Correcting Plantar Fasciitis
Plantar Fasciitis is inflammation in the large ligament, the plantar fascia, that covers the sole of the foot. It is usually described as pain in heel as the first walking steps from standing or resting are taken. It can also be felt in other parts of the foot, particularly the arch of the foot. The bottom of the foot and heel may be swollen as well. It can affect one or both feet.
The pain can be intense, but usually improves as the feet move and lubricate the joints and tissues, softening the pressure on the tight, overstretched plantar fascia.
Looking for the source of pain
Locally, plantar fasciitis is often due to poor bio-mechanics of the foot that put undue stress on the tissues. Fallen arches, flat feet, foot pronation (ankle rolls inward) and poor foot ware can contribute to over-worked plantar fascia.
Repetitive actions such as running, walking or dancing can focus too much stress on the plantar fascia and cause injury when pushed beyond it’s capabilities. Even extended standing on or walking on hard surfaces like concrete or stone can over-fatigue the foot.
Common recommendations for correction of plantar fasciitis address the foot: shoe orthotics and insoles, stretching the plantar surface, replace worn out shoes, buy special shoes, night splints, rest the feet as much as possible, etc. And while these options can bring some relief, they are only looking at the “victim” not the “criminal”.
This is the Line you are looking for!
Our body is hung together in a vast network of fascia or connective tissue. Fascia runs in distinct rivers that flow in specific directions to anchor, span, support and provide leverage and movement to the body. Tom Myers, author of Anatomy Trains, has identified lines of fascia that are structurally connected and interdependent within itself and connected to other lines at certain points. If one area along the line is strained or damaged, it is likely to become scared or hardened as part of the healing process. The rest of the line must then compensate for the loss in flexibility in order to keep the whole working as well as possible.
A fascial line of interest to plantar fasciitus is called the Superficial Back Line (SBL). The SBL runs from the bottom tips of the toes, up the heel, back of legs, center back of body, up the neck to finish at the forehead. Think of this line like a huge connected rubber band that runs from toes, up the back to forehead. this rubber band will stretch and slide along the tracks of the as needed for body movement. Now think of any tissue strain or damage as a nail pinning that spot into a fixed position, tugging the rubber band on either side of the nail. The further away from the nail, the tighter the stretch and the less ability to compensate.
So in our case of plantar fasciitus, the tight and over stretched fascia at the bottom of the foot is very likely due to an issue further up the line. Examples like a corked hamstring fascia, seized lower back fascia, or tight neck fascia can affect the bio-mechanics of the foot. Working on the feet alone and wearing orthodics will not fix the neck or lower back fascial issues.
This is why we say “Feet are often the victim of a culprit elsewhere in the body.” They are the endpoint of the whole line and will be asked to compensate more when other places are in need of help. It can result in the restricted foot movement and gait that often accompany plantar fasciitus.
Bowen makes bodies feel better
Bowen Therapy is a gentle bodywork that acts specifically on fascia. At Shining Light Energy Works, we use Bowen along the facial lines that are connected to the area of pain and damage. For plantar fasciitus, the bottoms of the feet AND the back of the legs, pelvis, center back and neck are all addressed to relieve any hardened fascial areas, promote flexibility along the SBL and bring comfort to the feet.
Often even one Bowen session can bring some relief. Chronic cases take more sessions, of course. But it is better to work the whole fascial line–get all the kinks out, so to speak, than to work only on the foot of the story.
If you suffer from Planter Fasciitus, give Bowen Therapy a try. You will be greatly relieved, if you do.
I’m a guest blogger on the Emotional Health Institute website 🙂 and this blog is one I posted there.
The Hygiene of Life: Our Pathway to Happiness
To live a balanced life…that is a life of health, success, and happiness, we must think in terms of the full integration of the 6 dimensions of our personal life: our physical, social, emotional, intellectual/mental, occupational/financial and spiritual.
For the most part, we understand what it means to take care of ourselves in each area (Read More)
Many people endure years of pain. Chronic pain is described as persistent pain that lasts longer than 6 months. It can be the “unhealed” result of accidental injury or surgical interventions and come on slowly as aches and fatigue. Eventually long standing pain can affect people mentally with lower frustration and anger flash points and activate/reactivate anxieties and depression. Often chronic pain will affect family and friend relationships and job performance and life satisfaction.
