Healing Journeys is based on the belief that the body has great capacity to heal. We practice the very best techniques to engage and assist this capacity. We lend our skills, knowledge, and intention to help patients regain and optimize health, and prevent illness and injuries. Healing Journeys Blog

The Brain

Until very recently neurologists and brain scientists largely ignored glial cells, even though they outnumber neurons nine to one.  Glial cells were believed to be mostly involved in protecting neurons and general housekeeping.   Recent research suggests that glial cells are involved in imagination and may actually do the thinking while neurons are mostly involved in reflexes.  To learn more, click on this link to a Scientific American interview with Daniel Kloob, the author of a new book on glial cells, The Root of Thought, which offers insights and new hope for those suffering from diseases of the brain.  


The traditional CSF (cerebro-spinal fluid) model is being increasingly challenged in view of recent scientific evidences. The established model presumes that CSF is (1) primarily produced in the choroid plexuses, (2) then flows from the ventricles to the subarachnoid spaces, and (3) is mainly reabsorbed into lymph vessels or arachnoid villi. This model is seemingly based on hundred years of faulty research and misinterpretations. The consequences of this complete reformulation of CSF hydro-dynamics can influence applications in manual treatments.

Click link below to read the peer-reviewed journal article: Reassessing Cerebro-Spinal Fluid (CSF) Hydrodynamics A Literature Review Presenting a Novel Hypothesis for CSF Physiology, The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association (JAOA), 2013

Outing Respiratory Challenges - Allergies!

Outing Respiratory Challenges
© Mike Macy, LMT

With road dust everywhere and pollen just around the corner, spring is the perfect time to talk about lungs.

The lung’s primary role is exchanging CO2 from the blood for O2 from the atmosphere. With any luck and a healthy environment, our lungs will function faithfully from the moment we’re born until the day we die. In fact, for most of us, breathing is so effortless and automatic that we don’t give it a moment’s thought—even though even the healthiest of us have significant lung restrictions.

These restrictions stem from inhalants (dust, particulates, second hand smoke, petrol, paint, and cleanser fumes), infections, vaccinations, physical, surgical, and emotional trauma, stress, and restrictions elsewhere in the body. Since most of us have seen pictures of what inhalants do to the lungs, let’s focus on some of the less obvious problem sources.

When we fall, forces tend to converge in the anterior thorax, gradually diminishing its flexibility and volume.

The lungs and heart are also favorite repositories for emotional overloads. An overload is simply any amount of feeling, issue, belief, or attitude that we are unable to deal with at a particular moment. They occur frequently. When they do, our nervous system automatically dumps the content into our tissues without our awareness. There it sits, impeding motion and gas exchange.

Stress diminishes lung capacity in several ways. For starters, we tend to respond by breathing less, but stress also tightens our most import breathing muscle, the respiratory diaphragm. At age 6 months, we develop a stress reflex wherein the whole front of the body and the diaphragm tightens, thereby drastically reducing our lung’s ability to exchange air. Like all reflexes, the stress reflex is hard-wired and automatic. Fortunately, a simple exercise will reverse it in minutes.

Traditional Chinese Medicine associates the lungs with grief, but the lung is not that selective. I’ve found all kinds of emotions, issues, beliefs and attitudes in the lungs.

Dr. Jean Pierre Barral, DO was among the first to realize that lung diseases affected all the abdominal organs. It has long been known that all body structures need to be able to move passively to accommodate the movements of other body structures. That’s mobility. Dr. Barral discovered another type of movement, motility, with his hands. Now verified with modern imaging devices, motility is an organ’s active movement around its own internal axis and is essential to organ function and vitality.

In the lungs, motility is paired between left and right lung, around mostly vertical axes. Motilities should be balanced, with both sides moving up, back, and out and then down, forward equally and in sync. Almost anyone can see how well lungs inflate and deflate, even through the overlying clothing, but feeling lung motilities with our hands takes training. Indeed, with experience, we sometimes feel lung restrictions from as far away as the ankles. On many new patients, lung restrictions are one of the first things I notice when I cradle their head in my palms. And those restrictions don’t just impede air exchange, with each inhalation they jam the head down on the neck and compress the lumbar vertebrae. Thanks to 4.5 million inhalations per year, over time, they can destroy cervical and lumbar vertebrae.

Breathing interference can come from anywhere. For example, the mediastinum, which separates right and left lungs and houses the heart and esophagus, can become tight, interfering with heart and lung motilities and function. Falls, whiplash, and infections, can also upset the balance between the lungs and neighboring organs like the liver and stomach, impeding diaphragmatic contractions. Kidney, colon, and small intestine restrictions can also inhibit inhalation.

