As a quick overview, you have to understand fascia. Fascia is an all encompassing material, or web in the body, that is connected from head-to-toe. It has a lot of tensile strength and can put up to 2000 pounds per square inch of pressure on nerves, blood vessels, lymphatic system and organs.
This is my story…and recovery from pain.
For me, the pain came after a full day of playing tennis and bowling at the age of 17 years old. When I woke up the next day I was not able to move my right shoulder. It was quite painful in fact. The diagnosis: adhesive capsulitis or frozen shoulder. My chiropractor suggested electrical stimulation. My shoulder and arm did start moving again, but I did not get relief from the pain. I would often go to bed with a thick layer of IcyHot and go to sleep. When I would take a shower I would use the shower head and turn it to the pulsating jets to massage my neck and my shoulder for some temporary relief. However, the key word here is “temporary.”
Once at college the stress of school and constantly carrying heavy books literally weighed heavy on my right shoulder and neck. The brutal cold winters of the Midwest didn’t help, and I would often find myself with my shoulders riding up to my ears to try and stay warm.
As the years continued my shoulder and neck remained tight and painful. I often felt that if someone would saw, yes saw off my arm at the shoulder joint, I would feel better. I remember during my early 20's my mom and I would joke that I had the body of a 40 year old.
Once I graduated from massage therapy school and was ready to work with clients, I knew this was the time for me to help my shoulder through massage. This was just the beginning of my healing journey and I slowly began to put the pieces of the puzzle together over the years of how incidents in my life affected my body:
• Dropped a hammer on my toe as a young child
• Tripped over a toy truck at 8 years old. Later that day my mom noticed a large bruise from my knee to my ankle that I still have remnants of today.
• Ran into a desk at school which left a mark again on my left leg in 6th grade.
• As a teenager I had several incidents where if I went for a really long walk, I could not walk the next day. I would have a deep pull into my right hip. The doctor did not have an explanation.
• During my school years I was one of the kids that was always retested for scoliosis, a medical condition in which a person’s spine is curved from side to side. I was later told by a doctor that I did have slight scoliosis.
• In college I had surgery on two of my fingers on my right hand.
So looking back at these major incidents from my life, I could see how these likely shaped why I had the pain that I lived with for 17 years. The pain in my neck and shoulder were actually a part of a much larger picture, exemplifying how the body is truly connected through the fascia.
Going back to when I was 8 years old and fell on a toy truck, I damaged so much of my left leg that it did not grow at the same rate as my right leg. So imagine how over the years my body had to compensate for this. Then as a teenager as my whole body was growing, my injured left leg would cause a deep pull into my right groin. Remember fascia does not show up on standard medical test, hence, the doctor couldn’t explain why I was having this pain. Don’t forget I also dropped a hammer on my left toe as a young child, which contributed to the postural imbalance in my body. The left leg pulled everything along with it, and in my case, also the sacrum causing the vertebrae of my spine to twist. I believe is why I also have a slight scoliosis.
So by the time I was 17 years old my body already had tremendous amounts of postural imbalances and compensation patterns that had developed. So on that fateful day of playing tennis and bowling, my shoulder was already being pulled from the twist in the spine. Now remember, I also had surgery on my right hand. Any scar is like the roots of a weed—it grows and twists into the body in ways you will never know. This incident just solidified, quite literally, the pain and 'straight jacket' effect onto my shoulder and neck.
It wasn’t until I took my first Myofascial Release class when we practiced the techniques on each other that the light bulb went off. The feeling of someone accessing the tissue that had been tight for over 17 years was such an amazing relief. The feeling of "Yes, right there!" when the other person was using MFR techniques felt so amazing to me. It took several years to see and feel how everything is so interconnected.
I will conclude with this: this work is POWERFUL! I can attest to it personally. It is much like an onion where there are many layers to work through. For me, Myofascial Release is a way of life. It has brought me not only freedom in my body, but has freed up the space that was tight and bound for so long to create an opening for peace, love and financial freedom in my life. I invite you to create a freedom in your life today, too.