My hands are my most valuable tools. With them I have learned to feel some of the most subtle structures, movements, and rhythms in the human body. Whether you play an instrument, are a perpetual texter, construction worker, or a painter, the use of our hands is key. From being able to button a shirt, thread a needle, pick up a fork to eat something, basic hand dexterity is something most people take for granted - until something goes wrong.
In recent weeks, I've been sent a number of blogs posted by a number of bright men arguing the ideas that fascia is relevant. It's like arguing that your lungs aren't as relevant as your small intestines. It's the context and the point one is trying to make that can either enlighten others to think more, give rise to an emotion that will make them act and try something, or simply just confuse an already confusing topic.
Now that MELT is reaching the masses, I've been asked a few times, "Why do people need to know about MELT?" Let me tell you why it's so important and why what I know could possibly change your mind about what's going on in your body right now.
I've lived in NYC for over half of my life. I am a native NYer, born and raised upstate in this wonderful state. NYC is an amazing city. Everything and anything you need is right outside your doorstep. In fact, you can have most anything without even leaving your house. You can get food, a personal trainer, a physician, movies, and even a mani-pedi to come right to your apartment. With all of the ease of getting things here in this amazing city, there's something else you can get easily - STRESSED OUT!
Why does pain exist? What causes it? How does it originate and once it’s there, why does it sometimes come and go and sometimes it comes and stays? Are there different types of pain? Not just intensity but actually different reasons we sense it?
Most of us are merely reactive to dysfunction and pain. We only do something about it once we have it. It would be better if we all learned to be proactive and not wait until pain was present to keep ourselves pain-free and healthy.
The IDEA World Fitness Convention is one of the largest conventions for fitness in North America. Literally 5000 fitness professionals, some new to the industry, some who have been here for over 25 years come together to learn what's happening in fitness and stay on the cutting edge.
I know there are many friends and colleagues who are going to be pissed off at what I am going to write here but really... long distance running isn't really great for the longevity of a body. But let's clarify what long-distance running is.
It may come as a surprise to people but having a surgical procedure of any kind isn't a cure. There was a recent article posted on NPR: "For Young Athletes, Knee Surgery Opens the Door to Pain".
This article points out a great point I've made a thousand times – just because you can get your ACL repaired to get back on the court to play next season... there may be a BIG price to pay for the rest of your life.
I know when you are at the prime of your athletic career the last thing you want to hear is, "Your career is over." – especially when you are not even 20 years old. For many, they will do whatever it takes to prove they can still play. This issue isn't the next season, it's when they hit 30 and their back is a wreck, they keep spraining their ankle and their knee is stiff and arthritic where the athlete starts wondering why they ever went down that road. When this happens... the aging process is accelerated and life gets tough to manage. So what's the alternative? Do you not get the surgery?
Well, sometimes that's not an option. Sometimes surgery is needed to create repair. What's missing are tools to help you NOT get injured in the first place.
Although accidents happen, if our connective tissue and nervous system are in efficient condition, many of those possible accidents are totally avoided. Many injuries from athletics don't even involve another player. Sometimes is just a bad step, land, or movement that injures the athlete. Their own body mechanics, their own lack of equilibrium and balance, and faulty joints just waiting to snap are the precursor to many injuries in sports.
And, if we actually rehabed our body more appropriately it would be a better 10-year outlook after surgery. Just because you are out of the 6-8 week healing window that was noted by your surgeon doesn't mean your body is back to efficient potential. And, for those of you who reach the 8-week window and go back to your doctor saying your knee still hurts and the doctor gives you a shot of cortisone.... oh dear you are setting yourself up for a disaster in your walk down the living process.
It's time we educated our young athletes on more than how to dunk a ball. We need to teach them how to avoid the common injuries that are making surgeons rich and PT's thrilled to have those athletes as their roster of clients.
Coming in April - MELT Downloads for Athletes... I know you need it, I am going to give it to you.
I am in the middle of doing a cleanse and in doing so, (like all things that pertain to me using my own body as a test subject for personal research and experience) I share these experiences openly and honestly to anyone reading my blogs.
I also engage in Facebook when my time permits me to stop working and enjoy the networking possibilities on that vast network. I posted that I had decided to do a cleanse and the replies were very mixed, controversial and the personal message fell upon me quickly and in great number.
One I read I knew should be a blog. A friend and colleague was intrigued about my comment about one of the goals of my cleansing. I mentioned that I was intentionally trying to help my liver “reboot”, rest, and repair. She was intrigued by the comment about manipulating the liver and sent me this in reply:
“I recently have been having pain on my right side. Long story short went to my doc & had a sonogram. Turns out I have an enlarged liver and need to see another doc about this...Wonder if what you mentioned could be a cause.”
You all know I am not a doctor but I must say, I have learned and practiced many techniques regarding both liver functions and structure. So, with that in mind, here’s my two cents about what the liver is, does, and what possibilities can cause an enlarged liver.
