I forgot. I forgot balance is the key to everything. So when I injured my knee, it not only woke up the interconnected muscles and vessels within my body, it woke up my mind. I had already been nursing an achilles tendon injury when I received this second wake-up call, so it became very clear that something needed to change in order for me to unclog my pathway to health.
I love my walks. Experiencing nature with the sun warming my shoulders brings joy to my soul. The only problem is it became too routine. Too much of anything can tip the balance bar and throw you into the abyss if you’re not careful. I forgot to mix up my exercise and stretch other parts of my body, and stretching was exactly what I was missing. Remember the day when you could stretch for two minutes before a run? Now, learning the hard way, I’ve discovered I need to stretch 20 minutes before a walk! My new routine consists of some yoga poses, breathwork, stretching, and fascia rolling. Yep, good old fascia rolling. I remember my chiropractor suggesting this years ago. I felt uncoordinated trying to roll on this hard tube, not to mention it hurt, so I gave up. Not a good decision. If I had kept it up, along with stretching, I may not be in the position I am now. I’ve also discovered a wonderful hand held fascia roller that gets into the tight spots a floor roller cannot. The combination works wonders.
By definition, fascia is a thin casing of connective tissue that surrounds and holds every organ, blood vessel, bone, nerve fiber, and muscle in place. The tissue does more than provide internal structure; fascia has nerves that make it almost as sensitive as skin. When we have stuck energy in our body, it can’t help but clog that connective tissue, creating pain in the body.
Many of you reading this may be experiencing, or have experienced, similar injuries or ailments. You understand the patience that is required to heal. When I had my frozen shoulder 10 years ago I embarked on a similar journey. It’s so important that we listen to our bodies. Our minds may try to trick us and tell us to ignore the pain and move on, but wisdom tells us otherwise. It’s not easy for me to take days off from walking but I’m learning to accept that my yoga/stretching routine may be all that my body requires that day. When I listen, my pains respond with relief.
In doing my own research on fascia I’ve learned a few things that have helped me release the sticky stuckness. I talked about this in my last post, Back in the Saddle!, addressing the emotional side of feeling stuck. When we store stress and unresolved emotions how can it not stick to your bones? In my case, literally. It’s when we make the decision to really do something about it that release is possible. Here are some wonderful fascia busting tips that can bring fluidity back into your body, mind, and soul:
*Stretch at least 10 minutes a day.
*Add collagen to your drinks/smoothies.
*Hydrate with water. Recommended amount is half your body weight in ounces.
*Practice a relaxing yoga such as Yin Yoga.
*Meditate and practice breathwork 5-20 minutes daily. Diaphragmatic breathing (breathing from deep down in your belly rather than your chest) is optimal.
*Roll out your tight spots with a fascia roller.
*Mix cardio into your exercise. Swimming and biking have been great for me! Less jarring on the tendons.
*Take saunas. Especially after a workout.
*Practice Block Therapy. A wonderful new practice in breaking up the fascia.
*Get a nice deep tissue massage (if deep tissue is too painful for you, ask for lighter pressure) and drink lots of water afterward. I had an amazing one recently and felt so much better.
*See an acupuncturist. This has really helped me with healing and with sleep. I also get a shot of B12 on my visits.
*Work with your chiropractor/physical therapist on proper form for stretches.
*Be true to yourself. Express your thoughts and feelings. Honor YOU.
With all this very valuable information being noted, I will never give up my nature walks. I only need to remember to keep them in perspective. Reminding myself it’s the joy of the walk in moderation, along with other forms of exercise. If I walk a mindful mile feeling at one with nature it is far more beneficial than racing through five miles. After all, what value has life if it isn’t enjoyed?
Click here for some valuable information on diaphragmatic breathing and block therapy.
A special thank you to my friend and energy healer, Marci Lubore, who kindly directed me toward this wonderful fascia roller and block therapy. She works wonders through many healing modalities including essential oil blends and energy work. For more information and scheduling, she can be reached at Healing Touch Energy Therapy at firstname.lastname@example.org.