Monday, August 19, 2013

My First Craniosacral Therapy Session

At my last visit my PT suggested I have a session with her partner so I can try a different technique than Rolfing.  Her partner's PT speciality is Craniosacral Therapy.  Since this was not the first time Craniosacral was suggested to me, and the first time the therapist was conveniently located, I decided to give it a try.

We started our one hour session with some core strengthening exercises to help stretch my spinal curves and improve my balance.  This did not go well.  As with many stretches, I was not feeling any tension or pull in my muscles when we worked with my scoliosis curves.  When we switched to some deep core strengthening the left side of my back panicked and started spasaming.  Of course, this isn't an area that should react in such a way when working with the pelvic muscles, but I've learned to expect the unexpected when it comes to my body and what should be "normal."

Since my body was now in too much discomfort to continue (it wasn't really painful, but too distracting for me to isolate specific muscle groups) we switched to Craniosacral.

Whereas Rolfing involves force and strong repositioning of the body, Craniosacral involves light touch.  It reminded me of meditation sessions I had with a yogi many years ago; as I would meditate she would work with my chakra through gentle pressure at various points on my body.  Today, I easily slipped into a meditative state while my therapist worked with points along my spine from my sacrum to my skull.  While she worked I felt stress, tension and, yes, even the muscle spasms melt away.  I was left with a deep feeling of peace, and much of the daily pain I live with had minimized further into the background than I typically keep it through sheer determination.

Craniosacral Therapy does not always work immediately, so immediate relief today was a benefit to my body not always reacting "normally."  I will likely see her twice more this year to see if I will experience more or prolonged improvement.

I did find it a nice change, however, to leave a physical therapy session feeling this good and not sporting a few new bruises.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Rolfing Update

I started a form of physical therapy called Rolfing a little more than a year ago.  This is a good point at which to reflect on my progress.

My appointments are not always regularly scheduled: sometimes 2 weeks apart, others 3 or 4 weeks, and in July more than 5 weeks.  What I noticed this past July stretch (almost 8 weeks) is that my body lost much of its progress but went right back into place during the rolfing session.  Today, 5 days after that session, I am still standing tall, my head hitting the highest mark on my height chart.

Yes, I keep a height chart.  I started it a few months before my first rolfing session, even before I heard about rolfing, and my highest mark is more than 3 inches above my lowest.

The sore muscles and bruising after intense deep-muscle sessions are worth it.  I have more low pain days and feel taller.  This summer I seem to have more energy, though not as much as I remember from a decade ago.  It is progress, part of a journey, and I am not yet where I want to be.  It is also a part that I will continue through the next year.