At Posture HQ, the term ‘Unwinding’ is one you will hear frequently but what is it all about and what does it actually mean?
Most importantly – how does it feel to go through an unwind? Well that, is the purpose of this article.
With the Advanced BioStructural Correction (ABC™) process, in order for your body to heal and get healthy again, you MUST go back and unlock or release old injuries that your body is currently compensating for. Otherwise, your body will remain stiff and rigid and be under considerable mechanical pressure, which is an accident waiting to happen.
When this is discussed in the first one or two adjustments, it sounds easy, inspiring and almost enjoyable. People inform me how ready they are to unlock old injuries in order to get well. Although most people feel prepared for what lays ahead with the unwinding process, the truth of the matter is once people arrive at an old injury they suddenly realise they were not as prepared as they may have thought. This is often due to the fact people are really excited about the potential to become healthier again, that they do not give this unwinding process a second thought. Hence the need for this article.
OK, let’s go back a few steps. What am I talking about when I say ‘old injuries’? An old injury is caused by some form of mechanical trauma on the body. Any trauma has the potential to force bones out of place (BOP) in a direction the body cannot self-correct. If the body cannot self-correct this injury what does it do?
It compensates to take pressure away from this injury. If you have ever cut your foot or rolled your ankle you will know what I am talking about. Your body has an injury and it wants to take the pressure away from this injury. With this, your body compensates by limping and/or putting pressure elsewhere on your body. When your body has effectively compensated for this injury typically it bothers you less. What a very clever body you have! Each time your body compensates for an injury it puts pressure elsewhere on your body. Think of the towel example we use, each time you create a twist in a towel it becomes slightly more tight, bound and rigid. So the more incidents of trauma you have been through, the more times your body has had to compensate and as a result, it becomes bound tight and rigid. A healthy body is a supple body. An unhealthy body is a rigid body.
As well as being unhealthy mechanically, a bound rigid body is far more likely to suffer bigger consequences from further injury.
For an example of this, let’s compare how a toddler and an elderly man respond to an accident. A toddler can fall from a tree, bounce, cry for 10 minutes or so, then be back playing. But let an elderly man fall out of the same tree and he is much less likely to recover. The difference? One’s body is very loose and supple, the other is incredibly tight and rigid. The more rigid your body, the less resilience your body has to deal with day to day trauma. (please do not test this)
In order to get your rigid body healthy again you need to correct old injuries (bones knocked out of place in a direction the body has no ability to self-correct) to allow your body to release or unwind the compensatory twists. Releasing these twists creates a loose healthy body again.
Let the unwinding begin Initially, when clients start unwinding, they start to notice great improvements in how their body is functioning. As we correct BOP and your body releases the protective layers of twist, your body begins to pop up, your posture is improving and your body is feeling and moving better overall.
Eventually, your body then reaches a point where it cannot improve any further because there is a major mechanical injury that needs to be cleared.
Now you’re in the thick of it. When your body reaches an old injury it puts considerable mechanical pressure upon your body. This causes your body to hurt again, often in a fashion that is familiar to you. ‘Oh, this feels just like the time a few years ago when (insert client’s injury)’. This can be rather distressing for ABC clients as they have spent a good few weeks feeling amazing, then BOOM they are feeling dreadful. Most clients fear that they have gotten worse since they started. This is simply not the case. Although you are feeling worse, if we compared your level of function to when you started you would notice big improvements.
The reason an unwind can make you feel like you are worse off is that we as humans have a very limited ability to make comparisons of anything longer than from moment to moment. It is incredibly difficult to compare how our bodies are working today compared to a month ago. Although you feel worse than ever, but this is compared to how you felt a just prior to going through the old injury. At that point, your body was feeling great! The pain and distress that you can go through with a big unwind is all relative.
Put it this way; if you put one hand in a bucket full of hot water, and the other hand in a bucket of ice cold water, then you took both hands out and placed them in a bucket of room temperature water your hands would feel two very different things with the same stimuli. The hand that was in the hot water would perceive the room temperature water as very cold whereas the hand that was in the ice cold water would perceive the room temperature water as very hot. This is an example of how we compare stimuli to the previous moment.
The pain of an unwind feels wrong, it really does. It feels painful and you feel tension throughout your body but not only that the brain-stem and spinal cord are also significantly under more tension. This can cause you to feel anxious, even somewhat depressed while you are going through an unwind. This emotional tension, in combination with the physical symptoms, is often what cause people to have such high levels of distress.
But you know what? It is not only OK, it is necessary. Especially if you are someone who has been through significant trauma in the past. You know what? How you currently feel is temporary, this too shall pass.
The other side of the unwind. Once you have moved passed this old injury, it allows your body to continue to unlock and unwind moving you to higher levels of health and function that would not have been possible had you not moved through your old injury.
By understanding what to expect while you are going through a big unwind it can make the process a whole lot less distressing. Instead of fearing that you are going backwards and this isn’t helping, you can get excited because you know that you are unlocking a big injury which will allow your body to become even more supple and you will experience higher levels of function and health.
Napoleon Hill summed up unwinding best when he said: “Within every adversity, there is a seed of equal or greater benefit”.
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Dr. Liz sees her role as a Chiropractor as being a partner with people who want to achieve health and wellness goals. Her aim is to have people of all ages feeling and functioning as well as they can.Learn more
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