When I was 18 years old, I suffered from mononucleosis. It was diagnosed by chance, by very experienced, physician after I was put on antibiotics with no positive results. He finally ordered some new blood tests and realized what was going on. In the meantime I had kept my competitive running routine up as much as I could, even though I felt really tired and school went from being fun to nothing but brain fog. This draggy feeling had been going on for a while.
Due to the severity of my symptoms and my elevated liver enzymes and overall enlarged liver I was put on bed rest and was under quarantine for over six weeks. No visitors... But - I was too tired to do anything including reading a book anyway.
Years after I had officially healed, I noticed that the tissues in my right lower rib cage had changed. They were pulling my rib cage to the right and were sore to the slightest touch. Since this area only bothered me when I touched it, I never said anything to my doctor and kind of forgot about it.
Years later I noticed the imbalance in my pelvis when working out or even just wearing a T-Shirt, as that shirt would always be magically pulled to the right.
Fast forward to the end of 2016 when I was supposed to get a new crown placed on my lower wisdom tooth. That tooth had a crown but it had bothered me on and off. For the past five years any cold or hot temperature and anything with a hint of sugar hitting that tooth gave me electrical jolts of pain. The gums seemed agitated.
With the temporary crown things did not get any better. My wonderful dentist, his assistant and I combed through old X-rays to look for any changes in the tooth but we could not really find anything.
A couple of weeks ago I was supposed to have the actual crown put on and when the assistant put the numbing gel for the local anesthetic on the tooth/gums I just about convulsed out of, the generally comfortable, dentist chair - the pain was so overwhelming.
It was time to end my tragic relationship with my tooth and I had it extracted.
We never figured out what bothered this tooth.
The healing of the extraction site was rougher than expected and that has a lot to do with the soft tissue. The gums were so agitated that they pulled away from the extraction site leaving some bone exposed. You can imagine how painful that was.
It took a lot of convincing for this tissue to release.
I ended up gently applying Roman Chamomile essential oil on the gums and honestly and I am not afraid to admit that I talked to sweetly to the tissues as well to put them at ease.
During the previous dental procedures even my dentist noticed how protective my tongue was - always closely monitoring his activities. The tissues of the inside cheek did the same, so the assistant needed to put shields in place.
Why am I writing about this?
Because, the tissues around my liver were stressed and scarred during and after my illness to the extent that I needed a lot of bodywork to release this. It took longer because compensatory patterns were already in place when I started addressing the issue.
I also noticed that even after the area of the extraction healed, I could feel a fascial pull in that area when I worked out, especially during upper body workouts.
These uncomfortable experiences helped me understand the structure and behavior of tissues viscerally not just cognitively, as I had read about this many times, but viscerally. Here is what I truly understand now:
1. Soft tissues are intelligent, awake and aware at all times.
2. All tissues are connected and very protective of each other as the entire system is weakened when one part is challenged which puts survival at risk.
3. Your body wants to be healthy and knows how to heal itself - when traumatized it may need little extra support with that
4. Your self talk is heard by your cells.
5. Imagine the insults, injuries and illnesses you have had and take a moment to feel into your tissues. This works well when you stand up or when you lie down. Can you feel the different pulls in different directions?
6. Changes in the tissues do not just happen due to direct insult and injury but also the protective nature of the surrounding tissues.
My final conclusion:
Be aware of the complexities of injuries and illnesses and healing thereof. Be kind to yourself (or your horse if it has issues with the TMJ or poll), breathe deeply and offer positive and uplifting self-talk aside from gentle bodywork. Traumatized nervous systems and bodies LOVE gentleness.
Just like the pug in the photo above - your tissues are hugging you at all times.
Let me know if you have any questions about this. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org