By guest blogger Joseph Hunton, CHP/LMP:
Even though seat belts hold us in place in auto accidents the consequences of being thrown side to side, back to front and up and down can result in injuries that are not apparent or easily recognizable. We are restrained from flying out of the car, but our organs, nervous tissue, blood vessels, brain and spinal cord still whip around violently within our body.
Doctors can routinely diagnose and treat the things that are externally observable such as; bumps, bruises, abrasions, broken bones and worse. However, the trauma that occurs through the ballistic stretching and bouncing can also cause micro-tears to ligaments, vital organs and the membranes that wrap and protect them. Muscles then tighten to protect injured nerves, blood vessels and organs. Their normal ability to slide and glide among adjoining structures and muscles is thereby compromised.
As significant, there are lasting impacts to our nervous system. The part of our brain whose job it is to protect us and insure survival has been thrown into survival mode (fight or flight). This part of our brain cannot recognize the difference between an auto accident or an attack from a charging rhinoceros and causes adrenalin and cortisol to flood our system. It continues to perform in survival mode long after the accident is over and keeps us constantly stimulated so that we often feel nervous while driving or walking near traffic. Our body is very good at turning on this response but is very bad at turning it off.
It is these injuries that often slow or keep us from full recovery. While in this hyper-vigilant mode it takes a tremendous among of energy. This energy which should be helping our body heal is usurped to maintain survival mode. Restrictions in the viscera, nervous and circulatory systems suppress the healing processes our body relies on.
The good news is there are very effective treatments for these hidden injuries. Visceral Manipulation is a well-established modality designed to diagnose and release restrictions in organs, nerves, and blood vessels. Craniosacral Therapy can release restrictions in and around the brain and spinal cord. Therapeutic Massage and Acupuncture can effectively sooth the nervous system turning the switch from survival to healing.
I have worked with many auto accident victims over the years and I have seen the powerful effects and immense value of treating these hidden injuries. Clients recover faster and more fully. Please address these vital systems of your body in your treatment plan!
Joseph Hunton CHP/LMP
Joseph Hunton has been Certified Hellerwork Practitioner and Licensed Massage Practitioner for over 18 years. Along with his private practice in Seattle, he has worked in some of the preeminent Physical and Occupation Therapy Clinics in the Puget Sound area.
Joseph has received specialized training in Visceral Manipulation and Craniosacral Therapy. He teaches Continuing Education Workshops and is on faculty for Hellerwork International and The Universal College of Healing Arts.