We are most definitely in the information age. With the advent of the smart phone the world is in your pocket. The more information one has at one’s fingertips the more connected and informed we are. As science in the study of the human body and the interconnectedness of mind-body-spirit moves into healthcare -- the more information manual therapists have -- the more connected, in touch and effective they become.
Emerging science is showing the symbiotic relationship fluid flow and connective tissue have in the homeostasis of the whole person. Water is such a part of every function in the body. The fascial containers in the form of organs and the pathways in terms of vessels work best when there is freedom of movement in our water nature. This encompasses blood, ground substance fascia, CSF and lymph. The restrictions external life forces place on this inner fabric of connective fluid networks is the root cause of dysfunction, disease, injury, pain and illness in my view.
So the more information the therapist can gather about fascia and fluids the more focused the intentional touch intervention can be. In my recent studies and continued clinical explorations into CST, lymphatics and fascia I have recognized a simple, basic, effective way to identify which fascial pathway exhibits the greatest impedance to movement at any given time.
In our “settling-in” process our blending with the rhythms of the body begins at the heels as we land our hands on the feet and try to merge with the craniosacral rhythm expressed there. We evaluate the characteristics of movement; symmetry, quality, amplitude and rate. This provides an assessment tool that can be documented, repeated and used qualitatively to measure progress. Listening from the heels gives us information (FYI).
Secondly, as we gently land on the lower legs (mid calf) with our open gently touching hands, we slowly and very lightly draw caudally, (inferior), assessing the fascial glide potential of the longitudinal sheaths of fascia surrounding vessels, nerves, muscles and bones. A free symmetrical gliding indicates less restrictions than a short glide indicating less movement and more restriction that may be present from a knee injury or unilateral back strain for example. This gives us information (FYI).
And thirdly, I have found that if I gently hold the mid calves and with as large a circumferential purchase with my hands, as lightly as possible, exert a gentle (very slow, >10-15 seconds) compression and superior draw, I can evaluate restrictions in the lymphatics. As I gently compress the lymphatic capillary beds of the distal lower extremities, the entire superficial lymphatic system backs up slightly and the areas of least freedom of movement and capacity come to the awareness of the patient and therapist. The patient may say something like, “gee, I can feel that in my throat.” This is important information from which one can direct structural intention and focus treatment. (FYI)
Manual information is essential in creating the unique and individual treatment approach for each individual patient. We need to listen, treat what we find, then re-evaluate. We need information to do that. (FYI)
A full lecture and demonstration and trade practice in the connections between CSF, lymphatics and fascia will be presented at the upcoming retreat in New Hampshire, October 14 and 15, 2017. Our retreats are open to CST students of every level and teaching lineage or school. This is a brief taste of what is to come in the first-of-its-kind class, CLI (Craniosacral-Lymphatic Integration) in November. (FYI).