Transitional Healing

Facilitating Life’s Transitions

Archive for March, 2007

Scar Tissue and Cesarean Birth ( C-Section )

Posted by Angela on March 30, 2007

Over my years of private practice I have treated countless women who experience low back pain.  Their pain has all been similar by a description of pain in the buttocks, sacrum and along the crest of the hips in the back.  A good portion of these women have had children delivered via cesarean (c-section), with resulting prominent scar tissue just above the pubic bone.  Through palpation I have found their lower abdominal region armoured, with very little fascial and tissue glide. 

Through further assessment I found that by stretching or pulling the scar tissue it will typically refer pain into either one or both hip flexors.  The hip flexors or psoas musscles originate at the lumbar vertabrae T12-L5 (your lower back).  The insertion point (or other end) of this muscle is at the lessor trochanter of the femur or in your groin.  When one hip flexor is hypertonic it will typically cause the lower lumbar spine to laterally flex.   As a result pain is manifested, typically either sciatic pain or lower back pain. 

Another symptom I have seen with these clients who have had c-sections is that they may have issues with lower digestion such as irritable bowel syndrome or elimination difficulties.  Again, the tightening created by the scar tissue pulls within the abdominal cavity and thus affects the organs.

Bottom line, typically the scar tissue that formed after the c-section has tightened and pulled their bodies our of balance and the symptoms of pain in the back really originates  in the abdomen.  Fortunately there is a solution that works for most women.  Myofascial and craniosacral help unwind or release the pulling from the scar tissue in the pelvic floor.  The hip flexor(s) can then return to balance or homeostasis.  This relaxation of the tight lower abdominal tissue relieves pressure off of the low back, increases leg movement, and typically relieves pain. 

— Michael

 

Posted in Bodywork Modalities, Chronic Pain, Craniosacral, Healing, Health, Scar Tissue | 236 Comments »

Quote of the Day

Posted by Angela on March 28, 2007

A ritual allows us to participate in the enactment of a myth. 

One prepares internally to move with the image and the transcendent comes through.

 – – Joseph Campbell (Thou art That)

Posted in Archetypes, Life, Quote for the Day, Transitions | Leave a Comment »

Limbic System Part 2 – Amygdala

Posted by Angela on March 27, 2007

The Amygdala is an almond shaped nuclei that is located int he medial temporal lobe of the brain, just in front of the hippocampus.  It is thought that the amygdala is responsible for linking feelings of fear and anxiety which has an intimate relationship with the bodies fight, flight or freeze response.  There are approximately 20 -30 receiving and processing centers in the amygdala and its reaction response can come directly from the thalamus gland.  Hypo or hyper activity in the amygdala can have an impact on understanding fear and anxiety, which may have an impact in processing the bodies fight or flight mechanism.  

Any imbalance or dis-ease within the amygdala has the potential to impact soft tissue integrity throughout the body.    For example a hyper active amygdala can contribute to remaining in fight or flight or freeze.  By remaining in fight or flight or freeze our entire body remains super vigilant, adreneline may be over created, heart rate may remain high etc.  Prolonged periods of this supervigilance can throw off the chemical balances within the body, including the soft tissue.  As a result the soft tissue can loose it’s elasticity and overall health – added to this is that the healing process of deep rest can be compromised during prolonged periods of fight or flight or freeze:  you end up with the potential of more damage and less healing within the soft tissue.   The body has an amazing capacity to heal itself – provided it has the opportunity to do so.

If you feel that you have experienced prolonged periods of fight or flight or stress you may find that your body could use a little assistance in healing.  Basic good health advice prevails – eat well, exercise, get plenty of rest, and reduce stress.  Bodywork can also help, and there are a number of modalities that may be beneficial – the key is to find the one(s) that resonate with you and your body.  We recommend that you trust your own inner guidance in finding the therapy that will work best for you.  

For specific work to facilitate balancing the amygdala we have found that advanced brain work is particularly effective.   We find that combining advanced brain work with other modalities can contribute to working with both potential cause and symptoms that an imbalance in the center for fight, flight or freeze may have led to.

Part 1 of the Limbic System series can be found here

–Michael and Angela

 

Posted in Advanced Brain Work, Bodywork Modalities, Healing, Health, Stress | 2 Comments »

Carpal Tunnel and treatment with Craniosacral Therapy

Posted by Michael on March 26, 2007

Carpal tunnel syndrome manifests many symptoms, including fatigue, pain, and weakness of grip, loss of dexterity, stiffness, cramping, numbness, cold, and burning.  Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS)  may take years to develop and often progresses rapidly if ignored.  This syndrome is often brought on through repetitive use, improper ergonomics, and bad body mechanics.  If CTS goes untreated, loss of work and income often follow.  It has been estimated that Carpal Tunnel Syndrome affects approximately 1% of the U.S. population.  It is estimated that 1 million surgeries for carpal tunnel syndrome are performed each and every year.  Often overwhelming demands and stress at work contribute to the syndrome.   Reducing or managing stress, proper ergonomics, frequent stretching and positional changes can all help to reduce or prevent repetitive injuries. 

