Learn more about the effects of Mysofascial Release from the experienced therapists at the Centre for Soft Tissue Pain in Calgary.
Post-surgical scar tissue and adhesions can cause discomfort or pain, despite the fact that most scar tissue itself is not sensitive to pain. According to the Myofascial Release Clinic website, scar tissue put down after surgery may pull on other areas, compress nerves, blood vessels and organs and limit physiological functioning. This can cause pain or dysfunction. In fact, scar tissue can restrict many layers of muscle and connective tissue, which can cause varying degrees of pain or discomfort. Scar tissue is weaker, less elastic and more prone to re-injury than normal, healthy tissue, and can lead to chronic pain if it affects the functioning of other structures—especially nerves and blood vessels. Painful post-surgical scar tissue may also indicate the presence of an infection in the involved area, which should be evaluated by a physician as soon as possible.
Geoffrey M. Bove, PhD, Susan L. Chapelle, RMT, Visceral mobilization can lyse and prevent peritoneal adhesions in a rat model. J Bodyw Mov Ther. 2012 Jan;16(1):76-82. Epub 2011 Apr 9.
It’s what’s on the inside that matters.
Most people are familiar with massage therapy in terms of treating muscles, but what many people never consider is the rest of the body: the ligaments, tendons, bones, nerves, fascia, fluid and organs. Our bodies consist of all of these structures and without one the rest would not function.
Swedish Massage and Deep Tissue Massage are familiar types of massage therapy and both can be very effective, but we are not limited to them. Myofascial Release and Visceral Manipulation are two other modalities or techniques that can be very effective in treating pain and dysfunction in the body.
Think of your trunk and abdomen as a container that holds stuff. The container is made up of bones, rib cage and spine, and the surrounding soft tissue, muscles, fascia and skin.
All of the viscera and organs are suspended from the ribs, spine and pelvis via ligaments. Any undue stress and tension on them will have repercussions on the entire body. If we are able to treat the guts well, we can really undo 85% of all spinal problems and if we add the heart and lungs, that number will increase.
Visceral work is done with soft hands, moulding around the structure we are working on with the goal of trying to reduce tension in and around that structure and create a sliding gliding between it and the adjacent structures to enhance homeostasis.
What’s Wrong with My Guts?
There are four reasons why viscera and organs become hard and dysfunctional:
During a visceral treatment a lot of time is spent palpating for the four T's: Temperature, Texture, Tenderness and Tone. This determines where to work, where there is deviation from the natural state of being, and with the soft hands a therapist can manipulate the tissues to the point, where there is a decrease in the 4 T’s. Normal natural viscera is soft and squishy and moves very very easily. This is what is trying to be achieved during treatment. The results have a global effect on the body.
Andrew Taylor Still’s rule of osteopathy states: “Form dictates function and function dictates form.” So if the form is altered by injury or pathology, the function of the organs within the form will be altered. This is the case with conditions such as endometriosis, girls falling on their bums or on their crotch will create an altered form in the pelvis that will be the perfect environment for endometriosis. This is why it is important to have our children treated. Since we grow around those alterations in our bodies and then add pregnancy to them, we now have a perfect storm for pelvic imbalances.
Reasons for Visceral Treatment
Many people seek out visceral work for specific issues or conditions—digestive, reproductive, pregnancy, pre- or post-surgery, scar tissue, chronic tightness and or pain—but everyone can benefit from this type of work. Because our organs are situated in our centre and attached to our spine and pelvis they are connected to all the structures in our body. If you have poor posture, and you sit at a desk for long hours, have had multiple traumas, such as a fall or a motor vehicle accident, your organs are most likely compressed or adhered in a way that restricts the mobility of your body. If you are someone who has tried many forms of therapy but can’t quite get back to 100%, the missing piece of the puzzle may be held in your visceral and fascial systems!
This article originally appeared in Positive Life magazine in Ireland in Autumn 2013. Written by Ged Sumner and Steve Haines.
We can learn to know our bodies with much greater awareness than is commonly experienced. In that awareness, tremendous detail of the anatomy comes to us as we learn to discriminate among the different structures and processes going on within. This leads to an exquisite sensitivity that revolutionizes the body chemistry, the muscles and joints, the heart and blood flow and the nervous system, resulting in a more balanced, stronger and energized state.
Biodynamic craniosacral therapy can make this possible. A practitioner touches the client’s body with a highly developed sense of his or her own system and a honed ability to listen through touch that creates a space that is both stimulatory, reflective and therapeutic. There is a remarkable ability we all have that can only be tapped in relationship with another. It is the ability to creatively reorganize our structure. The body can change and adjust from within itself, through its own body intelligence. All it needs is the right environment, which is supplied by the practitioner’s touch and presence. It is a knowing presence that appreciates the body and can listen to the shape of things.
When touch is able to open up to health and deeply acknowledge the overwhelming strength and order in our bodies, there is a revolution that produces new forms. Tissues and structures automatically shift and adjust in a sequence and order that is emerging from within the body system, not from outside. The therapist is like an advocate of the client’s physiology. This empowers the body to drop into its deeper mechanisms of renewal that have their basis in how the body was formed during its embryonic and fetal development. These forces often lie dormant in the background, only to be catalyzed into action through the right touch.
When health is sought, traumatic patterns, pain and suffering can all be smoothly synthesized into a new order as the body dissolves into a deep, fluid state that underlies the physical. This is a medium for the nervous system to regulate, muscles to relax and organs to transpose to a new chemistry. In the shifts and adjustments, there is greater freedom of movement at many levels.
The body holds huge possibilities for recovery and regeneration. Joints that are painful and distorted can become at ease and mobile, tissues that are inflamed and sensitive can repair, organs that are instructed and overloaded can function smoothly and body systems that are disjointed and out of sync can communicate and work together again. This is health, the smooth interaction of all the elements of the body. The body will feel open, with a sense of glide and freedom as the biodynamic craniosacral practitioner facilitates the life forces within. Latent patterns of emotion and mental states emerge and resolve with the physiological changes to produce systemic reorganization. When change takes place across the whole body system, there is deep integration, and long-term resolution of suffering is possible.
This article can also be read at Vitality Magazine, the trusted source for natural health solutions, nutrition and diet and green living.