I haven't written an update on my next steps regarding inability to re-introduce more foods without symptoms yet. I've been waiting to see how a couple things go. The initial plan was to do another round of SIBO antimicrobials and anti fungals before deciding if I was going to go on low dose Naltrexone or Fluconazole for either fungal overgrowth or reduction in auto-immune symptoms. That plan is on the back burner for now. I saw minimal improvements after doing the 2nd round of SIBO supplements and thought it best to stick to the diet and lifestyle habits I knew worked and save money for a bit.
In the meantime, I've been doing research into other reasons why it seems my health progress has stalled. I heard a bit about abdominal adhesions and how those can cause SIBO to persist. I don't have recurrent SIBO but it did make me curious about the possibility that adhesions were preventing my organs from functioning properly (specifically digestive organs). Simultaneously, Brahm was learning about fascia via The Melt Method. Fascia, the connective tissue under our skin, holds all our organs in place and communicates with the brain about the state of the body. Adhesions in fascia can be caused by physical (like an accident or fall) or emotional trauma (stress, depression etc.). (mind blown emoji)
Knowing that fascial release was something I'd been looking into, Brahm sent me this podcast about The Human Garage. It's a local spot that focuses on getting our bodies and minds in alignment. They use techniques like facial release, massage, chiropractics, nutritional adjustments to set your body right physically and mentally.
After listening to Garry Lineham, founder of The Human Garage on the The Bledsoe podcast, describe what they do I immediately reached out for a consultation. This felt right. Why when i have inflammation in my body is my neck super sore? Why can't i sort out my bloating symptoms? Eating such a limited diet is working as a tool to get my body to chill out but doesn't seem like it's supposed to be how i live forever. The Human Garage seemed like the key to unlock what was preventing my body from healing completely.
I went in for my consultation in June. Garry and I hit it off right away, we've had a very similar journey and if how well he's doing is any indication of where I'll end up, I am stoked! We talked about my diet and lifestyle changes and how I've stalled on progress. I know from my work with my chiropractor that my spine isn't blocking off any communication from my spinal cord to my organs but we have never adjusted any of my musculoskeletal alignment, tight muscles or fascia pulling my bones out of perfect skeletal alignment. One of the first parts of the consultation, after the initial chat was examining my posture. As you can see from the images, my top half leans to the right and my hips twist to the left. I'm doing a fairly good job at keeping my ears over my ankles but to make that happen, I'm leaning back and pushing my hips forward. That explains why i'm always standing in first position!
Garry and I talked about my history of Crohn's symptoms and the ulcers they found near my ileocecal valve and that i have discomfort but not sharp pain in that area. He used an iPad app to show me the muscles in my hips and how they're pulling on my soft tissue. He said that I've made great progress with lifestyle and diet but the issues i'm having now that are persisting are all mechanical. Yeah. MECHANICAL. My hips are so tight they are pulling on my skeleton, which is pulling my organs and fascia and my ileocecal valve is being held open by my body. Mind Blown.
I knew that there might be a physical component to my healing but I had no idea it could be that integrated.
I stretch! I exercise! I'm strong! I don't have weird physical pain unless i treat my body like a garbage heap! I was sold, this was game changing piece information. Garry also explained how my bloating was a mechanical issue, neck pain seemed obvious...
He wanted to give me an example of how simple physical manipulations could cause huge changes. He adjusted my jaw to show me how just that tension can affect the whole body. He stuck a gloved finger into the back corner of my jaw muscle and applied pressure. While he was doing that he told me to lightly stroke my right thumb from pad to first knuckle. That would signal to my body to relax (the pressure he applied was uncomfortable and I was doing my best to breathe through it.) Then, at the right moment I was to stretch my right arm above my head and towards the back wall and rub my stomach in a clockwise (to me) circle and that would reduce the intensity of the pressure in my mouth. (I tested this, it really worked.) My eyes were tearing during the adjustment and I had a small emotional release while he explained how it worked. Afterwords I felt super calm, and a little high. He adjusted both sides of my jaw and then I walked around to see how it affected my posture. Not only am i standing straighter just from my jaw but i had better blood flow to my brain and i was striking the ground properly in my stride.
You can see that my alignment improves and even though I look drunk, you can see that my jaw is more relaxed in the close up as well as my skin tone shows better blood flow to my brain. (Though i'm used to seeing my cheek bones popping out like on the left, the picture on the right is my correct facial alignment. I looked less sleepy, eventually).
Energy and Emotions
Besides physical alignments, The Human Garage also does bio-mechanical assessment, for instance how many of the nutrients that I'm eating, am i actually absorbing? (My guess, not as many as I should be.) I'm also curious about how this work will affect me emotionally and creatively.
I have done energy work twice before with my friend and neighbor Riss, from Energy Mechanic. The work she does involves using crystals and chakra manipulation. (This may sound woo woo but there is now scientific evidence that meridians exist. So if it works for you, I say do what you need to do.) During her work, I had my eyes closed and felt different emotional surges and physical sensations even though she wasn't touching my body, just manipulating the energy above my body. When she was working on my most blocked chakra, my sacral chakra, it felt like I was having intense period cramps even though I wasn't anywhere close to having my period. I also felt an emotional surge and release, like an urge to cry or tension like anxiety. After that session, I felt super creative. That next tour I felt like Whitney Houston. I had a much easier time singing new vocal melodies, getting out of my head and improvising. I'm excited to see how working with The Human Garage affects my performance and writing with the band.
I signed up right after my consultation. They like to do 2 sessions a week for three weeks to make sure the alignment adjustments stick. Since I'm rarely home for that amount of time, I'm doing 3 sessions for two weeks at the end of July. I'll be documenting each visit here so you can see what they do and how it affects me. Stay Tuned!