In other words, lung restrictions are ubiquitous. This partly explains why lung volumes steadily diminish over a lifetime even in healthy persons and elite athletes. Often, the onset is so gradual and subtle, that most of my patients aren’t even aware that they have lung restrictions. Once we release them, however, the patient exclaims, “Wow! I can breathe! I didn’t even realize I had a lung restriction!”

With the lungs, as elsewhere, it’s easier to protect the lungs than repair them after they’ve been damaged. Simple measures include staying indoors during air quality alerts and wearing a respirator when sweeping the driveway or waxing your skis. However, even if you have restrictions, all is not lost. Manual therapists can enlist the immune system to repair lung damage and have many techniques for restoring mobility.

Your mechanic changes the air filter in your car every couple of years, more often if you frequent dirt roads. Perhaps, you should consider some maintenance for your lungs. You might be pleasantly surprised in what you’ll gain in increased energy and performance, not to mention to decreasing your susceptibility to spinal challenges, infections, and allergies.

The Brain: Recommended Readings

Interested in knowing more about the brain and how it heals? Here are a few recommendations from Mike Macy

Brain Healing Resources

Childhood PTSD and How To Heal It: The Body Keeps The Score, Bessel A. van der Cook, M.D. Google for his many talks. www.KSKA.org Line One: Your Health Connection archives 3/27/15

The Gifts of Imperfection: The Secrets to Living a Wholehearted Life,
Daring Greatly ; You too? I Thought it Was Only Me! Brene’ Brown, PhD Google Brene’s website for links to her TED talks, etc.

Self-Compassion, Kristin Neff, PhD Google her website for talks, guided meditation and trailer for the movie The Horse Boy about her autistic son.

The Brain’s Way of Healing, Norman Doidge, M.D. How to put neuroplasticity and other insights to work for you. Goggle for his Ted Talks

Daniel J. Siegel, M.D. Director of Mindsight Institute at UCLA School of Medicine. Creator of the Wheel of Awareness, associated mediations, and numerous books on using neuroplasticity and new insights about the brain for physical, emotional, behavioral growth and healing. Search Google for DanSiegel.com or go to

The Wizard of Oz

Recommended Films about trauma, healing, and recognition:
  • Buck: A Horse Whisperer’s Horse Whisperer –the story of Buck Brannaman
  • The Horse Boy
  • The Kings Speech
  • Buena Visa Social Club
  • Searching for Sugarman
  • The Sapphires

Access Consciousness® Clearing Statements

Recently, I was up against an old persistent issue and decided it was time to act. Since 60 years of stoicism and patience had failed to budge the needle, I had to assume those ponies were departed, passed, gone to the other side, mort, deceased, dead.

Casting around in my mental tool kit, I seized upon the Access Consciousness work I’ve done here in Anchorage with my friend and colleague Amber Brand and her daughter Javian. You can reach them at

In particular, there is a little phrase that Amber invokes time and again when we encounter an obstacle. The words sound familiar, but seem a little gobbled-gook, especially as fast as she says them. Apparently, it’s the sounds--not their literal meaning--that trip all the tumblers in our conscious/subconscious lock and allow the desired change.

Access Consciousness discourages sharing their content on websites and socials media, but you can find their clearing statement at

In any case, I found and tried a pair of statements which struck me as good
for getting to the bottom of things. Within a few minutes, I’d struck gold: (had a major insight into the origin of the issue and was then able to move forward). Finally!!! Whatever your particular gremlins are, I suggest you give this stuff a try. What’ve you got to lose, anyway?

By the way, if you google Access Consciousness®, right away you’ll find all this fear-mongering garbage about whether or not it’s a cult. From my experience, this is a load of horse-pucky. Access is the antithesis of a cult because it is all about increasing consciousness and giving people all the tools to be themselves and choose and achieve what they wish. (If you’re wanting someone else in the driver’s seat, I can see why it would freak you out.) As for Amber, she may have a couple of kids but she’s more of a filly than a colt.

Access Consciousness®’ mantra is: All of life comes to me with Ease & Joy & Glory!®

Check it out. A Sante’! Mike

Words About Allergy Relief

A person who was treated by Mike Macy shared this comment:


Recently, while hiking through a pollen-filled meadow, I started thinking about the ways in which my life has changed since I was treated by Mike several years ago. I no longer worry about carrying Claritin to ward off the dreaded impacts of a sunny day in the wilderness. When I garden at home, I no longer cover myself head-to-toe including face mask before turning the soil. After spending time on our front deck when the alder trees are heavy with pollen-coated catkins, I no longer race to the sink to wash by face and rinse my eyes. No more extensive sneezing fits… no more raspy breathing… no more itchy, reddened eyes… I honestly attribute these changes to Mike’s work. He has given me back the freedom to enjoy spring and summer with the full-blown exuberance I used to feel as a child. I am so very lucky to have met him and received his help.

Might you gain allergy relief through this therapy?
Contact Mike today!