There is a great blog I found on the internet that explains what the liver is and does. http://www.puristat.com/livercleansing/liverfunction.aspx
It’s a really clear article and saves me time on getting to the point of this blog. The real question is what happens when the liver is enlarged?
While the liver is capable of regenerating itself, its capacity to repair itself can be seriously impaired by repeated stressors of various sorts. So remember the bullet point list in the Puristat blog. If the liver is having trouble doing it’s many jobs efficiently, how do you think your body will handle it? How will your liver handle it?
Remember the liver has many functions, including detoxifying the body, making bile, storing and processing fatty acids, such as cholesterol and making proteins. It is the body's largest solid organ. A healthy adult liver is comparable in size to a football. Various medical conditions can cause the liver to become enlarged, but an enlarged liver itself is not a medical condition.
So now on to possible causes of an enlarged liver. I can only tell you what I know from clinical experience and personal research (mostly through PubMed.com, American Medical Journals and other credible resources… not the first hits usually on Google…). For more information about your enlarged liver, go see your doctor.
Actually, there's lots of things that can cause an enlarged liver. It can be from something severe like liver cancer to something simple like pent up anger. Seriously. There are many diseases that affect how the liver processes. One of the common threads to many of these diseases is the role enzymes play in the life of any cell. Without putting in any scientific terms like lysomes into an analogy, let me try to simplify a complex happening in a cell when particular enzymes are not produced or absorbed:
In a healthy cell, particular enzymes break down waste products. If there’s not enough of this type of enzyme, fatty waste products don’t get broken down and the cell gets filled with waste. So now the cell is filled with waste, swollen beyond it’s normal size and wreaking havoc on the body because it’s not happening in one cel… it’s happening in many of them.
There are a few termed “Clinical Diseases” like that I’ve worked with. One is called Gaucher’s disease. And what I have learned about this type of disease is that Gaucher cells accumulate and displace healthy normal cells in bone marrow and organs such as the liver and spleen. This accumulation causes a host of signs, including skeletal deterioration, anemia, and organ dysfunction.
But there is another termed “issue” people have… but it’s not a disease and a similar happening is occurring… it’s called INFLAMMATION. When cells are inflamed, your liver is under siege… any type of inflammation will cause a response from the liver… one potentially being getting swollen.
· Liver cancer
· Repeated, excessive alcohol consumption
· Congestive heart failure
· Too much iron absorption
· Too much belly fat
Bottom line, the liver is a cesspool for dumping waste and it would be a nice thing I think to give the liver a break once in awhile and help it out. It’s not that hard by the way. If it’s not a disease that’s causing your liver to be enlarged, right away, I would give you some simple tips:
1. Drink water consistently 3 liters per day – sip it frequently, don’t gulp it periodically.
2. REST. Take a nap especially on the weekends and even if you don't feel tired. The liver rejuvenates most during REM phase of sleep.
3. Talk to a decent therapist and get some pent up anger out. Try to get more conscious about how much you keep inside your body.
4. Go to youtube and type in MELT Method. You will find a video with the 3-D breath breakdown. Do that everyday. If you can, do an assessment on the floor first, then do the technique, then reassess. Your body should feel more weighted on the floor in your upper body thus giving more room for the liver to move and regain optimal mobility and motility. It helps.
5. Stop drinking so much alcohol. You can all tell me red wine is good for me but I think it’s like anything else besides water. We shouldn’t do it every day. Skip a few in the week and help your liver out.
6. SWEATING is good. Just sit in a sauna or move in a way and do something that makes you sweat for about 30 minutes. If that seems like too much time to move, go for 10 and work your way up one minute more every other day.
7. Talk to your doctor or go see a specialist about checking your enzymes.
8. Eat some vegetables and organic fruits for health sake. Just do it. They are good for you. Raw is the best but make sure it’s clean and organic for most things raw I believe is a good idea.
9. MELT!!! Not only is the 3-D breath a great tool, there is so much you can do to support your liver by stimulating your connective tissue in a positive way. MELT rejuvenates the fluids in this tissue with specific techniques that improve the efficiency of your movements and that can only be good for your liver too. For now, on youtube there are some techniques you can try but MELT videos and downloads are finally in the works! We are reshooting in March so be on the lookout in a few months for more products and helpful tools!
10. Get a hug. I have to tell you, just some human touch really helps the liver out. Get a massage, get a visceral session… (Hilary Bilkis, will be doing body work sessions, in my office while I am traveling. She will be seeing clients for CranioSacral Therapy and Visceral Mobility treatments...good for the liver!) The dates she will be in and available appointment times are as follows:
Feb 4: 11:15, 1:45, 3:00, 5:00,
Feb: 18: 11:15, 1:45, 5:00, 6:15
March 4: 11:15, 1:45, 3:00, 6:15
March 18: 11:15, 1:45, 5:00, 6:15
For more information about Hilary, visit her website: www.awakening4wellness.com
Please contact her directly to make your appointment. firstname.lastname@example.org or cell phone 973-479-2229