The CDC estimates that 50 million Americans, just over 20% of the adult population, has chronic pain. 20 million of them have pain that is severe enough that it limits work or life activities.
A recent-ish study (2016) at King’s College London has shown that even small benign neuron injuries leave a cellular “footprint”. These footprints or markers carry the memory of the initial injury by affecting the local gene expression of neurons and immune system responses via microglia changes.
Why is this interesting? It leads to an understanding of how and why locally overly sensitive nervous system are formed. If we understand what is happening there, we can make a strategy to change it.
How do we correct the markers and reset the memory of the initial injury so that the local area returns to a “normal’, healthy response….pain-free and functioning properly?
Chronic pain is a complex of different systems working together to produce an undesired result or pain. The stressed-out overworked mind, the strained hypersensitive body, and the frazzled unfocused spirit all need to be addressed, calmed and reset., The trick is to Combining
Whether your chronic pain is localized from a break or a cut, multi-point like arthritis or more generalized like Fibromyalgia, its relief and resolution will probably be multi-faceted.
An invaluable addition to your chronic pain therapeutic regimen is Bowen Therapy
All tissue injuries, even the small benign ones in the study, affect the local fascia. and what is the master of fascia healing? Bowen Therapy!
It’s impossible for injury not to affect fascia, since it covers every square centimeter of our insides. The collagen proteins of fascia are the strings of connective tissue that support and link literally everything. And it feeds all other tissues in our body.
Fascia is the inter-cellular super-highway of fluid, delivering nutrients and oxygen from arteries to our cells and removing debris and carbon dioxide from cells back to veins. When tissue is damaged, the repairing/healing scar tissue can act as dams in the flow, cutting off the road to necessary repair ingredients and trapping waste.
Bowen Therapy is excellent in realigning tissue, releasing adhesion and restoring flow to the fluid highways. Now the repair systems can do it’s job.
Local pain memories need the full support of the immune and repair systems in order to reset.
You can let go of chronic pain, daily struggles and often mute suffering.
Give Bowen therapy a try and find a difference in you life.
1. Cells carry ‘memory’ of injury, which could reveal why chronic pain persists, https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/05/160512124930.htm
2. CDC: 50 Million Americans Have Chronic Pain, https://www.painnewsnetwork.org/stories/2018/9/13/cdc-50-million-americans-have-chronic-pain
When I started learning and working with Emotional Resolution (EmRes), I thought: “Hey, EmRes is great stuff. There are lots of people with over-the-top emotions, trapped in their behaviors and locked into patterns that seem unbreakable.” And EmRes can certainly tackle those myriad of “large” emotions, that swamp people’s lives and keep them imprisoned in cycles of fear, rage and abuse, to themselves and others.
Now that I’ve worked with EmRes for a while, with clients, friends, fellow practitioners and myself, I’ve come to realize that, Yes, it works great for people with “big” emotional issues. But we all have tensions inside of us. They range from irritable, snappy, or loudly expressed to bitter, callous, quiet eye-rolling or coldly indifferent.
When I was working in IT, I was frequently under high levels of stress for long periods of time. It’s kind of the nature of the beast in IT. And occasionally, I’d blow up, directly my anxiety outward. Subconsciously, it was my way to scare people away so that they would leave me alone and my sensations would go away. The physical sensation that my brain used to tell me that something was wrong. (but I didn’t know it at the time.)
In our schools, there are 6 year old kids that are throwing tables across the room. Why? Because they are afraid. They have so much tension inside and by throwing the table, they are trying to release it . They are trying to control it the uncomfortable sensations–shut it down.
As a parent, how many times have we yelled at our kids, then regret it and maybe apologize later–“I’m sorry, I love you”? But then sometime later the child will do it again, or something similar, as they do, and we react again, apologize again? What sensations are we trying extinguish?
As a care-giver to someone that used to be sharp as a tack, but now has trouble finding their shoes, we can be impatient and snappish. Why is the emotion surging, over what is now a matter of fact in Mom’s life?
