Managing stress on your own
To all my dear friends,
I hope that you and your close ones are safe and healthy.
It’s a tough time. The time of much worry, anxiety, and stress. We cannot avoid stress. Rather if we manage it properly, we can avoid its detrimental consequences on our immune system and health in general.
We are all in it together and every little bit of help counts. I decided to remind you about the self-stress management massage that would keep stress under control.
There are two parts of it:
This is approximately 7 minutes of step-by-step acupressure, that is not only has a positive effect on headaches if it is present but clinically proven positive to affect autonomic activities. I highly recommend to learn these steps and to apply them approximately twice a day.
In this article
I explain, why these important techniques included in the treatment of post-concussion cases, as well as certain cases of migraine headaches.
To explain how to perform self-stress management massage of the neck and upper back click
If you would like to know more about the mechanism of stress debilitations please follow
To find out about utmost importance of proper posture in front of the computer
Best wishes and many blessings,
Special Price of Today
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Fascia mobilization is an important massage modality. Unless a therapist releases tension in fascia it is impossible to achieve results. To find out why this is important on the physiological level. To find out why this is important on the physiological level
If a therapist finds extra tense regions, they use methods of fascia release developed long ago by Austrian physician Dickle. If you are interested in finding out the history of fascia mobilization
There is actually quite a bit of misconception about fascia in the histological sense and in the treatment sense. To read about an actual amusing clinical case that will reveal such a misconception.
In the following video, I demonstrate the methods of fascia mobilization by hand.
As you can see from the above video the methods of fascia mobilization, require a certain skill and experience. Improperly done, they might have detrimental consequences on the entire massage sequence and will lead to an incomplete mobilization of soft tissue.
Luckily, and I say this with a good share of joy, several years ago I discovered these flexible plastic jars, which do an amazing job as far as fascia release is concerned and are fairly easy to administer. Please see the video clip below
In addition, the usage of silicon jars presents additional benefits. You can find out about them watching this video clip
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Historical overview of fascia release mobilization
The works of Austrian physical therapist Elizabeth Dickle made known to the scientific community the importance of tension build-up in the connective tissue/fascia and its impact on chronic somatic and visceral abnormalities.
As with many important discoveries, Dickle’s discovery was an accidental find. For several years, she suffered a failure of arterial circulation in her lower extremities resulting from Thromboangiitis Obliterans. The disease had progressed to the stage when amputation became a real possibility. Dickle also experienced chronic, lower back pain caused by her limping. While rubbing her lower back and trying to relieve tension, she noticed sensations of warmth and weak pulsations in her feet. Intrigued by her finding, she started using various techniques on her lower back. She noticed that pulling the skin on her lower back triggered the most intense warm sensations in her feet. After several months of self-therapy, she was able to restore circulation through her lower extremities and prevented double amputation. Powerful stuff!
Dickle shared her findings with Prof. W. Kohlrausch.
Their combined efforts, as well as the later works of Prof. N. Veil and Dr. Luebe in Austrian and German clinics, shaped a major method of somatic rehabilitation they called Bidegewebsmassage. The rest of the world knows it as connective tissue massage/fascia release and mobilization techniques.
During the extensive research, they developed connective tissue massage/fascia release and mobilization hands-on protocols, including the stipulation regarding the direction of movement. This was presented in a straightforward way so that thousands of massage therapists could learn these techniques and, successfully, implement them on patients. Thousands were replicating their outcomes when treating back and limp disorders, internal organ diseases, etc.
The work of Prof. Sherback, which is a fundamental plateau for medical massage, is also a fundamental groundwork for any massage therapy. Today, the concepts that lay the foundation of his works were tested and massively utilized for many years, and thus proved their clinical viability.
