Stretching, Exercise, and the Gillespie Approach
Some patients feel that I am just stretching them in therapy—like why are they paying me if they can do the same thing at home. There is a very distinct difference between what I am doing in therapy and stretching the tissues.
I am fully present with no ego or judgment. I will hold a leg, arm, neck, or other body part and listen for fascial strain. I assume there are many layers, but I am just listening to the layer that the body is ready to release now.
When I feel that strain pattern, I will follow it and allow it to fully manifest itself. If I am holding a leg, it may look like I am just giving it a good stretch.
When I feel the tissue starting to release, I will place the leg down on the table and wait a moment for the craniosacral fascial system to acclimate to that change.
The whole purpose of this therapy is to help the body release its tight tissue, something stretching cannot do consistently and effectively. If you want to have authentic healing, you need to listen to the body and allow it to heal itself.
That takes practice because your ego is ready to jump in. We are taught to fix the body, but in reality the patient holds the key to authentic healing.
Exercise is a good activity when you properly care for the health of the fascial web. But I have seen many young men who have strained their fascial web in weight lifting. In their zeal to build muscle, they became the problem.
I told my then five-year-old son that he would not be playing traumatic sports like football, rugby, hockey, lacrosse, heading the ball in soccer, etc. He chose golf where he eventually played against Tiger Woods in 1996 at the US Amateur Championship and later won the Philadelphia Amateur Championship. Now in his mid-40s, he is still enjoys golfing and does not have to deal with old nagging sports injuries.
These are just my observations to help make your patients aware of healthier lifetime exercise choices.