Frequently Asked Questions
Here you’ll find some of our most frequently asked questions, along with Ann’s answers to those questions. Click on any of the questions below, and it will expand with the answer listed below. You can also click “Expand All” to open all the questions.
I had a car accident 3 years ago, my wife claims my personality has changed.
I have less tolerance for my children, decreased sexual interest, sleep more,
lose my way when driving and even read with difficulty when I used to have none, why?
I have had many patients who have either fallen, been involved in car accidents or have been hit directly in the head describing the same symptoms. The AMA has stated no head injury is to be considered minor any longer and a major head injury is anyone who loses consciousness. Head injuries can take many years to heal. Neuropsychological evaluations can help to pinpoint the area of the brain affected. Treatment should include craniosacral therapy for mobilization of the head bones and tailbone as well to take tension off of neurological structures.
It only takes the weight of a hair to impede the conduction of a nerve. Fascial restrictions can create a force of 2,000 lbs. per square inch. The head houses many sensitive nerve tissues and does not require a direct blow to be injured. Whiplash of the head can cause the brain to bounce off the inside of the skull and become injured. I have seen miracles happen when combining homeopathy with head injury and coma recovery.
I am having interstitial cystitis and bilateral hip pain.
The only history I have is a fender bender and a female surgery, years ago.
Is there hope for me? I want to have children but am afraid of making
Old injuries leave there prints in the fascia and an abortion can be seen by the body as and injury as can any surgical procedure. When the fascia is distorted it puts pressure on all structures in the region. Muscle will shorten as a protective mechanism.
Myofascial release of the pelvic floor and the hips as well as the lumbar and sacral areas can help both problems at the same time. Not only can these two problems be eliminated but you will be in a healthier state to have a baby.
I fall asleep in my chair quite often. I wake because I cannot breath.
It seems I am having trouble standing up straight lately too. How could
Over time and with many cultural changes and influences, we as Americans are sitting more and more. TV, computers, traveling and a sedentary lifestyle has caused us to have an imbalance or overcompensation in our structural alignment. We tend to accentuate this imbalance by focusing on sit ups and pectoral strengthening with weight lifting or sleeping in a chair and resting in a recliner. In the flexed position or postures, the psoas muscle that connects the low back to the hips via the slips of fascia to the anterior aspect of the lumbar vertebrae become shortened. Flexed posture; the inability to stand erect or low back pain in standing can be among the consequences of this imbalance, however there is more.
The affect this has on the rib cage and lung capacity can be extreme. The head gets pulled forward and the muscles in the front of the throat, not just the large visible sternocliedomastoid muscles but the little muscles of the throat such as the hyoid muscles, scalenes and the fascia over the sides and front of the neck, shorten. This compromises breathing seriously. There comes a point when gravity gets an advantage from the shortened, tight, anterior musculature and the posterior muscles get tired and weak. The long muscles become weaker and the short muscles are strong due to their taught nature.
This accounts for the posture and labored breathing we see often in our elderly. The weak muscles cannot counteract the influence of flexion created by the tight front muscles of the body. Make a conscious effort to sleep as close to flat as you can. Perform the Yoga posture, Cobra often like a pumping mechanism for the lumbar spine and stretch for the psoas. Stretch the pectorals using a doorway stretch often. Make sure you strengthen your back muscles and shoulder retractors. Osteopathy can release fascial restrictions, identify the tightness and weaknesses. A very specific program should be co-created with the patient to allow for a very particular balance of length and strength of the postural muscles and alignment mechanisms. Manual traction and soft tissue mobilization should be followed up by strengthening using neuromuscular facilitation techniques. Strengthening should be specific to the patients needs considering previous injuries and skeletal compensations.
One time I had surgery for carpel tunnel syndrome. The bandage made a
tourniquet and I almost lost my hand. I had a great deal of hand therapy
and this injury has left me unable to write. Is there another approach
osteopathy might take in this situation.
