Archive for cure for pain

Unfurling our posture into spring

As the days get longer and I find myself out and about more and more, I feel my body unwind and open from the inward wintertime activities of writing, reading books, crafting, and lot’s of movie watching.  Just as the blossoms and leaves of early spring begin to unfurl now, I am inspired to speak to the ways in which we are able to unfurl and open our posture through a method I call Dynamic Fascial Response™. I hope the self massage technique that I teach you here helps you to feel rejuvenated as you blossom open into spring.

How do our bodies get stuck in postural patterns?
To understand postural patterns we first need to look at one of the most important organs, the body’s fascia.

Fascinating Fascia (Pronounced Fa (A as in apple)-shah).

Fascia is completely amazing and here is a brief description for the purpose of a more leisurely read.

Your body’s fascia is one continuous structure that is web-like and although there is fascia found in between and around the cellular structures (e.g., muscles, organs, bones) it’s been discovered that it also interpenetrates the muscles, organs and bones spanning, without interruption, from head to toe.  So far so amazing right?

Even more fascinating is that the fascia has no fixed pattern or movement the way a web does.  When a spider web expands by the force of the wind, it’s geometry simply stretches wider then returns back to its’ original form. The most impressive thing about the fascia is it’s morphing ability. This magical web of fibrous material, is hollow and filled with hydration and is ever-changing in movement.  One fibrous web segment of your fascia can morph into two segments during movement!

Yes, the fascial fibers have the ability to morph, sliding in and out of themselves as our body moves (see photo on below by Dr. Jean Gimbertaeu of one fiber morphing into two).  

Fascia, one fiber morphing into two.
Photo clip from Jean Gimberteau’s impressive film ‘Strolling Under the Skin’.

Through its’ amazing tensegrity, fascia is able to bounce back to to it original structure after intricate orchestration of each of its complex movements.  This happens even in involuntary movements like gastric motility.

 

Fascia, has a fractal, icosahedronal architecture (see image to left) and it is the infrastructure of our standing posture and how we move throughout this world. Without it you would be merely a pile of muscle and bones. Did you know you are a fractal icosahedron? Wow!

 

A must see film of fascia can be found on youtube.  I highly recommend Jean Gimberteau’s impressive film ‘Strolling Under the Skin to all bodyworkers and anatomy enthusiasts!

You can click here to watch this film.

Movement Matters:  Fascial range of motion becomes most compromised when movements become limited.  A great read on movement is Katy Bowman’s, Movement Matters.

It is full of great essays discussing the many ways our natural movements have become so limited through technological advancements and cultural changes.  The book inspires the reader to move as much as possible in as many ways as possible. It’s so well written, with a sense of humor and also with a revolutionary tone of taking back our birthright to move.  

The key faub for instance limits the hand, wrist and arm movements formally used when turning a key.

Signs in parks warning us Dangerous – Do Not Climb Tree.  Teaches that it is dangerous to climb a tree.

 

Climbing trees is actually a great way to move our bodies and it explores a wide variety of range of motion movements from head to toe. So next time someone tells you to go climb a tree, you might want to take them up on it!

Click here to read segments of

Movement Matters by Katy Bowman.

Forward Head Posture

According to Kapandji (Physiology of the Joints, Volume III), for every inch your head moves forwards, it gains 10 pounds in PSI weight.  As it moves forward, the muscles in your upper back and neck have to work that much harder to keep the head (chin) from dropping onto your chest.  This results in neck and shoulder tension caused by restrictions in the anterior (front of body) fascia.

One of the most constant factors that I see in my clients with shoulder, neck, and other structural holding patterns that cause tension and pain, is forward head posture.

Generally speaking, forward head posture can be the result of several factors.  This pattern can be caused by excessive driving, anterior weight gain of pregnancy, nursing, tending over small children, doing craftwork, art, music making, writing, massaging over a table all day, etc.  One of the most common is a flexion lifestyle of sitting all day in front of a desk computer. Anyone who does anterior dominant activities on a daily basis is susceptible to this postural pattern if they don’t counter stretch and do some type of strength training (this might include yoga and pilates as well as weight or resistance training).  Strengthening the muscles of the traps and rhomboids can help counter balance the forward pull.

Pregnancy and new moms – All wrapped up.

Some lack of movement however is created by life itself.  A new mom for instance may nurse her baby, looking down at it, completely in love.  She will hold her baby everyday, pick up her baby, she may change baby’s diaper on a low bed rather than a high changing table.

