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The nerves don’t touch the bones.

I am given the fortunate opportunity to discuss vertebrae frequently, as small talk. Spine issues are so common that when people find out I’m a massage therapist, they start telling me about their vertebrae, and of course their discs.

vertebra[ vur-tuh-bruh ]

noun, plural ver·te·brae  [vur-tuh-bree, -brey], ver·te·bras.Anatomy, Zoology.

any of the bones or segments composing the spinal column, consisting typically of a cylindrical body and an arch with various processes, and forming a foramen, or opening, through which the spinal cord passes.

Herniated Cervical Disc

I was chatting with a new friend last week and she was explaining her understanding: the discs between two vertebrae are bulging and pinching a nerve which causes her pain and numbness. In her case, in her neck and radiating down her arms.

I found myself, again, trying to explain simply how light-touch bodywork can affect soft tissue and alleviate that pain and numbness. The nerves don’t touch the bone. The nerves are wrapped in layers of connective tissue, called fascia. The fascia is made of elastin and collagen mostly and has a silly putty type of stretchiness to it. When you stretch gently and hold, the tissue will change to maintain the stretch. The lack we can add to the fascia around the nerves can relieve the restriction enough to diminish the pain and numbness.

This fascia, connective tissue, wraps around layers of fluid which wraps around layers of nerves. It also wraps around individual muscles, individual layers of muscles, and individual filaments of muscles. The fascia wraps around organs and all of this fascia indirectly connects to each other. This explains why a restriction released in one area of the body can affect a symptom that seems unrelated.

In summary, the nerves don’t touch the bones. The nerves are surrounded, and protected, by the craniosacral system, which consists of the fascia, membranes, and fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord. Even if the disc is herniated, or bulging, and pressing on the nerve, that soft tissue and fluid can be rearranged without pressure.

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Coping is key.

When there is an upset or a stress, we want to control the environment; i.e. eliminate the stress. Our responsibility is to consciously realize that this is not within our control. We do not have control over our environment. Breathe into it. Cope with the stress. Many of us go literally crazy trying to keep all the loose ends of life wrapped up. It’s impossible to control all the details and, I would argue, not the best approach to begin within. You’re setting yourself up for all sorts of stress-related health conditions.

You also don’t actually have to act out the psycho-drama in your relationships to alleviate the stress. Learn to cope with the stress. Many of us find ourselves taking it out on each other. We’re stuck in patterns of argument, disagreement, dissatisfaction, or disappointment. We love each other and don’t know why we keep having the same conversations over and over again.

This pandemic, and the social distancing it requires, provides the perfect playground to practice our coping skills. Our environment is even more difficult to control than usual. The virus adds a variable that increases our health risk exponentially, thereby increasing the stress we feel about it. Those of us with children and families to protect may feel overwhelmed. We must find a way to cope.

Craniosacral therapy can help. With my subtle guidance, you can connect with an inner wisdom and sense of healing. This inner place shows us a sensation of coping that we can learn from; it provides a blueprint for calm. Using our discernment, we then apply this blueprint energetically to the current conditions we face and create plans for coping with all the stresses in our life.

Text me at (561) 410-6113 to schedule today. You deserve it.