I missed posting my writing yesterday. I had a full schedule, but in the time I had I was left speechless by this video testimonial that a client sent me. I did not know he was in a serious mental health crisis at the time, though I did know he was struggling and gave him the names of two psychiatrists, and even texted one during his visit with me, to see about getting him an appointment.
A friend and client called me to schedule Jon, and even paid for his visit. He was mechanically locked up in a way that was consistent with respiratory diaphragm dysfunction, in an evidence-based sense, but his whole system was shut down. He had some range of motion restrictions. Normal energetic flows and movements that I perceive in the body were not just diminished, but absent.
I really still do practice physical therapy. I change fascial tension, but have many more ways to do so than I learned in school. How do I know? I measure range of motion and perform evidence-based special tests before and after my intervention. I also find that that range of motion limitations and special tests that were “positive” (meaning biomechanically suboptimal) tend not to recur.
One physiologic explanation for why this is, is that my focus is on vagus nerve dysfunction. The vagus nerve is the 10th cranial nerve. It comes out of the brainstem, goes to the heart and the digestive system. It also has tentacles in most organs and transmits information from them back to the brain. It also mediates inflammation. Neurosurgeons are using vagus nerve stimulators to treat diagnoses such as chronic pain and seizures.
I am getting into alignment daily to write this month and share tools to resolve a variety of health and stress-related issues. You are not broken or in need of healing, there is just a bunch of stuff in the way of you seeing that.
The last few years have been a whirlwind for me, both personally and professionally. I started my practice to be very scientific and evidence-based, and as my body went into full-on breakdown. It took me awhile to realize it – or, rather it took excruciating foot pain (both right and left) in the form of plantar fasciits, numbness of my feet in the form of compartment syndrome AND high blood pressure with secondary edema in my ankles, for me to realize that walking only on this evidence-based path was not in alignment with my true self. How did I resolve it? I widened my path. I embraced the things I knew and couldn’t quite explain, like how I feel the physical manifestations of anger, rage, grief, sadness, and shame inside of people, how particle physics pictures make complete sense to me, how I feel the traumas of your ancestors, the movement of your DNA and quantum activity inside of you. I let people’s bodies tell me what they needed. When a body told me the pain was related to the anger of my client’s father, I said “show me what that feels like and tell me how to resolve it.” And it worked.
What is stress? The dictionary describes it as pressure or tension exerted on a material object, or a state or emotional or mental strain or tension resulting from adverse or very demanding circumstances.
Medically, the definition of stress is what occurs when the demands in our lives strain our ability to adapt. It causes both psychological and biological changes that can increase risk for illness. According to the CDC, stress accounts for 70% of all doctor visits.
Keep in mind that stress isn’t always bad. We need to stress our hearts, lungs, and muscles through activity and exercise in order to gain strength and endurance. That kind of positive stress is called “eustress.” Distress is the stress that depletes us.