So in the case of this new-mom example, the constant looking down, forward dominating movements and lack of full range of motion along with the physiological changes of increased breast size may cause the fascia to start to bind and wrap, in relation to the motion of the body’s muscle movements, or lack of. I call these areas wrapped points.  

The body pain and tension this postpartum mom is feeling may be felt in her occiput, neck and shoulders.  The holding pattern caused by the wrapped points most likely originates in the muscles of her chest and front of the neck. My approach as a bodyworker is not to go straight to the areas of discomfort but rather go to the wrapped points to begin the unwinding.

Anterior Unwinding

The method of my bodywork that I call Dynamic Fascial Response™ has changed how I work on bodies, how I assess them and also how I care for my own.  It begins with something that I call anterior unwinding. It has been my signature style for years because it creates lasting results. Now I am teaching it to other practitioners so they can offer this work to their clients.  It is advanced bodywork that has helped improve my clients’ posture as well as reduced if not eliminated pain completely, often in just one session. Anytime one does anterior unwinding on a client it is important to be trained it it first so you can take necessary precautions and understand the quality of touch needed for fascial work.  There is however a simple and safe self massage you can do on yourself.

Self Massage

Using Dynamic Fascial Response™ to treat neck and shoulder tension

Here is a self care practice that I give my clients to do between sessions:

Getting the fascia to unwind works best with no oil but if your skin is sensitive try placing a small amount of oil or lotion on your hands and rub into hands rather then on the chest before stretching. This way it is not too slippery.  If your body or hands are too slippery fascial unwinding is harder to achieve.

*The first time you perform this fascial unwinding it may feel intense but take it easy and always slow, never experiencing pain but rather meeting the limit of a comfortable range of motion just were you are at on each day and not stretching past it.  Be sure to move very slowly and inhale your chest up into your hands as you move pause to exhale and when you move again inhale up.  This chest breathing is quite different then the belly breathing many people are used to but it will activate the thoracic body and bring chi to that area as well as create a resistance stretch as you perform the various strokes shown below. 

Once you complete this unwinding of course feel free to apply oil. It will feel nourishing and delicious.  As you perform this fascial release daily you will feel a significant opening along with a release of the neck and shoulder tension you were feeling in the back of your neck.

  1) Begin chin to chest and start by placing your finger pads just under your collarbones and on either side of the sternum.  Drag finger pads down the chest while you counter stretch very slowly by tilting your chin upward. Open and close the jaw slowly.

                 

 

2) Continue in this pin and stretch fashion by placing finger pads of left hands to the right of the sternum and under right collar bone and chin down towards hands.  Explore range of motion slowly by tilting chin up and tilting your left ear towards your left shoulder while dragging finger pads slowly down towards right axilla (armpit). Repeat on left side.


3) Place finger pads of left hand to the right of sternum, under collarbone. Drag towards right shoulder while turning head to the left. Repeat on left side.

 

If you would like to experience this bodywork from me instead, please feel free to

Book Online By Clicking Here

“I was fortunate enough to find Chula as my prenatal massage therapist. I am also a bodyworker, and so appreciate a knowledgeable, effective bodyworker. Chula is not only both of those, but also very professional. Chula worked on me at the end of my first pregnancy, and so when i was pregnant again this last year, I couldn’t wait to call her again. I can’t begin to express the amount of gratitude I have for her! She helped me so much with extreme pains I experienced during my pregnancy. Her understanding of the body and her ability to apply that knowledge make her a wonderful therapist.

 

If you are interested in taking one of my classes, you can view the 2018 schedule by clicking here and email me to register.

“Chula’s class gave me a well rounded understanding of prenatal massage and postnatal care. Her teaching style is organized, focused, and kind. She will wait until every last person is on the same page before moving on. I will continue to take every class she offers and encourage fellow body workers to do the same!”

“She was very patient and clear and very easy to pay attention to. Her enthusiasm for the subject was contagious”

“I really appreciate the book and all of the reference material that was provided”

“I loved all of the fascia techniques and Chula was very organized.”

A testimonial from a labor and delivery nurse and trained doula: “I’ve had several opportunities to utilize my training. At work I’ve been using the labor stimulation points to help with inductions, and have been doing a LOT of cross fiber work in the back area. I had a laboring patient walk in and grab my hand. She directed me to her lower back and demanded I push there. I started doing a hip squeeze and cross fiber massage, and she let out a moan and said “that feels SO good.” I’ve also used the forearm work with a patient who had carpal tunnel syndrome.”

