Polyvagal Theory & Listening Hands

Polyvagal Theory & Listening Hands

Stephen Porges’ Polyvagal Theory has altered our professional landscape in ways yet to be fully actualized. The Polyvagal concept has become popularized for good reason – it illuminates so much about both the importance of and how we can understand safety. The Polyvagal Theory could be thought to be the ground for an evolving New Science of Safety. 

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Listening-Hands and The Nervous System in the Clinic

Listening-Hands and The Nervous System in the Clinic

Patient needs are becoming increasingly complex. The “nervous system” is recognized as a key component of this increasing complexity – but how do we work with the nervous system in a meaningful way in ever changing case scenarios? This is one of the most important questions facing healthcare today.  

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Some of What Inspired Us This Year

Some of What Inspired Us This Year

We turn towards and into the arts regularly over here. Books are a particular love… In some way, somehow, these books inform aspects of our work and only that because they inform us ever more deeply of what it means to be embodied now – in this time and place with our particular histories alive and always seeking deeper understanding…

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Following a Fascial Thread, Contemplating New Findings in the Existence-Tissue

Following a Fascial Thread, Contemplating New Findings in the Existence-Tissue

Explore the marvelous world of fascia in Michael McMahon’s field note on Following a Fascia Thread. In pursuit of one of Moving Mountain Institute’s major themes - how does the body experience itself – Michael contemplates the phenomenon of existence-tissue along with other fascia threads in preparation for his 2019 Myofascial classes.

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Thoracolumbar Fascia as Storyteller

Thoracolumbar Fascia as Storyteller

Each treatment modality serves as a lens through which to view a certain aspect of our being. Myofascial release allows us access to a depth and breadth of tissue. The myofascia encompasses a lot of our physical matter and energetic potential. It’s implicit here that, of course, each technique also has its limits. Most issues that bring any of us into treatment involve multiple systems and so as people working with the body it is nice to dive deep into multiple modalities – then integrate the understandings that emerge. As Gil Hedley, somanaut and connective anatomist par excellence, so elegantly stated at a talk in Portland, OR, we must always hold our models lightly.

I really believe that’s true – and we must work from some model or models – and be willing to adjust or abandon them as our curiosity and openness offers us opportunities for new insight.

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Thoughts on Myofascia + Movement

Thoughts on Myofascia + Movement

I'm putting the finishing touches on the Active Isolated Stretching manual for our workshop this weekend.  We will be teaching techniques that involve a unique combination of movement and touch to access the spine and pelvis in ways that are otherwise difficult to reach. Dynamic movement within the context of our myofascial principles is powerful and yet still respectful of the tissue. 

While I was working, I revisited the writing and insights of Aaron Mattes, founder of this approach and technique.  I wandered through his introduction and came across some gems to share:

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Inter-relationship & the Spleen, Gallbladder and Small Intestine

Inter-relationship & the Spleen, Gallbladder and Small Intestine

We are super excited to be presenting a synthesis of our manual therapy approach to the abdomen--specifically focusing on chronic digestive patterns in the small intestine (such as SIBO)--coming up next weekend. 

As many of you who treat these conditions know, they can be complex and often defy available diagnostic categories and treatment protocols (e.g. patients often relapse, symptoms can be beguiling and mysterious, and lab results can run contrary to the patient experience).   In our course, together we will explore a holistic understanding -- combining a felt-sense approach to the abdomen with insights from both osteopathic and classical Chinese medicine.  We hope it will serve towards the further understanding and treatment of these difficult cases.

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Reflecting on Vagus Importance and Touch

Reflecting on Vagus Importance and Touch

Hi all,

I have been engaged in some ongoing subterranean contemplating about the vagus nerve and our touch-oriented work. One of my favorite means of studying is to hold within myself what I call, "open questions". Questions that are difficult to answer but the pursuit of them can continue to deepen and evolve my understanding about the topic in question. Open questions are fun because they just exist out there (or in here) and often insights will be stimulated by encountering some seemingly unrelated idea or phrase or poem or perspective - something that allows me to see the question or topic slantwise. I like slantwise seeing.

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What is Myofascial Release?

What is Myofascial Release?

Working with the myofascia gives us a distinct and practical orientation within the tissue realm. The myofascia orients us to the specific manifestation of connective tissue as it serves the movement and stabilizing properties of the musculature.

Why focus on this specifically? One reason is that it is readily accessible and, because it is so involved with how we move through the world, it is highly communicative.

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Mycellium of our Bodies

Mycellium of our Bodies

Guess what!? Fascia researcher Jean-Claude Guimberteau compares our inner form to the complex, chaotic branchings within forest structures. He says (in a thick French accent):

 

“Very often people think that chaos makes no sense. But in fact if you look to a tree in your garden. Try to find a sort of order along the branches.  There is no order as humans consider order.  The branch repartition is chaotic.  It’s a disordered pattern. But it’s a tree. And it’s a perfect tree.  
 

We have to accept how our body is made with a similar architecture.”

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Mind Chimes!

Mind Chimes!

In our last Jam Session we read this quote from Interface:

“Our images become critical to our success. Our nervous systems reflect these images and the patient receives them through our hands and our minds. The morphogenetic filed is there as a reference, the water is the mediator, and the piezoelectric connective tissue is ready to receive.”

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