My back is feeling better, but now I’m noticing that my legs feel tight. Or, my neck pain is improving, but now my shoulder hurts. Have you noticed one area getting better then immediately notice symptoms start up in another area? Well, you aren’t alone and this is completely normal as someone is going through their myofascial release healing journey.
As you receive multiple sessions of myofascial work your therapist will be peeling away the superficial layers of restriction and you will start progressing into the deeper layers. As we go through these layers our most predominant symptoms will start to fade or change and those that weren’t as significant will start to come into our awareness.
For example, the tightness in your legs has more than likely been there for some time. You could have braced your legs as a way to protect your back pain. Many times this is happening on a subconscious level and we aren’t even aware that we are bracing. Now that the back is feeling better the tightness that we used as a way to protect will now become more noticeable.
Many of our clients become frustrated when they start feeling this happen. We encourage you to acknowledge and feel the frustration, but we also want you to know that this is a sign of improvement. All of us have layers of restrictions similar to the layers of an onion. As we peel away one layer the next layer will let us know where it needs work because those restrictions will be the “loudest”.
When we initially start treating our clients the area where they are feeling their symptoms typically isn’t the area where the cause is coming from. It took a lot of bracing and compensation for the body to come to a state of chronic pain. As therapists we will help you get to the main area of restriction that is connected to your symptoms and start releasing the chronic bracing and compensation patterns.
As we start to release the primary issues the body will now start to lay out the road map for the next layers that need attention. As we start peeling away the layers I have found that where those “new” sensations come up are actually the areas that need myofascial work, both hands-on treatment and self-care. The body is leading you right where it needs the work.
Sometimes the original symptoms will come back into our awareness. If this happens your body is at a deeper layer and may need specific work in that area. I have seen over the years that these repeat, “original” symptoms tend to resolve more quickly. They will again fade and other sensations will come into your awareness.
So, if you are feeling like your symptoms are jumping around in the body or feel different than when you first came into the clinic you are on the right path. We encourage you to tune in and acknowledge what is different (quality of the sensation, frequency, intensity, etc..). It is changing, but we have to take some time to quiet our minds and be mindful. Many times the sensations will take some time to fully resolve, but they will feel different. It is very important that we allow ourselves time to notice the differences so you can provide this information to your therapist. The next time that you feel your body talking, take a moment to quiet your mind, breathe into the sensation and notice what you feel. Your body is telling you what it needs and we are here to help you learn how to read those sensations and eliminate them.