Yoga in Physical Therapy- a unique perspective
A lot is being said about fascia and its role in movement. I could fill up pages on the research done. While a fluid, free-flowing fascia is essential to permit smooth motion between various tissues and the different layers of a single tissue, its role is exaggerated in many instances. That is true for any isolated tissue –be it muscle, ligaments, bones. Isolation only facilitates understanding, hence reveals the nature or characteristic of any structure. You must see yourself as whole. Consider the fascia as the river seen in nature in the macrocosm. One that flows and nurtures. Since the tissues overlap each other, when injured, an injury to one impacts other tissues directly (due to proximity) or remotely (impacted function). One tissue cannot be at fault, while others are standing by. Identifying this pattern is what a physical therapist does. Some tissues play a protective role and you may see that as a “compensatory pattern.” Nothing wrong in that. It allows the injured tissue the healing time. However, once this resolves, do you bounce back to natural pattern?
You see a physical therapist when you are injured or at dis-ease with yourself. The only truth is you are unique as an individual. What is perceived by you, none other can perceive. In yoga (literally meaning “union”), that is all that matters. Union with what you ask? Your ideal, of course, which is nothing but your perceived higher self, a.k.a. your blissful self. Every one of us is moving in one and one direction only, our higher self. Then why all this discord? What lacks is consciousness of this truth in every moment of life. That is why all the various treatment options like allopathy, physical therapy, naturopathy, etc. do not work. So use this vital time with your physical therapist or any healthcare professional of your choice to know yourself. What you are and what you do when at dis-ease. Do you perceive your ideal at all times? Observe your patterns- those are indeed your manifested movement patterns.
It is said that man is a gregarious being and cannot live in isolation. Even twins living in a mother’s womb together for the gestational period, on being born, go their own paths. True, however to get to that conclusion, each of us must necessarily go within ourselves, to meditate in “isolation” because none other may get us there. Our individual intellect is instrumental here. This isolation period of meditation is your stability. How stable are you in your concentration (dharana), meditation (dhyana), or are you already one with yourself (Samadhi)?
The “enlightened beings” that come in our path are but our aspiration and inspiration, nothing more, nothing less. They “walk” with one for a distance making one “their mirror” that reflects what one may become. In yoga, that is why a “guru” is essential. It is difficult to accept the “formless reality” which is omnipresent, omniscient, and omnipotent. Hence to learn from ourselves we bring these beings into our lives. This may be anyone you want to learn from in life, in form of friends and colleagues, professors, and family. When that realization happens, do not waste a moment. “Time is precious, utilize it wisely.” You will know, for each one of us has that intuitive mind. Dive in and learn from them, leave no leaf, no stone unturned, I say. The deeper you go, the more tranquil the waters are.
So far everything we read about and hear in healthcare field, talks about prevention of disease, taking ill health and sickness to be basis of everything. That is to say, you start from illness and move towards well-being. Let’s shift the paradigm. Why not consider good health as a way of being, as our basis? It is a given, given the human birth. (Slide 1)
Here is an invitation, (age being no bar), to increase the awareness of instability and faulty movement patterns even before onset of injury and taking charge of your life towards health and wellness and improved productivity. (Slide 2).
Visit our website: www.stablemovement.com
Ami Gandhi is a licensed physical therapist in the state of California. She is the owner of StableMovement Physical Therapy, a small boutique practice in San Jose that offers patient centered, one-on-one, hands-on physical therapy.