Myofascial Realisation

It seems that the latest craze is here folks! myofascial release and connective tissue is only now becoming more and more a word that was once not too long ago unheard then, all of a sudden, we have foam rollers for breaking down fascial adhesions and virtually every gym instructor has their clients rolling on one. We even see classes where the rock and rollers move and sway their bodies while talking about their latest personal best in the gym.

If this sounds like I’m being sarcastic I’m not. I have been working with connective tissue for 25 years and I’m relieved the public and professionals alike are getting the message about connective tissue, myofascia and all things rolling away to break down adhesions. Yet here comes my big BUT!!

Breaking down adhesions and getting myofascial release is a positive step forward, 100% agree with this, but you are essentially having an indirect effect on the structure and ONLY if there are changes made there to the overall postural pattern imprint will any of the rolling around do any good. Until then its a craze and a way of selling a product because the sport science people have said yes the news on connective tissue unwinding and myofascia is legit so now lets go make some money!  I have seen this with my clients time and time again and they will tell you themselves. That until they made sense of the rubbing by working with a change in their structure because the intelligence to do this amount of conscious work, is in the realms of the individual, not a piece of foam, then the previous problems and pains will come back. So the order SHOULD go, release the tissues, repair the injuires and finally restructure the whole body.

Anything else is pushing products on an unwitting public.

Chiropractor, anyone?

Hello to visitors old and new, and welcome to my updated website. All the stuff you’d normally expect from yours truly is here and we have new stuff coming soon too. I hope to keep you updated with regular client stories, as well as things encountered during sessions that might resonate with a problem you’ve had.

For now, I’ll kick start with a piece about why I get so many complaints from my clients about chiropractors. It seems chiropractors have big problems fixing even the simplest issues (according to my clients at least).

Do I really need a Chiropractor?

Chiropractors, in their attempts to ‘help’ as many people as they can, are proving themselves (and I am generalising here) to be very concerned with the public’s balance.

Trouble is, for most it’s not concern about the balance of their patients’ bodies so much as it is of their own bank balance. Don’t get me wrong – in order to keep a practice running as successfully as one can, it is important to keep the business side of it as healthy as the service you provide.

However, I feel compelled to write this piece because of the many, many clients that have come to me with stories that paint the profession as quite cutthroat. Less concerned with care and more concerned with capital gain.

Where it really hurts…

If you do the maths – your average high street chiropractor will charge around £40 and the session lasts around 20 minutes. Even at 6 hours a day that’s around £700! That’s not a bad day’s pay! Especially easy money if the public are rushing to you, presuming that you are the person to take away their pain.

Now, to anyone reading this and thinking ‘well Ray sounds a little bitter’ – I am perfectly happy with both my income and more importantly my reputation! And here’s why…

A chiropractor has only spent a standard amount of time at training school. They have been ‘told’ to memorise the human body and its various parts and systems. They know technical names and how to make things sound cool and confusing. The average person on the street knows very little about the body and can be put under the impression that if the chiropractor has an office in a high end of town, if they have letters after their name, plaques on the wall and a secretary to take the calls, then they must be the bees knees at what they do right? Wrong.

This is an illusion and although I don’t know any of them personally, the stories my clients tell me are discouraging and worrying to say the least. Such as chiropractors jumping off filing cabinets to perform adjustments, using a misleading ‘hard sell’ approach when it comes to booking patients in again. Some practitioners even giving up, scratching their heads and saying they can’t find anything wrong – despite the pain still being there (and having taken their patient’s money).

The pain of visiting a Chiropractor

One of my regular clients actually came to me after her chiropractor made her frightened and left her in such a bad way it ended up hurting her back and making things worse. Besides similar stories to these, most chronic pain sufferers that find me have already been to many physical therapists, not just chiropractors, and it is shocking how very few of these specialists know what they’re talking about, let alone having the hands on experience needed to fix lower back issues or anything relatively standard for a profession that relies on being completely clued up on your subject.

So, why oh why are they getting it so wrong? Simple: they are not trained to look at the WHOLEperson and more importantly, they know very little about their own sense of “poise” so they have nothing to relate back to their patients with. Posture is nothing more than a term from one of their lectures from study days and they might have done or do a few yoga classes themselves.

The 4 years normally required to qualify as a chiropractor is not nearly enough training to reallyobserve the patterns of imbalance that eventually affect us all. No one escapes the pull of the earth on our bodies and gravity will drag us down whether we like it or not. Whether we are a professional sports person, avid gym goer or 9-5er.

Our best chance is to understand gravity’s pull, and use it to work for us and know how to apply this knowledge in terms of our WHOLE structure. Cracking a few body parts here and there and advising the patient to come back again for more of the same, week in/week out is both a disservice and gives the profession a very bad name.

The Chiropractic profession in my opinion is guilty of sub-standard results and exploiting their patients with quick fix methods because the system has unfortunately become corrupted. It cannot hope to compete with a discipline like Structural Therapy using genuine, hands-on, manipulative techniques.

Really making someone feel better takes more than 20 minutes! Usually in my practice, I work on people for an hour and even that is not enough, most of the time. For chiropractors 20 minutes is the usual standard – less time, less customer care, less attention paid to what the patient really needs from the health care provider, yet the provider still gets paid full price for his time and very little effort. A rip off in my book.

Where does that put me then? If I too am advising my clients to come back repeatedly? Simple. As the famous quote by Hippocrates states “The greatest medicine, is to teach people how not to need it”. Over a number of sessions with me I am genuinely showing clients how to correct themselves, in years to come they won’t need me, and my goal is to minimise the chances of them needing a physical therapist in any shape or form in the future.

My clients are the living testimony to all my claims, and myself for that matter. Real long-lasting results speak for themselves. If, like me, you have paid 24 years of attention to your own frame throughout its own aches and pains and postural faults AND corrected them yourself, as a practitioner, you stand a much better chance of helping your clients as well.

No Escaping Nature

A key concept of Structural Therapy – understanding the role of gravity as a constant force on our bodies, is a concept that is consistently overlooked or ignored by most other standard practitioners. However, once I educate my clients on the basic concepts, it is something they can easily grasp, even if they can’t understand exactly how I do what I do to make them better.

Once they have a better understanding of their personal posture issues, clients are much more accepting of their pain. This is a necessary step in adjusting the faulty patterns that have twisted and confused the fibres and tissues, typically brought on by years of not understanding their own postural patterns. Within one session, every single client can begin to see how gravity affects them, when they look in the full-length mirror an hour later they can immediately see how much longer they look, they report feeling much lighter and for once they will be in less pain.

I’ll wrap up this post by saying we need more structural therapists who are willing to learn about how to improve their clients’ lives based on two things: how much they understand the structure of the body and how much they are willing to improve this in themselves. After all you can earn £100’s a day but what is the point if your patients are really none the better for it? Going back to the basics of knowing what balance really is, will really help people. For everybody; knowing and learning about the body’s balance and structure is a huge step in the right direction, whether they currently have serious problems with pain or just want to improve their general health and resilience to issues in the future.