Achieving Sole Comfort

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.

Schedule your Bowen Session Today

Removing Trauma from the Body

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?

Book your Emotional Resolution and Bowen Session today


Video with Bessel van der Kolk

Youtube with Peter Levine

Tom Bowen’s Birthday-April 18

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.

  1. There’s literally NO contraindications. Bowen is for everyone: kids, infants, adults, in hospital, in hospice… everyone.
  2. To create a personalized treatment plan, you will be asked about your medical history.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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 🙂
  7.  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! 

Bowen for Stress Relief — amazing advantages!

Stress Relief – its something we all seem to strive for in our too busy and overwhelming world.

The first sets of Bowen moves in each Bowen session is always dedicated to calming the body, getting the mind in the room, on to the table and out of it’s maze of intertwining circuits of  desire and obligation.BlownDanilion

The body can only heal itself when the parasympathetic nervous system is acting (rest and digest).  The defense, recovery and repair system will do amazing things, but only if we are relaxed enough for all the body parts accept that they don’t have to be on alert or scared. The nutrients we eat can work to our fullest advantage when we are at calm and at rest.

Bowen can also be useful for emotional release.  We hold emotions in our fascia when we don’t know what else to do with them in the moment.  Held emotions will tighten the fascia into “armoring” which can result in the hardening of the soft tissues leading to micro-adhesions and pain. The Bowen moves releases the tenseness and allows the emotion to resurface, be acknowledged and released.

That’s why I found this Bowen article charming (link below), in that it equates Bowen to vitamins….and he’s right.  Bowen can be the vital part of your bodywork program that relaxes and resets your body to that it can heal.

When my clients come off the table at the end of a Bowen session, the least amount of praise I sometimes get is, “I feel so relaxed”.  and that my friends is a great complement.

Bowen Explained: For The Relief Of Stress

Pains in the body–what do they mean?

trappedEmotionsWhy do we have pain and weakness in one part of the body and not another?  When you fall or trip, is it always on that one side? do you always seem to land on that one knee? tweak that same ankle?  OR when working with your hands and arms, does that one elbow see to take the brunt of the work? is it the wrist that seems to complain first? OR does your lower back seem to give out before anything else?

This is your body trying to send you a message about the underlying emotional – mental issues that are unresolved.

When we have any kind of unresolved trauma or drama in our lives, the memory and energy of that fight-or-flight-or-freeze stress remains, stuck in our tissue.  If we don’t do any physical or personal emotional work to release that stress, it will slowly grow with time by accumulating additional instances.  At some point the “pool of stress” will effect the surrounding tissues with enough impact that pain, dis-function and maybe dis-ease will result.  Unresolved it will get louder and louder and until it gets your notice–enough for you to pay attention to it.

Here is the pattern of any chronic issues: it started with a small annoyance, was ignored, it got more frequent, was ignored, it got larger (louder), was maybe superficially treated–but really just ignored, etc…until finally it seems all of a sudden, there is this big issue. and we wonder where it came from.  hmmm….?

So here it is. It hurts. What to do?

There are lots a charts and graphics around (like the link below) that can point you in the general direction.

  • Shoulders = carrying a burden that is too heavy, given to you by your family, the world (right side) or your self(left side).  what and why are you carrying it? what happens if you put part if it down or ask for help? remember that it takes a village?
  • Hips = support in your life, financial(right side) or emotional(left side). what kind of support do you need? must it come from others? or can you support and love yourself? who is not capable of supporting you?
  • Heart = love and connection. where are you disconnected from yourself, your family (given or chosen), community, your maker?  how are you experiencing shame, loss, lack, anger?  who can make you feel loved? how do you connect with yourself and others? what blocks are in the way?
  • the list goes on….

The trick is to do this emotional work ALONG WITH the physical together.  Doing this work from two arenas, emotional and physical, you will create a spreading spiritual effect.  The results are greater; swifter strides towards releasing the agony.

In my clinic, we do this with work with good results.   Reiki, Quantum Touch or general Energy work for the physical side and talking though bubbled up sub-conscious images that the theta state brings for the emotional side.

This is exactly the kind of work that represents the first energy work session I ever had and kept me coming back for more.  It eventually lead to me learning and taking it on as a profession.

It’s great stuff. and body pain tells you where to start the path.

http://www.thelifeisamazing.com/20-sources-pain-body-directly-linked-each-specific-emotional-states/

Bowen called out as Remedy for Fibromyalgia pain

I don’t know David Wolfe, but I follow his page/blog.  He commonly touches on topics interest that are thoughtful, compassionate and informative. Fibromyalgia3 So I was delighted to read his blog today and see him call out Bowen for the chronic pain relief associated with Fibromyalgia.