The case of “Breaking my fascia”
Five years ago or so, I received a call from a patient referred by MD. Her first question was: “Do you possess enough expertise and experience to break my fascia?” 😊
Jokingly I answered: “I’m in the business of repairing, and not breaking.” Regrettably, she felt that my humor was not appropriate and angrily retorted: ”Boris, I have developed myofascial tissue problem. For two months, I was seeing “fascia chiropractor”, and little by little started feeling much worse. Now my pain us not only in the scapula, but traveling to my arm, and I cannot sleep at night because of pain. In the beginning, it wasn’t like this, I could sleep without pain. Of course, I asked what chiropractor did, the answer was:” he tried to break my fascia, but my case is difficult and he couldn’t succeed. My primary care physician believes you can do it.”
To tell you the truth I don’t know where the terminology “breaking fascia” and “myofascial tissue” come from. No book of histology will support the existence of myofascial tissue. We have fascia and muscle alliance, an anatomical unit that is working together. Yet, histologically speaking, these are different tissues. Fascia is a connective tissue, which means fibers of fascia have no potential to constrict while the function of muscles to constrict. To read about physiological bases of fascia release
I have invited her for treatment, and using a very convincing tone of voice, told her: ”clinical picture as you described, can be the result of buildups of tension within fascia and muscles. I possess the expertise to detect these abnormalities and eliminate this tension, in which case you can feel much better.
It was a difficult mechanical pain case. In addition, the patient exhibited anterior scalene muscle syndrome that triggered a neurological picture, radiating pain to the upper extremity. During the first five treatments performing connective tissue massage/fascia release and mobilization techniques, trigger point therapy, and massage techniques addressing muscles I have achieved positive change in the clinical picture. The patient could sleep at night, experienced no radiating pain to the upper extremity, was free of pain movement of the neck and upper back. Of course, I convinced her to continue treatments in order to increase the threshold of muscular irritability. She agreed, and I have provided seven more treatments. Since then, during all these years I treated her sciatic nerve neuralgia, and knee sprain/strain type of injury. Today she is doing well. Her neck and upper back symptoms have never come back.
Physiological bases of fascia release and mobilization
Fascia surrounds each muscle, hosts pathways for nerves and blood vessels, participates in a nutritional supply and gas exchange and provides support for muscles when they are under a significant load. For example, when a biceps constricts, flexes forearm or lifts weight, fascia supports biceps action by sharing the load. Still, it is connective tissue; fibers cannot constrict. The physiology of movement relies on a constriction of muscles. Flexion, extension, stabilizations are the results of muscular constrictions. Muscles cannot relax by themselves. At the time of the movement relaxation in muscles happening due to action of antagonism.
Due to the negative effects of stress, physical activities, irritation of spinal nerves, etc., muscles can build tension. Tention expressed in the shortening of muscles. When muscles build up tension and especially pathological tension, massage techniques especially kneading, can stimulate the decrease of muscular tension while passive stretching can affect buildups of tension in muscles.
However, kneading and passive stretching have no effect on abnormally tense fascia. Being a connective tissue, fascia has no blood vessels anatomical structure. Of course, cells of connective tissue need blood supply like any other cell in our body. Blood vessels in neighboring muscles, release these supplies, and connective tissue cell membrane allowed to this supply in. This process is called diffusion. When muscles build up tension, blood vessels also constrict, thus making insufficient blood supply, to the fascia. If the insufficient blood supply to the fascia lasts a long time, it leads to tension build up in fascia. This tension is not the result of fibers shortening (as fascia fibers have no potential to constrict) but is the result of wrinkle- like buildup of tension.
To successfully stretch fascia, one needs to pull tense fascia in different directions mechanically. Without releasing buildups of tension in the fascia, it is impossible to sustain normal resting tone in muscles, to prevent reactivation, recurrence of trigger points, etc. In turn, it makes it impossible to help people who suffer from different painful skeletal muscular disorders.
The inhibition of pain doesn’t imply adequate rehabilitation and sustainable results. Failure to achieve sustainable results would lead to pathology, including faster developments of osteoarthritis, and other degenerative diseases such as tendinosis, developments of muscular syndromes, etc. Besides, even if the pain is inhibited, one shouldn’t expect that the patient will be free of pain, no flare-ups, and patient’s desirable functional abilities will be restored.