Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Anatomy Of A Session. 

In my most recent newsletter, I talked about how a session is looking like these days. In the blog post below, you can get a feel of how I incorporate Osteopathic - Visceral modalities into my work. I am still using good old fashioned deep myofascial work to get the job done.

The other day, I had a client come in with some neck pain. In the old days, I would have just done work on the various and elaborate musculature and fascia in and around her neck. If need be, I would have done so around the shoulder girdle, pelvis, legs and or feet if the work warranted it. I would have had some pretty good results, thank you very much.

These days, I am addressing not just muscles and their adjoining fascia, but also organs, arteries, bones, nerves, joints, and ligaments.

At the beginning of the session with this client, osteopathic "listening" (see blog below) and assessment brought me to the Popliteal Artery, on her right side.
Yes, you see the diagram to the left correctly. This artery is located in her calf. I know, I know, you are probably wondering, "Jim, ummm...hate to break the news to you, but the pain in her neck is in her neck." I understand dear clients. YET, keep in mind, one artery is part of a WHOLE SYSTEM. Ten to one bet that there is some difficulty of circulation in her neck, and this is just one link in a whole chain. The first link... the Popliteal Artery.

The Popliteal Artery provides a great deal of the blood to the lower extremities of the knee, calf and foot. It is an extension of the Femoral Artery. Often times, if you find restriction in this artery, you will also find structural anomalies in the ankle, foot and toes. Perhaps with our client, this lesion in her Popliteal Artery was not only indirectly affecting the circulation in her neck, but also her structure. Its possible her upper body, and neck, were compensating for the confusion in her lower right leg.

On to the next item!

After standing her up, I discovered that her posture had already improved by at least 60%. What shall we find next?

Yes indeedy, I was then drawn to her right Carotid Artery.

Well, I should have bet money. The Carotid Artery supplies the head and neck with a tremendous amount of blood. From the carotid artery, you will find a handful of other arteries branching off. This artery is the kingpin of the neck.

If it gets squished in any way, it will take everything around it for a ride. With my client, there was a strong downward pull near the carotid artery. The body, in its infinite wisdom, will make a critical choice: keep the muscles of the neck in healthy alignment OR keep blood flowing to the brain. Hmmm. The body takes the later. Thus, poor posture and neck pain!

What do we have next?

Jackpot, another artery of the neck! We now are drawn to the left Subclavian Artery.
Now, the Subclavian Artery is another major artery of the neck. Not only does is provide a great deal of blood to the head and neck, but also the upper thorax, i.e., the shoulder girdle and arms.

Who knows, perhaps my client hurt her left arm at one point, and her neck pain is a result of this old trauma. Again, we are dealing with whole systems.

After standing her up, I can see that the right pull on her neck is pretty much gone. For the remainder of the session, I release some traditionally stubborn myofascial structures in her shoulder girdle and neck. I can't help but notice, that most of these have already let go.

At the end of the session, my client reports feeling much better. Her posture is more solid and I can see her neck is floating rather than veering down and to the right.

Thank you for geeking out with me dear clients. If you have any questions about this blog, or my work in general, don't hesitate to let me know!