Is there a link between fascial restriction in the gut and poor circulation? What about a connection to diabetes related neuropathy and even infection, or an inability to heal because of lack of blood flow? Here’s my latest fascial related discovery, and this one hits really close to home…
I’m in South Carolina visiting family, because I got word that my dad’s health was declining rapidly and I should come see him. Stefan and I were supposed to take a month off to find a new home (we’ve been technically homeless for going on 9 months now, after I got really sick with mercury poisoning, most likely from moving into a new house next to dozens of oil and gas fracking wells in Longmont, Colorado last summer).
My dad is diabetic, and had a stroke in 2016.
He never really recovered from the stroke, and has been losing mobility and function ever since. I flew home to work with him right after the stroke, and it seemed to help a lot. However, he didn’t do the self-help techniques I recommended to make the results last and compound.
He’s had multiple surgeries because of fully clogged veins in his legs. His lower legs are losing circulation, and because of this they’re losing warmth (they’re even colder to the touch than his thighs or arms). He’s used up his allotted surgeries, so it’s now up to him and his body whether he’ll be able to return circulation to his extremities by diet and lifestyle changes. He’s made huge strides with his diet lately.
Recently, his right foot became infected. I’ve seen it; it doesn’t look good. (Btw, I could never be a nurse or surgeon, I can’t do open wounds without full body chills and a little bit of nausea, oy). If he can’t heal this wound and bring warmth and blood back to his lower legs and feet, he may be facing amputation.
I’ve been working with my mom and dad on developing a fascial release routine for him that would have the highest likelihood of returning circulation to his lower legs and feet.
We can’t talk about circulation without talking about blood, and we can’t talk about blood without including fascia. Some researchers today are talking about classifying blood (and lymph) as a liquid form of fascia.
The #1 thing that blocks blood (or liquid fascia?) from flowing freely throughout the body is (any guesses?):
One of my surgeon clients told me a few years ago that fascia bleeds more than any other substance in the body; cutting through fascia (during surgery) releases more blood than cutting through other tissues (and apparently this is annoying to surgeons because the blood goes everywhere and it’s harder to see what they need to see).
Hmmmm….think about that for a second, because there are implications here for ALL kinds of health issues – from digestive issues to wound healing to injury recovery and even poor eyesight.
IMPORTANT: we can’t talk about ONE part of the body without addressing the WHOLE body. Fascia isn’t compartmentalized into neat little partitions – it’s everywhere, web-like and its shape is 360 degrees (it’s not a linear tissue like muscle fibers). What happens in one part of the body’s fascial system affects the WHOLE system. And what am I always saying? Where the pain is is rarely the problem.
For the last few months my mom and dad have been focused on releasing some fascia in my dad’s lower legs: calves and peroneals primarily. His lower leg compartments started to feel warmer to the touch after he started doing these daily, but his right (the infected foot side) has lagged behind the left foot and leg by a lot.
Please be aware, there’s more going on than I can write about in one post. Doctors visits and opinions, infection protocols (salves and ointments), footwear, food choices etc. All of these can play a role in what’s happening, so my new theory/discovery isn’t hard science or fact. It’s a working theory, and I wanted to share it publicly because the more people we get trying this theory out in practice (by trying what I am going to recommend), the more scientific data we have that this could be a viable theory and thus a viable solution for other people out there (maybe you or someone you love?) struggling with poor circulation, diabetes or neuropathy.
My dad mentioned that his digestion hasn’t been great. He has to take a magnesium supplement to have regular bowel movements. And his foot pain is the worst a little while after eating.
What’s REALLY going on here?
Stefan was instrumental in helping me reach my conclusions. One day when my parents were over here, we all started theorizing what could be happening and Stefan suggested that maybe blood was getting pulled from my dad’s extremities for digestion, and then when the blood returned (or tried to) to his foot…sharp shooting pain as it meets tight fascia, nerves on fire, infected tissue etc.
My theory was a bit simpler: my dad’s body was pulling blood from his extremities for digestion because his gut fascia is restricted. Because of this and the fact that his gut fascia is restricted in the first place, full digestion may going to take longer; and during that time period of slowed digestion and blood being pulled from his legs and feet, my dad’s foot would lose the precious little blood it has that it needs to function normally and heal from infection…so his wound starts screaming at him with pain.
We tested the theory.
We did this by working on his GUT fascia instead of focusing on his lower legs.
What did we find?
His gut was FULL of adhesions. Hard nodules, giant lumps of stuck fascia, areas of density all over his gut…and, both sides of his diaphragm appeared to be sucked up and under his ribcage. I worked on pulling those down and out and focused on 4-5 main areas of fascia restriction in and around his ascending, transverse, descending colons and small intestines.
It was excruciating for him. He did his best and we got some good work done.
He reported sleeping better since then, and feeling less pain after eating. Just yesterday my mom told me he’d had 3 days in a row of feeling the least amount of pain he’d had in a long time.
Now, we just need to get him (and/or my mom) feeling comfortable being ruthless like me lol. They haven’t been able to duplicate the work I did without me there to do it. I will keep encouraging them, because the truth is – any and all of us CAN do this for ourselves.
We can release our own gut fascia.
We can get to know our insides.
We can (and NEED) to participate in our own recovery or optimization efforts.
I can’t stress the above enough. Opting in for our work by taking responsibility for how we got here and accepting the fact that ultimately it’s up to US if we get better – is, I believe, responsible for at least 80% of any result.
Relying on someone else to do the work “to” you (even if it is “for” you) won’t be nearly as effective. On the flip side, if you commit to doing your part, you’ll reap greater rewards and your results will last longer.
I told my parents yesterday when they gave me their update (when they told me they’re scared to do what I did in my dad’s abdomen):
“We’re not nearly as fragile as we think we are.”
I say the same to you now: your body is strong, resilient, an incredible organism that wants to get your attention and be healthy. You’re not nearly as fragile as you might think. Tune in. Listen to what your body is telling you. Get curious about all the clues your body leaves on a DAILY basis (especially if you’re sick or injured), and always – ALWAYS – look for the root cause. Never settle for the abatement of symptoms or pain “management.”
If you’re suffering from circulation AND digestive issues…this could be a partial answer for you.
I say partial, because to find the full solution you’d have to ask yourself why you have digestive issues, and it could be anything from toxicity to processing trauma and stress in your gut to not listening to your gut in life or never speaking your mind and stuffing your emotions down instead. Humans are complicated, and all systems work together and affect each other. However this could be a jumpstart to catalyze a deeper inquiry, and allow you some relief and answers while you search for the root cause.
You can learn to release your own gut fascia by clicking here.
Comment below and share your top “aha” or take away from this blog post and video!