This is very exciting to see Bowen mentioned and recommended by those outside the Bowen community.  It really is a wonder technique that works wonders on all sorts of acute and chronic issues.

Give it a try!  It is one of the best natural healing techniques to use.

http://www.davidwolfe.com/10-remedies-fibromyalgia-pain/

Calming Restless Legs

You’re laying in bed, just about to drop into sleep, and there’s the itch or twitch that startles you back from slumber.  or the knee jerks that make you RestlessLegSyndromefeel like a puppet with someone else pulling the strings. Some legs get wild enough to force sleeping in a bed separate from their years-long partner.  Whether on the sofa or in bed there seems to be no escaping the legs that want to move.

I’ve helped clients with Restless Leg Syndrome.  I’ve done it using Energy and Bowen, individually and both in separate sessions.

Bowen helps neurological issues by loosening fascia which restores tissue hydration and unrestricted communication with the limbic system. Moist tissue can respond to our activity demands, recover from those exertions and rest when “in waiting”.

Fascia also holds our body memory or muscle memory- the patterns or reactions that we carry out without conscious thought.  It also hold the somatic memory of injuries and trauma that we have incurred.  Balanced fascia is more fully in communication with our limbic system which houses the emotional-mental portions of the injuries and traumas.  The feedback between the fascial and limbic systems integrate the physical and emotional-mental responses to new and chronic injuries. This will make healing responses more appropriate, releasing cascading inflammation, edema and chronic muscle spasms.

Energy sessions help rest the spirit and can reveal the spiritual reason for the physical manifestation.  Our work on this plane is activated by our family and friends when we are young, usually by age 7 through misunderstanding and trauma. If we don’t respond by facing and resolving the issue, it will be presented to us time and again, louder and more painful each time, until it gets our full and complete attention. 🙂 Each of us have a unique and varied life course. Energy work can help “lift the lid” on those unresolved reactions that we buried in our bodies and memories.  As adults we have more control over ourselves and our environments and have better tools to help remove these bundles of pain and sorrow.  Our itches and twitches are our sub-conscious trying to tell us something.

Either way, getting some relief from the itch, pain and twitch in yours will help you get needed rest and feeling better!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The body’s mediator: fascia

I talk a lot about how fascia is important. It’s where the knotted patterns of our life and life style lay encased in living tissue.   The impact and fascia6remnants of physical injury is in the fascia. Emotions are felt and trauma lies buried in our fascia.  Our energy bodies are attached to our physical bodies via our fascia.  Right after we are a bunch of cells, the first organized tissue is fascia and all other tissue is formed as slips of tissue off the fascia.  It surrounds, holds, support and shields every structure in our bodies. It communicates information faster than our nerves–much faster.  And it provides transportation for fluids, to keep itself and every thing under it’s supervision hydrated and strong.

What’s not to like about fascia?

I ran across this article some time ago, like July 2010 and found it again in a saved folder.

Listening from your Fascia

Energy Work
Which is interesting, since I’m coming to believe that all the energy work I perform with my clients is really just fascia work. Meaning, when I  project energy from my hands or through intention, my target is the connection between the physical body aka fascia to the etheric body, the first level of our energy body.  As physical beings, sometimes we don’t “feel it” until it actually becomes physical.  When the fascia relaxes, the mind can let go and the spirit is relieved.  Which make perfect sense.  With energy work, I’m coming from the spiritual to the physical.  I just didn’t have a clear idea of where that interface took place.  It works something like this:

  • opening the energy field, activating the physical connection to fascia with Reiki, crystals, essential oils and sound, stimulating information about locked patterns from the sub-conscious, voicing – bringing into the conscious-physical level – the mental or emotional injury, releasing it from the body,  restoring light-ness and peace to the aura and physical body.

Bowen Technique
With Bowen Technique, bodywork that targets fascia using acupressure point access, it works in the opposite direction. In a Bowen session there can be lots of prerequisite moves and procedures, but the sequence that results in the “final” pain release also usually triggers emotional and trauma related discharges.  Usually the originating injury happened years ago and the chronic tension pattern had later erupted into pain from a more recent and relatively benign over-stretch or twist.  It’s this old impairment that is let go. With Bowen, it works like this:

  • stretching muscles & tendons, dragging fascia along for the ride, releasing chronic physical patterns & pain,  discharging suppressed emotions and trauma, relieving the heaviness of life burdens from the body.

So I’m observing this wonderful synergy in practice: Energy work and Bowen.

Same work from two different direction.  I see it more clearly and more in-depth with each client.

The fascia is the bridge between…a truly wonderful thing.hands-light

Bring your headache here!