Whenever a patient comes to me with symptoms of carpel tunnel, I must check the craniosacral system, including the pelvis and dural tube and ultimately how these areas affect the neck. The neck is usually a culprit preceding symptoms of carpel tunnel and many other diagnosis of the shoulder. First, I will make sure the pelvis is free and able to dissociate one side to the other.
This freedom of movement is absolutely imperative so that the rest of the spine does not have to become hyper-mobile as a compensation for lack of sacral, pelvic or lumbar mobility. Following the spine and the fascia upward must include the tissue within the spinal canal called the dural tube. The dural tube which attaches to the sacrum and extends upward inside the bones of the spine up to the base of the skull, has sleeves that cover the nerves and also extend down the arms and legs. Osteopathy affects this tissue, the fascia. Tightness of the fascia of the dural tube impacts the slack required to allow the hands and feet to be optimally effective.
The neck must be evaluated and tightness of the anterior and lateral fascia and related musculature including the area at the base of the head must be released. Gentle manual traction to the head, sacrum and limbs are effective. Most effective is when I have multiple practitioners and traction a combination of all of the above simultaneously. Restoration of mobility on the cellular yet global perspective will most likely allow for a great deal more recovery in the hand and the skill of writing than a specific focus on the hand itself alone. By all means the same fascial consideration will be applied to the hand, wrist and fingers however without the global considerations and attention to the entire fascial results will be compromised.
I have had a mastectomy with radiation. It seems since then I have pain
in various areas on that side of my body, like my neck and back. Could
the radiation have anything to do with that? I feel like it definitely
does however I have been told it only affects right where it was
The radiation affects where it was applied when you are addressing the affects on destruction of tissue. However the scar tissue created in that process has profound and far reaching affects. This influence is compounded over time by a physiological principle called Wolfe’s Law. This law demonstrates that when a tissue has an unusual stress applied to it, it will lay new tissue down to reduce the affects of the stress.
To further compound this strengthening or reinforcement of scar tissue other tissues are easily disturbed and disrupted by minor stress. For example, an injury to the ribcage that may have had an initial bruise that was only a few centimeters, may lay down scar tissue over time that send spider web type lines of stress into the shoulder and down the arm affecting the wrist. The more compounding affect is that it only takes the weight of a hair to impede nerve conduction. In this instance there may be interference at the brachial plexus causing nerve type symptoms of weakness, pain, or numbness also in that arm. Many times these combination symptoms mimick spinal cord involvement or the scar tissue could also be affecting in a spider web like fashion the cervical muscles in this case. I treat many scars as a result of surgery or radiation that when released relieve a multitude of symptoms far reaching from the original surgical, injury or radiation site.
There are a few reasons why someone may experience nausea with body work. The most common being a release of toxins trapped in the tissues released with the pressure of body work from the muscles into the bloodstream. In many instances when we are exposed to toxins whether it be medication, diet, nicotine, etc., there is a great deal stored in the body sometimes more than is utilized by the body and or excreted by the body in the urine. When the toxins get released into the blood stream with muscle manipulation or detoxifying techniques such as herbs, teas and cleansing regimes to be filtered by the kidneys and given an opportunity to be excreted again, the toxicity level in the blood causes nausea.
The second most common reason is that emotions or memory of a previous injury can be energetically trapped in the tissues and with body work released. In order to be released their can be a conscious or subconscious re-living of the energetic aspect of the injury. Emotional releases are frequently accompanied by nausea. Three other areas of injury actually present with symptoms of nausea. One is the temporal bones of the head. These bones located behind and around the ears if rotated or compressed can cause nausea. Likewise a rotation of Cervical vertebrae number one on two can cause nausea as well as a trigger point of the sternocleidomastoid muscle. The sternocleidomastoid muscles attaches to the mastoid process of the skull behind the ears, and to the clavicle, it is about six inches long and is visible when looking in the mirror on either side of the front of the neck. All three
areas can be injured in combination in one injury.
Nausea can be a symptom a patient comes in with or treating these injured areas can reproduce symptoms of nausea, until a balance is created either in the blood stream, the tissues or the structural alignment of the patient or a combination of two or all three of these considerations.
