Sometimes, I just can’t sleep.
I’ll wake up a bit before everyone else and instead of just rolling over and falling back asleep, my brain jumps to life, and even if I try to fall back asleep, I’m awake. So, today, I got up and started to write, not quite sure where I was going to go with this blog this week, my rhythm thrown off a bit by a break in our regular schedule.
We went on vacation. And I mean a real go to another country, swim in the Caribbean Ocean, run your fingers through the white sand, and play for hours in swimming pools family vacation. We stepped out of our normal busy scheduled lives, and we spent ten days immersed in water, our family recharging in the sun.
Water can be so powerful.
I loved feeling the thick salty water of the ocean supporting me as I floated, bobbing up and down with the surf. I loved sitting in the surf as the tide came in, each wave a little farther up my legs, and digging holes in the sand for my kids to fill up, and how the waves would change the texture of the sand. The dry sand soft and light, add a little water and the sand began to hold a shape, add a lot of water and the sand became fluid again, but with a density to it. I loved finally getting to scuba dive again, totally immersed in an entire world of fluid, where all I heard was my own breath, and my husband and I reverted back to our short hand sign language as I found critters for him to photograph, and even though he didn’t bring his camera on the dives due to strobe trouble, I still fell into the habit of showing him every critter I would find. And by contrast, I loved feeling the slippery water of the swimming pools with the waterfalls pouring over our heads, the early morning hot pool swims my son and I would take as we waited for everyone else to wake up, and the rush of fast water carrying me down the waterslide.
When I took my first Lymphatic Drainage class, the instructor talked about the fluid inside the cells and around the cells, and the pathways that lymph takes as it moves through the body. And then it struck me that our bodies are made up off all these cells, and the cells are made up of fluid and also swimming in fluids and even the cell walls contained fluid, so really everything in the human body is made up of different densities of water. Instead of thinking that our tissues are solid, what if we started thinking of different tissues as just containing more or less water on a spectrum of fluid density? For me, my treatments changed dramatically after that. It was kind of like Neo in the Matrix series when he discovers that in “the Game” he could see the code that everything was made of, and he could scoop out a bullet lodged in someone’s body in the game and thereby save their life in reality. For me, it became much easier to move from one system to another within a treatment, since it is all fluid anyway. And since it is all fluid, it makes much more sense to treat the body as a whole unit, the area of dysfunction itself and to treat all the parts that are connected to it. Fluid became the great connector, connecting everything to everything else.
Another thing about fluid, it likes to move. Correction, fluid in the human body, needs to move.
When I evaluate someone’s tissues, I always say that I am looking for the places that are not moving. But to be really specific, I am feeling for the places where the fluid does not feel like it’s moving the way it should. Every course I have ever taken relates to movement. The movement of the muscles and joints, the movement of the craniosacral system, the movement of the lymphatic system, the movement of all the organs and the connective tissue around the organs, even the energy that flows through a body, all these parts of the body that have very specific ways of moving. My training has mostly been about what each part feels like when it moves, what it feels like when it doesn’t move, and how to help it start moving again. Each tissue has a texture, and within that texture is a fluid quality. And when things are not moving, areas of decreased movement also affect that fluid dynamic; just like a beaver dam can alter the way a river flows. Every cell is constantly metabolizing. The waste products get dumped into the surrounding fluid. If fluid in the body does not move, those waste products accumulate. When waste accumulates, it keeps fresh fluid from getting to the cell. When the cells are deprived of fresh nutrients, they suffer. When cells suffer, it translates into pain, swelling, inflammation, and poor movement. Get that fluid to flush out and the cells can get the things they need. Cells with their needs met, work better. When cells work better, the tissue they live in works better. That translates into improved movement, decreased pain, swelling and inflammation. Fluid needs to move to keep everything healthy.
So everything is connected to everything else. And everything needs to move. Therefore, everything needs to move in connection with everything else.
This is a simple enough concept. Like trying to keep a family group together through an airport, you are connected, you need to move, and you need to all stay together to make it to the next plane intact and before boarding. If you don’t move together, one of the kids gets left behind in the scary sea of strangers, or one of the kids runs ahead to crash into the woman walking with a cane, or one parent gets stuck with two kids trying to find the other parent that went off in search of food since they don’t feed you on airplanes anymore. It’s more efficient for everyone in the family to move together until you get to the next gate. Same is true in our bodies. Every part needs to work with every other part to get the functional movement completed.
It was a good vacation. Actually, it was a great vacation.
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