain relief and healing benefits for decades and now science is finally catching up and explaining why it works so well. We can now see fascia in a living person as we saw in the the fascia video and we can start to see and more fully understand the incredible beauty and importance of a healthy fascial system!

 

Earth Day: 3 Ways You Can Help the Earth
The good news is making healthier choices for your body and the earth are one and the same. Consider these simple changes you can make to help your body and our planet earth be healthier places to live.


earth

1) Consider a Vegetarian Diet. Regardless of your personal thoughts on meat-eating, meat production in the U.S. pollutes our land and water. 

Factory farming relies on the millions of acres of heavily chemically sprayed feed corn grown right here in our backyards. These chemicals have terrible negative health consequences for humans and our ecosystem, causing cancer, polluting water, harming wildlife, plant life, etc.

For a country and planet, trying to conserve it's precious resources and put less toxic chemicals in our bodies, on our soil and in our water, choosing a vegetarian diet is a great step you can take to help clean up this planet! 

2) Choose Natural Cleaning & Beauty Products. Natural versions of these products are healthy for you, your family and the planet as well as being very cost effective when you DIY.  

Cleaning products
that are good for you and the environment
Use: vinegar, baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, and castile soap 
T
o clean: sinks, toilets, floors, windows, countertops, etc. Add essential oils for a fresh twist.

Beauty products with a few simple basics you can do almost anything:

  • Olive Oil for skin moisturizer-olive oil contains elastin which keeps skin taut
  • Coconut oil for make-up removal, rub on-wipe off all natural and safe around your eyes
  • Castile soap makes great body wash, shampoo, hand soap and dish soap, if you buy it concentrated (like dr. bronner's) you can dilute it and add any essential oil you fancy.

3) Buy Organic Produce and Products.  The only way to avoid dangerous, toxic foods these days is to buy organic; organic produce, organic packaged foods, organic beverages, etc. Conventional (or non-organic) produce is covered in incredibly harmful chemicals like glyphosate which are sprayed on our local cornfields and are known to cause cancers like brain and breast cancer, lymphoma, kidney/liver disease, heart disease, IBS, celiac's disease, ADHD, alzheimer’s, autism, allergies, etc.

The many drawbacks of conventional agriculture include that it: 

     Degrades and contaminates soil & water and drains aquifers
     Contributes to greenhouse gas emissions, reduces biodiversity & kills and butterflies
     Worsens food safety & promotes disease, nutritional deficiencies and poor nutrition

Conventional produce is also genetically modified (or GMO) which has many negative side effects on our health and our environment.  Numerous health problems have increased after GMOs were introduced in 1996. The percentage of Americans with chronic illnesses and food allergies has skyrocketed, and disorders such as autism, reproductive disorders, digestive problems, and others are quickly on the rise in direct correlation to the unhealthy changes we have made to our food.
GMOs contaminate―forever, Self-propagating GMO pollution will outlast the effects of global warming and nuclear waste. 


Your Magic Eyes


Your eyes and how you focus them effect much more than just how you see. This is a 3D picture, often called a 'magic eye' picture. Learning to see the image in the magic eye picture could be a big step in your healing.


When you adjust your eyes to be able to see the image within the 3D picture above you are opening your focus. When you then adjust your eyes back to be able to read you are using closed focus vision. How your eyes focus all day has a huge impact on your nervous system which greatly impacts your health.


magic eye monkeys

Click on the image to enlarge it.

Your body is actually meant to live in open focus, which has many benefits. When you are in open focus your blood pressure lowers, your body sends energy to digestive and restorative processes and other healing and stress relieving actions within you. Open focus also allows you to use your peripheral vision and fully take in your surroundings without needing to focus on any one thing, the way you would naturally do when you are out in nature, feeling and being a part of the expanse around you.

When you live in closed focus, to work all day at a computer for example, the closed, exact focusing of your eyes can trigger your nervous system into "fight or flight" igniting a number of stress reactions within you. These stress reactions can lead to subconscious changes in your body like tightening muscles, raising your heart rate and stress hormone levels that can lead to exhaustion and sabotage your healing by repeatedly sending you back into your pattern of tightness and pain.

