This is part four of a series. If you haven't caught up on what I'm doing with Human Garage, see the other posts here!
This is the first day of the second week of my work with Human Garage. I'm doing 2 weeks with 3 sessions each for the releases to accommodate my touring schedule; as well as make sure the work is being done in a manner that won't regress due to my unavailability.
Today was Neck & Peripheral release with OJ.
He started with my calves bc calves are connected to your neck (and, coincidentally are shaped like the heart muscle AND function as the major leg muscle to return blood to the heart, who knew!) I had some tight knots in there that were pretty uncomfortable. After calves, he worked on some hamstring release. Jordan was also with us almost the whole session, pulling and holding fascia to facilitate tension release.
Now that I'm an old pro at Human Garage, when I go we usually talk about whole body wellness, books and podcasts and personal experiences. This time we were talking about Katy Bowman and her book and a couple of podcasts I've heard her on. She's a movement specialist and has an awesome book called Move Your DNA and it's all about not "working out" but getting your body to move the way it was intended and how that gets nutrients into your muscles, bones, tendons etc. she calls it "Nutritious Movement" and believes there are daily "doses" we need of this movement to actually increase our longevity. She encourages people to walk around without their shoes on so their foot can fully bend and flex. Additionally, OJ mentioned that you pick up information from your feet that your body uses to inform itself about your environment. This is one of the reasons I wear flat shoes with large toe pads so my feet can feel more of the ground and my toes can spread in a more natural way.
After the hamstring attention, he worked on my shoulders again and then got to my neck. My neck has been so tight for so long, it's connected to everything. I engage my neck when it has no business doing anything. This is one example of why the process at HG isn't just releasing tension but also about retraining the brain to stop engaging my neck. It's about breaking the movement pattern. I can remember, playing field hockey in high school and hating ab day because it would hurt my neck so much. My neck would tire out before my abs did. More recently, while working out with Open Sky Fitness, any upper body exercises Rob would give me, I would feel in my neck. It made me feel stressed out, frustrated and cranky. When OJ was releasing these muscles, I felt exactly the same way: irritated, cranky, frustrated and stressed.
I mentioned on day one that knots in your body form to protect other parts from getting injured, from emotional and physical trauma but I failed to mention another reason. If you're trying to do something, and your muscle isn't strong enough, it will recruit the help of another muscle to do the job. That can cause knots and is yet another reason why the bio mechanical assessment and brain retraining is so important. My neck is engaging whenever I do core work, whenever I do upper body work, it's tensing my neck and my jaw and causing stress.
Today was my first meeting with Dr. Luke, the Human Garage chiropractor. I have another chiropractor who I usually see but during this process, HG asks you to not get any massages or chiropractic adjustments so as not to interfere with their process. Dr. Luke is similar to my chiropractor in that the doesn't just adjust your whole body. He uses a tool called an activator to make micro adjustments which are only some millimeters rather than large adjustments that you may be more familiar with. A lot of movement patterns knock us out of alignment just slightly, so he focused on areas that felt off. He also uses drop blocks to push through my joints to increase movement and open the joint up. It also allows him to work on a joint without jostling the rest of the body which may or may not need to be adjusted at all. I spoke to Dr. Luke about the reason for coming to Human Garage and he dug around my Ileocecal and Houston valves in my guts to get them to work more properly, he called it "changing the pressure" in my insides. After that we chatted, Brahm came in and then Dr. Luke went over my images to show me how my alignment has changed thus far (all the while, my Houston valve felt like some business was happening.)