Fascia: Connective Tissue
Fascia makes up an interwoven network
that covers and interpenetrates every muscle, bone, nerve, artery
and vein in the body as well as all of the internal organs. There
is no gap in this network, meaning that each part of the body
is connected to every other part by the fascia, creating an interconnected
In a healthy state,
fascia are relaxed and they can stretch and move without restriction.
Through life experiences, physical trauma, scarring and the effects
of gravity, the fascia lose their elasticity and become compressed.
This new state is tight, restricted and a source of tension for
the entire body.
As we get older, the tissue in the body becomes even more compressed.
We lose flexibility as it becomes hard and shortened. Insurance
actuaries show that we lose four to six inches in height over
a seventy-five year life span. You may not even notice that it
is happening or, you do notice this change, and think you have
to live with it because it’s part of getting older.
Here is an example of
change occurring without us noticing it. Sometimes your car brakes
start squeaking and not working well. It happens so gradually
that you don’t notice the change until you hear the squeak,
which prompts you to get them repaired. Once they are repaired,
you realize they had been deficient for a long time
Now picture the tissue in your body. It
has become hard and shortened over years of use. By letting go,
you allow the tissue to become supple and flexible as in its original
Unlikely but Useful Tools for Change
Pain and fear can be used as tools for change. They can be guides
to freedom and peace. You can release the pain and fear forever,
but you must first become aware of their existence. All conscious
change in life starts with an awareness of what we want to change
and a desire to change. As we become more aware of the pain and
fear in our body through direct experience, like with SRB, then
it’s easier to let go.
At any point in time, the average person
only feels one or two places of discomfort in their body. In my
experience, there are many areas of pain in the body hidden from
our awareness. Social conditioning compels us to deny or hide
pain, rather than acknowledge it. For example, there are many
ads on TV for headache relief. Products like aspirin do not heal,
they only mask the pain. We should first ask ourselves why do
I have this pain. What is causing it and how can it be healed?
But instead, we look for the first available drug just to stop
the pain. That doesn’t mean we can’t use painkillers
temporarily but aren’t we better off finding out what is
the real cause of the pain? One of the keys to restoring balance
in the body and having a feeling of comfort is to acknowledge
the discomfort, pay attention to it, follow it in the way it wants
to go, and then it will release. There is something to be gained
in every attempt to relieve discomfort and pain, even when we
think it is not successful.
Most clients come to
me wanting to get rid of a particular pain in their body. As we
begin working together to release their pain, they realize they
have many other areas of pain they were not aware of. As you release
an area, other things such as feelings, tension or sensations
may come to the surface and you become aware that other parts
of the body require attention. Thus, we begin to free the body
from its restrictions. This freedom brings a new sense of well-being
and allows for greater flexibility and movement in our bodies
All shifts in the body are reflected in
our daily lives through our perceptions and beliefs. From my own
personal experience of being an alcoholic, I know that through
releasing fear, anger, and pain from my body I was able to stop
drinking much faster than with traditional therapy. I remember
a time when my shoulders were being worked on and I became tremendously
angry. This anger had been trapped in my body and through releasing
the connective tissue where it was stored, I was able to let go
of it forever. Releasing stored emotions happens frequently during
sessions. When these negative emotions are released, it can affect
all of our interactions with others, give us self-empowerment
and improve self-esteem.
Fear is even less noticeable than pain
in the body because it is not often felt on the physical level.
It is perceived as a negative emotion or weakness so it is not
acceptable to show it or express it in our society. Do you remember
being told not to cry as a child or not to be scared? When this
occurs repeatedly it creates a conditioned response. Because of
this conditioned response, we subconsciously suppress our fear,
and this emotion may get stored in our body.
This social conditioning
affects our behavior and choices without us being fully aware
of it. There are times when we feel fear through our body, like
getting butterflies before a speech. As the body is worked on,
some people will feel fear. They may even want to stop because
of this feeling. By having the courage to move through this emotion,
there is no limit to how much the body can release. I have found
that reassuring myself that I am going to be OK helps my body
relax and let go of the fear.
The changes that take place in the body
are reflected in our daily lives. Actions that we were afraid
to take now become possible. For example, I had a client who wanted
to leave her corporate job to work for a non-profit organization.
She was afraid of leaving the security of her job even though
she knew in her heart that it was the right thing to do. Fear
will keep us from following our passion in life. Once she had
taken part in several sessions, she was able to release this fear
and follow her heart. This is an example of the mind-body connection
so often talked about these days. In this case releasing fear
from the body allowed the same fear to be erased from the mind.
As everything is connected, when we make a positive impact in
one place it affects the whole. If I step on your toe, do you
just feel it in the toe? No, you will feel it throughout your
body. The traveling energy/pain will leave information along the
entire path it travels.
All things have positive aspects, including the feelings of pain
and fear. Once we choose to perceive these as positive aspects,
we can use these feelings to help us instead of holding us back.
So-called negative feeling can become opportunities for change.
Your Greatest Spiritual Ally
During every stage of my spiritual growth, my greatest ally has
been my body. I believe that we are spiritual beings having a
human experience. If we are constantly looking outside ourselves
for our spiritual connection then we are missing out on one of
our greatest opportunities. When we are fully in our bodies, we
can reconnect with our highest spiritual self. This realization
came to me through my own journey. As my physical limitations
were overcome I have experienced countless other changes occur.
There was a time when I carried so much anger in me that I lost
a job because of it. I also hurt a lot of people through my abrasive
and sarcastic comments. My anger was also expressed through my
body; I would feel tremendously angry when my shoulders were worked
on. In the beginning, I had no awareness of this anger. Over time,
I became more aware of it and began to feel the anger release
until it was completely gone. At the same time, I began to see
changes in how I interacted with people and I noticed increased
energy in my life. I’ve experienced this countless times
with other people and with many different emotions.
Few people ever experience a deep level
of body-awareness. However deep your experience is, it can always
increase, as there is no limit to this awareness. Even people
who have taken years of yoga or who are extremely flexible are
surprised at what they become aware of holding in their bodies
with SRB. Flexibility is not an indicator that the body does not
have holding. Also, not feeling pain does not mean that you do
not have pain in the body. It often means that you’re not
aware of any pain.
Developing your awareness and taking action
to release the holding will free you from negative emotions like
anger, dejection and fear. When these are released, you can become
more aware of your spiritual self and become more empowered. This
unfolding will move you towards your full potential.
My belief is that we are born with certain
positive and negative energetic patterns. These patterns are the
very foundation of who we are physically, mentally and emotionally.
Limiting patterns block our spiritual development and keep us
from achieving our full potential.
Our families and environments tend to reinforce
these patterns. Over time, the patterns become self-reinforcing.
You can change these negative patterns but first you have to become
aware of them. Working through the body to gain this awareness,
and then releasing these patterns is one of the most powerful
tools for growth and change that I have encountered.
Over the years of experiencing many
different emotions, it seems to me that all can be reduced to
two: love and fear. If you take a good look at any negative emotion
like dejection, anger, resentment or jealousy, you will find fear
at its core. As with any positive emotion like joy, happiness,
kindness or compassion, you will find love at its core. It is
by transforming all fear into love that we can live our lives
to the fullest. This does not have to be an arduous task but can
be a free flowing journey. Become a free spirit and live your
life to your fullest potential.