When you are outside see if you can explore the subtle differences in how the focus of your eyes makes you feel. You can practice on the "magic eye" picture above. Allow your vision to blur as you look at the 3D picture and find the hidden picture within. Hint: Almost touch your nose to the screen and back away slowly until the image is seen. Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil.

 



lion

Instincts

Imagine you are a gazelle out on the plains, grazing along and all around having a pretty good gazelle day. Suddenly you get a sense that something is off, the hairs on the back of your neck stand up, you sniff the air and get a whiff of big cat on the breeze. Your body shifts into high alert, diverts all energy to your senses, elevates your adrenaline and prepares you to either fight or run to save your life.

This natural process we call "fight or flight" has been going on for millions of years. In our gazelle experience, if the predator stalked away instead of in our direction or even if it came at us and we were able to run away, this high alert experience would be followed by a period of shaking where our gazelle bodies would dissipate adrenaline and fear left over from our near death experience. After the shaking ends we'd go back to a relaxed state of open focus, calm and grazing as if nothing happened.

If you'd been a human instead of a gazelle and a lion had tried to eat you, you probably wouldn't let yourself shake to release the adrenaline (especially if you had an audience) because humans mistakenly see any lack of self control as a weakness. You'd likely be traumatized by your brush with death. Thinking about it constantly, feeling a victim even though you survived, maybe taking pain killers and anti-anxiety meds to deal with the constant fear that the big cat is around every corner.

The truth is most of us are constantly going through some version of this. Stuck in a loop of fight or flight whether we realize it or not, spinning around and around our unfinished business from the past. This is why during or after a good MFR treatment you may start to shake, you may feel freezing cold or burning hot. As we release the tissues and let your body unwind it will go back to the physical processes that were occurring within you when you were originally injured or traumatized.

To be continued...

 

lion

Instincts Part 2: Reconnecting


To reconnect to your instincts you'll have to clear the past. Every time a process begins within your body but doesn't get to finish it leaves it's mark, and even though you won't realize it, it takes some energy to hold in that unfinished business.

If you've ever been so angry or scared that you felt your body want to tremble but you shut it down, wanted to shout at someone or scream but you held it in or wanted to laugh out loud but you stifled it. All of the natural responses we suppress to be part of a "civilized" society create unfinished business within us, this is called tissue memory. Once any of these processes begin within your body, if they don't get to come out, it actually takes energy to hold them in, eventually we the body creates a fascial restriction to hold things in for us.

You can see this in little kids who we are just being trained to shut down their instincts in order to go to school. They want to laugh or sing or move when they feel it within them, they don't know yet that we don't let ourselves live that freely. So their training begins and we start reprimanding them, they get in trouble for following what they feel, their instincts. And by the time the are adults like us they are so removed from their instincts they can't feel them at all anymore.

...To be Concluded

 

Broken heart

Darkness Within

Mountain Top

Climbing Everest
salad

Food Fun
Trophy

Healing



Choosing a Therapist
therapy tools small
Self- Therapy


colorful_hands
Mentoring
Fascia
busted
Myth Busters I
flame
Pain



story

Testimonial
meditation small

Meditation

emotions

Emotions
busted
Myth Busters II



forward head small

Forward Head
fasciawoman_sm

MFR helps
earth

Earth Day
magic eye
Magic Eye




lion

Instincts
lion

Instincts 2
licking cub

Instincts 3
matrix

Matrix
missingpiece
Missing



brain
Brain & MFR

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Instincts Part 3: Coming Home  

tiger licking cub


For authentic healing to truly work you'll have to reconnect to your instincts, find those inner whims and messages and learn to trust and follow them again.

This will take training or 'un-training' and really this is a large part of MFR healing, helping you reconnect with your instincts again, helping you feel and value the feedback your body gives you from pain to emotions to living according to your rules, following your instincts.
 

Reconnecting can be tough because not only are we all shut down by the time we are adults but we have a strong and deep association between following what we are feeling and being "bad" or feeling socially subversive. I doubt you could find an adult in America that wasn't reprimanded or shamed for doing something that felt right to them when they were a kid. It's how we do.

