Picture Courtesy of Rob Crampton
Did you know that scars can generate adhesions, which can cause pain in other areas of the body?
When the body is cut, whether it is from the sharp edge of a surgeon’s knife, or from something else, the fabric of the body is interrupted.
In my practice, I see a lot of scars. People usually do not come in initially to have them treated; usually it’s a complaint of back, knee, hip, or neck pain. Unbeknownst to them, their scar is playing into the problem.
The healing process after surgery or an accident can result in adhesions. Adhesions are where parts of the body get stuck to other parts (on the inside) that should not be stuck. I use the analogy of gum in your hair, or glue on a sweater to get the idea. Imagine the fibers that once were lovely and mobile are now one clump moving around as one. When parts get clumped together by the ‘adhesion’ it no longer moves smoothly or independently, it’s lost its viscosity and can generate tension all through your body. Communication within the clump becomes confused and the nervous system starts to recognize something is wrong and signals to the brain there’s a problem. At which point, this can result in the experience of pain or change the way your body moves; because fascia has a great deal of tensile strength the tension by the adhesions, pulls bones, joints and organs out of their position and affecting their function.
How do we fix it?
Many manual therapists get taught a protocol for such things as scars, sometimes these protocols work, sometimes they don’t. Often they don’t because you are unique and not a protocol and your body needs to be listened to for what process is best.
It’s important to listen to the tissue and help the tissue find it’s way home. I do this through light touch. Light touch has been shown to create cellular change by the process called mechanotransduction, where forces (light or heavy) are translated via the continuous fascia (which covers all structures in the body), right down to the inside of the cell. It would seem that this is part of how Scar work and Myofasical Release affects the tissues and often the results speak for itself.
You can make an appointment with me for a Scar assessment online at www.holistichansen.com or by calling 913.787.0518.
Babies (and their parents) benefit hugely from the power of touch. If just soothing and touching your infant calms and relaxes them, a full or part body massage is going to do them a world of good – just as it does an adult.
Studies have shown that massaging a baby can help to reduce crying and fussiness, help him to sleep better and for longer, and even alleviate some painful conditions like colic. Some experts also believe that baby massage helps fend off germs and illnesses by boosting their developing immune system.
Giving your baby a massage helps to stimulate his central nervous system, which makes his brain produce more feel-good serotonin and less stress-inducing cortisol. This slows down his heart rate and breathing, making him relax. Baby massage is great for infants’ mental well-being as well as their physical health; affectionate touch and rhythmic movement are important tools for parents to use to bond with little ones.
The effects of learning baby massage are also felt by parents – if you’re feeling stressed and out of control with a crying baby, a gentle massage can help both of you to calm down, leaving you feeling in more control.
Get started with massage
Choose a time when your baby is awake and alert, but calm.
Don’t attempt to massage a baby who is already crying or fussy as you could over-stimulate his nervous system and exacerbate the problem.
In a quiet, warm place, take baby’s clothes off except his diaper, and lay him facing upwards on a soft towel or blanket with a pillow under his head.
Start by holding his little hands, and gently rubbing his palms with your thumbs. Start the massage with his legs and work your way up his body.
Wrap your hands around your baby's leg. Gently but firmly slide your hands down from his thigh to his ankle a few times, then repeat on the other leg.
Place your hands at navel level, then move your fingertips in a circular motion over his tummy.
Take baby's arm gently and roll it between your hands, starting with his shoulder and moving down to his wrist. Repeat this move two or three times, then repeat on the other arm.
Start with the belly massage above, then bend baby’s knees towards his tummy and gently hold them there for around 30 seconds. Release the hold and repeat a few times. Then, put the edge of your hand on his belly, and slide it rhythmically down from the belly button to help release trapped gas. Repeat if needed.
It’s easy to find essential oils in stores and online. It’s not so easy to find good quality essential oils. You need to make sure that the oils you buy are made from the plants they say they are, and not simply cooked up in a lab and made to smell nice. It’s also important to make sure that you buy pure, 100% essential oils and not cheap imitations, as the therapeutic effects are all in the botanical ingredients.
Some sellers make essential oils and mix them with cheap seed oils, or even try to pass cheaper versions off as genuine essential oils. This can be dangerous; imagine treating someone with an essential oil that’s been blended with a nut oil when they are nut-allergic?
Here are a few of the red flags to look for and some easy ways to tell the oils you’re buying are top quality.
