Did you know your body communicates with you around the clock?
Many of us are often too busy and stressed with everyday responsibilities, like work and childcare, or distracted with television and technology, to recognise and receive the messages our bodies are sending us.
But, you can gain valuable insight into your current state of health when you tune into what your body has to say.
The Language of Pain…are you listening to your body’s signals?
One of the most common languages our body uses to communicate with us — is PAIN.
The International Association for the Study of Pain defines it as, “an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage, or described in terms of such damage”.
Pain is always subjective in that each individual learns the application of the word through their own experiences. Accordingly, pain is that experience we associate with actual or potential tissue damage. It is unquestionably a sensation in a part or parts of the body, but it is also always unpleasant and therefore a negative emotional experience. 
The source of pain following a trauma, injury, or illness is pretty obvious, but the cause of chronic pain can be less apparent.
Headaches, back pain, and joint stiffness are examples of common ailments that often stem from problems within your body’s structural alignment. If you experience such symptoms or other chronic pain, tightness, or stiffness, your body’s fascia may be the culprit.
Fascia is a network of dense connective tissue that encompasses the entire body. It’s made up of proteins that are interwoven around our organs and all the parts of our major bodily systems, including the skeletal, muscular, cardiovascular, and nervous systems.
You can think of fascia as one continuous, protective sheath. It provides support and structure to our body parts and, because fascia is continuous, it also interconnects the different parts of our bodies.
A Royal Pain in the Fascia
Healthy fascia is flexible and moves easily with the body. Compromised fascia is tight and stiff, affecting the body parts it surrounds and resulting in muscle pain, limited range of motion, and poor structural alignment.
Fascia can be damaged when you experience trauma, like an injury or surgery, but one of the most common causes of fascia damage is a sedentary lifestyle.
Poor posture and lack of physical activity leads to tight, restricted fascia. It’s also believed that fascia tightens or “knots up” in response to emotional trauma and stress.
It’s common to grow accustomed to living with everyday aches and pains. Many people rely on over-the-counter pain relief medications to mask their symptoms, but there are alternative solutions to lasting relief and healing.
PRO TIP: If you’re wondering about the health of your fascia and how it may be affecting you…
→ Try keeping a “body sensation” journal for a few days
→ Note how your body feels after periods of inactivity, e.g. when you get out of bed in the morning, climb out of the car after a commute, or after sitting at a desk (or on the couch Netflixing!) for several hours.
When it comes to keeping your fascia healthy, the saying “use it or lose it” applies. Regular physical activity and stretching helps your fascia and muscles stay flexible and in proper working order.
If you’re in pain, it can be hard to know where to begin or what movements are safe and most beneficial. A trusted bodywork professional may be just what you need to guide you in getting reacquainted with your body and improving your overall well-being.
Structural Integration: the solution to chronic pain and happier fascia!
A bodywork professional who specialises in structural integration, also known as ATSI (Anatomy Trains Structural Integration), will assist you in identifying the structural root cause(s) of your pain.
A ATSI specialist will assess your posture and alignment at each session (typically twelve sessions in total) and then manually restructures the body through myofascial release, massage, and movement therapy all targeted to free restricted fascia and muscles.
Correcting form and function in the fascia and muscles provides long-term pain relief and improved posture, movement, and flexibility across the entire body.
Many clients also report feeling enhanced energy and improved mood following structural integration sessions. Living with less pain is associated with decreased levels of depression, stress, and frustration and allows you to fully participate in and enjoy activities of daily living.
When your body feels good and is functioning optimally, you feel the same way. And, the better we feel, the better we are able to listen to our bodies. The more tuned in you are to your body, the better equipped you will be to notice and seek treatment for pain and maintain good health.
Not feeling as in-tune with your body as you could be?
I’m happy to help guide you in this new language!
Referenced Studies & Content
 Journal: Trans Am Clin Climatol Assoc; 2015 Study: Chronic Pain: Where The Body Meets The Brain; Author: Leslie J. Crofford, MD