FAQ’s for Block Therapy
FAQ’s for Blocking
What is the difference between Massage and Block Therapy Bodywork?
I specialize in Barefoot or Ashiatsu massage, I use my feet to perform the massage. (I am speaking from a personal standpoint and recognize there are many different modalities.)
Barefoot massage uses deep compression effleurage strokes that glide over the body and cream or oil is applied.
A full body massage typically includes the back of the body, flipping the client over and working on the legs, pecs, arms and working on the head, neck and face to finish the massage, time depending.
This kind of massage can be extremely relaxing as well as therapeutic. Those needing specific areas worked on may have a little different experience. I chose to do barefoot massage because I can utilize my body weight as well as gravity to get to those deeper layers in the body.
Bodywork with Block Therapy
Work can be done with client on the floor fully clothed or on the massage table to receive the work. The block will be directly under targeted area with therapist putting downward pressure into the body which puts pressure into the block.
Block Bodywork typically includes work in the lower body as well as the shoulders arms and hands. If the client is blocking at home as well they can target more areas making any bodywork we do more impactful.
What I am noticing is that a lot of issues clients have is really due to poor posture, incorrect body alignment, as well as breathing incorrectly. Over time and with everyday life, all of these things cause the core to collapse. Our fascia in an attempt to keep us upright will grip and adhere to bone with a force of up to 2000 lbs. per square inch.
One common area of concern that comes up a lot with massage clients when they come in for massage is pain in the low back and hip flexors. One thing to note is usually where we are feeling pain isn’t where the pain is actually coming from or what is causing it . One of the areas that needs to be addressed is deep within the stomach and even on the pubic bone itself, (to name a few). Those are areas that can be difficult to reach or even uncomfortable with massage.
Utilizing the block as well as massage can be a powerful combination that creates lasting changes in the body.
How do I clean my Block?
There are a few ways to clean your block and it’s personal preference.
-use a gentle soap and water
-or use a tea tree oil water mixture.
What is the difference between Block Therapy and Yoga?
Yoga allows us to access the available tissue and keep it open and spacious.
Block Therapy goes further as it releases the tissue that has adhered to bone, granting you more available tissue to work with. Tissue will freeze or glue onto bony surfaces with a force up to 2000 lbs. per square inch.
This incredible seal requires heating and oxygenation to release and become available for our use.
Yoga alone does not get deep enough through the layers of tissue to grant this depth of freedom in the body. In order to affect the tissue to the depth of the bone, the tool needs to be similar in density to bone. This is why the Block Buddy™ is made from bamboo.
How long does Block Therapy take?
The classes are between 20 minutes and 3 hours. Blocking at home you can do it as long as you’d like.
Because we are working with frozen tissue we must spend at least 3 minutes in each position. When you get started this may not be possible, your breath is your guide. As long as you are able to breathe in a relaxed way, or can spend as much time as you want on the Block.
Block Therapy is about learning and getting to know your own body so don’t push your body.
Some of these positions are uncomfortable. Are there modifications and adaptations that can be made?
You absolutely can make modifications as we want the only discomfort to be in the area that you are blocking. Therefore, it is important to be as relaxed and comfortable everywhere else. Some suggestions:
- keep pillows close by to prop up your body as needed (i.e. when working your lower body and you need to support your upper body, place a pillow under your torso so your back stays in alignment and your shoulders/neck are not being overtaxed.)
- all of the positions can be done in a bed or on a couch to lessen the pressure of the block
- use a couch or chair to hold onto to and help you balance
- when doing side lying positions, have a pillow close by that you can prop under your head and neck while always working to keep your shoulders down and back
Can you get injured doing Block Therapy?
If you practice Block Therapy as instructed, it is totally safe.
Block Therapy is about connecting to your pain, however it does not cause injury if you listen to your body and follow your breath. Certified Block Therapy Instructor guides you through the moves and if something is too painful they will provide alternate ways to approach the area. Some common modifications are practicing on a mattress to decrease the initial depth into the tissue while allowing your body to adapt, having pillows close by to help support and prop your body as needed and, of course, to back to off if the pressure becomes too intense.
While doing Block Therapy a “healing crisis” may occur. A healing crisis is a result of putting positive energy into the body while allowing the negative energy to move out of the body. This negative energy can show up in a form of a skin rash, flu-like symptoms, changes in pain, emotional releases, etc.
The most common healing crisis that can happen is a rib release. This occurs when we are melting through the frozen tissue in the rib cage resulting in a significant shift of the ribs. A gap is created from the release of the tissue which can be painful, especially since every movement or action in the body taxes the ribcage. The pain comes from the body sending extra blood flow to the area, also known as inflammation, to help rebuild the tissue. Depending on how significant the shift was and how much tissue needs repair will determine how long the pain will last for.
Ice is NOT recommended!!!!!!
It is natural to want to ice the area but doing so will cause the tissue to freeze again and become more restricted, therefore we recommend adding heat to help speed up the healing process. You may also see broken capillaries or slight bruising in certain areas. Do not be alarmed as this is an indicator of improved blood flow to an area that previously lacked blood flow and oxygen.
You are completely in control of how much pain you allow yourself to experience and are properly guided through this during classes.
What is the difference between the Block Buddy & the Block Baby?
Recommended for people 5ft +
A hand-crafted untreated bamboo block uniquely designed to fit the contours of the body. Bamboo is used because it shares a similar density to bone. The size, proportion and rounded corners are meticulously designed to accommodate most body types.
Recommended for people under 5ft
This is simply a smaller version of the Block Buddy. The Block Baby is designed to fit into smaller spaces where the Block Buddy feels overwhelming. Due to the incredible compression of your fascia, there are some very tight spaces that the Block Baby is used to reach.
Can I spend too much time on the Block?
This is a commonly asked question. In Block Therapy, we stay on the Block Buddy for a minimum of 3 minutes to achieve the releasing (or melting) of frozen tissue. Having said that, we always listen to our body and respect our limits.
It’s important to integrate blocking as much as we can into our lifestyles. My block is never very far from me as I will block while watching TV, reading a book, I’ll even sit on the block while working at my desk. The longer we can block in one area, the deeper and more effective the melting of that tissue will be. However, we must understand and respect what we are doing. This work is in part about becoming aware of your body and learning the language of your tissue. If at any time you are uncertain of your body’s response, please let us know so we can address your individual concerns.
Contraindications: Who should not do Block Therapy?
Block Therapy is generally a safe body work practice that anyone at any age can do. Please see below regarding pregnancy and serious medical conditions.
For someone who is pregnant, it is the direct contact with the belly and surrounding area that should be avoided. The other areas of the body are safe to practice, ie., legs, face, neck.
It is safe to do Block Therapy with implants; however, it is recommended that you block around the area of the implants rather than directly on the implant.
Serious Medical Conditions
For anyone with serious health concerns it is always important to seek medical advice before starting any practice. We have a wonderful community support group for general guidance, but with serious conditions it is recommended to do an Assessment with a Certified Block Therapist for direction and support.
Does Block Therapy replace exercise?
Block Therapy is an exercise, therapy and meditation all-in-one. With it you are improving blood flow, increasing metabolism, working muscles and strengthening your heart.
The work can be done in a passive manner or the intensity can be increased for a more dynamic workout. It is also a wonderful complement to any exercise practice as it is incredibly effective at improving blood flow. Block Therapy is also amazing for post-workout recovery as the by-products of exercise will be taken away from the cells with greater efficiency, (e.g. lactic acid, therefore decreasing the time the muscles experience stiffness).