I have been limping in fairly severe pain 8/10 for three years. I have
had therapy of every sort. It seems no one is really sure if the pain is
coming from my back, hip or knee. My gut tells me there is something
deep inside that somehow affects all three. Pain gradually came on and
one day I woke so crooked and in so much pain. How can this happen with
no real known incident and how can everyone be so confused about what to do?
I have seen this scenario in several clients. In the male version of this dysfunction, it is usually that a lifting injury that started with just stiffness or hip pain progressed to pain deep in the pelvis, radiating even into the testicles. The client may limp and the body becomes contorted around the pain and a scoliosis my even occur as a compensation. In these cases there was an active trigger point in the abdominal muscles undiagnosed and long standing causing compensations that took attention away from the original injury.
Even though this is a less obvious problem that goes often times overlooked when found is simple to correct. In many women patients however I see this type of scenario and it is not so simple. There are times when there is an injury of a muscle of the hip either the quadratus lumborum or the gluteus medius that can make extreme pain and compensation. At the same time as that injury occurred, there may have also been residual injury in the pelvic, low back or knee muscles. For example, a slip of the psoas which attaches to the lumbar could have been disrupted or the fibers of the iliotibial band that extends from the hip to the knee to the untrained eye confusion as to whether the spot that hurts is the culprit or is it a radiation of pain extending far away from the actual problem site. In these cases, I have to work on the pelvis, the knee and the hip individually as far as the mobility of the joint. It is then essential to understand how when the body is in movement or flux how fluidity and coordination have to be put back into the situation.
There are wonderful techniques that incorporate the brain into the recovery and allow for more normal movement and elimination of compensations. I have seen these severe cases turn around slowly and gently like the creation of an ice sculpture. Some times we know the actual root or initial injury as we unpeel the layers, other times the recovery is gradual and throughout so that we never know whether the pain came from one joint or all three simultaneously. The deep inside awareness you have is your fascia. It is a system more intricate than any in the body. It is a web of connective tissue that acts much like a body stocking just beneath the surface of the skin and above the muscles at least on the surface. What makes it so fascinating is that it then dives into the body surrounding the muscles themselves, delving deeper and surrounding the muscle fibers, mores o to surround the cells and intracellular structures so that it goes infinitely in the microscopic direction.
Due to the amount of traumatic memories that the fascia hold, and because it has also been found to actually contain within its structure microtubules of light, it is also believed that the fascia is connected in an infinite way to our electo-magnetic and etheric aspects of our being. The fascia is why homeopathy and acupuncture work as magically as they do. The transmission is electromagnetic, immediate and profound. Treating the fascia is most definitely the key factor in making positive changes to dysfunction as severe as the above mentioned.
I have been a drummer all my life. My posture is so bad as a result. I
am trying very hard as I am getting older and experiencing symptoms to
correct my posture. I feel like it is casted in cement. How can I make a
change that will last?
When affecting someones posture, it is important to lengthen the fascia and muscles that have become habitually shortened and to strengthen the ones that have been on stretch and have become weak. This works quite often to make great and permanent changes in the posture. However, there are instances where the tailbone can take on a position that will directly affect the neck and posture.
For example someone can fall on the tailbone causing it to be flexed or bent inwards traumatically. The same outcome can occur due to a long duration force such as sitting on the tailbone rather than the ishium or sit bones of the pelvis especially in the growing period. This flexed position of the tailbone causes fascial tissue that runs from the tailbone up through the spinal canal to insert at the back of the head to shorten. The head is jammed back and down, jutting the chin forward not only creating bad posture, but shearing the vertebrae in the neck stretching very sensitive nerves and resulting in symptoms of numbness in the hands and arms.
Many times the tailbone must be addressed in order to make lasting changes in posture. When it is repositioned by lengthening the tight fascial tube, the body has a chance to experience upright. Strengthening coupled with the freedom of movement not only changes the appearance of the person but also allows them such efficiency in their daily energy expenditure that at the end of the day their is plenty of energy left over for fun.
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