Fascia: the mask you live in

Each and every one of us is covered in a thick, complex, tangled web of fascia. Fascia is the connective tissue that sits under your skin and on top of your muscles. On anatomy diagrams, fascia looks like the off-white strings and planes that sit on top of or in lines up and down the muscles. It provides structure and support, helps transport nutrients, helps regulate nervous system function, helps keep you hydrated, helps you maintain a healthy youthful appearance to the skin, and much much more. Some forms of fascia are also known as “scar tissue” because it is considered fibrotic tissue. 

In addition to the physiological roles fascia plays, fascia also keeps your secrets. It collects your memories. It remembers your joys, but largely it stores your traumas. It forces you to live in the pain of the past instead of being able to be present in the moment. Your fascia has kept a record of every time you misused your body, forcing it into bras and cinchers, too-tight jeans, or awkward shoes — and why you did so. It also remembers how often — and to which degree — you’ve smiled, laughed or cried, winced, squinted, questioned, tensed, quieted, forced, sat or walked. It’s the literal, tangible mind-body connection and it is the record keeper of you.

I’ve had clients ask me before, “I know everyone talks about a mind-body connection but I just can’t visualize it. How does it all connect?” I tell them the mind-body connection is the fascia, the connective tissue. Not only can you feel it under your skin with your fingers, you can also see it with the naked eye — constriction or restriction, bulges, tightness, thick skin/”big boned”, cellulite, crepey skin, and asymmetry are all likely fascial distortions. Don’t get me wrong — we need fascia. It is an integral system and structure of the human body and some kinds even support your organs. But most of the obvious fascia people are carrying around these days is full of adhesions, or thickened, jumbled, tangled fascia resultant from trauma to the area (such as accident or surgery), improper use of the area (or surrounding areas), improper diet, dehydration, infection, and in rare cases certain genetic conditions. 

It’s like we become covered in scar tissue of our own making. Let me explain. Let’s say you have an inhibitory throat response such as choosing not to speak, holding back tears, being fearful of making noise or “rocking the boat”. Well, as a result, the surrounding structures (nearby muscles, joints, tendons, etc.) will be used improperly because of the tension. Over time, this physical response becomes your go-to pattern. After years of making those dysfunctional movements, you create asymmetry that changes your fascia, which changes your appearance. It’s a way for your body to compensate and provide structure or balance in the midst of dysfunction. In theory, the more fascial adhesions (jumbled, dysfunctional fascia) you have, the greater the challenges you have faced. Or, the greater the adhesions in a certain area of your body, the greater challenges to that area, both physically and spiritually.

Fascia is the mask we all live in. And fascia never lies because you created it. 

In the case of hypothyroidism, you may notice “thickened” skin around your neck but especially near your thyroid or voice box area. If you try to gently pinch your skin but cannot grab a very small amount — getting only large thickened chunks — it is indicative of fascial adhesions. You should be able to grab just the epidermis layer of your skin without too much resistance from the dermis.

Sure you might have plenty of fascial adhesions on your neck area and be hypothyroid, but how do the fascial adhesions affect, say, your actual thyroid gland? Well, on the surface of the thyroid is a substance called thyroglobulin. It is a protein precursor of thyroid hormone and acts to collect nutrients (such as iodine and tyrosine) from your blood stream and store them on the surface of the thyroid gland. That way, your body readily has nutrients available to it any time it needs to make thyroid hormone. But now imagine on top of your thyroid/thyroglobulin, you have a thick mesh strangling the area, cutting off blood flow, oxygen, and nutrients from entering the area — or only entering very slowly. Suddenly you have a thyroid crisis because that vital gland is not able to receive what it needs to function optimally. Mind-body connection. Now imagine this happening all over your body. 

It gets tricky because fascial adhesions can also extend to other related areas in order to compensate. You see, fascia is like a spider-web sheath covering your entire body from the top of your head to the tip of your toe. It’s all connected so the neck fascia you’ve created from holding back your thoughts or emotions, which is now choking your thyroid gland, then works it way up and extends to the sides of the neck, to your cheeks and face to create the classic hypothyroid “puffy face”, and over the shoulders, creating a thickening there too. Dowager’s Hump or myxedema can develop. And on it goes. 

