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Monthly Archives: September 2011

Hey there! I’ve been helping out in a class at the Rolf InstituteĀ® for a few weeks, and I had the biggest ‘discharge’ of my life after receiving a session from a student the other day. I was shaking uncontrollably, coughing, completely disassociated from my body, and having some minor convulsions. It was terribly uncomfortable, but I wouldn’t describe it as painful. And yes, this is normal. It’s what we in the business refer to as ‘discharging’ and it happens all the time, while not necessarily to that extreme.

What is discharge? Well, at least in a Rolfing setting, discharge can be a whole lot of things; from tears, to shaking, coughing, spitting, laughing, or emotions such as anger, grief, and fear that seem to come out of nowhere. Burping, moaning, sweating, a sudden rush of energy (like you want to run a marathon), and talking incessantly are also signs of discharge, as is a sudden wave of memories regarding a specific event, person, or time in your life. Occasionally, it can even be the more traditional forms of discharge such as urination or excretion.

Why does discharge occur? As several massage therapists have told me, “there are issues in the tissues.” We store a lot of things in our bodies, from fat cells and toxins to memories, emotions, and energy. When a bodyworker goes in there and starts pushing tissue around, and working with the energy systems, stuff gets stirred up and when it’s ready, released. The ‘when it’s ready’ part is the important part. I’ve been on the receiving end of about 40 Rolfing sessions so far, as well as a bunch of other bodywork from a bunch of different practitioners. And while I’ve experienced discharge several times before, it was nothing like the other day. All the other little stuff had to come out first before my body was ready to give up the big stuff. And I’m sure there was an element of timing, as well as a feeling that this setting was a safe place for a big discharge to happen.

Again, discharge is normal. If you find yourself in the middle of a session and suddenly you’re crying, or shaking, don’t worry. I know it can seem strange and overwhelming, but try and rest into the experience of whatever’s coming up. It’s better to get that stuff out than to hold it in. And Rolfers are well trained to pay attention to and support discharge during a session. I won’t leave you in a place of instability or disorientation. I promise you’ll feel lighter when all is said and done.

(Note: If you’re a pregnant woman, this is written directly to you. If you’re not, this is written to the pregnant women you know, so don’t get all huffy if you’re a guy or a nonĀ­preggo lady and I’m talking about your pregnancy. Thanks.)

Yes, and you probably should. Here’s why: Your body is changing and growing every day. Which is great, but can make a lot of things uncomfortable. Things like walking, standing, sitting, lying down, and breathing. Rolfing can help with all of these things, which makes you happier, which, in turn, makes baby happier. It also makes everybody healthier, and calmer when you can breathe.

Any time your body changes significantly, be it during a pubescent growth spurt, significant weight loss or gain, or pregnancy and post-partum, your body might struggle to find balance. I read an article a few years ago about how common it is for pregnant women to topple over. I don’t remember the specifics, but it was very common and the article went on to explain that this doesn’t hurt the baby. But what about the mom? I sure don’t like falling over, as it hurts my pride as well as my knees, and wrists, usually. That’s where Rolfing comes in. I generally recommend a Rolfing session every 3-5 weeks for expecting mothers so we can work with your body as it shifts and find a place of balance, ease, and comfort.

Also, there’s a specific “delivery session” I do to speed up and ease labor. I’ll do this up to a week before your due date and anytime after. The purpose is to open the pelvic floor to make the delivery smoother and less painful, as well as to induce labor. Even if you are planning to induce chemically, you can receive this session just before to augment and ease the process. And who doesn’t want a little more room in their pelvic floor before a delivery? So if you’re looking for a little help either with comfort during your pregnancy or with comfort and speed during your labor, give Rolfing a try. You, and your baby, are worth it!

P.S. Babies need Rolfing, too!

If you think labor is hard on you, just think how tough it must be for your little one. All that pressure on their heads, all the shock of suddenly having to breathe on their own; it’s no wonder babies sleep so much. I see children under 10 for free, so call me to make an appointment for your little one(s) to come in!

So, I’ve been feeling a little stir crazy lately. I’m not sure what it’s all about. Feeling a little stuck for a day or two is a feeling I’m familiar with and can handle, no problem. But I’m going on two weeks here and I just don’t know what to do with myself. I’m a big fan of list-making and I normally love the feeling of crossing things off my list for the day, but lately, I’m just not getting that sense of satisfaction when I scribble a big line through a task. And while generally there’s nothing I love more in life than sitting down with a good book, these days I can’t seem to sit still long enough to get through more than a few pages.

I’ve been trying to figure out what it is in my life that’s unresolved. The feeling I have is like being stuck in an eddy; I’m not exactly sitting still, but I’m not moving forward, either. It’s incredibly frustrating. And while there are little things that need doing (like my dresser needs to be cleared off, and I’d like to get a new plant for my office since I killed one the last time I went to Chicago), none of them feel significant enough to create this feeling of unrest for such a long time.

Maybe I just need to buckle down and get all those little things done. Maybe that will jolt me out of this eddy and back into the main current. Then again, if there’s one thing I’ve learned from years and years of being a list maker, it’s that there’s always more to do. There will always be more dishes and grocery shopping, ’cause I’ll always need to eat. There will always be more laundry ’cause I’m never going to learn how to avoid spilling food on myself.

So if you’ve got any suggestions, I’m all ears. Got any tips for dealing with cabin fever? Have any insight into why I might be feeling unresolved and stir-crazy? Do share, if you have a minute. Oh, and I hope you had a lovely Labor Day weekend and are enjoying the cooler weather. It feels to me like fall showed up overnight, and suddenly I can sleep again. Can’t complain about that!