So when you first dabble in following your instincts again it may feel "wrong" to you or "weird". It's new so it's OK if it feels weird, you can follow your instincts anyway until you learn to trust yourself again.

Your deepest healing will be led by your own instincts, no on else can take you there. You will need helpers but a good helper will follow your lead, guide you back to your own answers and help you learn to heal yourself by following your instincts.

 

matrix

Caught in the Matrix
"I know you're out there. I can feel you now. I know that you're afraid. You're afraid of us. You're afraid of change."

I believe that one of the most beautiful aspects of pain is it's ability to pull you out of the matrix and force you to take a look at reality. It helps you get clear about what is and what is not important and forces you to get real.

Caught in the matrix you might think that your job, possessions or bank account balances are the the most important things in the world.

 

"I don't know the future. I didn't come here to tell you how this is going to end.
I came here to tell you how it's going to begin."

Pain has the unique ability to bring you to the bare truth of what life is really about. It makes you appreciate the small things you've  taken for granite and enjoy the simple beauty of being pain free. Pain itself makes you focus on your body like nothing else ever could. The enemy becomes a savior....

In the Instincts article we talked about connecting to your instincts to reach deeper levels of healing and authentic living. To achieve this inner connection you'll have to pull away from the 'matrix' and question what you believe is possible. The danger of the 'matrix' is that it makes us believe we are insignificant and confined by what society deems possible. This is blatantly obvious when it comes to social beliefs about healing. 

"... I'm going to show these people what you don't want them to see. I'm going to show them a world without you, a world without rules and controls, without borders or boundaries, a world where anything is possible."

The truth is in my body and my healing, I am "the one" just as you are in yours and the realm of healing is a world without rules and controls, without borders or boundaries, a world where anything is possible.

"Where we go from there is a choice I leave to you."

 

 
     
missing piece
The Missing Piece
This is a children's book from the 70's. It is a great story of healing.

When we are injured in some way we often find ourselves trying to get back to what we felt like before we were hurt. But like any attempt to move backward, it doesn't work and even if it did we'd find that wasn't really what we wanted.
 

We won't be who or how we were before, we will have learned something and changed through the process of experiencing life in our unique way and healing. I truly believe that we get injured in order to learn something, to learn a universal truth or gain a deeper understanding of ourselves and our journey. When an injury presents itself it is a message to me that I have some unfinished business that is asking to be finished or unhealed part of me ready for healing or at least ready for me to take the next step.

Maybe this is my way of rationalizing and dealing with the things that have happened to me in my life. But as I explore what my injuries or pains are really about and what lessons they have to teach me, the problems change and disappear. And I gain a deeper understanding of who I really am and how my instincts insist that I live my life, true to myself. Over and over I find that there is no missing piece, it all happens just as it's meant to and the more I embrace that the faster I learn and heal. 

 
 

 

 

 

brain

MFR & The Brain

It is easy to see the benefits of MFR for pain relief and mobility. But did you know that releasing the fascia surrounding your vital organs will help them function optimally and keep you in good health? 

The brain, like any other part of your body, must be free and unrestricted enough to properly deliver nerve impulses, process information and keep you mentally sharp.

 

Removing restrictions around the head, neck, chest and brain will help keep proper blood flow circulating in these areas and be useful in stroke prevention or recovery.The symptoms of Alzheimer's, for example, coincide with a hardening of the brain tissue. Just as hardened tissues elsewhere in the body create pain and disfunction in areas like your neck or knees, when this hardening occurs in the fascia that surrounds and connects to the brain, functional, cognitive and memory issues occur. 

This can actually happen at any age when trauma occurs like whiplash or concussion. Both these traumatic brain injuries cause restrictions and tissue memory that can be felt as a variety of symptoms like migraines, depression, vertigo, nausea, brain fog and memory issues and so much more. These injured tissues will need to be released in order to heal fully and keep the brain function and memory in top shape.

To regain proper function anywhere in the body, including the brain and memory, mobility and suppleness must be restored. Softening up the body the neck, the head, the dural tube and clearing away some of that leftover tissue memory will get you moving freely and thinking clearly. When these areas are relaxed and easy your brain will function at its best and keep you clear and bright.