Take a good look before you buy
Check the bottle’s label for a statement about purity. If the oil is 100% pure it should tell you on the label. If not, it might have been mixed with something else, so avoid it. If the word ‘essential’ isn’t mentioned on the label, as in ‘Tea Tree essential oil’ beware, as you might be buying a hybrid version of the oil you want. Lavender oil, for example, is perfumed oil that smells like lavender, it doesn’t necessarily contain any real lavender essential oil.
As essential oils are not considered true oils at all. It’s easy to check if an oil you aren’t sure of has been mixed with a carrier. All you need to do is place a drop on white paper and let it dry. If it leaves an oily mark, it’s a fake. Having said that, be careful when testing German Chamomile, Vetiver, Sandalwood or Patchouli oils as they can appear darker and heavier than other essential oils.
Check the way it pours
When you unscrew the cap on your bottle of essential oil, it should be sealed properly with a small plug designed to control the amount of oil that comes out at a time. This is important; you need to know that you’re using the right amount and it helps preserve the oil’s shelf life. Check the dropper, too. If it’s made from plastic or rubber it can degrade and release impurities into the oil.
At the same time, take note of the bottle your oil comes in. All essential oils should be stored in glass containers because their natural compounds react to synthetic plastics over time. The glass should be amber or dark blue as this protects the oil from ultraviolet. A good quality oil should look as well as smell the part.
Take note of the price
As with most things, you get what you pay for when you buy essential oils. Cheaper oils may not be the bargains they appear! True essential oils always cost more because it takes a lot of plant material to make one small bottle of essential oil. If the plant itself is rare, the price of its oil is likely to be even higher. Lavender, Rosemary and other common oils will naturally be less expensive, but if you’re looking for Jasmine or Rose, you can expect to pay more. Do your research online, read reviews and buy from trusted sources. Don’t be tempted to skimp as the efficacy of the product depends on its purity.
How does it feel?
Essential oils don’t feel as oily as seed and nut oils. To test this, try it for yourself. Add a drop of a seed oil onto one index finger and a drop of essential oil on the other. Feel them both using your thumb – they will feel different. Essential oils won’t feel greasy or thick, with the exception of heavier, colored oils like Patchouli and Sandalwood. A seed or nut carrier oil will have a thicker, oilier texture.
These are just a few ways to test your essential oils and ensure you’re buying and using the best quality.
No body likes to be injured, nor has time for them, least of all kids!
All injuries have an effect on the fascial web, but Sprained ankles are a common injury with lasting effects. This is because a rolled ankle effects the neuro-muscular activity of the hip and creates instability of the pelvis and with an unstable pelvis its like having a house built on sand – there's no stable base of support.
I have a plethora of stories of people I work on, but I wont share those stories, so I will share my own.
My son, rolled his ankle this week. He did a pretty good job of it after jumping from a height and landing on a small wood stump. The force of the landing was so, that it made an indentation in the sole of his running shoes. Upon landing he subsequently rolled his ankle. Ouch!
We had it checked out to make sure there were no breaks, and at that point I knew that the damage was soft tissue, especially as the swelling and bruising was now appearing. So we wrapped it, ice, applied some essential oils, and he felt much better. So much so that the next day he went to school and ran around on it (albeit somewhat gingerly). He came home that evening and as you might imagine, it was swollen and walking on it was very hard indeed.
I began work on his ankle, gently coming in to the area as it was very uncomfortable and painful to the touch! I followed the fascia deep into the joint and up into his lower leg. The tissue was softening beautifully and I kept following it up his lower leg and into his knee. There were many releases in his knee as the tissue then softened there too.
I just checked in with his ankle and it was stone cold! No swelling nor painful to touch. I asked him to get up and walk on it. He did, and turned to me with a big grin on his face and said “it's fixed!”
Whenever we experience trauma to the body, whether it be something minor such as stepping off a step wrong, or something major such as a car accident, the fascia always takes the force as it's the shock absorber. Just by the nature of physics that force has to go somewhere and it's the somewhere that we need to release in order for the body to work effectively.
If you have experienced an injury or have a child in a sport, get checked out with a qualified Myofascial Release Therapist in your area.
YET another reason to include Young Living Therapeutic Essential Oils in your lifestyle!
University of Extremadura in Spain found that essential oils of rosemary and sage were actually more effective at preventing meat spoilage than either BHA or BHT.
And cinnamomum cassia species of cinnamon (as found in Young Living Exodus II) has been found to naturally prevent dangerous food-borne illnesses from raw meat!
I woke up this morning feeling under the weather and I immediately started using these essential oils to combat whatever was attacking my body.
I’m loving the support of these friends who are helping my body feel grrrrreat again!
Contact me to learn more about the benefits of Young Living essential oils.