With fascia it goes like this:

  1. your experiences cause you to generate thoughts/feelings 

  2. your thoughts/feelings create your reality

  3. your reality determines how you are allowed to, are encouraged to, or want to move your body

  4. how you move your body determines which areas develop fascial adhesions

  5. therefore, the areas that contain the most adhesions are the areas where there is a core wound or life lesson that needs to be resolved

I try to infuse most assertions I make to you with an anecdotal story to back it up. I want you to see that the information I share with you isn’t about getting likes, recycling outdated information, repeating the same things everyone else is telling you, etc. I want to share new and innovative information that is affecting you but that you might not have heard before. I share this information with you because it changed my life so dramatically for the better, and I have seen it do the same for my clients. But it’s still hidden. So here’s the story about why I “got into” fascia and why I believe this is the next biggest thing you should know about, if you’re not already intrigued:

I was diagnosed with a “mild” scoliosis in 1997 — a lower-back curvature. I don’t remember the curvature degree at the time of diagnosis (or that anyone even measured it because I was diagnosed by a school nurse), but about 4 years ago, according to an x-ray done by a chiropractor, it was at 24 or 22 degrees. As a child and young adult, I woke up every few nights with spasms in my lower back that startled me awake and gave me nightmares. My back would consistently “go out” and I felt pressure, couldn’t bend in certain ways, and was in aching pain most days. I went to chiropractors on and off over the years since being a teenager and even did some physical therapy and massage, and saw a podiatrist to try to help my back. Though they provided temporary relief, I would always end up feeling the same as before a few days after appointments. 

Then after my daughter was born in 2012, I suffered a near month-to-month string of slipped discs. It went on like this for a couple of years — going to the chiropractor in hopes I wouldn’t re-injure myself, using a decompression table to get the discs to go back into place without surgery (it worked thankfully), trying to stretch and exercise, etc. But nothing really seemed to improve my back issues and pain. Then one day I stumbled upon information about fascia. It was a video of an expert talking about the role of fascia in our health and appearance. I was so intrigued at the idea of using myofascial release to overcome my pain that I started immediately. 

I have been using myofascial release (MFR) for over two years now. For me, it has been an absolute miracle. First, I haven’t had a slipped disc or rib go out of place since using MFR. More importantly though, I have had three chiropractors tell me they can no longer see a scoliosis curvature in my spine. Meaning, I reversed my scoliosis. I’m not saying this is possible every time. What I am saying is that no one had ever offered me another option to help my back pain and no one offered any good answers for why it developed in the first place. I learned that my scoliosis was considered “functional” meaning it could be traced back to something and, therefore, potentially corrected. I believe this is true for many modern health conditions.

That is the power of unraveling your fascia. It’s like a way to work backwards and confront every challenge you’ve stored in your body head on. As you use MFR, your fears and insecurities rise to the surface, the lies and cover-ups rise to the surface, and your true power starts to rise as you let go of the trauma. As an Intuitive, I operate through waves of insight that come to me, well, intuitively, as well as through reading and observation. This was the case with my foray into fascia: I learned the information, applied it and observed the effects, then it just “came” to me: the fascia is the record of your mind-body connection and we’re covered in fascial masks to hide or compensate for the trauma. 

As each fascial layer was peeled away, I was left with questions. Myofascial release on my feet caused my pelvis to flip up and out. I had been walking with my tail literally between my legs for decades. Why had I felt the need to do that? In order to hide. Why did I feel the need to hide? Because of learning disabilities, un-supportive environments, fear of being seen for fear of punishment, extreme religious oppression, etc. You see, fascia holds the answers but you have to ask yourself the questions. Once you start asking the questions, you then begin the process of testing your subconscious mind to see which answer is correct. Once you find the correct answer, you release the emotional attachment or stress response to the corresponding wound. That is how you know it is true. In the process of MFR, you may also clear up stagnant lymph, restricted blood flow, saggy or unhealthy looking skin, trim inches, reduce pain, and have wide range of mobility again. Mind-body connection.

You deserve to know about yourself first and foremost because self-awareness brings healing. You are so unique that no one-sized-fits-all approach will ever work. Think of your fascia like a soul blueprint. It helps to gently illuminate what your fears or weaknesses are in order to improve yourself, helps you get out of the trauma by identifying the toxic cycles in your life, it tells us about the state of your physical health, and once released, it helps you move onto a healthy future instead of clinging to the pain of the past without realizing it.

