For our bodies to function optimally, there needs to be flow in our systems. The flow of blood, oxygen, lymphatic fluid, hormones, neurotransmitters, energy, and more contribute to balance and optimal function. When there is stagnation, there is dis-ease.
Surrounding every cell in our bodies is what is referred to as the "extracellular matrix". This is the glue that holds us together, aka fascial tissue (pronounced "fash-ill" and not to be confused with "facial"). This fascial tissue is a 3-dimensional matrix or web of tissue that is under our skin, around every nerve, artery, vein, muscle, and muscle fiber. This web needs to be mobile, dynamic, fluid, and hydrated for us to function optimally. All the “flow” that happens in our bodies happens within this matrix. If the fascial tissue web surrounding the arteries, capillaries, nerves, muscles, and tissue is tight and restricted, the flow is restricted through those vessels, diminishing our function.
How can restriction of fascial tissue impact pain and inflammation?
Fascial tissue is highly innervated with nerve endings that sense pain. When that tissue is tight and restricted, it can entrap surrounding nerves, leading to localized as well as referred pain and radiculopathy. Likewise, fascial adhesions and restrictions around capillaries can limit localized perfusion and blood flow leading to muscle cramps and spasms.
Our lymphatic vessels (which are passive) do not have their own pump system, they rely on the contraction of our muscles, the position of our bodies (elevation), or “help” from the outside (lymphatic massage, compression, ice) in order to move lymph fluid around. As mentioned above, if the web of fascial tissue surrounding the lymphatic vessels is tight and restricted, it is going to be harder for the lymph fluid to move through those vessels.
How do we keep good flow in this fascial tissue?
Think big global movements -- taking a walk, a yoga class, going for a bike ride or a run, stretching. You get the idea. But also, think small movements at a cellular level. We need motion here, too. Picture that fascial web going all the way from the skin, down to the level of the bone, all connected. If I place my hand on my skin and stretch it, I am affecting a pull or stretch and therefore a change all the way through that fascial tissue (and even cells) possibly down to the level of the bone depending on the intensity of stretch and pressure. This happens through what is called "mechanotransduction". Mechanotransduction is the ability of a cell to actively sense, integrate, and convert mechanical stimuli into biochemical signals that result in intracellular changes.1 So, we can move and stimulate the very cells of our body through mechanical pressure on our skin. In other words, through massage.
Movement, not only globally of one's body through activity and exercise, but also locally at a cellular level through activities such as massage, bodywork, self-massage, fascial release, mechanical release with tools like a foam roller or massage ball, helps to keep your tissue hydrated, fluid, and mobile.
Tissue flow for optimal operation of bodily systems
I encourage my clients to engage in some form of tissue release (self-bodywork, going for a massage) with regularity. Not only are there countless benefits to the “physical” systems of your body, like shifting the Autonomic Nervous Systems (ANS) into the parasympathetic or “rest and digest” state. This can lower stress levels, improve immune function, and lower heart rate and blood pressure. There are countless benefits to the “emotional”, “mental”, and “spiritual” systems as well. When we release our tissues, we get in touch with our bodies, with ourselves. We connect to ourselves and open the lines of communication. We increase self-awareness and nourish and honor the most important partnership we have in this lifetime, which is the one with ourselves. More resources for self-bodywork can be found on my website, witmove.com.
OK, where does CBD come in?
It is very common to be a little bit sore after a massage (especially a deep tissue or fascial release massage) or after you experience deeper work on a certain spot. During bodywork, you bring blood and nutrients into certain tissues and flush out toxins. This process can temporarily increase inflammation in that area, which can sometimes bring discomfort.
There are several ways to try to mitigate the soreness that comes from doing bodywork and flushing the body of toxins: staying hydrated, Epsom salt baths, heat, and cold therapy, meditation. But one especially effective and easy way is to supplement the bodywork with CBD. When I started using Trove topical CBD products with my clients, they reported noticing less soreness after the session. An increasing amount of encouraging research is coming out on the benefits of CBD for pain and inflammation.
What is CBD and how does it help with pain and inflammation?
CBD, or cannabidiol, is a non-intoxicating compound found in the cannabis sativa or hemp plant. You may typically associate cannabis with getting “high”, but the CBD compound can be extracted from the plant to make products that are non-psychoactive.
Each of our bodies (and in fact each mammalian body) has a set of receptors that interacts with the cannabis compounds called cannabinoids, including CBD. These receptors, found throughout the body, comprise the endocannabinoid system (ECS), a complex signaling system that helps to ensure that our bodies maintain homeostasis.
We all make our own natural endocannabinoid compounds which interact with this ECS system to help keep us in balance. CBD introduced from the “outside” interacts with this system of receptors throughout our body additionally to help support the immune, musculoskeletal, digestive, and nervous systems.
