Welcome everyone to the first blog post on my new renewed website, in what will be an ongoing series of monthly pieces on topics concerned with “waking up” spiritually. Given that you have discovered my website in search of the healing that massage, particularly myofascial release can bring , it is my wish to complement the information offered about my healing practices with monthly posts on other spiritual practices that I have been exploring. These short pieces are intended as food for thought for those whose interest may be piqued by one or more of the monthly offerings—i.e. I am sharing with you some additional healing techniques for the mind and body that have helped me. At the end of each month’s post, the sources used in writing the post will be offered for those who wish to explore the topic further.
Have You Heard of Myofascial Release?
When you hear about “Myofascial Release Therapy,” what do you think of? Many people have never heard of it at all. Others who are familiar with the term may think of popular tools being sold online like the FasciaBlaster® or foam rollers that roll over the surface of your skin.
Myofascial Release Therapy is actually a hands-on treatment that can provide pain relief from issues associated with trauma, inflammation and surgery, and it can also help to restore motion.
First of All, What is Fascia Anyways?
According to Wikipedia, A fascia is a band or sheet of connective tissue, primarily collagen, beneath the skin that attaches, stabilizes, encloses and separates muscles and other internal organs.
Basically, fascia is the connective tissue that covers every structure in the body -- I mean everything: Bones, muscles, arteries, veins, internal organs and even cells! Think of it as a tightly-woven spider web or sweater that links every part of the human body.
If you’re a visual person like me, it might be helpful to see for yourself. Below is a video clip originally filmed by a French plastic surgeon showing how “living fascia” surrounds the structures in the body. Myofascial Release therapist, Ronelle Wood, then added the caption for the video to make it easy to understand what you are watching. Don't worry! There won’t be any blood and guts. It’s not an episode of the Walking Dead or anything. You’ll see that fascia is actually very pretty.
What Can Myofascial Release Therapy Do for Me?
According to John Barnes’ website, “Trauma, inflammatory responses, and/or surgical procedures create Myofascial restrictions that can produce tensile pressures of approximately 2,000 pounds per square inch on pain sensitive structures that do not show up in many of the standard tests (x-rays, myelograms, CAT scans, electromyography, etc.)”
As stated above, the fascia connects all structures in the body. So it’s easy to see why, if they get restricted, it could create pain or limited movement in one or more areas of the body. The thin fascial fibers can bind together and form “trunks” of restriction. But with gentle traction, the tiny fibers are able to release from the trunks.
With Myofascial Release Therapy, the John F. Barnes’ Myofascial Release Approach®, the Myofascial Release therapist uses hands-on treatment to target specific areas of need and individualize the treatment for maximum benefit. The treatment is performed directly on the skin without any use of tools or oils. This enables the therapist to precisely feel areas where there are fascial restrictions and then apply the appropriate amount of slow and gentle pressure to release the fascia.
If you’re interested in learning more about Myofascial Release or to schedule an individualized therapy session, please contact me at 407-906-3419.
My Journey to Japan- My Home Country and ZAZEN Experience at TOKOZENJI
I am back from TOKYO, the most exciting city and my home town! This is where I spent my childhood, where I captured memories of my first love, went to crazy parties with dear friends, had my first experience with motherhood and experienced the childhood of two lovable children.
Now my family and I are slowly settling in with our new lifestyle in the U.S. living with my parents from the Far East country, Japan. This is a new adventure with my parents, who are 78 and 80, and they are total newbies to the USA! How exciting!!
Moving my parents here was not fun at all, though. Emptying our old nest was an enormous amount of physical work and was very emotional. It was difficult letting go of furniture, clothes, old diaries, photos -- all the emblems and memories of our life in Japan. There were a lot of tears.
All of this brought me a strong desire to travel to a remote place and have a peaceful, quiet time for myself. The question was: How? Our schedule didn't allow me to have a time for a luxurious trip to hot springs. Then a great idea hit me. Let's experience "ZAZEN Meditation.” Luckily, Japan has many temples offering this practice. I just had to find a perfect place to meet all my needs: Easy to get to, good instruction, peacefulness and intimacy. (I was not in the mood to mingle with a lot of people.) After some researching, I had discovered a PERFECT space for it.
The best part of this temple is their flexible schedule for their training. All I had to do was send an email with my request for ZAZEN training. The response was quick, and I was ready.
Traveling south from Tokyo, it took about an hour. The scenery changed from a busy city to a quiet suburban seaside. Kamakura is the political center of medieval Japan, a prominent resort town with dozens of Buddhist Zen temples and Shinto shrines.
TOKOZENJI was on the hillside, opening its welcoming gate surrounded by a few last blooms of Hydrangea, fading but still holding their beauty. As you enter you feel the sacred energy in its quietness. At the same time, you feel its welcoming warmth. It’s a really pleasant feeling.
The vice abbott himself, Mr.Daigo Ozawa, guides you to the traditional Japanese waiting room where you can have a brief study of the ZEN practice.
After a short waiting period, you will be in Hondo, the main hall of the temple. As soon as you enter the building, the breathtaking view of the huge Dragon swimming on the ceiling catches you and makes you feel protected. Vice Abbott Ozawa teaches you how to do the ZAZEN in a very kind manner that’s easy to understand for beginners. You can see his heartwarming, caring character from his expressions.
Once I started the practice with his guidance, what I had was myself. The quietness and stillness surrounded me, and I felt like I was floating in the ocean alone. Then I tuned in to strange sensations. I felt energy around me -- Energy of Connection. You are alone, but you are not alone. It is a difficult feeling to express. I do meditation occasionally, but this sensation was totally new to me.
Floating and connecting, time passes in a strange manner. After two rounds of practice, my first experience of ZAZEN ended. Refreshed, Energized and Peaceful -- the three words that perfectly match the feeling after ZAZEN meditation. It surely helped me in the process of letting go of my parents’ house, my home base, our old emblems and moving on to our new future.
After the program, TOKOZENJI offers you a cup of Omatcha (high quality traditional green tea) and a Japanese cake. You can relax and stretch your somewhat achy legs while enjoying the sweet flavor of Omatcha and cake and have a chat with Vice Abbott Ozawa if you wish.
I asked him if he ever felt enlightened because I was so curious that I would be able to feel it one day if I keep practicing like him.
His answer was in a calm, deep voice that made me feel in awe of him: "If I feel and say, I reach the enlightenment; I am not enlightened." This means the state of satisfaction of the enlightenment contains the presence of ego. The selflessness, cessation of the ego is one sure sign of being on the path to enlightenment.
ありがたいお言葉、本当にありがとうございます。Thank you for your words of wisdom.
If you ever plan a trip to Japan, please visit TOKOJI. The information of ZAZEN training program is below. You can also visit TOKOZENJI on Facebook as follows.