Carpal tunnel syndrome usually affects the median nerve between the carpal bones of the hand or hands.  Other factors that can cause or contributre to carpal tunnel syndrome are edema or water retention in the hands or wrist area, subluxsation or misalignment of the carpal bones in the hand, and Myofascial hyper tonicity (tightness in the fascia of the wrist and arm)

There are other injuries that can cause or mimic carpal tunnel pain. Other potential causes or contributors include neck injuries, such as a bulging or herniated discs, shoulder injuries such as rotator cuff problems, and arthritis and tendonitis.  Thoracic outlet syndrome, which is caused by nerve impingement or a lack of or blood supply due to tight muscles in the neck or chest region can also mimic or contribute to carpal tunnel syndrome.

The most common first aid treatment is drug therapy.  The use of anti-inflammatory and rest reduces swelling and pressure on the median nerve, resulting in the return of proper wrist function.  In very advanced cases surgery is an option. It does seem that with the dramatic increase in surgeries that the possibility exists that surgery options are promoted too often and too soon in the course of treatment. 

Even with the dramatic numbers of surgeries, there are many – both clients and physicians – who explore alternative health solutions prior to surgery.  Massage therapy is probably the most often recommended alternative therapy for many types of repetitive strain injuries, and can help in many cases with carpal tunnel syndrom.   Massage has the ability to reduce swelling, remove toxins from the injured site, stretch and release traumatized tissue.  All this is done safely and without drug or surgery side effects. 

Craniosacral and Myofascial Therapies are also indicated for carpal tunnel syndrome.  The therapeutic light pressure of these treatments allows the body to unwind congested fascia around the injured area.  Fascia wraps muscle unit and fiber, muscle fibril and fascicle, and each muscle cell.  This ensheathing layer also wraps the nerves that accompany muscle movement.  So it makes sense that safely unwinding this tissue thorough fascial therapy will result in decreased pain and improved range of motion.

Posted in Craniosacral, Healing, Health, Injury Prevention | 2 Comments »

Quote of the Day – Authentic Self

Posted by Angela on March 22, 2007

The greatest accomplishment in life is to be who you are,

and that means to be who God intended you to be when he created you.

 – – Thomas Keating

Posted in Healing, Life, Quote for the Day, Transitions | 1 Comment »

The Archetype of Mother

Posted by Angela on March 21, 2007

Mother is one of the most diverse of the archetypes in my opinion.  Just  think of some of the many different aspects – we have Mother Nature; Grandmother; Virgin Mother; Good Mom; Working Mother; Devouring Mother; Smothering Mother; Teen Mother; Loving Mother; our own mother; Fairy Godmother; Step Mother; Nurturing Mother; Mother Earth (Gaia) and so on. 

Mother is about creativity and the very act of creation.  It is also about nurturing, guiding, and supporting.  Often mother demonstrates tenancity, protectiveness, resourcefulness.   One of the great lessons of the mother archetype is the process of life and mothering.  It is important to create, nurture, empower and release.  Many a mother struggles profoundly with the process of release – thus we have the whole ’empty-nester’.  

Along the way mother may be called upon for willing sacrifice.  Many a mother who has gone through the process of willing sacrifice came through realizing the process broke their heart wide open and they were filled with unconditional love – truly a potential jewel and gift of the arcehtype of mother. 

Mother also is part of encompassing of the symbolic trinity of maiden – matron – crone.   This symbolism of the trinity is itself also symbolic of the seasons or transitions of life which is also sybolised with Mother Nature.  The cycle goes on . . .

Great Destruction as well as great creation are a potential of the shadow side of the mother.  We think of Mother Nature,  hurricanes (hericanes – which until recently were named based upon the symbolism of feminine destructive powers – don’t worry men / father have equivalent myth)  :8)  

So we have polar opposites: Creation / Destruction – and the duality contained within.  The mother archetype can be a catalyst in the lessons of duality, all encompassing, and wholenss.  I suspect this is why we have so very many archetypical faces for mother.  It is truly one of the archetypes that if we bring into clarity and consciousness can help us understand ourselves at a much deeper level.   

I have only touched upon the many and diverse aspects of the mother archetype.  I invite you to share your own experiences with this archetype.