First, know that there are ways to smooth out the fascia and restore it to its proper function and appearance. Myofascial release, proper hydration (which is about way more than water), essential nutrients for collagen health, liver and lymph support, acupuncture, and more. I come at this from an informational standpoint. I educate my clients on the issues they’re facing then what they can do about it. But there are plenty of ways to do this yourself or with a trained professional. Dysfunctional fascia does not have to be a life sentence. 

Secondly, know that it’s a long process. Imagine decades of your body layering adhesion ontop of adhesion. The process of breaking this down can take years in some cases. So do not get discouraged. Also, will you likely experience detox symptoms physically and emotionally as you retrace the dysfunction, much like a game of connect the dots. But as I always say, if you want to heal, it is worth it and the only way past it is through it. Once you acknowledge what has not worked, you can release it both emotionally and physically in order to get to the root of who you really are without trauma and pain on your body or in your mind. 

If you are interested in learning about your unique fascial adhesions, core wounds, and life lessons, please read about Body Readings

Empath sabotage type 3: amnesia

I created this blog post series because the brand of spirituality many of us grew up with or currently ascribe to is one of total selflessness at the expense of ourselves and our health. I lived that kind of spirituality for 32 years and all it got me was stressed beyond belief, taken advantage of, energetically drained, and sick. As an empath, I want you to live your highest potential, just as I encourage my clients to do. In order to do that, you have to accept and come to terms with some hard truths. These are the kind of truths you can only acquire through experience or storytelling, and many holy books or spiritual leaders prevent awareness of these things because their teachings make you powerless — personal power always being usurped for someone else and their interests, for the church, the tithe, or the prayer. 

Only when you have been in the trenches of narcissism and examined and analyzed the tactics much like a reconnaissance mission, can you come out the other side equipped to handle our current reality. Let me tell you this: I have been in the trenches, so deep in the muck and mire that I though I would drown and since there was no one coming to my rescue, I had to save myself. I see my clients living the same. Eternal drowning is not what a legitimate god, savior, universe, or ascended master would want for you. No matter your religious or spiritual beliefs, please know this: there is something so much better for you on the other side of the trauma. You do not have to live the pain and hardship forever. But first, you must recognize and remember that you are in it in the first place. 

Planet earth is a funny place because it can be thrilling, beautiful, tragic, sorrowful, and amazing all at once — on the same day or within the same hour. Events transpire or moods change and what was once positive now seems negative, or vice versa. The problem is that we keep trying to convince ourselves of how wonderful this place is, in order to have the hope to keep going, even when the reality is not always so great. Crime, death, immorality, war, rape, hunger, pollution, lack of ethics or justice pervade as a daily truth. So we begin to live on the excitement of hope instead of raw reality, which is why so many people have a hard time being present: “that party will keep me happy”, “getting married will bring me ultimate happiness”, “a new wardrobe will bring me everything I ever wanted”, “that sports game/team will entertain me”, “that movie will be so great”, “if I have these things, I can look past the problems here.”

In fact, much of what we interpret as “happiness” is contrived — smiles on faces of people who are being paid to be happy in order to create a good experience for the consumer: advertisements, television shows, wait staff, etc. If you have worked a day in your life, you know a number one job requirement is a good attitude, no matter your skill set. While many people are genuinely happy in their lives and jobs — or are trying to be to set a positive tone in their home or work life (which is a very good thing) — here I am asking you to see beyond the facade of “hoping” or “trying” and into the reality. 

The facade of “everything is so great here, right?” creates an amnesic state that confuses empaths and creates a high degree of cognitive dissonance. This is very similar to Empath sabotage type 2: confusion, but the difference is that the amnesia is a by-product of the confusion. By reminding you of how “wonderful” everything is, how grateful you should be, how negative you are for seeing the problems, others are reinforcing the cognitive dissonance between your conscious and subconscious mind. It is a way to make you forget the reality and live in a sleep state. The chasm will keep growing until you do something to stop it. 

