Touch or in practitioner chat... palpation! Sounds like a simple skill to master we all use touch everyday without thinking, you know how to hold your toothbrush when you brush, how light to be when you type. You use it to evaluate all the time without realising, like the other day when I was climbing this wall to save my cat (curious numpty that he is) a tree branch was in the way so I used it to pull myself up, but not without testing it first with my hand to see if it could take my weight. That is the principle behind palpation as an evaluative tool in treatment.
In the new therapy i'm learning (Amatsu) we need to develop our palpatory skills enough to be able to actually feel the pulls or torsions of the tissue below the skin! (What?! yes its called magic) Pulls or torsions are developed in us all over time, from general living of life, stress, injury, surgery, bad posture, rubbish diet, loads of booze etc. Stress as a force alters tissues into deformation. These stressors could be recent or could have accumulated over time. So we are trying to look at the body as a multi-dimensional whole being that we must learn to read. Remembering that there are no straight lines in nature, we are omni-directional therefore pulls could be in any direction.
Tissue response.... Any external force that influences the body can result in an internal adaptation of the bodily tissues. Tissue is elastic it bends and moves and reshapes with stress, this helps us absorb that fall down the stairs we had. It also means it can bend or move back, sometimes into complete recovery! (The body is just so amazing). However... some stress can be retained in the tissue, perhaps for months or even years. In the western medical world if a stress force is greater than our elastic tissues capabilities the response is plastic, and they consider this change to be permanent, or is it?! (even my study notes have this cliff hanger, they know how to keep me hooked). In Amatsu we are trying to detect these changes and release or balance the resulting pulls that hold them in place :)
In my first year of study we are focusing just on the muscles, if we can release retained patterns in the whole of the muscular system we can give muscular and postural alignment back to the body. Relaxing muscle tension, improving circulation and eliminating toxins. The body obvs innately knows its correct postural alignment and craves it, we just help it along.
All about touching today, go forth and touch yourself.... your limbs, muscles, digestive system, have a feel of an old injury at your ankle in comparison with your other, maybe it feels different, get to know your body and it will tell you if there's something wrong. And if you can't feel it but you know there's something not right, get it treated, massage, physio, your gp, we all want to help you feel better, you deserve it.