Posted in Archetypes, Sacred Contracts, Transitions | 7 Comments »

Common Back Pain and Craniosacral

Posted by Michael on March 20, 2007

Low back pain is a very common condition in our society.  There are literally countless ways that our bodies manifest back pain. The low back conditions I see most in my private practice are usually manifested from a few main causes.

The first is occupational posture syndrome, caused by sitting for long periods of time, improper body mechanics, and occupational stress (both emotional and physical).  Sometimes it’s the way we sit at our computers, such as sitting on our wallets, sitting with one leg under our buttocks,  or an setup that  leads us to often sit with the weight of our body to one side or the other.   Any emotionally stressful situations that may occur while we are already in a compromised physical position work like synergy and exponentially increase the physiological impact.   All of these scenarios may cause and/or contribute to hip rotation and low back discomfort.

The second important cause of low back pain is bad exercise habits. No argument that exercising is a good thing for mind, body, and spirit, but improper exercise can be harmful. Bad exercise habits may cause back pain by pushing our bodies beyond tolerable levels, faulty loading, (exercising only one side of the body or one part of the body while ignoring the rest), poor body mechanics during exercise routines, and exercising when pain is present. 

A third common cause of back pain can result from car accidents, often resulting in whiplash injuries. Whiplash is a traumatic event that causes the head to move swiftly in one direction and then back into an opposing direction. Whiplash injuries are not to be taken lightly. They can cause significant damage to the ligaments of the cervical spine (neck), thoracic spine (mid back), and the lumbar region (lower back). Along with ligament damage, the vertebral discs of the spinal column and joints can be compromised. One of the main reasons why whiplash is so devastating to the body is that often you are in a somewhat relaxed state prior to the injury and you are not prepared for sudden impact or trauma. The muscle tissue of the body is somewhat relaxed or supple, which allows more force to internal structures of the body such as ligaments, tendons, discs, joints, and bones. 

Craniosacral Therapy can have a positive effect on relieving low, mid, and upper back discomfort. This profound therapy intimately works with the fight or flight syndrome of the central nervous system to help release the negative holding patterns that our body has created in response to the traumas of work, play, personal injury. Many of my clients have experienced relief after as little as one session. 

Posted in Bodywork Modalities, Chronic Pain, Craniosacral, Exercise, Healing, Health, Injury Prevention, Life, Stress | Leave a Comment »

Quote of the Day – Forgiveness

Posted by Angela on March 18, 2007

 Forgiveness is Alchemical…

It turns the lead of your ego into the gold of Your Soul

– – Caroline Myss

Posted in Archetypes, Healing, Quote for the Day, Sacred Contracts, Transitions | 5 Comments »

The Limbic System – Part 1

Posted by Michael on March 16, 2007

I would like to present a series of articles on the limbic system of the body, which I believe has a direct influence on our body’s tissue integrity and overall homeostasis of the human body.  The limbic system is located between the cerebrum and the diencephalon of the interbrain.  The limbic system is involved in our body’s ability to process emotions and behavioral patterns.  The Limbic system is comprised of several different  nuclei.  The first of these that we will examine is the hippocampus.

The hippocampus which is shaped like a sea horse and located under the lateral ventricles.  The hippocampus nuclei are contribute to functions in learning and the formation of long term memory.  The hippocampus also includes regions that stimulate the reticular formation, which is a network that extends along the brain stem and helps govern our sleep-wake cycle. 

The stresses of life can cause the hippocampus to become too active (hyper) or not active enough (hypo).  Hyper or hypo functions of the hippocampus can disrupt normal functionality including monitoring the sleep-wake cycle.  If our sleep-wake cycle is disrupted we typically do not get the rest we need and chemicals in our brain may become out of balance.  As a result we may reduce our capacity to fully repair and revitalize connective tissue, muscle tissue, and  even our ability to focus and retain memory.  We may not realize all of the areas impacted by a hypo or hyper hippocampus, in fact we may just be left feeing depleted and out of sorts – with no idea of the root cause.

There are specific techniques for balancing the hippocampus and other nuclei of the brain.  This advanced level brain release work combined with craniosacral therapy can help restore proper balance within the brain, the cranium, and the spinal column which affects our overall health and well-being.

Posted in Advanced Brain Work, Bodywork Modalities, Craniosacral, Healing, Health, Stress | 3 Comments »

Quote of the Day – Highest Potential

Posted by Angela on March 15, 2007

What special gift do you bring to this world?

How can you be of Service?

What one thing can you do today to make someone else’s life better?

Likely, these are all aspects of your Highest Potential or Sacred Contract

Posted in Archetypes, Healing, Quote for the Day, Sacred Contracts | 3 Comments »