Lindy Physical Therapy - Specializing in Myofacial Release
Lindy PT Times
Volume 3, Issue 1
February 2018
Welcome TWU Student, Alex Newton, SPT to the Clinic
Please join us in welcoming the clinic’s first student physical therapist, Alex Newton. Alex will be with us through the beginning of April this year.

Hi, my name is Alex Newton and I am a third year physical therapy student at Texas Woman's University. I am originally from Puerto Rico and grew up in El Paso, Texas. I graduated with a BA in psychology and classical humanities from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 2011. During my undergraduate career, I participated in autism research, which ignited my love and fascination with the mind-body connection. After graduating, I took time off to work and travel. I am also an avid horseback rider and lover of books. I am lucky enough to be marrying my best friend in May—all of which is making 2018 a busy and eventful year!

My time with Sharon has already taught me how truly effective MFR can be—that the healing touch can be powerful among veteran and new therapists alike. I am learning that intent and intuition are valuable adjuncts to my clinical reasoning skills as a physical therapist. My professional development continues with a patient case study presentation and leading the next 6-week myofascial self stretch class here at the clinic. I hope you will join me!
Focus on Self-treatment: Wrist Pain Tips
Everyone today uses their hands for fine motor tasks repetitively. We all sit more than we should and we all end up with our eyes focused on our phones, computers and other gadgets. This creates problems at the wrist for many of us. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a house hold phrase but is rarely really understood. The good news is there is self-care of the wrist that can help significantly.
First a bit of anatomy to help you understand the problem. In your brain the amount of area it takes to run your hand is 50-75 times more than it takes to run your entire leg. Google “ cortical homunculus ” to see what I’m talking about. Along with requiring more brain power – it’s also the distal end of the peripheral nerves that comprise the brachial plexus. Nerves in the neck, upper thoracic, shoulder, elbow and wrist can be compressed and affect things distal to the actual compression (felt as wrist pain). Then there are the actual structures in the wrist: your hand has intrinsic (contained in the hand) and extrinsic (located outside the hand) musculature. There are 27 bones in the hand with all the accompanying joints, ligaments and tendons. The actual Carpal Tunnel is formed by the arch of the carpal bones and the ligaments that connect them. Blood vessels, nerves and tendons move through sheaths sharing space in this small tunnel. Direct trauma, repetitive motion or swelling and inflammation can set up chronic symptoms here. However, distal forces are often also involved…

Prevention is worth a pound of cure – Ways to support the wrist not getting abused – Set up your work stations so your wrist is a natural extension of the elbow – with the wrist slightly lower than elbow and elbows are supported. Work items need to be available with three sweeps kept in mind. The first sweep is where your hand can reach with your arm staying pretty much where it is (think mouse pad) Second sweep needs to have the things in it you reach for frequently (stapler, pens, pad etc.) and the final sweep where you actually have to reach for something needs to be where you put everything else. The little bone on the pinky side of the wrist often is the first place your body will send up a signal that there is trouble in paradise. This is a site of attachment of the tissue holding the carpal tunnel together. If you notice direct pressure here is beginning to bother you – think about moving more so you don’t rest on that spot as much or putting more padding under the bone, so the pressures are reduced. Having better posture will decrease the strain on the wrist. When you feel tension in the wrist – think back to your pelvis and sit it up straighter, having your chest center over that upright bowl of the pelvis with that last little bit of upper thoracic extension felt by lifting the upper sternum without popping the lower ribs out. This position will automatically lift your head and neck and allow your scapula to move back and down. Consciously get to this upright posture manually then try to relax into it. Posture is a habit, so you must put yourself here frequently and eventually it will be easier to stay.

Now for some ways to stretch the hand/wrist and forearm. Make sure you are sitting with good posture before you begin for best results. Begin by spreading your fingers as wide as they will go comfortably. Now in this position experiment with elongating the fingers holding onto this stretch for the length of a song – preferably two (five minutes) AS you hold this extension you can feel there is a loosening in places or an arching or rotation that wants to occur follow that and let your hands rotate and explore places that help stretch on up the arms. [VIDEO demonstrations on the blog]

Another technique is to place palm to palm lightly – feeling the skin long enough for you to realize if it’s warm or cool, soft or hard, dry or damp. Then continue to sink into the tissue of the hand till you feel you are at the depth barrier without pushing. Now allow one hand to be passive and actively press the other hand towards the fingertips without moving on the skin. As you hold this stretch you may feel the passive hand relax more and stretch more. As your wrist goes back into flexion be sure you are doing more of an elongation out the fingers than an actual forcing the wrist into extension. The resulting extension should be free and not painful. You should eventually feel the tugging up in your forearm.

