My newest therapeutic intervention for progressive osteoarthritis and spinal stenosis is Myofascial Release. Since hurting my back in 1992 and dealing with arthritis, I have sampled and treated with private Feldenkrais (Becci Parsons). Becci restored me to functional walking, sitting, rising up from sitting, lying down and even entering and exiting a car. The next therapy was private sessions with Mary Sue Corrado, a therapeutic Pilates specialist, who, after about eight years, helped me develop enough core strength to enjoy yoga without hurting myself. You can read my arthritis history here, and longer explanations of both Feldenkrais and Pilates.
I have had some sessions with a Rolfing specialist. I get regular deep tissue massage and have benefitted from acupuncture. Myofascial Release goes to the heart, the source of the structural problems in my body that contribute to pain. It does not cure arthritis, but it helps the body gain fluid movement.
Through a series of synchronicities, a friend introduced me to Cedron Sterling. She suffered from knee pain and her doctors recommended knee replacement surgery. Instead of surgery, Cedron worked with her through myofascial release therapy. The restrictions melted away and she walks without pain.
I decided to try this treatment. I have a lot of pain in my lower back, hips and feet and my right leg goes numb especially when standing around for a long period of time, choir practice and performance, museum viewing for example. In a recent diagnostic MRI, the sports doctor could see bulging discs in the thoracic and lumbar spine, but did not feel I was at risk for a major problem that would interrupt a walking tour in England. It is troublesome to have a leg go numb, I can tell you, even if danger of debilitating injury is slim.
You can read about the therapy on Cedron Sterling’s web site. You can listen to his teacher’s talk about the treatment and the resistance to embracing it as a viable therapy.
The fascia is a thin film, an internal skin that holds muscles, organs, blood vessels, tendons in place, interconnecting everything in our bodies from the top of the head to the big toe. Over the years, I have had a number of surgeries, strains, twists and each time the fascia adjusts its hold on the effected muscles, tendons and organs. Things get tight.
For example, I had a mastectomy of the left breast in 1971 and the scar area has been rigid for 44 years. By applying gentle pressure into the barrier of resistance, Cedron was able to release all tightness in the rib cage, the chest wall, the muscles and tissue where the incision was made all those years ago. My whole left side opened up. My left arm swings wide and strong without restriction.
He has worked on my feet which have large bunions and an inflexible second toe that has held an immovable arch after a neuroma in the ball of my foot. I have been able to walk long distances without pain because of the masterful craftmanship of Dr. Huppin. He fashioned an orthotic which spread the weight bearing function of the foot out and away from this damaged area. Cedron has released the holding that caused the problem in the first place. I have been grateful for Dr. Huppin’s band-aid, but I realize now that it is no more than a band-aid. Correcting the problem at its root requires release of the fascia which was stuck in a holding position that served some purpose at one time.
Myofascial Release cannot make the body new with one treatment. You are on the treatment table for 90 minutes and the cost is $160 per treatment. Insurance usually does not reimburse for this treatment. I will probably have upwards of twelve sessions before the most binding fascia relaxes enough to give me a fluid range of motion. Once we agree that one to two times a week is no longer necessary, I will return for fine tuning monthly or every couple of months.
I am taller. I can breathe with more lung capacity. I have not had any numbness in my right leg. Better yet, I am learning how to do my morning stretches more slowly, meeting the point of resistance and gently, with the breathe, increasing the pressure and range of motion as the restrictions melt. This is not about pushing through pain. It is about release. Athletes, young and old, find new movement, relief from chronic pain. People who sit at desks all day, or do repetitive activities like playing the violin, giving facials and massage or bagging groceries can get relief. Self care instruction is part of the deal.
I recommend myofascial release therapy highly.
Be well, Do well and Keep Moving,
Please add your comments and be in touch. 206 933 1889.