78 » OpenRoad Driver It is also important to understand that the nervous system is all one piece, as is the blood system. So if a nerve is not sliding and gliding within its tissue, it will pull and distort the shape of the entire nervous system, just like a boulder that is sitting on a sapling’s root will alter the growth of the tree. Even muscles don’t really begin and end. One can think of muscles like sausage links, each attached to the next via the sausage casing. If one were to start peeling the muscles starting at the bottom of the toes, one could peel the foot sausage, calf sausage, hamstring sausage links and on up the back, neck, over the top of the scalp to the eyebrows, and it would come off all in one long sausage-link-like piece. When the sausage chains that sit next to each other are stuck together – the quad muscles are stuck to each other – and can’t slide and glide independently, it changes the force vectors on the joints. In the example of the knee, the kneecap is potentially pulled more to one side rather than remaining even within the centre of the groove formed by the thigh bone. I think adjacent muscles that are stuck together will limit flexibility more than muscles just not being long enough. Adhesions are problematic as they remove slack in the system, decreasing range of motion, and resulting in uneven tension throughout the web. That can create pain and tightness, so restoring slide and glide between adjacent muscles is very helpful to reduce pain and improve function. VRENI GURD An adhesion can create pain surprisingly far away. For example, an appendix scar might cause one to stand and sit slightly bent to the right side in order to keep some slack in the area. This might be the root cause of back, neck, or shoulder pain, or the scar itself might snag nerves or blood vessels heading into the leg, resulting in a knee problem. As we live our lives and stuff happens to us, we slowly get tethered up, as various injuries stack upon each other. But that does not mean we can’t reverse the trend. There are two main things that we can do to turn things around. 1. Seek regular treatment that can help improve the slide and glide between tissues, make sure scars are mobile, and make sure joints are working optimally. Manual therapy can make a huge difference through massage therapists, physiotherapists, osteopathic manual practitioners and chiropractors. So, stand up nice and tall, feet hip distance apart so you feel stable. Let your arms dangle. Go ahead and twist gently to one side looking as far as you can in that direction. Once you hit the end, twist the other way. Let momentum do most of the work. Go back and forth 15 to 30 times with no forcing, barely any effort at all, and certainly no pain. Do this every day. If you get dizzy, just look straight ahead and turn your body only. This simple exercise will cause pretty much every structure in your body, from the feet and ankles up to the head to move through its range of motion, sliding and gliding each tissue in both directions in relation to its neighbour. With time and consistency, things will begin to improve. 2. Stretch and mobilize your body every day. Particularly twists. Turning over from back to front, and front to back were the first movements we learned as babies, and for good reason, as twists underlie almost all our movement. We twist when we walk, run, throw, golf, play tennis and any other racquet sport, and we also need to twist to shoulder check when driving. Being able to look behind while moving forward kept us safe for millions of years. The beauty of twists is they create the slide and glide between adjacent structures, which can break up adhesions. They cause one structure to move in one direction while the adjacent structure moves relatively in the opposite direction. For this reason, twisting side to side is powerful. Play with twisting different body parts. Sit tall on the bed with your legs outstretched and spread apart until you feel the slightest inner-thigh stretch and turn your legs like windshield wipers. Or bring more focus to the spine by sitting tall on a chair with a pillow or ball between the legs, putting your fists on your breastbone and then turning side to side. Your imagination is your limit. Just keep it gentle with no pain, and turn one way, then the other to keep the tissues moving. Turn, turn, turn, and over the months feel your body improve. w a s t h e t o p g r a d u a t i n g s t u d e n t i n P H E f r o m t h e Un i v e r s i t y o f To r o n t o in 1992, and is continually furthering her education in exercise, nutrition and h e a l t h . A s a C . H . E . K . 3 p r a c t i t i o n e r a n d h o l i s t i c l i f e s t y l e c o n s u l t a n t , Vr e n i ’ s c u r r e n t Va n c o u v e r p r a c t i c e i n v o l v e s h e l p i n g c l i e n t s f e e l b e t t e r t h r o u g h p o s t u r e c o r r e c t i o n , corrective exercise, metabolic typing, and nutrition and lifestyle counseling. Movement for Living | movementforliving.ca | Vr e n i @ m o v e m e n t f o r l i v i n g . c a 604-728-1203 This article provides general information and is not to be construed as medical advice or an endorsement. Educational information provided is not a substitute for regular professional health care and nutrition advice. Always consult your qualified health care professional and nutritionist for questions regarding your well being. OpenRoad Driver does not warrant the accuracy of statements. We rely on the author to present factual material and cannot accept responsibility for the accuracy, utility or safety of the material published.