As an empath, you easily see the problems. You easily see through the bullshit. People are saying one thing publicly but feeling or doing another behind closed doors yet no one is addressing it. I witnessed this over and over again in the natural health world, working for some big names. In places you would think were all about de-stressing, health and wellness, employees were sick and taxed, dropping like flies (one girl was so stressed she faceplanted and nearly broke her nose). But to the boss and audience they enthusiastically remarked how happy and grateful they were.

People need money, people need to keep their jobs — I get it and I have been there. But my point is that the amnesic state was so great in these places that no one knew up from down, left from right, right from wrong. Everything was backwards and twisted and no one trusted themselves. They sacrificed who they really are for who others wanted them to be and it was hurting them. Every experience was filtered through the amnesic state and these people were not able to reconcile the true feelings of their subconscious mind (which is what we are here to do) with their current reality. They were even lying to themselves because they didn’t know they had another option. 

What happens to people who identify the real issues at hand despite constant bombardment with false information telling them otherwise? What happens spiritually and energetically to people who see the sadness on someone’s face through the contrived smile? If you choose to recognize the truth in these situations, you wake up out of the amnesia.

And let me tell you, it is an utterly painful process because you will go at it alone and you will face all of the facades you have built your life on, but on the other side of it is the remembrance of who you actually are and your true purpose and destiny here. You have a big one — we all do. By remaining unaware, you are allowing others to control your fate, your health, and what you will become. You will be doomed to a permanent sleepwalking state. 

You see, narcissistic personalities are benefiting from you remaining in the amnesia. It is where you are your most vulnerable, most trusting, most forgiving, most mold-able, and most use-able. It is where your energy is readily available for draining. You deserve to help yourself first and foremost. “Put on your own oxygen mask before you can help others” kind of thing. Empaths have had this backwards for quite some time. 

If you are an empath or highly sensitive person, you likely are extremely loving and forgiving. You simply know no other way. It does not feel good for you to hold things against people and even when you have been severely abused, hurt, or traumatized. Your true nature is to forgive and forget — both for their benefit and for yours — even if it takes a while for you to get there. (And empaths usually hold it against themselves when they cannot easily let go of the pain caused by others). This is a positive quality and you shouldn’t give this up; holding onto bad energy causes physical and emotional illness. Forgive and move on, yes, but I want to urge you — don’t let them do it again. Once you wake up, it becomes easier to recognize when someone is hurting you and stand up to them or get out in order to become your true self and stop the energy drains.

To further get out of the amnesia, use these tools:

  • meditation (to bring up subconscious memories and release them)
  • energetic release (identify where the dense heavy energy/pain is on your body, visualize its frequency, then consciously release it)
  • do not be talked out of what you know is true
  • accept punishment from no one
  • remember what your purpose here is (despite everyone having an opinion on who you are/how you should live your life – what do you feel in your soul you want to do/become?)
  • do not be coerced for any reason
  • fix your physical health with nutrition
  • if it resonates with you, and you live in a state/country where legal, use cannabis or psychoactive plant remedies to enhance your spiritual path and intuition (I know this is controversial, but this is your decision to make in a safe, appropriate, and legal way to enhance rather than “escape”, become dependent upon, or harm. As with any substance, speak with your healthcare provider first.)
  • create boundaries in which you easily say “no” when you want to
  • get rid of narcissistic energy vampires in your life who are parasitic and draining your energy
  • activate your chakras for ultimate personal power and good health
  • fix your fascia (get rid of fascial adhesions which keep you infected, immobile, in constant states of pain remembrance and triggering, and create a density which blocks chakra activity)
  • identify abuse in your life
  • stand up to lies, even if you are the only one
  • stop catering to/being afraid of the egos of everyone around you (bowing down to their egos force you to live in the sleepwalking state)
  • question EVERYTHING you have been taught and are told (then tune into your body/soul to see what is true for you)
  • always ask yourself “why?”
  • give yourself permission to be the ultimate authority on your life

 

Read Empath sabotage type 4: left-brained logic

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How to know if your throat chakra has been opened

If you have been diagnosed with a chronic illness, you likely would agree that the mainstream definition of optimal physical health needs a reboot. What your doctor considers “optimal” and what you as a patient consider optimal are likely two vastly different things. 