The Doorway Stretch is also fabulous for wrists – Stand in a doorway with your hands level with your shoulder (or at a comfortable place for you). Lift your elbows up as level as is comfortable and lean your body forward through the doorway stretching the front of your chest. Again – stay in a comfortable light stretch then add elongate your elbows away from your chest as you elongate your head and neck out of your shoulders. Hold for one or two songs…

For more ideas – see Joyce Karnis Patterson’s book Comprehensive Myofascial Self Treatment available on Amazon or at the office.
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For the Patient
Round two of our 6 week Stretching and Self-Treatment Course is coming up soon and will be taught by Alex with Sharon assisting. You can choose from Monday afternoons beginning February 19th through March 26th from 4:30p to 5:30p or Friday mornings beginning March 2nd through April 6th from 8am to 9am.

The six week course cost is $150 plus $20 for the book Comprehensive Myofascial Self Treatment (a $35 value). Drop-in rate is $50 per class if space is available.

Course Outline:
Week 1 - Focus on the Pelvis
Week 2 - Focus on the Neck
Week 3 - Focus on the Rib Cage
Week 4 - Focus on the Back
Week 5 - Focus on the Cranosacral System
Week 6 - Focus on the Full Body

For the Therapist
The next meetings of the North Texas MFR Study Group are set for March 4th, April 8th, and May 20th from 9am to noon at the office here in Denton.

You must have completed MFR 1 to attend. Please call, text, or email to reserve your spot.

Private sessions can be scheduled while you are in town before or after study group—call the office to schedule your treatment.

519 S. Carroll Blvd, Ste. 103
Denton, TX 76201 940.372.1072

Patient Spotlight
We are thrilled to be able to share Charlotte’s story with the community this month:

I went to Lindy Physical Therapy for hip and lower back pain. Not only did Sharon work wonders with that area (and my walking gait is much better), she also improved the function and relieved the pain I was having in my right hand/forearm/elbow/shoulder. I have recommended her to several of my friends and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend her style of physical therapy to anyone. Between Sharon’s treatments and the strengthening from Pilates (Kim is amazing, by the way), I am moving and feeling better than I have in two years.
Beneficial Broccoli
Recommended cooking method for broccoli - Quick Steaming.  

Numerous studies show the nutritional benefits from steaming broccoli (versus other cooking methods) including better retention of vitamin C and sulforaphane (an anti-cancer chemical found in cruciferous vegetables).

The anti-inflammatory benefits of sulfur compounds in broccoli have a strong research track record.

The recipe is very simple: steam your broccoli for 5 minutes – I like to drizzle with olive oil and season to taste. Some days it’s garlic salt, others it’s Italian seasoning or a sprinkle of thyme. Experiment! My Dad liked just plain old salt and pepper… I find that seasoning while it’s still in the steamer helps.
Paradigm Shift
Current medical knowledge is based on the neuronal doctrine and Newtonian physics and the idea that we are a chemical system that can be regulated with the correct medicine to affect this or that level. I am glad we have modern medicine – and recent shifts expanding the use of Quantum Physics are bringing many new elements in play. One principle of which is the uncertainty principle. This holds that either a particle's velocity or location can be observed, but not both. In this instance, observation means interacting with the particle in question in any way. Therefore, no experiment can be done without being influenced by the examiner. Traditional Medical practice focuses on one piece of the puzzle (patient) at a time. Significant advances have been made that are very handy to have from this line of study. It is best at dealing with acute problems.  However, the Human is very complex with mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual aspects which cannot, in reality, be separated. John Barnes with his Myofascial Release Approach believes in addressing the whole person and the thought that the whole is much more than the sum of its parts. No medical professional actually fixes you – they assist you in having your body heal itself. And when the acute problem is not completely alleviated – a small chronic problem begins – which is added to the next and the next and soon we think we have age related decline.

