Massage & Bodywork

JANUARY | FEBRUARY 2021

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L i s te n to T h e A B M P Po d c a s t a t a b m p.co m /p o d c a s t s o r w h e reve r yo u a cce s s yo u r favo r i te p o d c a s t s 81 I am fascinated with the similarities of how our physical tissues operate with the workings of our inner, more emotional selves. back to "normal." True, scars create a bind. True, that bind is limiting. And true, those limitations can prevent a healthy flow of the various vessels trying to carry their various components (blood, lymph, nerve impulses, etc.). We want to regain what we lost. But getting back to "normal" is a much bigger task than simply reestablishing range of motion. LETTING THE SCAR BE So, what if we approach scar tissue in the same way we approach a global pandemic? Maybe we thought we were ready. Maybe we were completely blindsided. In either scenario, we have to shift how we live. We change how we work, eat, shop, socialize, and, most importantly, how we think. No longer are we free to move around the world. We are now taking into consideration how this new factor dictates our every decision. How we operate in the world once a pandemic hits, once we experience pain, once we sustain an injury, is paralleled in how we connect. Connection, the very foundation of what makes us feel safe, changes. When that safety is threatened, our first instinct is to fight like hell to get it back. Sometimes, though, we have no choice. Sometimes we have to accept this new way of life and learn to live differently. There is, without a doubt, a deep desire within all of us to feel connected. We crave a sense of belonging—a core group of individuals who make us feel loved, taken care of, and safe. Connection is at the essence of what helps us feel normal. It holds us when we fall into anxiety or fear. It calms us when we harbor anger. It offers a safety net to the pits of loneliness. Connective tissue offers the same benefits. Its job is to hold, insulate, and protect—to serve our basic needs and help us feel normal. Too much connection and we feel smothered. In the same way a teenager might grow irritated when a parent wants to dive into a confusing emotion, scar tissue can grip too tightly. But if the muscles are not safe—if that teenager fell in with the wrong crowd—that scar tissue better do its job. In this instance, leave the scar be. Let it grip and protect. It is better than the alternative. Our job, as bodyworkers, is to know when the scar tissue is right or when the angry tissue underneath is right. The detailed work of scar tissue is remarkable. But if the work isn't working, maybe that tensile strength of steel isn't such a bad thing. Maybe the work, then, becomes about teaching the other tissues how to play nicely with the new kid on the block. Finding a new normal can often be the key to happiness. Perhaps it also holds the secrets to wellness. Stay connected. Hold on. But not too tightly. Keep listening. The tissues are telling us everything we need to know. ` "The greatest discovery of my generation is that human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes of mind." —William James Allison Denny is a certified massage therapist and certified YouTuber. You can find her massage tutorials at YouTube.com/ RebelMassage. She is also passionate about creating products that are kind, simple, and productive for therapists to use in their practices. Her products, along with access to her blog and CE opportunities, can be found at rebelmassage.com. SCAN AND WATCH "Massage Tutorial: Injured Ankle Rehabilitation"

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