HeadAchesandBowen

Headaches.  There are so many “kinds”.  WebMD says there are 150 diagnostic headache categories. The cause of headache can range from a “bump on the head”, to emotional, illness, hormone imbalances, inflammation, medication, chemical, stress, fluid levels, activity levels, allergies, and the list goes on and on. When you have a headache, it’s sometimes hard to ignore. It’s difficult to think or concentrate, even soft noises seem too loud, and slight irritations become a huge pain in the what-i-sit-on.

If the cause of the headache is known, then it’s much easier to address.  This is usually the case with acute pain–the source and result are closely linked by time and the detective work to a solution is clear.

But what about when pain is chronic and/or unresolved?

Bowen Therapy can address headache and migraine intensity, duration and frequency.

Bowen Therapy, also know as Bowenwork in the US, uses a series of gentle moves on structural tissue (muscles, tendons and ligaments) to affect the fascia and nerves. Treatment at pivotal locations in the body, neck and head relax the internal mechanisms that propogate headache and migraine, reducing and shutting down the stress and myalgia.

The first Bowen session is generally about assessment and bringing the body to a sort-of “ground-state” of balance on which to build further work, including treatment of the loudest issue that is presenting at session time.  It is important to commit to at least three Bowen therapy sessions, a week apart, to give the body and brain time to work any adjustments and corrections in the body structure and function.  Each additional session further informs the body’s intelligence to identify any imbalance or misalignment that is locked in as chronic pattern(s).   This work will process through the body over the course of 5 days, correcting and adjusting itself back to it’s “healthy” state, or as close as possible.  After three sessions is a good point to review the overall progress.  The total amount of time for treatment and recovery depends on personal history and healing tempo.

This link is to a Bowen Migraine Study in the UK

If you suffer from Headache or Migraine, please try Bowen Therapy. You won’t regret it!

Fascia, Fascia, Fascia

It seems that I can’t see it or hear it often enough: Fascia is amazing.  It holds us together.  It is our body’s silent communication system, more rapid FasciaImbalancesthan nerves. It transports fluid between muscle, organ and circulatory tissues, keeping them supple.  It collects fluid around damaged tissue like a bandage.  Think of healthy fascia as a series of fine net stockings or cobwebs that surrounds every fiber, bundle of fibers, groups of bundled fibers, tissue groups, organs, separating body compartments in large sheets or diaphragms, supporting and holding everything in it’s place. It’s everywhere.  It’s pervasive.

Fascia can be physically damaged by injury or as a byproduct of some medical procedures, just like any other tissue. Fascia also reacts to our emotions by contracting over the trauma that is energetically held in the body like a bandage.

“Damaged” fascia is not the fluid flexible net of fibers that functions fully.  Injured fascia is tense, jumbled and convoluted, like a fisherman’s net that has gotten balled up and tangled.  Over time these areas, will become tightened, knotted and kinked, stiffening into armor like hardness.

In this compromised condition, fascia can not transport fluid nor relay messages as is normally found.  The tissue is it supports become dry and brittle and incommunicado from the rest of the body.

Injured fascia can cause severe, disabling, chronic muscle pain.  It affect not only the tissue that is armored, but all muscles and tissues that have to work differently because of this restriction.

Click here for another great video explaining why fascia is important

When there is a restriction in one area of the body, there will be compensation on the other side of the body in a diagonal direction. That “overworked” area will cause another area, diagonally across the body to compensate.

Pretty soon there is a zigzag of stressed body areas. So often what hurts is not the originating point of the problem.  Neck injuries can become hip and leg issues and vice versa.  Ankle issues can show up in the shoulders. So what needs help the most? Where it hurts now or the original injury?

Bowen to the rescue!

Bowen works with fascia as it’s target.  When skin, muscles and tendons are moved, the fascia they are connected to moves.  If gently and methodically done, the fascia will again separate into it’s beautiful web-like structures. The armor will soften, the tissues are hydrated and the information highway is connected again.

On the other hand, tissue and it’s associate fascia is moved  quickly, hard and fast–it resists and stays in it’s armored state.  Remember the corn-starch and water experiment?  If you handle it with too much force, it resembles a solid brick.  But if you handle it slowly, it feels more like sand or liquid.  The same is true of fascia–the slower and gentler the better.

In my opinion, almost all all chronic pain announces an underlying fascia issue.  The longer the pain has been in place, the more compensating patterns have been erected. And the more hardened armor, locking it into place will be present.

A series of Bowen session will unwind these patterns. By gently manipulating fasical sheets through their connections to other tissues, the elasticity is returned.  Relaxed fascia loosens it’s grip on muscles, organs and other tissue allowing the communication and fluids to flow at more appropriate levels.   Oh, what a relief!