Upcoming pregnancy massage training for interested
bodyworkers and doulas:

Prenatal, At-Birth and Postpartum Massage Training 2018

The contents of this article are not a replacement for medical care.

All rights reserved, March 2018  

Chula Gemignani               Bodyworker, Prenatal Massage Specialist, Instructor of Massage TherapyAuthor and Developer of Dynamic Fascial Response™

chulagem@gmail.com

Healing River Massage (530) 798-9998

www.healingrivermassage.com

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The cleanse that took my pain away…

No CAT scan, Ultrasound, MRI could figure out my pain.  I was scared.  The doctors wanted to do exploratory surgery.  It’s been three years of this persistent, pulling sensation in my groin/psoas and low back, accompanied by horrible  pain. Every morning I woke up with pain in my feet as well.   Of course I first tried alternative therapies to approach the inflammation but those did not help.  I eliminated gluten and that did not work either.  I succumbed to taking a prescription grade anti-inflammatory and mild painkiller to manage my pain and keep me functioning in my career and life.  I even had a cortisone shot in my lower lumbar.  The one thing I never did was a full fledged colon cleanse.  It’s not like it didn’t cross my mind.  My procrastination was fueled by my excuses:  My life is too busy. The pain is real and specific.  It is not near my digestive tract so it can’t be caused by food.  It will be impossible in this house of meat and potato eaters.  I can’t afford it.  I will do it next week…

Why Cleanse? Well here is a list of results you get from cleansing.  I am weeks out of my cleanse now and I still feel all of these benefits. 

  • Significant increase in energy
  • Vitality and greater stamina
  • Reduction of food cravings (No more sugar cravings and I’m not even craving coffee!)
  • Reduction of allergy symptoms
  • Reduction of Inflammation and Pain
  • More efficient digestion
  • Radiant complexion (My complexion improved so much! But after the cleanse, the first time I ate restaurant potatoes, I broke out in zits, probably from the oils they use).

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Art by Dan Berger. Click here for an excellent commentary by Mike Adams.

 

I discontinued the use of all medicines and supplements during this cleanse.  I am going to be honest with you.  The first few days without anti-inflammatories made pain management difficult.  However, it only took three days of cleansing for it to become manageable.  I attribute this to the process of both removal of my allergen foods from my diet and toxins from my system.  Two week later my main pain was gone.  I still have some low back general tension but no pain in the low back and groin.  I am blessed!  No more pharmaceuticals needed!  My digestion is normal again!  I am doing physical activities again! It is true, pharmaceuticals wreak havoc on digestion and effect sleeping patterns and lower energy.   Eventually,  my digestion got sluggish and my pain just kept persisting and getting worse.  My sleep patterns were disrupted through the night by my pain and the side effects of the pharmaceuticals.  If you are on any pharmaceutical and stop taking them while doing this cleanse,  be sure discuss it first with your doctor. Don’t expect her/him to be a fan of cleanses because most aren’t however, some western doctors are finally realizing the value in cleansing for pain management and I hope you have that support.  CRANKY? Tell your loved ones that if you are cranky it has absolutely nothing to do with them and don’t hesitate to apologize for being impatient, short or easily annoyed.  As you cleanse, you may notice a heightened sense of irritability.  This is normal and you will get through it. ELATED? If you have spells of total elation and bliss while one this cleanse, bathe in them.  Write, sing, walk in nature.  Tell the people close to you how much they mean to you. 

The premise of this cleanse is to remove inflammation causing food and acidic food from your diet, detox the intestines and cleanse the liver and gall bladder while nourishing the kidneys.  I did this for two weeks.  The chronic pain that I had in my psoas/groin region and my feet are totally gone, I lost some weight, my periods are not as painful, my energy level is high and I am happy and present.  I am a massage therapist and work hard with my body all day long.  For this reason, you will notice that my cleanse is not super intense compared to some on the market.  I tailored it to suit my lifestyle and it worked.  I encourage you to do the same.  Just be sure not to skip anything.  You may add more small meals if you need to but do not eliminate any step if you can help it and stay within the food guidelines. 

This cleanse is not only for folks with pain.  I did a version of this cleanse years ago as an overall health booster.  This time I did it specifically to see if it could help my pain.  And it worked! I hope it helps you too.  Let me know how it goes. 

Will you take a moment to:

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  • Write a review on Yelp if you have come to me for bodywork or somatic counseling.

Thank you! Happy Cleansing!
Peace,
Chula Gemignani CMT
___________________________________________________

Yield_Pedestrian_Crossing_Signs_T43944-baThis cleanse and products have not been approved by the FDA.  I am not a doctor.  Ask your doctor to advise you if you are planning on doing a cleanse and are currently on medications or have any health concerns. 