The subtle physical sensations that represent our emotions, are put there by our brain to alert us to a perceived situation that is similar, sometimes vaguely so, to some past event that was extremely upsetting to us. We employed the now invoked emotion to “survive” that episode. The unconscious mind remembers all these events in our lives. It is trying to prepare us for a new such event by invoking the emotion, much like blood-pressure goes up in preparation for a physical activity.
So when you react at someone, recognize the cycle of
- The incident — usually something done around you e.i., Mom does something irritating
- The tension – your subconscious reacts and creates physical sensations, a new tension in the body
- The snappish comment, raised voice, heavy sigh, take a breath (or two), etc – attempt to release or control the sensations
- The contrition – if the release extended outward to affect another
- The calm – AHHH, relief! the sensation is gone.
Slamming doors and rolling eyes, shows that we still have something to work on. Your reactions and behaviors are the telltales of what is lying under the surface. The reacts don’t resolve the emotions, they just temporarily relieve the tension.
EmRes does resolve the emotion of the situation. It resets the subconscious mind’s connect between the situation and the emotion — there is no danger here, you don’t need to provoke that emotion any more. It’s done, that emotional situation is gone…forever.
On one level, EmRes is for people with major trauma, that need major shifts. But on another level, it is really about resolving the simple interactions that are not “above the line”.
Our work on ourselves is very important. ANYTHING that brings on a physical sensation is “actionable”.
EmRes is a tool for accelerating our Human Growth Potential.
The more content we are, the better we are for those around us. If we are not content, we can’t fake it and be present for others. And every time you do an eye-roll, you are not content.
We can grow and evolve into more decent, wonderful, better human beings that we were yesterday. We have the potential to be Super-Great.
Are you read to shed your unwanted reactions and be Super? Learn Self-EmRes or work with an EmRes professional.
Emotional Resolution is about balancing your feelings by addressing the emotions that are embedded in our bodies, replaying when triggered by similar situations, enlarging the scope of the current circumstances and keeping us in a seemingly endless cycle of drama and pain.
Neuroscientist and trauma researcher, Bessel van der Kolk, MD has spent his career studying how children and adults adapt to traumatic experiences. He has some very interesting things to say about how trauma affects our bodies and compensating behaviors.
“The trauma caused by childhood neglect, sexual or domestic abuse and war wreaks havoc in our bodies” — Bessel van der Kolk in The Body Keeps the Score
He says that we commonly think that trauma is a story about the past, but in fact, trauma makes changes to our brain, so that the person sees and experiences the world differently than other human beings. Research shows that “it is almost impossible to become a drug addict/alcoholic without having a prior history of childhood trauma.” Addiction is the result of these people desperately trying to manage unbearable physical sensations.
Peter Levine, PhD has also spent a career working with trauma. He developed a body-awareness approach to healing trauma called Somatic Experiencing (SE). SE focuses on the physiological responses that occur when someone experiences or remembers an overwhelming or traumatic event, in his or her body, rather than only through the thoughts or emotions connected to it. His method is to allow and encourage the body’s sensations, trapped by the trauma, to discharge using a number of “resources” to ground the person in the present moment, that reinforce the client’s inherent capacity to self-regulate.
“The bodies of traumatized people portray “snapshots” of their unsuccessful attempts to defend themselves in the face of threat and injury. Trauma is a highly activated incomplete biological response to threat, frozen in time… Traumatized people are not suffering from a disease in the normal sense of the word- they have become stuck in an aroused state. It is difficult, if not impossible, to function normally under these circumstances.” — Peter A. Levine
I find it affirming, and corroborating, that these two world renowned and respected experts in the field of trauma research both agree that unprocessed emotions are trapped in the body. And that the best path to recovery is by working to release the frozen emotions from the body.
Connecting Trauma and Chronic Pain
In my own work, I’ve found that my clients who are struggling with the repercussions of trauma have issue on two fronts: Emotional and Physical. Often times they are in traditional therapy of some kind, but find it hard to make headway because of chronic body pain.
Traumatic emotions are buried in the body and resurface as pain and named disorders when left unresolved over long periods of time.
Bowen Technique is a system of gentle bodywork, that brings equilibrium to fascia (connective tissue) tension in the body. It is very relaxing and stimulates the body’s nervous systems to re-balance, prompting a healing response on structural and energetic levels Short answer: it feels really good and takes the pain away.
