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.
My much-less-profitable approach is to decompress mechanically. I do so at the base of the skull, where it exits at the jugular foramen, through the chest (mediastinum) and through the respiratory diaphragm. You can learn some ways to do this for yourself in this video that I made.
My interest the vagus nerve led people with anxiety into my office, which in turn led me to greater interest in mind-body medicine. I have trained with the Center for Mind-Body Medicine and The HeartMath Institute. These are modern applications of traditional, shamanic techniques. I refer to this collective as “evidence based Shamanism.”
In a traditional culture, the Shaman wasn’t just the healer. The shaman was also the priest, the artist, and the psychic medium. One shamanistic perspective is that all disease is about self-fracturing, or separation from oneness. Modern medicine divides up the body into systems, and while understandably so, often loses sight of the forest through the trees. You see a different doctor for you knee than your do for your foot. Even though this has more to do with surgical specialization than anything else, few medical professionals link knee and foot issues, much less foot issues to back issues, or back pain to vascular issues. However, really good practitioners are not just practitioners to clients, they are guides, cheerleaders, and sometimes even more.
The ultimate vagus nerve decompression is being so well-aligned between you mind and your spirit that your body no longer resists alignment and flow. The internet if full of references as to how meditation and other mind-body skills increase the length of your telomeres, improve physical pain, and more. I merge my technique for changing fascial tenson, my intuitive skills, and mind-body skills to decrease the tug-of-war between the mind, body, and spirit. That’s my specialty.