I love people watching. There is an unbelievable amount of information from observing postures and expressions. Your body is, in essence, your billboard, displaying what you have to say to the world. It can have boldface lettering to get a clear message across or abstract images hidden in it, waiting to be deciphered. With all the recent events jarring the world; stopping us to take a breath many people have inevitably found themselves being surrounded by fears and frustrations.
What we do all the time is what adds up to create our posture. If you are an athlete or musician for example, the posture you assume to play your sport or instrument will be a part of how your body ages. It is the repetitive actions over time that wind and twist the fascia – the connective tissue – and that ultimately causes the symptoms and pains we experience. This fact is compounded when there is an event that makes us stay at home and either try new movements and hobbies as well as the daily barrage of the world today.
It’s not only the physicality of life that accumulates, but also the emotions that make up our being. Emotions should be seen as energy in motion. They should be felt, processed and exhaled out of the body, freeing you to experience the next moment. Unfortunately, most don’t breathe consciously, let alone move freely, and the emotions you experience stay in the tissue, like a fly in a spider’s web. This creates a change to your body that can remain unnoticed for a long time. To the trained eye you can see the many expressions of sadness, guilt and anger even with the person’s best poker face.
So let’s give a scenario to help make sense of what is happening.
As a young boy I was a typical chubby and shy. I remember so many moments when I wanted to express myself, burst out with laughter or share something to others. Frequently I shut down, withdraw into myself and put on a kind of tough front. When I matured I got in shape, developed my social skills and went to meet the world head on. As time went by I developed low back pain and assumed that was a consequence of my lifestyle and sought the usual routes of help. Like many it would come and go until I met a bodyworker trained in Structural Integration. Through some treatment and conversation he asked how I viewed my place in the world to which I responded as a problem solver. He took me over to a full length mirror, turned me sideway and asked if it wasn’t crazy that I may almost think of myself as a superhero, chest puffed up, ready to take on the challenge. He followed by asking that if I puffed up my chest for a challenge, could I see how I compressed my lower back.
Lo and behold there was the big change needed to stop it’s return. All the mental energy and emotion personified and trapped in my tissue. Chest pumped up, low back hyperextended and barely able to exhale for years. When we are forced to hold back emotion, it is the breath that is forced to act. We hold the breath to keep that emotion from releasing; but it has to go somewhere, so it settles in the fascia.
Emotions have a magnetic charge, a frequency that is unique to them. Anger, sadness, guilt, shame,these all have a charge and if not released when they surface, they continue to settle and build. Over time, the body has so much of this charge that like a magnet, it starts attracting more of it into itself. We tend to replay scenarios in our life until we consciously decide to change, usually aided by others.
The fascial system is the tissue in the body that consciousness travels through. With the highest concentration of sensory receptors in the body, communicating between all the length and layers of the body. When healthy and aligned, along with the mind, emotions can enter the system and are released with the proper exhalation. This leaves the system clean and fluid. When the fascia is compressed and “sticky”, emotions get stuck and like that fly in the spider's web, gets further tangled. This is the state of the majority and becomes a burden to emotional and mental well being.
Fortunately, there is a safe and simple way to release the negative emotion from the tissue and create an ease of flow for healthy fascia. With fascial work and active breathing exercises, a person can see a world of difference in movement, pain, and stress adaptability.
Understanding the fascial system and how it works is necessary for lifelong health and healing. Whether your issues are physical, mental or emotional; this is the way to gain control of your life through gaining control of your breath, movement, and physical presentation.