Releasing restrictions in a body

When a client comes to me for a treatment, they are often in pain, or have a nagging discomfort, or have limited movement in an area of their body. They are usually looking for some kind of release of body restrictions. These restrictions can be within the soft tissues of the body, within the sutures between the bones, or within the membranes of the craniosacral system.

Releasing body restrictions

 What is a release?

A release is the term used to describe a change in an area of soft tissue when a restriction dissipates. There is a perceptible physiological change to the tissues when a restriction in a body releases, which can be felt in a variety of ways.

Fascia (your connective tissue) is in constant motion and can become restricted from any number of reasons. These include being at a site of injury; inflammation; an area of damage or dysfunction. Healthy fascia is laid down constantly throughout a body all the time, in a well tensioned arrangement, a highly organised architectural matrix design. It is highly enervated. This structure allows for tension and compression of the body, to enable the body to brace and yet also move and flex, to be able to distribute force and be strong.

However fascia is susceptible to mechanical change. The configuration of the fibres within the fascia change when there is a restriction. They then get laid down in a haphazard manner, disorganised and chaotic, unable to flex and movement is restricted. This can be felt as an area of noticeable difference to touch. Instead of the usual ‘bounce’ and flexibility of the soft tissue, there is a dense ‘solidness’, an immobility to the tissue, it is thick and bound, dehydrated.

How does a release feel?

For a release, the nervous reflexes need to be relaxed. The soft tissue tone decreases with a feel of a softening and relaxation. This can be felt as a kind of symmetrical ‘spreading’ and softening and lengthening of the tissues.

At the same time a sense of increased fluids and energy will be pumping through the tissue. Sometimes heat can be detected radiating from the affected area at the same time. As a release is happening sometimes there is a feel an energetic repelling force when palpating the area, as if opposing magnets are in operation. The client will often have a change in their breathing too, a sigh or deep breath is an indication that a release is happening. Sometimes a pulsing feeling can occur, known as the Therapeutic Pulse. This will gradually crescendo in speed and amplitude, lasting seconds or minutes, then gradually recede and decrescendo. It is an indication of self correction and a sign that positive change is happening within the body.

A release can also be an emotional release. As the mind and body are linked and interwoven, there is no separation between the two. A strong negative emotion bound up with the time a restriction occurred can often be re-experienced.  This is then let go as the fascia releases. This could be any kind of emotion such as fear, anger, resentment, panic, anguish. It could occur immediately or within hours or days of a tissue release. It is a positive sign that should not be repressed. The practitioner can act as a facilitator to dissipate the restriction in this instance, by encouraging the positive and constructive aspects of the memory and discouraging negative ones, through careful dialogue.