Skip navigation

Monthly Archives: March 2012

Once upon a time I wrote an article about plantar fasciitisWhile I found it absolutely brilliant at the time, I have since realized it’s lacking in the practical application department.  Sure, you can get a great basic understanding of what plantar fasciitis is and why you might suffer from it.   And those things are very helpful and all well and good and a wonderful place to start.  In fact, if you have no idea what I’m talking about, go here and read the article now, before you continue on with this little ditty.  But then what?  Yeah, it hurts.  No, I can’t run anymore.  Theresa, are you ever going to tell me what to do about it?

The thing is, since any number of things can cause plantar fasciitis, it’s awfully difficult to give generic advice about.  But I’m going to try.  ‘Cause I’m an overachiever.  So, first things first, we need to figure out where the root or roots of your particular plantar fasciitis may be hiding out.  Let’s start with the most obvious.  Have you injured your foot lately?  Stepped on a big pokey rock while barefoot?  Gone a bit overboard with the salsa dancing?  If so, it’s probably best to use the RICE method for a while.  Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation; just like you would for a sprained ankle.  And we all know that with ice we’re doing 20 minutes on, then 20 minutes off, right?  After 20 minutes of icing something, you start to increase the inflammation, so don’t go pushing this, trying to be an overachiever, too.  After a week or so of the chowing down on your RICE, you can start pushing around in there to see if you’re ready for some soft tissue work.  If it’s still super sore to the touch, keep RICEing ’til it doesn’t.  If you can get a moderately deep foot massage without pain, you’re ready for deep work, if you need it.  If your pain’s gone completely, congrats! you just healed your own plantar fasciitis!  Otherwise, use a tennis ball, standing on it and rolling slowly, slowly over the owie spots to get them to loosen up.  You don’t want to bring back that inflammation, so be careful.

Now, let’s say you have not injured your foot, but you still have plantar fasciits.  This is where it gets tricky.  Naturally, we’re going to be looking along your back line for a super tight spot that could be causing your foot pain.  Starting with your heel and using your fingers (or someone else’s) or a tennis ball dig into your soft tissue (not the bones) slowly working your way up your calf.  Be careful as you get to the knee ’cause there’s a whole bunch of juicy, yet delicate stuff right there in the open at the back of the knee.  In fact, just don’t press into the back of the knee.  It’s not worth the risks.  Then head up your hamstrings, which could take a while as those are some meaty suckers.  Speaking of juicy meat, head north through your glutes, going slow and savory-like.  Next up, low back, heading up to mid, then upper back.  Again, you should be able to manage all this while lying on a tennis ball on the floor, but having a friend do the work for you is extra nice.  If you still haven’t found your “ouchy!” spot, head up (gently!) to the neck, then over the head, all the way to your eyebrows.  If you haven’t found any especially tight spots, you’ve got a catch-22 to deal with.  On the one hand, you’re the only person in the whole country who doesn’t have a single tight spot along their back line.  You should get a prize!  On the other, you still have no idea where your plantar fasciitis is coming from and you’re probably going to require some help from a professional.  Can’t win ‘em all, I suppose.

If, instead, you have found a tight spot, or six, you now know where to focus your efforts.   Loosen up that fascia, nice and slow and easy-like, using that same tennis ball if your hands get tired or you can’t quite reach.  Little bits at a time; like 5 or 10 minutes a day.  Max.  Again, I’m the only overachiever allowed here.  I don’t want you doing more damage than good.  Don’t go pretending you’re a Rolfer.  Besides, when Rolfers work on themselves they tend to get all messed up ’cause they don’t respect their own boundaries and stop when they should.  Better not to go there.  Trust me.

After a week or so working on your trouble areas, you should start to notice a shift in your plantar fasciitis pain.  If not, reevaluate.  Retest your back line and see if maybe your tight spots have moved.  If you feel like you need the help of a professional, give me a call.  You may also have some energetic blockages that need to be cleared and we’ll go into that next.  But if you’re noticing a difference in the right direction, keep up the good work!  Remember not to overdo it, but consistency can go a long way here.

