Hi I'm Liza Kimble,
I've been a massage therapist for over 20 years and on the journey to discovering ever new and amazing techniques to help both my human and equine clients, and none have ever been as effective as working with the amazing connective tissue : Fascia
I have worked on a wide range of people and horses over the years, applied Laser Acupuncture, Reflexology and Meridian Therapy, Sports .Holistic and Swedish Massage techniques, Trigger Point therapy, Muscle Activation, Lynotherapy and Trauma Release Exercises.
I now teach workshops for both humans and horses around South Africa and internationally where I combine a unique blend of techniques.
Being a part of the Fascia Summer Schools in Germany in 2014 and 2016 as well as The International Fascia Congress in Washington DC in 2015 allowed me to really understand and convey the science behind the techniques I teach.
I live on a farm in Kwazulu Natal, South Africa with my family and a menagerie of four legged pets.
LIZA KIMBLE WORKSHOPS are a combination of techniques all related to Fascia, our connective tissue.
What exactly is fascia?
'Fascia is the body’s network of fibrous connective tissue. You’ve seen it when you skin a chicken breast—the filmy layer between the skin and meat. Fascia used to be removed during dissection to see the “important” stuff: muscles, organs, bones, nerves, arteries, etc. We now know that fascia is the important stuff because it forms a complex network that reaches everywhere in the body. Fascia is all the soft connective tissue including fascial sheets such as the plantar fascia, the tendons, ligaments, bursae, the fascia in and around muscles, and the membranes around the brain, spinal cord and nerves.
What does fascia do?
If everything was removed from your body except fascia, the shape would still be recognizable as you. Fascia is what actually holds us up and together (not muscles and bones), so understanding fascia is essential to understanding movement—our horses and our own. Fascia’s most obvious job is to help body parts move together—wrapping around layers of muscle to slide easily as they contract and release (flex and extend). Besides movement and flexibility, fascia maintains equilibrium (balance and functionality). Fascia’s other job is to guard injured tissue. When trauma or stress occurs, the web of connective tissue changes to protect the injured area; it also holds emotions from trauma and shock. Healthy fascia enhances proprioception (knowing where your body is in space.) As one of the largest sensory organs in the body, it is a major communication network within the body.
What happens to fascia?
Life happens: trauma, repetitive stress, surgery, and gravity all play a part in limiting flexibility. These stressors compress the connective tissue to form adhesions, and flexibility is reduced. Fascia will hold that compression and restrict mobility as it protects the body by limiting movement. Over time, the restriction grows or small injuries combine, and often persist after the original cause has gone.
How does aging affect fascia?
You’ve noticed one side of your body is stronger or more flexible than the other. That’s an example of compensations that horses and people develop. These patterns are the body’s ingenious way of continuing to manage around pain or limited flexibility. Bodies want to maintain equilibrium, so they compensate in order to keep going. Small injuries to the fascia can become bigger limitations as they accumulate. Most people believe that physical degeneration is part of aging, and tend to accept their growing limitations. Horses tend to hide their pain as a survival mechanism, and so we often discover their limitations when they influence performance. But the limitations started earlier, before movement was affected.
Why does bodywork make a difference?
Think of the fascial network as a sweater that’s stretchy, and where you have a snag, the neighboring stitches are bunched together around a big loop, stuck in a clump, and not as stretchy as before. Being stuck is what fascia does when injured. If not released, it thickens over time. The good news is that fascia is living tissue, and it can heal. There are many excellent bodywork modalities focused on releasing and lengthening connective tissue. The work is a lot like teasing the snag back into your sweater until you’ve restored flexibility. The process of release supports the living tissue to dump stored toxins and plump up as it re-hydrates and begins moving fluidly again.'
What is neurogenic tremoring?
Humans seem to possess the neurophysiological ability to generate our own healing vibration which we are able to activate soon after a stimulating hyper-aroused event.
Stressful and traumatic events are by definition based on some perceived or real threat to life, and therefore have close associations with the basic response to survival. Once the body feels that it is once again safe and the activation of the sympathetic nervous system has completed its adrenal fight/flight or freeze response, it can discharge a massive energy build up and adrenalin release. This seems to be the key to providing an optimal environment after survival in all mammals.
Myofascial patterns that become constricted through the ANS hyper-arousal are also released through the tremoring mechanism. What is fascinating is that when an individual accesses a specific myofascial pattern that is unique to a past injury or tension, the body often moves itself organically into the same tension pattern it experienced at the time in order to release it, even though the event has long passed. The release can contain muscle tremoring, myofascial movement, shaking and a memory of an emotion or event. The variety and diversity of expressions that occur appear to be identical to the injury itself.
This generic tremor mechanism re-integrates the organism and creates healthier relaxed fascial tissue. In manual therapy when working with fascia we often encounter these spontaneous tremors or jerks in our clients. Until recently these were not understood and often feared. We are now able to recognize, appreciate and encourage these for what they are. In physical therapy a wide range of vibrational healing tools are employed to heal the fascia; however our bodies are able to create this organically. Once the neurological pattern for tremoring has been established and is constantly repeated, the rhythmic cycles of the movements become easier to achieve and are easily accessed when needed in tissue repair. Sport injuries and postural challenges can be self-repaired and certainly encouraged to repair with the combination of self-induced tremor work and fascia release techniques.
When people are able to self-induce the body’s tremor mechanism in a safe environment, the physical challenges of a highly aroused nervous system are relaxed, and the fascial tissue as well as the emotional state of the individual, are relaxed. This gives us as manual therapists the unique privilege to guide our patients through their natural process if it should arise in the fascia release. It can then be given as a self-help tool at home to reinforce the work done in manual therapy. 'Pain is a multiple system output constructed whenever the brain concludes that body tissues are in danger and action is required...and pain is allocated an anatomical reference in the virtual body.' (Moseley).
Muscle activation is a technique that allows one to activate muscles that have stopped firing due to trauma or injury and hence patterns of compensation
A simple set of activations are taught to realign and 'switch'muscle groups back on.
Neurogenic tremoring is the body's sympathetic response to stress where it induces shaking, vibrating or involuntary movement.
Understanding that all mammals posses this function and that nature intended for us to release high charges of Adrenalin and cortisol from our systems, is key to realizing that we possess the innate ability to heal ourselves, both physically and emotionally.
Fascia Release Massage is a unique treatment modality that manually releases fibrotic and Fascia Release Massage is a unique treatment modality that manually releases fibrotic and chronically stuck fascial tissue.
This can be as a result of injury,compensation or even emotional trauma.
The technique has evolved to a gentle activation of the fascial tissues to calm the nervous system and facilitate deep healing.