Deane Juhan uses the expression “muscular armour” when describing a body’s reaction to stress. The original “stress” can be in the form of physical or emotional injury but no matter what form, the body, Juhan describes has to physically compensate and over time these areas in the body develop a kind of soft tissue “armour.” Originally it’s the body’s way of surviving, but over time if not “processed” becomes still, dense, tight, and often painful.
In one of his most comprehensive pieces of writing, titled “Jobs Body”, Juhan goes into intricate detail about soft tissue (muscle,fascia,nerve) and the potential affects of stress on them. The book takes you on an amazing journey starting at the cellular level and describes the physical and emotional merits of manual therapy; his particular expertise being therapeutic massage. It’s an amazing read but very dense so you may want to read a section at a time – there is way too much to absorb!
I find myself reading sections repeatedly over the years – for example, reading about the cellular makeup of fascia is not only miraculous but gives me a cognitive representation of the facial matrix which can be very helpful when working on an area that needs to be released. Juhan even has photographic images of facial orientation, and what happens when it is “stressed”, and then how the body attempts to repair it. It’s very enlightening and really gives me a fresh perspective.
So, I will leave you with these thoughts and also with a quote I came across the other evening while listening to my daughter, Lucy, fiddle with her bluegrass musician friends in Frankfort, KY.
“…….the body’s mischiefs, as Plato proves, proceed from the soul; and if the mind not be first satisfied, the body can never be cured.”
– Richard Burton, “The Anatomy of Melancholy”