For a mainstream physician, getting your lab work balanced and finding the correct dose of medication is likely the ultimate goal. Because in the mainstream world, illnesses never heal – they can only be improved (sometimes just slightly) by medication, medical procedure, or surgery. And there is big money in these rules and restrictions. 

Unfortunately, this leaves patients frustrated because they long for the health they had in their younger years — or just a few years prior — but getting a doctor to pursue this with you feels impossible at times: “Yes, you still have symptoms, but your lab work is normal; there’s nothing more I can do for you.”

Likely your ultimate health goal is to no longer need medication or to improve your symptoms to a point where you are not suffering daily under the weight of extreme fatigue, belly fat, rashes or hives, hair loss, indigestion and food sensitivities, depression or anxiety, GI distress, susceptibility to infections, and brain fog. 

The truth is: medication can’t fix a chakra problem. And this is why mainstream medicine has not been able to get to the root of your problems. 

The chakras are the seven energy centers of the body, starting at the base of your pelvis, and working their way up to the top of your head. Though many faith traditions understand the value of the chakras and have slightly different variations. Kabbalistic Judaism, for example, relies on its own interpretation of the chakras, called the Sefirot, and claims there are 10 energy centers on the body. Due to stress and physical health complaints, as well as life lessons gone neglected and unlearned, these areas become blocked or impacted with negative energy. 

Please hear me when I say this: you do not need to believe in Eastern spirituality, Hinduism, or Kabbalah, as your faith practice for the basic tenets of the chakras to work for you. It is easy to let this information go in one ear and out the other because it doesn’t fit into one’s definition of god or religion. But you don’t have to actually adopt the faith for this information to help you. Trust me, I didn’t think I would come to a place in my personal and professional life where I was preaching the word about the power of the chakras because it always felt gimmicky to me. But I have seen this info helps anyone and everyone, no matter your faith. It’s basic science but because there is a metaphysical and emotional component, it has been relegated as fringe. 

These energy centers are nothing more than areas where intense physiological activity takes place, or where we commonly tense to compensate for difficult emotions. That’s it, plain and simple. Where there is activity and intention, there is energy and thus these areas are the most active on your body. They are concentrations of metabolic processes. 

A blocked chakra in the thyroid or throat area, for example, can explain many phenomena that a thyroid disease alone cannot, such as frequent ear, nose and throat infections. Just because you have hypothyroidism doesn’t necessarily mean you should be getting throat infections multiple times per year and yet it is a common symptom. 

There are plenty of ways to work through the tension and stagnant patterns at each energy center (I blog and Facebook live about these things often), including identifying your fascial adhesion and using myofascial release to break this up, identifying your unique life lessons and core wounds, standing up for yourself and against narcissism or abuse, figuring out which diet is ideal for you, getting rid of infections, sharing your story, and more.

But if you have already begun working on your thyroid chakra, here are ways to tell it is opened or in the process of opening: 

  • You have full control over the tone of your voice. You no longer get weird fluctuations, vocal “breaking”, have to strain, have a hard time speaking loudly enough to be heard, and feel no physical pain from speech. 
  • You do not feel throat swelling.
  • You are not prone to throat infections.
  • You can swallow properly without having to “force” it.
  • You can speak without going into a hiding or shame response. 
  • You can freely share your story even if others have punished you for doing so. 
  • You are able to tell the truth even when it is hard and others will not like it. 
  • You allow yourself to feel and verbalize justified anger when there is an injustice.  
  • You have been able to reduce or eliminate your thyroid medication (only do this under your doctor’s supervision). 
  • You are not constantly thirsty. 
  • You do not feel the need to overeat or under-eat.
  • You laugh and cry freely. When you do cry, you no longer get a lump in your throat.
  • You do not feel like you will choke on food. 
  • You do not feel like there is something strangling your neck. 
  • You are no longer a “yes” person, catering to the needs of others in martyrdom of your own. 
  • Your throat doesn’t feel like it’s burning. 
  • You do not have skin “bands” around the neck or thyroid area.
  • You ask for help when you need it. 
  • You don’t cough incessantly.

Like all chakra imbalances, there are plenty of ways to clear a blocked thyroid/throat chakra. It truly depends on the person and situation. Identification of the unhealthy patterns is the first step, then process and working through them, and finally adopt new healthy habits in which you are allowed to be the authentic, powerful being you really are. 

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