How does CBD help?
Reducing Pain Signals. CBD modulates pain and the sensation of pain by stimulating the reuptake of a neurotransmitter called "adenosine". This, in turn, boosts the adenosine levels in the brain inhibiting pain sensations. CBD may also block pain signals from reaching pain processing centers in the brain by binding to TPRV1, which is responsible for pain and inflammation.2,3,4,5
A study in rats showed that transdermal (on the skin) CBD gel significantly reduced joint swelling, pain, immune cell infiltration, and thickening of the synovial membrane in a dose-dependent manner.6 Another study showed that transdermal application of CBD oil can achieve significant improvement in pain and other disturbing sensations in patients with peripheral neuropathy.7
Reducing Inflammation. CBD may reduce oxidative stress and systemic inflammation by acting as an antioxidant. It may also decrease inflammation by preventing a reduction in elements such as zinc and selenium which are important for a balanced immune response and may reduce neuropathic pain by countering an abnormally heightened pain response.8
Adding to these benefits, CBD is non-psychoactive, non-habit-forming, and well tolerated, making it a desirable supplement choice.
As a practitioner that has my hands on hundreds of people every month, I find it important that the products I use and recommend be quality products. I like that Trove tests every batch of CBD for potency, purity, and quality. Additionally, Trove independently screens for the presence of any undesirable cannabinoids, bacteria, yeast, mold, residual solvents (VOC), pesticides, and heavy metals. Trove performs regular lot testing on their entire product line to verify cannabinoid content and concentration so that you know exactly what you are buying.
Using Trove CBD as the topical product when doing self-massage is a very practical and easy way to further address pain and inflammation. Not only is the massage doing wonders for your system; but adding Trove CBD boosts the benefits that much more.
In addition to wonderful topical products, Trove also offers a full line of ingestible tinctures that may provide systemic relief of pain and inflammation, as well as help with a restful and restorative sleep. And Trove's amazing skincare products will help heal and nurture your body's largest organ: the skin!
OUR MOST IMPORTANT PARTNER IN THIS LIFE
In this lifetime, it's not one and done. It's ongoing. But your ultimate partner in this life is YOU. This body you are in is your ultimate tool: your physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual body. And you need to take responsibility for your own wellbeing! When that body, that tool is not functioning optimally, you cannot relate, love, create, do your job, participate in your hobbies, or experience to your fullest potential.
So, in order to use your body, you must maintain your body. Pay attention, listen to your body, and give it what it needs. It may be self-massage, a long walk, a nap, and always some extra hydration. It might be a laugh with a friend, watching a sunset, changing the food you eat, or learning to meditate. Or, it may be Trove.
Whatever it is, it is not one and done. It is an ongoing conversation with the most important partner you have: YOU.
Copyright © 2022 Kristin Jamieson All Rights Reserved
- Muscle Fundamental Biology and Mechanisms of Disease
Volume 1, 2012, Pages 173-186 Chapter 14 - Cardiovascular Mechanotransduction Stephan Dobner Ovid C.Amadi Richard T.Lee
- Philpott HT, et al. Attenuation of early phase inflammation by cannabidiol prevents pain and nerve damage in rat osteoarthritis. Pain. 2017 Dec; 158(12): 2442–2451.
- Yamaoka G, et al. Different analgesic effects of adenosine between postoperative and neuropathic pain. J Orthop Sci. 2013;18(1):130-136.
- De Petrocellis L, et al. Effects of cannabinoids and cannabinoid-enriched Cannabis extracts on TRP channels and endocannabinoid metabolic enzymes. Br J Pharmacol. 2011;163(7):1479-1494.
- De Gregorio D, McLaughlin R, Posa L, et al.Cannabidiol modulates serotonergic transmission and reverses both allodynia and anxiety-like behavior in a model of neuropathic pain. 2019;160(1):136-150.
- Hammell DC, Zhang LP, Ma F, Abshire SM, McIlwrath SL, Stinchcomb AL, Westlund KN. Transdermal cannabidiol reduces inflammation and pain-related behaviours in a rat model of arthritis. Eur J Pain. 2016 Jul;20(6):936-48. doi: 10.1002/ejp.818. Epub 2015 Oct 30. PMID: 26517407; PMCID: PMC4851925.
- Xu DH, Cullen BD, Tang M, Fang Y. The Effectiveness of Topical Cannabidiol Oil in Symptomatic Relief of Peripheral Neuropathy of the Lower Extremities. Curr Pharm Biotechnol. 2020;21(5):390-402. doi: 10.2174/1389201020666191202111534. PMID: 31793418.
- Atalay S, Jarocka-Karpowicz I, Skrzydlewska E. Antioxidative and Anti-Inflammatory Properties of Cannabidiol. Antioxidants. 2020;9(1):21.