Fascia is the tissue that spreads throughout the body in a three-dimensional web from head to foot connecting, supporting, and giving structure to every cell, tissue, organ, and system in our body. Information travels in the liquid crystalline matrix bathing the fascia, connecting everything down to the cellular level. Therefore, malfunction of the fascial system due to trauma, surgery or inflammation can create a binding down of the fascia, resulting in abnormal pressure on cells, nerves, muscles, bones or organs. It is believed that an extremely high percentage of people suffering with pain, unwanted premature effects of aging (chronic problems) and/or lack of motion may be having myofascial problems. These individuals go undiagnosed, as the importance of fascia is just now being recognized. All the standard tests, such as X-rays, myelograms, CAT scans, and electromyography, do not show myofascial restrictions. Fascial restrictions can exert tremendous tensile forces which can create the symptoms of pain and movement problems. Fascial restrictions are easily found by touch, feeling for the barrier.

Fascia at the cellular level creates the interstitial spaces and has extremely important functions of support, protection, separation, cellular respiration, nutrition, elimination, metabolism, fluid, and lymphatic flow. In other words, the fascia is the immediate environment of every cell of the body. This means that any trauma, surgery, or malfunction of the fascia can set up the environment for poor cellular efficiency, necrosis, disease, pain, and dysfunction.

Scars (be they traumatic, surgical or emotional) can be a problem for the system because scar tissue tends to expand in a unique pattern similar to a vine. Scars you see on the surface are just the tip of the iceberg as the far-reaching effects of the scar underneath the surface can pull on pain-sensitive structures through the matrix and affect structures far away from the actual scar causing difficulty with mobility. That appendectomy scar could be binding down a shoulder or leg.  An old C-Section scar could be affecting the pelvic floor on one patient and the neck on another. There is no rhyme or reason what tissues of the connecting fascia will be involved. John explains it like splatter art – where each injury is overlaid over the past injury and each person has their own unique story. MFR is a gentle approach where the practitioner engages with the fascial system at the barrier and waits for the barrier to release then follows it barrier upon barrier to help the system open back up as much as it’s able. MFR works best when the person focuses internally – feeling the connections stretch or melt. There is also the possibility for them to have memories surface and have realizations about underlying subconscious belief patterns that shape their life and with time be able to resolve past traumas and bring ease to the system.
Sharon's BEMER Story
In 2000 I was hit by a suburban while crossing the street. I did the whole flip through the air land on your head routine. I had severe injuries from that day. I went from being in the best shape of my life to needing help to walk across the room. I was my own best patient but some lingering things just wouldn't go away - like the hurting in my rib cage and inability to get my cardiovascular system back up to par.  So 17 years later I had no energy, still had no endurance and now the intensity of the rib aching was a constant part of my day. As I moved less - I gained weight. But when I started seeing my legs retaining fluid - I thought I was in for some serious problems. But thankfully Paula Reed introduced me to the BEMER. I was very resistant at first - too expensive I thought - but Paula kept after me. She got me to a lunch meeting one day which stressed me out as I had to leave work and then get back in time for my next patient and darned if there wasn't a traffic jam on my way in. I almost turned around but about the time I got to an exit where I could do that on the traffic cleared up.  I continued to the meeting but of course was late. I hate arriving late. I ordered food (Mexican) as it was lunch and wouldn't you know it - that food made a ball in my stomach churning away with my angst about getting back to Denton on time. I listened to the meeting with one eye on the clock... But I figured I would at least get a Bemer Session before going back. I had felt relaxation on previous sessions but nothing earth shattering. That day I was amazed to feel the lump in my stomach just ease up. And it stayed away. The rest is history - I attended the Academy to learn the science behind it and got to hear over 80 people tell their own BEMER story and I was hooked. I found a way to make having one a priority.  A year later - I wouldn't give up my BEMER.   

BEMER is designed to improve circulation thereby supporting the body’s natural self-regulating processes. Blood is the body’s universal means of transport. Oxygen, nutrients, chemical messengers (e.g., hormones) and immune cells are all transported through our blood. When our body’s cells, tissues and organs are adequately nourished and metabolic waste products are removed, our bodies become healthy and function properly. The optimal regulation of circulation is a prerequisite for ensuring good levels of health and fitness.

BEMER sessions are available for our patients to test out. Current patients can have four twenty minute sessions free of charge.  After four sessions the charge will be $20 with an MFR/PT session or $35 by itself.  For more information on BEMER and its products, visit Sharon's distributor page.
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