Energetic gunk and plantar fascia.  I don’t have a logical explanation for this, but I do have a story.  My mom called me and told me she had plantar fasciitis and she needed me to fix it.  Lucky for her, I was flying into Chicago the next week and I could take a look.  We did a session.  All went well, but I couldn’t find any outstanding tightness in her back line that pointed to causing this foot pain.  So after the session had a day to settle out I asked how her foot was feeling and she said the pain was still there.  I was heading back to Denver that evening and didn’t have time for another session, nor did I think that would help.  Instead, I asked her to do some energy work on her heel, whenever she could.  I told her to pretend to draw the stuck energy out of the bottom of her heel, as if she were pulling yarn out of a ball.  Just an inch or two at a time, over and over again.  Maybe only 3 minutes at a time, but several times a day.  I told her to do it whenever she sat down.  So she did.  And 2 weeks later, she said it was completely gone.  That was in November and she hasn’t had any problems with it since.  So, hey, why not give it a try?  It’s free, it’s easy, and at least for one person, it worked.

Yes!  I did it!  Practical tips for dealing with plantar fasciitis!  Done.  Bam.  Oh, and one more.  Call your favorite local Rolfer, if you don’t seem to be making much progress on your own.  She might be able to help you out.

Just in case you didn’t know, the next Demo Day is tomorrow.  And if you don’t know what Demo Day is, let me break it down for you.  30 minute trial sessions.  $10.  At my Denver office at 662 Grant St., on the second floor.  New clients only.  Happens once a month (I’ve decided to keep them around, so no worries).  That’s all there is to it.  New clients can schedule with me via phone at 303-261-2568, or via email at t.zordan@gmail.com.

This particular Demo Day is almost all full.   The earliest time I have available is 4:30 in the afternoon, if that gives you any indication.  So, if you have any friends or family who want to get in, tell ‘em to get on it.  And, as usual, if you know someone who’s ready for a full length session, you can always grab them a referral card when you’re in the office so they can get half off their first visit.

Send those hurtin’ people my way so they can get to enjoying this beautiful weather!

You know what it’s like to receive a Rolfing/SourcePoint session from me, so I won’t go into it.  (And if you don’t know yet, I don’t know what you’re waiting for!  Get your butt into my office!)  Especially since everyone’s internal experience is so different and there’s not always a good way to describe it.  But what I will go into is what it feels like from my end.  What I experience while giving a session.  I’m in the process of trading a couple sessions with a fellow Rolfer and SoucePoint therapist and while I was working on him yesterday morning we got to talking about how each of us experiences healing from the practitioner’s point of view.  So let me lay it out for you, in case you were curious.   Disclaimer:  this is what it feels like for most of the sessions I do.  When working within the confines of the 10-series, it’s a little different, but not much.

I don’t heal anyone.   I can’t heal anyone.  Hate to break it to you.  The way I think about it is this:  your healing process is between you and your “gods.”  That may be God, or the trees, or your higher self, or your refrigerator, for all I care.  Regardless, it’s not me.  So, at the beginning of every session, I have a conversation that goes a little something like this:
Me:  “Hey, healing powers for this person!  Yeah, you!  So look, I’m here, in this room, with this person.  Is there anything I can help with?  You know how to heal, while I don’t.  And I have hands, while you don’t.  Let’s work together, yeah?  I’ll do my best to get my ego out of the way and listen really carefully to whatever directions you give if you’ll promise to do what you can on your end to heal whatever’s ready for healing in this person.  Deal?”
It/Them:  “Okay.  Deal.”

And so we begin.  Yes, it’s hokey.  No, I don’t care.  That’s really how it goes.  Well, maybe with more humility and respect and less yelling on my part.  And a ‘please’ or two.  But pretty close.  Then, I rely on SourcePoint scans to tell me where to begin and where to go next.  When I was in SoucePoint classes, scanning was described with colors.  White, then gray, then black.  Work where the biggest black spot is.  For me, it shows up kinesthetically; I feel a change in density.  Air, then water, then honey.  I work in the sweet spot.