When pain is first and foremost in a person’s mind, it is very difficult to work on anything else, even if “anything else” is critical to relieving emotional pain, which is also critical to recovery. I’ve found that applying Bowen to chronic pain is a necessary first step. When the body calms down, after a session or two of Bowen, clients find their traditional therapy much more productive. They can remember, focus and do the work with out the distracting onslaught of pain.
Adding an Emotional Resolution (EmRes) session before Bowen is a powerful advantage. Emotional Resolution is a simple method of releasing buried emotions, regardless of the circumstances around their internment. The client recalls an emotional situation of note, and the practitioner guides them thru a protocol of physical sensory awareness which releases the triggered emotion that is buried in the body. Immediately afterwards the clients receives a Bowen session to help the body finish processing the emotion release and do the primary work of balancing the fascia to release and ignite a healing response.
The combination of Emotional Resolution and Bowen is amazing. There is a synergy and reciprocity between the two disciplines that coordinate responses between physical and emotional bodies. They literally talk the language of the limbic system that is holding the emotions, the body memories, in stasis and provides portals for their discharge and release.
Emotion work and Body work, individually, can be an asset to any recovery process. But together in the same session, they have produced headway and breakthroughs in my clients. These cases reinforce my enthusiasm and desire to champion this work. It’s so important to those of us that need it.
Are you ready to release your buried trauma and chronic body pain?
Video with Bessel van der Kolk
Youtube with Peter Levine
My first Reiki experience was purely by accident. I wanted to feel better and a friend recommended this woman that does this stuff…”it was great”. So I booked an appointment and went to her. That one session was amazing. I didn’t find out what she did until after the session was over and the Reiki part was really only about 20 minutes long. I was in love with the work and ended up taking it on as a new career.
Back then-10 years ago, when I offered people a Reiki session or told them was a Reiki Master, literally no one knew what that was. So I was left to explain about a metaphysical process–passing life energy thru my hands, when received would feel really good, like a heating-pad, and that energy would help them heal. All I could tell them was anecdotal stories about experiences of my clients and my friends clients successes. “Just try it, you’ll love it”. It was a bit of a stretch for many people.
Starting a few years ago, there was enough Reiki-awareness, in general, that when I told people, “I’m a Reiki Master”, almost everyone has heard the word “Reiki”. They may not know what it means exactly, but they’ve heard the word. It wasn’t just a strange combo of consonants and vowels. It had some context. It made my explaining job easier, because people are more receptive to hearing about the semi-familiar.
And in the background, there have been researchers trying to prove or disprove the effectiveness of Reiki. Does it really help healing, when measured scientifically, double-blind studies and all that stuff. Or are the anecdotes of my clients just one-off successes?
They are validating the Reiki table experience: It does feel good, it does help, it should be part of standard practices of healing.
Articles such as this one are being published in respected journals. This article reviewed the results of a collection of clinical studies on Reiki.
Placebo? They measured getting Reiki [Reiki from a Reiki attuned practitioner] versus getting fake or sham-Reiki [an actor that mimicked the hand positions and procedures of a real Reiki session]. The sham-Reiki served as the placebo, the sugar pill, that will have a neutral effect.
What did they measure?
- Physiological responses to Reiki
- Use of Reiki as a complementary therapy for a chronic condition
- Use of Reiki as a treatment for a chronic condition
- Use of Reiki as a complementary therapy for an acute condition
I’ll let you read the article for detail information and jump to the results 🙂
What did they find? Reiki can be effective in
- “Activating the parasympathetic nervous system, as measured by reduced heart rate, reduced blood pressure, and increased heart rate variability”
- “Reducing pain, anxiety, and depression, and for improving self-esteem and quality of life”
‘These effects are due to higher parasympathetic nervous system activity, mediated via the vagus nerve”.
” Reiki has the potential to provide valuable support for a broad range of chronic health conditions”
“Reiki should be regarded as a complementary therapy that can be implemented alongside all other medical and therapeutic techniques.
Further research is recommended to help optimize the application of Reiki for specific health conditions and to examine the benefits arising from provision of multiple Reiki sessions over an extended period of time.”