If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, do not do this cleanse.

 

 

GUIDELINES

 

DRINK LOTS OF WATER! 1/2 your body weight in ounces (the normal daily H2O dose) plus a third of that more.

Preparation:

3 weeks prior: Order all of the tinctures and supplies.

1 week prior: Go vegetarian for a week before you start the cleanse. 

The Supply List:  This is a list of products with links to Amazon and easy to order. You can just click on each ingredient, add to your shopping cart and have the whole thing sent to your home. When you are finished with cleanse you will have extra Garden of Life Detox, Warrior, Flax meal, Tinctures, Epsom Salt, Coconut Oil, Psyllium, Liver ND.  You will want ALL of these things in your diet still.  However, if you are on a budget and want to order smaller quantities, you can.  I have done the $100 store bought cleanses and personally, I have had no noticeable effects.  I finally decided to invest in my health and do it right.  If you want the results to be significant, stick with the ingredients and guidelines that I list in this article.

The NO’s

Now when you read the food elimination list,  don’t worry about it.  You’ve Got This!  In three days you will see how 90% of what we eat is for entertainment and 10% need.  Maybe not in those ratios exactly but you will see how ridiculously serious we take our food habits when, in actuality, most of our eating is all just for fun.  What we really need is pretty simple.  Weigh it out for yourself… two weeks of a simple diet that will change your life? Two weeks of food fun with the same limits, pain, weight gain, etc? [hint: The decision can be prompted in a progressive direction if you imagine yourself two weeks post cleanse feeling lighter, more free in your body, energetic, less pain, happy and healthy.]  Post cleanse,  my energy is sustaining all day.  I don’t get caffeine or sugar crashes that I was getting.  I hardly eat sugar.  I don’t have the same cravings.  I know I lost weight but I don’t have a scale so not sure how much.  I feel 10 pounds lighter.  I feel fabulous! Went on a hike at the Yuba River today and hiked up the river canyon with no pain.  I have more patience for everyone around me and myself, I can sit down and type out this article with a clear head.   I feel light on my feet and in my heart and am so grateful. 48 ain’t so bad after all!

Foods to Eliminate During Cleanse

Sleep1

SLEEP:
Morihei Ueshiba, a martial arts master, believed that there was no other way besides through sleep that the body can restore it’s chi/ki/qi (inner power). I believe that the great sleeps that I got on this cleanse significantly added to it’s benefits.

 

 

 

TINCTURES:

Take all tinctures every day.  Try not to miss those.  They are a crucial part of the cleanse.

TAKING YOUR PSYLLIUM/FLAX SHAKE:

Always wait to take your Psylium/Flax Shake* 1.5 hours after your breakfast and lunch.

ENEMAS: Get an Enema Kit. Coffee Enemas help headaches and irritability tremendously! Use light roast, Organic Coffee.

Put down a towel not far from the toilet to lay upon, light a candle to honor your body, your temple. Play music on the stereo to calm/distract the mind.  Try to hold in the enema as long as possible.  Be sure water is water is comfortable to the touch.  If the water is too hot or too cold, retaining the enema will be more difficult.

BASTI:

Basti, therapeutic enemas in ayurveda, would be a wonderfully nurturing step in this cleanse that I did not do but will next time.  You can order them through a seasoned ayurvedic practitioner and friend of mine, Kim Kinjo, in Nevada City, California.


LINKS:

Links to all that you will need are provided in this read.  For those of you who are not computer savvy that means that you click on the highlighted words.

green drink

 

 

 

 

 

 

MENUS

(Recipes are found below)

Menu For WEEK ONE (modify as you need to in order to nourish and nurture):

6:30am Gentian Extract in water Followed by: Light Exercise or Yoga

 

Some time before green drink – 1 shot apple cider vinegar (Braggs or home made) in small glass of water.

7:00am 1 Quart Green Drink * (Make extra pint for snack)

8:30am Psyllium/Flax Shake**

11:00am Snack 1 Pint Green Drink*

12:00pm Lunch: Salad and steamed veggies (no  nightshades, no legumes, no potatoes ( some sweet potato is ok) Make enough steamed veggies to reserve some for dinner.1:30pm Psyllium/Flax Shake**

5:00pm Dinner  Salad and Soup***

6:00pm liver/kidney balm****  Sip on this slowly for 1-2 hours (this is a nice time to bathe or read)

8:00pm  On empty stomach: Coptis and Curcuma 1 teaspoon each in 8oz water.  Just down that and get it over with quick! Of the entire clease this is the only gross part. Read what these herbs do for your body, plug your nose and down it (for just two weeks).  You’ve got this thing!

