Welcome to a “behind the scenes” look at our Freedom from Pain Program
I wanted to share with you a behind the scenes look at our Freedom from Pain Program, which is one of our programs that help people who have had ongoing chronic pain for more than a year get back to an active life again. The Program also helps people who are suffering from physical and emotional trauma (like, car accidents where the pain never went away or childhood emotional trauma i.e. parental divorce,bullying,abuse.) Negative patterns in our body develop from our life experiences. The body tries to shield itself from pain, repetitive motion, trauma and injury by forming fascial restrictions — dense, glue-like layers in the body. Over time, these restrictions create physical pain. They compress on nerve endings and blood vessels. It is said that fascial restrictions create 2,000 lbs per square inch of pressure on a nerve ending. OUCH!
The Freedom from Pain Program is designed to identify where these restrictions are — they don’t show up on a Cscan or MRI — and then provide you with continuous ongoing treatment for the restrictions, and mind/body education to help your body create healthy, new patterns that lead to an increase in flexibility and motion and a decrease in pain, and generally help you to move and feel better.
The negative patterns that have been in your body have been there for a long time and it can take the repetition of a new pattern for the legacy patterns to shift. We create a place where you can disengage from your outside life and old habits and patterns to focus solely on creating healthy, new ones.
THE PROGRAM IS HELD FOR FIVE CONSECUTIVE DAYS
On the first day, the participant is compassionately greeted by one of our team members. We help you feel at home and get settled in with your belongings (your lunch and snacks, if you bring your own), give you a tour of our treatment rooms, infrared sauna, self-treatment area, library of resources and videos (to support you on your journey while you are with us) and provide you with your treatment schedule for the day.
Next, we review your intake paperwork, get to know you and your health history, discuss your goals for your program and then begin your assessment and evaluation.
The assessment requires the skilled hands and visual senses of a trained therapist to determine where the restrictions are in the body. It’s North Shore Myofascial Release’s version of an MRI or Cscan. NSMFR is determining precisely WHERE the restrictions are that are getting in the way of your physical mobility and overall health issues.
We take postural assessment photos to look at where you are in that moment. It’s helpful to analyze these photos to determine, for example, if your back is being pulled forward, therefore creating your lower back pain. Or, if your neck is tilted to the right and contributing to your left shoulder pain, we need to look at what is pulling your neck to the right. The photos allow us to track your postural changes as the treatments and processes take place.
The postural assessment findings now become our road map to helping you feel better. Your body is showing us where it is being pulled tight and restricted. We also look for hot and red areas — these are what we call vasomotor responses. Your body will begin to communicate with us — telling us exactly where it needs treatment next. The assessment is a simple and accurate way to find out what’s going wrong in your body.
After the initial evaluation, postural assessment and examination of your fascia (where is it stuck, hard, gluey, hot, red, or tight), your first treatment of the week will begin.
Your one-on-one fascia treatments are conducted with a highly-skilled, hands-on therapist for approximately one hour. During the treatment, the therapist will utilize the information gathered during your postural assessment and assessment of your fascia to decide where your body will most greatly benefit from treatment. He or she will use the myofascial principles to apply the healing techniques to your body. There is usually not much talking during the treatment — although sometimes a little communication at the beginning of the treatment. You and your therapist both benefit from the quieting down of your body so you can each sense the changes taking place in your body. The treatments are individualized and customized so each treatment will vary person-to-person.
There is a short break after the first treatment. During this time, you will have time for a snack, water, lunch, journaling, alleviating post-treatment soreness in the infrared sauna, reading or napping. This is your time for YOU. Even though your body is not on the table receiving the treatments, it is still processing the changes from your treatment. This quiet time helps you support your body to let go of negative patterns and create healthy, new ones.
There is another treatment following the break, and then the cycle of treatments continues. The consecutive treatments throughout the week cumulatively build upon one another — helping to release old, held restrictions in your fascia that sometimes have been there for years. We are peeling back layers of old, held tension and tightness from old injuries, accidents, traumas, and repetitive motion that create crushing pressure and pain in the body. Over the course of the week, there are a total of 15 myofascial release treatments with short breaks in between like I described above.
Our team is there to support you through the entire process. We answer your questions, guide you to feeling better and help you feel at home with us for the week. Our mission is to provide compassionate care during your healing process.
On Thursday of your week of the Program, we hold a group workshop that is for Freedom from Pain Program participants and is open to other program clients. The group workshop is a myofascial movement workshop that will help to integrate the effects of your treatments and provide you with another important home-care tool for use beyond your Program. The workshop highlights the unwinding process and experiencing this technique in a group setting helps participants let go and eliminate unhealthy patterns, thoughts, beliefs and behaviors that aren’t serving them anymore. These old ways create tightness, restriction and pain. The toolkit we are helping to empower you with is aimed at maintaining long-lasting relief and care for your body.
Towards the end of the program, we arm you with self-treatment exercises and techniques for your customized home-care program. The exercises and techniques we share with you are based on our findings while working with you and your “problem” areas. The techniques will help you with flexibility, mobility and maximizing the benefits of your treatment.
We end the Program on Day 5 with a re-evaluation. We look at where you are at the end of the Program versus where you began five days prior. We determine what has progressed or changed, what mobility you have gained during the Program, and what you are able to do now that you were not able to do at the beginning.
We take an additional set of postural assessment photos that we review with you to determine changes in your alignment, balance, height, posture, and overall physical/emotional approach.
A picture is worth a thousand words.
Following this review, there is time to discuss your next steps and any additional information to help guide you to better health.
Finally, we share a big hug from our team and exchange our goodbyes until next time.
So, that’s the “behind the scenes” for our Freedom from Pain Program. It is never too late to find a new path to feeling better. Our approach might be something you haven’t encountered at all, or it might be a modality that you haven’t tried. There are always options to help you on your path to better health. Take a leap of faith with NSMFR with an open mind and heart. We are here to help you.
We would love to speak with you, talk with you about what’s going on and share with you exactly how we can help you on your journey to recovery.
Jessica Kaloutas, LMT, is an expert Myofascial Release therapist and teacher for those suffering from chronic pain, acute injury and trauma. It’s her calling to facilitate the body’s natural ability to heal. She’s known for blending the ancient wisdom of Myofascial Release with empathy and compassion to offer powerful, mind/body education and treatment, resulting in personal empowerment, long-lasting pain relief and an amazing, joyful life. North Shore Myofascial Release is here to help you.