Lovely! Yes, this is what most of us in the Reiki community have been saying for years.
- It’s a wonderful (and powerful) complement to any treatment or medical protocol that a person may be under.
- There are no-contraindications–everyone can benefit from Reiki.
- Reiki can happen anywhere, literally anywhere, home, hospital, clinic, barn, etc
- it feels like the best massage you’ve every gotten without all the rubbing 🙂
Don’t hesitate to try Reiki and add it to your current wellness regime, especially if your challenge is tackling pain, illness or disease.
Also I’m sending out a big thanks to all those Reiki Researchers who are proving it’s validity! 🙂
Are You Ready for Reiki’s Help?
The effect of scars on the body can not be overestimated. It doesn’t matter whether the scars came from an accident, war, conflict, personal attacks or other traumas or due to a necessary and required surgical intervention or elective procedure. The results of scars never just go away.
The scar itself is a miracle of our body’s repair system. It is the remnant of a living tissue bandage that plugged a hole in our skin, preventing further fluid loss and maintaining a hygienic seal over the area while transitioning from scab to scar.
The fact that there is a visible scar means that the damage was not just superficial wound. It is the result of deeper tissue damage, sometimes thru all layers of the skin, sometimes involving the underlying soft tissues, muscles and organs.
Collagen, laid down as part of the repair process, resulted in a thickened fibrous mass. Thick scar tissue can impede proper circulation of blood, congests lymph flow and can impact range of motion. Severed nerve tissue, in the immediate and surrounding areas, can result in a kind of dysthesia–unpleasant, abnormal sense of touch that runs from numbness to pain. A fibrous and non-elastic scar can have a bio-mechanical dragging and pulling effect on all neighboring physiological systems particularly the fascial membrane covering muscles, bones, organs and glands.
And really one of the biggest problems is that we are unaware of these issues. After the largest portions of pain and trauma of the site have passed and it is mostly healed, our concerns go elsewhere and we become unaware of the disability that remains stuck in our bodies by having and untreated scar. All scars represent:
- the emotion that was present when the injury took place. Even elective surgeries and planned c-sections have embedded emotions related to the need for them — self-worth, anger, anxiety, shock, guilt, etc.
- bio-mechanical restriction of the fascia where the scar prevent free-gliding of muscles and nerves. Interconnected fascial lines and synergistic and antagonistic muscles groups all rely of easy movement and elasticity of tissue within and adjacent to them.
- bio-energetic impact of scars is most noticeable when the scars cross body mid-lines and the body meridians as used in acupuncture. When scars are released in these areas and the flow of Qi/Chi is re-established, client often report that they feel more energized after the scar work was performed.
The treatment of scar tissue is a vital element in restoring maximum function of our musculoskeletal and myofascial systems. Pain in these systems are reduced and range of motion increases.
The week before Tom’s birthday is traditionally International Bowen Week, so that we may remember and celebrate his work.
As a bodyworker and healer, I’ve found that it’s often the simple techniques that have the most reach, the largest effect on the body. Frequently we try to over complicate what is really simple.
Most of my new Bowen therapy clients come to my office after trying literally every other option they can find. Bowen is not widely known in my area, so it takes a determined searcher to find me sometimes. By the time they reach me, their issues are chronic and complicated by years of compensation patterns. I find this a delightful challenge that Bowen can certainly meet.
Bowen works with the fascia, our connective tissue, to re-tone and re-tension the whole body, from muscles and organs to bones and hormones. Fluids carrying nutrients and waste, in and out of our deepest recesses, are facilitated by fascia and disturbances to these pathways may also be addressed by Bowen’s gentle moves.
Bowen is a series of short stubby strokes or Moves, as specific locations on the body, executed in predetermined “sets” or procedures as prerequisites to future procedures in the session, with short Waits between the procedures. AKA: I do a couple moves in a couple places, leave the room for 2 or more minutes, come back, do a couple more moves in a couple places and leave the room for 2 minutes, etc. The Bowen Moves give instruction to the fascia, to examine itself, it’s tension and alignment, both near the move and in any fascially related tissue, which can range from head to toe or deep into the body. The Wait is required by the fascia–it needs time, 90-sec to 2-min, to react. So it’s gentle, slow work that accommodates the natural form and timing that the body needs to process information is a whole and complete way.
