A Stroke Of Luck

I have a standard go to line: Some kids went to summer camp, I went to rehab and physical therapy. I was born early, under mysterious circumstances, and with bumbling hospital staff forgetting to plug in the incubator.

My life has been centered around men in white coats and physical therapists. My first physical therapist, Mrs. Costa came from Brazil and wore orange lipstick. Over the course of my lifetime two things remain the same: my relationship to physical therapists and my need to discover what made me the way I was. My mother told me my right side was atrophied because “that’s the way God made you.” I learned from an early age not to argue with God or Mama. At the age of 50, I discovered that I had had a stroke in the birth canal.

After I discovered that I was one of millions who have had strokes, I decided to pursue my health care with the same dogged curiosity. I have had the gambit of physical therapists and treatments. I have had massages, massages with hot oil, TENS units, traction, ice packs and heat. I have had it ALL.

One of my doctors refers to the human body as the highway. Like I-95. In many respects, my physical therapists, while dedicated, were treating the “current” problem area of my body. The isolated cul-de-sac.

I discovered Myofascial Release at a cocktail party.  A friend told me how much better she was feeling after seeing Peggy (Peggy Scannell at Roper Physical Therapy). And how her range of motion had improved. This got my attention. Range of motion is one of the sexiest things around.

So I made an appointment with Christine Roper and I started seeing benefits right away!

The reason is myofascial release treats the entire body. The entire highway. It helps my body but it also helps improve my brain function. Fascia is actually one continuous structure that runs from your head to your toe without interruption. Trauma, inflammatory responses and surgical procedures create Myofascial restrictions.

Think of fascia as saran wrap. Whatever injury you have sustained, even a brain injury, the fascia, like saran wrap, gets all balled up in a knot. Myofascial release spreads it out. For me I call it “rearranging the furniture” of my body. It gives my twisted and grumpy muscles room to spread out along with the important fascia. A nice piece of saran wrap. As opposed to the wadded up saran wrap.

Each aspect of your body will improve with myofascial release. Because it covers the brain it is especially helpful for people, like me, who have been impacted by a stroke. Myofascial physical therapy has not only changed my life but substantially improved the LIVING of my life. Which, in my book is even better than range of motion!





Leslie is a self-described, trained observer who likes to write and tell stories. We at Roper Physical Therapy are grateful to Leslie for sharing her story and how myofascial release has helped to improve her quality of life. To learn more about Leslie and follow her story on her blog, please click here