The fascial system is one continuous, laminated, connective-tissue sheath that spreads without interruption throughout the entire body in a three-dimensional web. Fascial mobilization allows therapists to locate and address restrictions in the fascial system that are causing asymmetries, postural malalignment, abnormal tensions, and pressures that can lead to pain and dysfunction. The goal of fascial mobilization is to produce a well-balanced, symmetrical, and mobile body within the skeletal, soft-tissue, and craniosacral systems.
Developed by Russian-born Israeli educator Moshe Feldenkrais, this method establishes new connections between the brain and body through movement reeducation. One of two formats of instruction is used: awareness through movement, and functional integration.
- Awareness through movement classes are group sessions in which the teacher verbally guides students through repatterning.
- In the one-on-one functional integration session, a teacher uses hands-on manipulation to guide the student toward new movement patterns.
Feldenkrais proposed that nearly our entire spectrum of movement is learned during our first few years of life, but that these movements represent a mere 5 percent of all possibilities available to us. Habituated responses to problem areas in our lives are ingrained in our movement patterns. By retraining the central nervous system through the skeletal system, old patterns are eliminated and replaced with new skills that improve the physical, mental, and emotional functioning of the body. In this way, unconscious movement is brought into conscious awareness where it may be used as a tool for opening the human potential. Click here to find a Feldenkrais practitioner.
Feng shui (translated as “wind and water”) is the Chinese system of balancing the energy patterns of the physical environment. A composite of mystical beliefs, astrology, folklore, and common sense, the Chinese concept of feng shui blends ancient wisdom with cultural tradition.
The laws of feng shui provide for positioning homes/businesses and designing room and office layouts in ways that promise to enhance the quality of their occupants’ lives and businesses by channeling energy in positive ways. These principles strive for creating balanced, peaceful dwellings by bringing together the external and internal and living in harmony with natural and man-made environments.
Good feng shui promises occupants health, happiness, prosperity, and long life—a conscious connection between the outside environment and the world within. These same principles can also be applied to the human body (called min xiang shue) to promote inner character and restore harmony to areas of imbalance. Through meditation and daily exercises, min xiang shue can allow a deeper self-awareness and regeneration.
This technique is based on classical Chinese medicine’s law of the five elements. The five-element system views the human body as a microcosm of the universe with the tides of energy and emotions waxing and waning. These energies and emotions are stored in the visceral organs and move through specific pathways or meridians in the body in a regular and cyclical fashion. When these energies or emotions become blocked, or deficient or excessive through stress, trauma, or disease, the five-element practitioner may use carefully controlled pressure on certain meridian points to help move the energy or emotions. This restores the natural cycle of energy and emotional movement, thus helping the person’s natural ability to heal.
This aquatic treatment is performed in water heated to body temperature. The therapist and the client work as a team, following the client’s innate intelligence as her body guides the work. With the water allowing uninhibited movement, the body moves freely to release old holding patterns, blockages, and restrictions and then repatterns into wholeness.
Foot Zone Therapy
Foot zone therapy is based on the premise that energy flows through the body in meridians from the brain to the feet. Every organ and cell has a representative point. On the foot, and when pressure is applied, the brain sends a signal to the corresponding part of the body to facilitate healing and restore balance.
Temporary pain, defined also as a blockage of energy flow, is felt on areas of the foot that correspond to the affected organ or body part. When the pain is relieved or reduced, the healing process has begun. Positive and apparent results are felt almost immediately.
Foot zone therapy was used in ancient China and India. Egyptian hieroglyphs and paintings also show the use of this method. But not until the twentieth century, when Dr. Erdal of Norway used a form of this therapy to cure himself of paralysis, did foot zone therapy get rediscovered. After more than twenty years of intensive clinical research, Erdal codified his findings into a medical science widely respected throughout Europe.
This therapy requires two practitioners to simultaneously massage the client’s left and right sides, making sure to mimic the other’s motions and to exert equal pressure for a balanced experience.