Sessions are generally an hour long, sometimes shorter or longer, depending on the work. The first session is generally about balancing the whole body and getting all the fascia to soften. Hardened fascia, called “armoring” is generally present in chronic cases and our goal of flexible, elastic fascia will bring on much needed relief to the body.
“While experts still aren’t quite sure how or why it works, research into Bowen therapy by the University of Lancaster found that 70% of volunteers with a frozen shoulder gained full mobility after undertaking a series of Bowen therapy sessions. 100% of participants reported better mobility with daily activities and overall lower levels of pain.”
Bowen is known to
- Reduce neck, shoulder and back pain
- Decrease stress and fatigue
- Help with repetitive strain injuries, digestive issues and reproductive issues
- Decrease headaches including migraine intensity and frequency
- Reduce bed wetting and assist with bladder problems
- Regain mobility from frozen shoulder or assist with knee, hip or mobility issues
- Assist healing athletic and sports injuries
There are a few things you should know before you trying Bowen.
- There’s literally NO contraindications. Bowen is for everyone: kids, infants, adults, in hospital, in hospice… everyone.
- To create a personalized treatment plan, you will be asked about your medical history.
- Bowen works alone. The body can only process a given amount of information at a time. Too much information–like touching a person from head to toe– may cause a brief respite, but within days all the instructions are tossed out. Bowen gives discrete instruction to the body and then we stop for 5 days and let that information work its way through the body. No further treatment by anyone for 5 days–no Bowen, massage, acupuncture, chiropractic, etc.
- Drinking water is critical. Because the fluid pathways are affected, we drink lots of water, to keep everything flushed through and out of the body as much as possible.
- Processing the information can result in short periods of tension in muscles, over the next five days. This is normal, although not a universal experience. If it happens, it usually only last 20 minutes or so.
- Most people with chronic cases will require 3-5 sessions to see huge improvement. Sometimes, mobility and strength are increased right way. Each client and case is different. We generally say to plan for 3-5 sessions and then are happy when its effects are seen much sooner 🙂
- Light exercise in the five days following Bowen, like gentle walking or yoga, can increase success of the treatment. This physical activity can help reeducate the muscles and other soft tissue as they find new life in their reconditioned fascia environment.
Try Bowen! You wont regret it!
As a first-adopter, I’m happy to spread the news, to explain again and again what Bowen is and how it can help. I’m grateful to Tom for being the person to bring this special combination of move, location, sequencing and tempo to bodywork.
Happy Birthday, Tom!
Anger! that flash of that grips the chest and gut! It focuses our attention to the source of our indignation and calls for immediate action in
our defense, correcting someone else’s behavior.
It can be overwhelming and what seems reasonable and honest to us, inside our brain, can be an exaggerated tirade by an observer, even if the rant is not directed towards them?
Why do we react in such a big way? Why do we react at all, especially when our personal safety and well-being is not at risk,… especially when it’s directed toward someone we love and care deeply for?
Past emotions that are unresolved still exist in our bodies. For some reason, the natural process of regulating the emotion when it first happened was interrupted and it didn’t dissipate. In the future, when a situation triggers that emotion, not only do we react to the circumstances of the current situation, but the stored emotion is added to the mix. The mind then faces a heightened narrative to which it feels compelled to respond.
We want to be in the present moment. Life would be so much simpler if we only had to deal with what is happening now.
How do we get rid of those stored emotions?
It turns out that by paying attention, in a very precise way, to the physical sensations that represent an emotion, it will dissipate and be removed permanently.
Emotional Resolution, EmRes, protocols have amazing effects. In a short 30 minute or less session, a single emotion can be addressed and resolved. It doesn’t matter what the emotion is. The origin and story about how the emotion got locked in the body is not important to this process. We only deal with a current-ish situation that has triggered the emotion.
It sounds too simple to be true, but I have many clients who can attest to the remarkable results they have experienced.
If you have emotional difficulties that are affecting your life and relationships, give Emotional Resolution a try.
Book an appointment, in the clinic or on the phone, to regulate your unwanted emotions and trauma at Shining Light Energy Works
Schedule online: SLEW-Online Scheduling
We look forward to working with you!