I’m always asking more questions, though.  Sure, the scan said to work on your knee.  But do you have any idea how complicated a knee is?  Four different bones, all with their own rotations and intersections with each other.  There are 8 muscles that pull on the head of the fibula alone, and that’s one of the small bones!  ACLs and MCLs and patellar tendons, along with nerves and blood vessels galore.  So, once again, I ask those healing powers that be, “what now?”  And almost instantly, I get a response.  I don’t hear voices.  And it’s not exactly a vision either, although sometimes a picture of a specific piece of anatomy will pop into my head.  It’s more like there are magnets on my hands and iron on the body part and while my hands are being pulled in a certain direction, I just know how deep I’ll need to go to address this issue.  My friend Kate used to say she got information from her toes.  I’ll go with that.  My toes told me this was more emotional than physical.  My toes told me to pull up a chair ’cause it was going to take a while.  My toes told me to ask about your relationship with your grandmother.  So I listened.  I’ve got some pretty smart toes.  Or you’ve got some pretty smart healing powers on your side.  One of the two, for sure.

I often think of myself as a pipe, or a hose.  All I’m doing is connecting what’s above me, bigger than me, smarter than me, better at healing than me to you.  And my biggest job is to make sure I’m the cleanest, clearest tube I can be, so you get the transmission as close to the original as possible.  Of course, there’s also a huge element of personal responsibility.  If I sever a nerve in your face and you end up unable to smile for the rest of your life, neither you nor a judge will care one bit about how clean a hose I was at the time.  I need to know my shit and to stay on my game, so I do.  That’s my end of the deal.  Clean hose; know my shit.  Pretty easy compared to “heal this person.”  I lucked out in this deal, and I know it.  I’m so grateful for those healing powers that be.  Without them, I’d just be poking around, moving fascia.  Which can feel nice and all, but it’s not exactly healing.

Sometimes, when I ask “what now” I get really strange answers.  Burp out this stagnant energy that’s stuck here.  Sit back and do nothing for a minute while that last bit integrates.  Shake their right leg.  It’s gotten to the point where it’s no longer strange to me, but you can believe it was weird to get those messages when I was straight out of Rolfing school.  Burp?  Really?  We did NOT learn about that in Rolfing school.  Gross.  But sometimes I sneeze or cough or kinda growl instead.  What’s weird anymore?  Sometimes I have to shake my hands and arms to discharge the energy that’s released.  Sometimes I need to sit back for a minute ’cause I feel sick myself.  Thank you, so much, for putting up with me.  Sometimes the answer is “just sit and listen.”  That’s hard for me, and my impatience, but I try.  Sometimes the answer is “scan again” or “go deeper” or “get at this from the other side.”  I do my best to listen.

I keep asking “what now?” until I get the answer, “end the session.”  Then I seal it all up, in the way that I do, with a sacral cradle and setting the diamond points.  You get up and if you’re feeling good, we call it a day.  Well, at least you do.  I then get ready for the next session of burping, shaking, and being the best hose I can be.

P.S.  and then some.

Demo Day is next Wednesday!
If you know anyone who wants to try Rolfing and SourcePoint but is afraid to commit to a whole session, this is their chance.  30 minute trial sessions for $10 on Wednesday, March 14th at 662 Grant Street.  Have them give me a call at 303-261-2568 or shoot me an email at t.zordan@gmail.com to schedule.  New clients only, please.

Yoga Instructor Appreciation Week is over tomorrow.
And I’m so sad!  It’s been an absolute blast getting to know and working with all these Denver yogis.  Thanks for your help getting the word out!

I’m visiting my brother in France!
I’ll be out of town March 27th through April 11th, so please keep that in mind if you’re planning to schedule something soon.