The repairs continue...

Some major repair work is continuing to happen in my body under cranial osteopathy treatments, so I figured it was time to write another update.

Something unique about this treatment is that it isn't about finding all the problems and manually adjusting each one. Rather, the philosophy of osteopathy is that the body is capable - and, indeed, is trying - to heal itself. Sometimes there are obstacles in the way; osteopathic treatments are about finding which obstacles are currently highest on the priority list and releasing those so that the body can set about its normal duties of restoration. As such, regular treatment (I go in about once a month) results in continuous shifting as the body keeps working on itself in between appointments, resolving things that my osteopathic doctor didn't even touch. That's the beauty of working with the body instead of enforcing a change on it and instructing it to get used to it.

Soon after I figured out the swallowing thing and began to change that habit, I felt releases throughout my sternum and then down to my abdomen. The improvement of my breathing felt sooo good, as if I'd previously had an elephant on my chest for years and it finally decided to get off me. I didn't know how constricted my chest was until it wasn't anymore.

The abdominal changes have been more subtle up until the past few days, when it abruptly took center stage. Now, you have to understand...the muscles in my abdomen have been tight of as long as I can remember. Massage therapists and even a naturopathic doctor worked on it for years to no avail. This isn't your normal tension that relaxes when you do, or while you're asleep, this is 24/7.

A few days ago those muscles began to relax, oh so slowly and painfully. It felt like cramps, except in a good way, and massive amounts of heat released with it from my abdomen and back (my doc/osteo calls this "the toaster effect"). The slightest movement felt like a horrible jolt - even the soft footfalls of careful walking put me in agony.

Have you ever had a finger bent in a certain position for a few hours and felt the pain upon straightening it out again? It's that same kind of thing with structural releases when tissues that have been bent for too long finally set themselves to rights again, only instead of hours it's been years, or even decades. The fascia, which envelops each muscle and organ, has all sorts of blood vessels, nerve endings and tubules for fluid. And when that fascia becomes twisted or compresed by injury and doesn't fully right itself, then guess what - function is compromised as the nerves become squished and fluids can't flow the way they're supposed to, which normally keep tissues nourished and drains toxins.

Just to note, this is why detox protocols don't make any sense to me unless you first check for structural problems, because if the body is physically blocked from removing the toxins then it seems to me no matter what you take internally nothing is going to make a permanent difference or address the root of the issue until that blockage is manually fixed. As to why the area is so messed up for me, take your pick - I had a fair share of belly flops as a kid, including one onto a hardwood gym floor for a height of about 10 feet, and was punched in the stomach a few times as well. All things I walked away from seemingly unhurt, but as you can see in these case stories such injuries can cause invisible damage that only appears years later in the form of other health problems.

What was most amazing to me about this release was that abdominal breathing began to happen naturally. I did a few stints as a singer when I was younger and abdominal breathing was something I could never get the hang of - I had to force it to happen and it never felt natural. So the fact that my body is relaxing into abdominal breathing is huge for me. And remember how I said my doctor/osteo told me that the issue with my throat is connected to my diaphragm at the base of my ribcage? Well, this new motion of abdominal breathing started pulling at things in my throat. All day yesterday I felt like there was a bubble in my voice box (even though I know there wasn't) and gradually it began to feel more and more "normal" until I realized that this was my new normal. I can feel a vertebrae has changed position. I haven't had the chance to test out singing yet but when I do that should be interesting.

Much more has been happening, but my brain is mush today and I should lay down again. Until next time...


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