 

8:15pm  Take and Epsom Salt and Coconut Oil bath. Light a candle to honor your body, your temple.

9pm  Be in bed by 9pm to get a wonderful sleep.

Menu For WEEK TWO

(modify as you need to in order to nourish and nurture)

6:30am Gentian Extract  in water followed by Light Exercise or Yoga

 

Some time before green drink – 1 shot apple cider vinegar (Braggs or home made) in small glass of water.

7:00am 1 Quart Green Drink * (Make extra pint for snack)

8:30 Psyllium/Flax Shake**

12:00 Green Drink*

1:30 Psyllium/Flax Shake**

5pm Dinner  Salad and Soup***

6:00pm liver/kidney balm**** Sip on this slowly for 1-2 hours (this is a nice time to bathe or read)

8:00pm  On empty stomach: Coptis and Curcuma 1 teaspoon each in 8oz water.  Just down that and get it over with quick!

 

8:15  Take and Epsom Salt and Coconut Oil bath. Light a candle to honor your body, your temple.

9pm  Be in bed by 9pm to get a wonderful sleep.

If you want to go the next level take a week off, get ready to be a bit irritable

Menu For WEEK THREE

(I did two weeks but many folks like to do three and this is the menu for week three, modify as you need to in order to nourish and nurture)

6:30am Gentian Extract  in water followed by: Light Exercise or Yoga

 

Some time before green drink – 1 shot apple cider vinegar (Braggs or home made) in small glass of water.

7:00am 1 Quart Green Drink * (Make extra pint for snack)

8:30 Psyllium/Flax Shake**

12:00 Green Drink*

1:30 Psyllium/Flax Shake**

5pm Dinner:  Green Drink

6:00pm liver/kidney balm****  Sip on this slowly for 1-2 hours (this is a nice time to bathe or read)

8:00pm  On empty stomach: Coptis and Curcuma 1 teaspoon each in 8oz water.  Just down that and get it over with quick!

8:15  Take and Epsom Salt and Coconut Oil bath.  Light a candle to honor your body, your temple.

9pm  Be in bed by 9pm to get a wonderful sleep.

recipe-box

 

Green Drink *

In a blender: 1 Quart plus 1 pint of Water.  Add 1 Scoop of Garden of Life Detox and Alkalizer  Add 1 teaspoon of WARRIOR Add banana, apple or persimmon or alkaline fruit of choice.  If your energy crashes/drops that is a sign to use less sugary fruit, perhaps apple only. ( I added soaked sunflower and pumkin seeds and made an extra pint for a snack for later).

Psylium/Flax Shake**Mix  2 rounded teaspoons of psyllium and 2 rounded teaspoons of flax meal into 8 oz of Water.  Drink and then follow with 8 oz of Plain water. Alternatively you can take flax seeds and grind in a blender and add them to the psyllium powder in a 1:1 ratio make a jar of this to use throughout your cleanse. For my cleanse I added a heaping tablespoon of that psyllium/flax mixture into 8oz of water.  Just be sure to drink a full glass of water after. You can also buy flax meal but I would rather buy the seeds and grind it.  The link I gave you is for 2 16 oz organic bags.  When you get them put one in your fridge and grind the other and add to 16 oz of psyllium and you have your psyllium shake mix for the cleanse.

Soup***

Take the veggies you steamed blend them in a blender with a little brown rice miso and water for a yummy dinner soup.  Heat in a pot to warm.  This is not about eating cold raw food only.  My cleanse is all about nourishing and nurturing.

Liver/Kidney Balm****I glass filled half way with Aloe Vera Juice, the other half with Black Cherry Juice, 1 teaspoon Liver ND,

You can read about the various ingredients and their importance in the links provided.  Be sure to take your time sipping the balm and let it soothe you.  1-2hrs ( I did this while bathing or reading).

Ending Your Cleanse

When you want to return to real food my advice is take it slow.  Start with apples, vegetarian meals. Basmati Rice is always easy on my system.  Try one allergen type food at a time for two weeks before adding a new one.  So eggs, corn, wheat, dairy all should be incorporated slowly.  That way you can eliminate the appropriate allergens from your diet.  I had to say goodbye to eggs and corn. Oh well, the pay off outweighs the loss by miles of smiles.

Enjoy your cleanse!

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