Organized Pain has a system of communication. Proprioceptors are one of the most important informants in the system.
Proprioceptors are sensors in our body that collect information about position and movement. They can collect information about muscle and joints. Some collect information about tension in the muscle. Some of them sense the alignment of the joint. Some of the sense them speed of movement. Some of the sense the how much the joint has flexed, extended, rotated, etc. There are others throughout the body.
This is important information to Organized Pain. It tells us when a muscle is stretched too far or has been shortened. It tells us when a displaced joint is moving to a threatening positing. When that occurs, Organized Pain calls on the Obedient Hitman to fire a trigger point. Joint mobilizations are very effective for reducing the activity of trigger points because of this relationship.
These informants create a broader impact in the system than just the local area. They provide critical feedback that changes joints and muscle tension throughout the body so that we can function while bearing weight. This is self-evident from the many practitioners that make systemic changes with pelvic balancing, atlanto-occipital mobilizations and craniostructural techniques. The lasting changes created by Integrative Techniques are predicated on this principle.
Sometimes the bodyworker releases the pain of trigger points and it returns after a short time. It’s not personal, it’s business. Organized Pain is doing this for your protection. This happens because the body needs to reinstate protection by inhibiting the ability to contract and stretch that muscle. This is often done to protect a local joint in its part of balancing a moving body. When the need for protection is more acute, Organized Pain is quick to re-instate the restriction. When the need for protection is less acute, the pain returns more slowly.
One of my favorite cases is a woman who had hip pain for over 20 years. Constant. Restrictive. Bothersome. She had many other physical therapists, orthopedists, massage therapists and chiropractors work on the hip. Nothing provided more than a few days of pain. I knew many of the people who had worked on her and they were seasoned pros. I worked for 2 hours, just on her head, using craniostructural techniques to release the craniosacral membranes, which are very rich in proprioceptors. She got off of the table without pain. She returned the next week and gave me a hug. It was the first time in 20 years that she was free of pain for more than a few days.
I love my job.
Tony Preston sees clients in Atlanta Georgia where he also teach Integrative Bodywork. You can find out more at www.thebodyguild.org.