Two and a half years.

That is how long I have been listening to the air duct in my bedroom make a loud noise.

The first year I waited for my then husband to fix it. I knew that it bothered him. I thought surely it would bother him more than it bothered me and he would be motivated to do something about it. So I waited.

The second year I was too busy dealing with divorce and death and taking care of the more urgent “noises” screaming for my attention in my life. Between the house and my business and the children there were many other noises that needed my attention.

So the air duct noise got louder and louder. Or the other noise from life got quieter and quieter. Making the air duct noise seem louder. Until it was standing at the forefront. Affecting my precious sleep. Annoying me.

Triggering fear…. I didn’t want to open yet another Pandora box of expense. If I called a professional A/C company how could I know who to trust, not only in my house but in my bedroom. What if they told me it was a Johnson rod of the A/C system that would require a full over-haul of every duct in the house? How would I know if I was being taken?

Requiring me to make another decision. About what I could fix myself and what I needed a professional to do for me. When to say I can’t do this myself, I need help.

So I spent several more months staring, ok glaring, at the a/c duct high up on my vaulted ceiling. The unconscious maneuver of placing a pillow over my ear as I slept to block the noise in the night became my new going to sleep protocol as I drifted off. And then one night I had a realization. What if my alone status doesn’t turn out to be forever? What if I do actually find a partner? And what if that love of my life, heaven forbid, snores? And what if this time of alone is the only good quiet sleep I will get? Do I really want to use it trying to block out the noise of an a/c vent that sounds like one constant snore? I know it is silly but it is true. While I very well could live the rest of my life alone, I also very well could not. This awareness prompted me to do what any normal, rational, frugal, single woman would do…. I googled how to fix a noisy a/c duct. (How the hell did single women survive before Google??)

My search led me to an article that recommended opening the vent to investigate what was inside, claiming that a dirty duct could make a rattling noise. So I hauled my ginormous ladder up the stairs and into my room. Encouraged 🙂 my 13 year old son to help me open and extend it and then stand nearby to catch me if I fell. Climbed the ladder and used my power drill (that’s right, I am always looking for an excuse to use power tools) to unscrew the first screw. And then, half way through unscrewing the second screw, the craziest thing happened. That noise. The one that has been torturing me for 2.5 years. Stopped.

I didn’t even have to open the vent. And the noise was gone. I didn’t even unscrew both screws. And the noise was gone.

I made my son listen to the silence. I made my daughter come upstairs and listen to the silence. I called my best friend to tell her this silly story, and explain the significance of this new silence, that I was able to create with the twist of a few small screws.

And then I did what any normal JFB myofascial release, whole body approach, physical therapist would do. I made a connection between this experience and the work that I do on the human body every day.

Patients come to me, not usually when their body’s have a small vibration of dysfunction, but instead when the “noise” is so loud that it is screaming above all of the other things that life is throwing at them. Maybe first, they also wait for someone else to fix the problem. And maybe they continue on, putting out other fires or dealing with other noises until those noises are dealt with and the noise of their body is now able to be heard. Or maybe the noise of their body gets so loud it rises above all of the other challenges that they are facing. Often they have sought out other home remedies, professional services, and google searches before finding me/ John Barnes Myofascial Release.

I use John Barnes Myofascial Release to feel for and release restrictions within the human body. As I do it changes the alignment of everything, which also changes the movement and even the subtlest vibrations of the body. Unscrewing one and a half screws on my vent cover reminded me of gently nudging the body into alignment, for example releasing the fascia around the sacrum causing it to move ever so slightly, affecting the alignment of the pelvis, coccyx, and back. Sometimes the most subtle change within the body can create the most profound results.

Changing the alignment of the vent cover resulting in such a dramatic change in the vibration going through the vent made me think of the things that I have treated that are so obviously, to me, vibration related. For example, I have had people report a change in their tinnitus (ringing in their ears) after a treatment session where I came nowhere near their upper body, let alone their ears. “Tweaking” other parts of their body somehow created a change that resulted in the ringing in their ears to go away completely. Just as I had no idea unscrewing the vent cover would change the vibration of the a/c, when I was working to create alignment in other areas of their body I didn’t realize it would change their tinnitus.

We are vibratory beings. Every restriction carries a different density which effects the vibration in specific isolated areas or the body as a whole. In a way pain might be seen, detected, or felt as a vibration. Changing the system can change the vibration. And just like sound, the pain can stop. Gradually or suddenly. But it can stop.

Taking two and a half years to tweak one little thing to make something so annoying go away completely reminds me of the many patients over the years that have said in astonishment, “My pain is gone. Do you realize I have dealt with that pain for 5, 10, 20, 30, 40 years and now it’s gone. How is that possible? You barely did anything! And it’s GONE.”

Now don’t get me wrong, this is not always the case. I’m not saying JFB MFR is a quick fix. It is not. Sometimes it takes time to release all of the layers of restriction before you can even come close to the part that needs the subtle, or not so subtle shift, in order to affect change. Just as I had no idea that unscrewing one and a half screws would stop the noise without actually having to take the cover off, I don’t know what layers, torque, or release needs to occur to result in a change in the persons symptoms. I don’t know the details of the process or the depth of the issue. But when the noise is loud enough for the patient to be willing to investigate and create a change, then so am I. No matter how long it has been.