Autumn has arrived, even if the changes here in the south are more subtle. The sun hits the earth at a different angle, the shadows are more noticeable and we have more time in darkness. Nature’s cycle is for the leaves to eventually find their vibrant attire and then fall from the tree. It is a period of change; a gentle reminder of the transience of things. Which for anyone suffering from an injury, it is great to ponder impermanence and know that “this too shall pass.”
Each of us brings our habits, physical patterning, and emotional baggage with us on our day to day journey. So every injury has all of these components associated with it, in addition to the actual story of the injury. I watch my clients rack their brains for the exact moment and action that created the pain in their body. As if, by figuring this out, things would get right back on track. If you have to look that hard, it’s just life happening around our own beautiful, but real imbalances in our bodies. I often say, “It truly is the straw that broke the camel’s back.”
“People think that muscles move our bones around, but really the bones and muscles exist in one big fascial net,” explains Tom Myers, the author of Anatomy Trains. “Very often what’s going on with the hip is connected to what’s going on with the neck.” In other words, our bones are supported by our muscles but our muscles are also supported by our bones. The Dry Bones song, which many of us may remember from childhood, reminds us that ‘the thigh bone is connected to the back bone’ and this makes perfectly good sense. But the more essential meaning to take from this is that truly all our bones are interconnected from our head to our feet. Our alignment is important in our body’s efficiency, so our support systems don’t have to ‘hold on’ all the time.
How does bodywork help with these holding patterns? Exploring our old patterns is what creates freedom in the body. Bodywork requires you to breathe and receive, and be witness to where you are in your own body. Knowledgeable hands can find the overactive, busy muscles and sense where you could use more support. It can help open up space in those stuck spots, so that you can soften. The experience may offer you tools for you to shift from your habitual pattern. It can allow more freedom in your system so that you find more resilience to meet the demands of everyday life.
Nature is in a cycle of letting go. It’s a great time to check in with your body to see if there is any habit that you would like to let go of. In my own body, I can sense a very old pattern in my hip. Every time I try to let it go, I get a strong sense that I still need its protection. I hope that I can give it an experience that allows it to find the freedom that it needs to leave this old pattern behind. Maybe you too can let go of something, and find both more resilience and more softness in your body.
“To be a warrior in this world, this kind of opening is necessary.” – Susan Piver