Neural Mobilization Unit 1
This post is imported from my original blog at RaleighRolfing.com
This past Thursday to Sunday I had my hands full… of nerves. Inside Out Body Therapies of Durham hosted a workshop by Jon Martine on Neural Mobilization strategies.
The nerve fibers running through your body are not only surrounded by fascia, but also internally wrapped together by fascia as well. Each nerve fiber is wrapped and then bundles of fibers are wrapped together eventually forming the full nerve. Ideally, these layers of wrapping work together to allow the nerves to glide and stretch through the body the same way your muscles must stretch as you move. This motion is beautifully illustrated in the video Strolling Under The Skin (Note that this video contains images of living tissue).
If the wrapping around the nerves becomes impinged or stuck, the nerves will signal muscles to contract in order to prevent the nerves from stretching too far or being damaged. So sometimes what we may read as a tight muscle is actually a tight nerve using the muscle to protect itself. By releasing the nerve and allowing it to glide, the muscles may be allowed to release their tone and move more freely.
Going into the workshop, I was not sure what to expect from this style of work but came out really thrilled with some of the results. The workshop focused on arms and legs (Jon plans to be back in December for an axial nerves class) and I felt some incredible unwindings both in mine and other particpants bodies.
For me one of the strongest effects was felt in my forearms. Having been in computer programming for 8 years, my forearms have taken on the inward roll of a keyboardist. So when my arms would hand at my side, my thumbs would end up pointing at my legs rather than foreward. This has contributed to other issues like rolled shoulders, a hunched posture, etc. But with very little pressure, one of my classmates was able to unwind that twist by almost 90 degrees just by opening up the nerves in my arm.
I have since tried this with a few clients who had had limited response with fascial work and have been very pleased with the results. For several clients who’s bodies were inflamed or wound up, neural mobilization seems to have been very helpful in allowing their bodies to relax, recharge, and hurt less. It is really incredible to watch how someone’s body and entire system can settle with this work.
I’m very excited about adding this dimension to my work and grateful to Jon and IOBT for putting together this workshop.