Transitional Healing

Facilitating Life’s Transitions

Archive for the ‘Chronic Pain’ Category

Limbic System Part 3 – Thalamus

Posted by Angela on April 10, 2007

The responsibility of the Thalamus gland, which is located in the “C” groove of the lateral ventricles of the brain is conveying extensive sensory, motor, and autonomic information from the brain stem and spinal cord to the cortex.  The Thalamus nuclei are interconnected with cortex functions, such as sensory projection, somato-sensory stimuli, visual and auditory input.

We suspect that any dis-ease or imbalance within the Thalamus may not necessarily be noticable, in fact we suspect that typically the symptoms are very subtle and may just contribute to an overall feeling of ‘something off’ or ‘not quite feeling right’.   Balancing the Thalamus through advanced brainwork can be similar to experiencing a deep breath or ‘ahhh’.  Subtle, yet contributing to overall homeostasis.  

— Michael and Angela

Part 1 and Part 2 of the Limbic System Series are available here.

 

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

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 »

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 »

Craniosacral Therapy for reducing Scar Tissue Pain

Posted by Michael on March 13, 2007

The body has the ability to heal itself after surgery.  The body produces connective tissue, adhesions and collagen, to replace the damaged compromised tissue from the result of an incision to the skin. This natural phenomenon causes the formation of scar tissue.  Scar tissue replaces damaged cells at the site of the incision or injury.  Skin scar tissue is different than deep fascial scar tissue.  Skin scar tissue lacks in pigmentation and hair follicles.  Deep scar tissue in the fascial layers of the body develops adhesions or spider like web threads to help the body heal and recover.

There can be a potential problem in the development of scar tissue. The problem lies when scar tissue and adhesions go unchecked over the years.  The scar tissue and adhesions start attaching themselves to bones, arteries, veins, nerves, and organs.  This phenomenon alone can cause dysfunction in the homeostasis of the body and possibly manifest into further complications in our body’s internal health as we age.  In addition I have witnessed in my practice patient’s scar tissue developing over periods of time causing spinal curvature (scoliosis), rotated hips manifesting in sciatic pain and lower extremity discomfort, shoulder displacement causing rotator cuff problems, and cervical or neck problems manifesting in a variety of neck and headache pain.  Scar tissue can and will cause loss of range of motion making simple job and home activities difficult to perform.   In addition there have been preliminary studies showing that manual therapies such as Craniosacral therapy can relive the discomforts and problematic symptoms in the Ureogential region after “C” section deliveries.  One of the most profound areas of relief from scar tissue is a patient who has had open-heart surgery.  I myself have recovered from open-heart surgery.  I receive scar and adhesion therapy once a month for the last 10 years.  My primary care doctor concurs that the manual therapy I receive keeps my body anatomically correct, allows my body full range of motion without pain and discomfort in the soft tissue.

Over many years in my practice I have found that Craniosacral therapy has had a profound positive effect on relieving the discomfort of scar tissue formed in the body. In addition Craniosacral therapy has afforded my patients/clients increased range of motion, the reduction of adhesions and pain in the sub acute stage after a surgical procedure.

Posted in Chronic Pain, Craniosacral, Healing, Health, Scar Tissue | 83 Comments »

Weight Lifting – and Preventing Injury

Posted by Michael on January 17, 2007

eI think we can all agree that exercise is good for the Body, Mind and Spirit.  One form of exercise many of us participate in is lifting weights.    Weight lifting has positive effects on the body that include building muscle mass, muscle tone and muscle integrity.  Along with a balanced approach to life strength training through weights can improve your overall vitality and health. 

The potential problem with weight lifting lies in engaging more muscles than the targeted muscles; which can result in Faulty Loading.    One example of faulty loading that I am encountering more and more in my practice is strained neck muscles.  In most of these cases my clients have strained their neck muscles by clenching their jaws while performing bicep curls, or leg squats, and/or lat pulls, often with more weight than they were ready to lift.  In other words they are overachieving and actually hurting themselves in an attempt to improve their health.

By clenching their jaws they add strain to the neck complex causing tightness of the cervical spine which may feel like a burning pain in the shoulders and neck region. 

So, next time you lift weights try lifting them in front of a mirror and see if you are engaging other muscles instead of the primary target muscles you are.  Is your jaw clenched?  Are your veins or muscles popping out on your neck?.  If so, work with your posture and body mechanics, and possible amount of weight until you can lift the weights without clenching your jaw or straining your neck.

Posted in Chronic Pain, Exercise, Health, Injury Prevention | 1 Comment »