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Monthly Archives: May 2012

Okay, I know it’s not blog/newsletter day, but I didn’t want to wait ’til Tuesday, so here it is. Sorry about overloading your inbox this week.

I’ve been playing around with the idea of changing up my schedule for a couple of reasons. I always thought that I really needed two days off in a row. In every other job I’ve had, that first day off was a kind of stare-at-the-wall-and-do-nothing day and the second day was for all the things you couldn’t get done during the week, like laundry and grocery shopping and maybe a picnic if I was lucky. So, when I started my Rolfing practice I made sure to build in two days off in a row. Hooray for respecting my own needs! But the thing is, I really like Rolfing. Like, a lot. Like, more than pretty much anything else I do. Well, maybe I like eating more, but with eating I quickly reach the point where the pleasure is traded for pain, and well, then it’s not fun anymore. I certainly don’t need two days off in a row to eat. And since I like Rolfing so much, I miss it on those days I have off. Which means that I’ve been playing around with the idea of switching it all up. See, my goal was to see 6 clients a day, 4 days a week (and get an extra special 3rd day off!). But now, I’d like to try to see 4 clients a day, 6 days a week, just to see how I like it. As I said, I’ve been playing around with the idea. Will I love it? Will I hate it? No way to know, really, until I try it.

It’s tricky, though, to try such a thing, ’cause I share my office with the lovely and talented Tracy. And I can’t just switch my schedule up willy-nilly without making Tracy rightfully annoyed and frustrated. So, playing with the idea is all that I’ve done, until now. See, Tracy’s going out of town for the whole month of June to teach and work and see friends and ride a motorcycle and such. Therefore, the office is mine-all-mine for 30 days or so. Which means I can play with my schedule without risking pissing off one of my favorite bodywork trade buddies and long time office mate. Hooray!!

Here’s what that means for you: I’m open on Fridays during June. What!? I’m seeing clients from 10am to 4:30pm Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, in Denver. I’m seeing clients from 2:30pm to 9pm Mondays and Sundays, in Denver. And as usual, I’m seeing clients from 1:30 to 8pm on Tuesdays in Lafayette. The online scheduler that I use is all set up for this, so you don’t have to remember which times go with which days. Just schedule like you always do and you’ll notice different options available to you. Yay! Once again, this if for June only, to give it a whirl. Things will go back to normal for July, when Tracy’s back in town. Depending on how this little experiment goes, I’ll think about making these changes permanent, but I might really miss those two days off in a row. We’ll just have to play with it and see. So, wanna play?

It is.  And I thought you should know, Sassy Pants.  And right now, in this perfect moment, you are perfectly you.  No, you’re not perfect.  Thank gawd.  Nobody would want to hang out with you if you were.  But you are perfectly you.  My friend Tim told me that once.  He said, “I may not be perfect, but I’m perfectly me.”  And it stuck with me.  I hope it sticks with you, too.

There’s been a whole lot of anxiety walking into my office these days.  Next week we’ll go into some practical tips for dealing with anxiety, since our culture lends itself to fear and spinning and anxiousness in general.  But for now, just know that you’re okay.  Just the way you are.  Even with the debt.  Even if you had ice cream for dinner last night.  Even if you stayed in bed until 6pm.  Even if the roof is still leaking.  Even if you still have your snow tires on your car.  Even if the love of your life just dumped you.  You’re okay, and you’re right where you’re supposed to be.  Right now, in this perfect moment.

So go on with your bad self.  Keep rocking you the way only you know how to.

What’s up, Sassy Pants?  Thankfully, I’m finally back on a normal sleep schedule.  I know; you were worried.

Seriously, if you’ve never been to Palestine, you should go.  Uh. Maze. Ing.  If I ever get kicked out of Colorado and can’t live here anymore, I’ll move to Palestine.  As a bonus, I’d be the top rated Rolfer in Palestine.  And the worst.  And the tallest.  And the shortest.  Not a whole lot of Rolfers in Palestine, it turns out.

Enough already.  Let’s get down to business, shall we?

It’s Pay What You Can Week for a few more days.  I’ve had a blast so far reconnecting with those of you I haven’t seen in a while.  And to the new clients I’ve seen, welcome!  It’s great to have you around!  Thank you so much for coming in!!  Ida Rolf would be so happy!  What a great way to celebrate her 116th birthday!  How many exclamation points can I use in one paragraph!? It’s like I’m shouting all the time!

It seems I’m struggling with serious today.  Alas.

If I haven’t seen you yet, there’s still time.  I have a few appointments left in Denver on Wednesday and one on Saturday.  Grab ‘em while you can.  ‘Cause as of Sunday, we’re back to full-priced sessions.  Womp, womp.

Take care, darling, and I’ll catch up with you next week!

If you missed the beginning, or want a refresher, scroll down, or click here.  We’re just going to continue where we left off.

One more year went by and I continued to wander.  I not only continued with the shamanism, but I got into herbalism, and I’d gone to a gong bath, and a biodynamic therapist, and a Chinese five element healer, and a qi healer.  I loved them all (well, except for maybe the gong bath; that wasn’t my thing), but I still couldn’t picture myself as any of these practitioners.  They were too weird.  Or they sang a lot (I don’t sing unless I’m alone).  Or they were super silent and subtle.  Or they wore horrible clothes.  For one reason or another, none of them struck a chord.  And as I was hiking with my friend, Ruthie, we’re discussing this.  I said that I’d like to continue on this journey of self-discovery and healing, but I’m looking to try something new.  And Ruthie, being the genius she is, mentions the Rolf Institute.  “You know it’s in Boulder, right?  And you can get sessions from a student for super cheap as part of the student training.”

Huh?  How had I missed the fact that the Rolf Institute was in Boulder while I lived there for 4 1/2 years?  No, I didn’t know.  But I was still nervous, you know, with the whole pain thing.  But I said, “Well, I’ll do it, if you do.”  I’d tried so many things by now, I figured it couldn’t be worse than getting whacked with crone’s wort (yeah, that happened).  So Ruthie calls me the next day, after she’s called the Rolf Institute to see when their next clinic is.  “They had 2 spots left in the clinic that starts next week.”  Well, this looks like a sign for the universe, so I say, “you told ‘em we’d take ‘em, right?”  And again, Ruthie’s wisdom won out, so she says, “of course!”  And on a Tuesday evening, she and I head up to Boulder for our “orientation.”  We go into this office building complex out in Gunbarrel and sit in rows of chairs arranged in a semi-circle.

After a brief introduction by a bubbly 20-something, the lead instructor for the class gets up to talk.  He’s not wearing shoes.  Who doesn’t wear shoes when they’re talking in front of a 30 strangers!?  Ray McCall, that’s who.  Rolfer and SourcePoint Therapist extraordinaire.  But I don’t know this yet.  All I know is that he says something along the lines of, “People always ask me if Rolfing’s going to help their shoulder, or their knee, or if it’s going to make them taller.  And I don’t know.  I can’t tell you if Rolfing’s going to help any of those things.  What I can tell you is that Rolfing will make you more you.”  And I was hooked.  That’s all I needed.  I hadn’t even met my student Rolfer.  I didn’t care.  I wanted to be more me.  I wanted everyone else to be more them.  I thought that was the way to achieve world peace.  Truth be told, I still think that.

And at the same time, my logical, physicist brain was saying, “Slow the f*@k down, Theresa!  Give it a try before you go doing anything crazy.”   So two days later I showed up for my first session of the 10-series.  I can’t remember if my Rolfer worked on my right side or my left first, but when she was done with that first side she asked me to take a breathe and compare the difference side to side.  It was magical!  I felt like one lung was 4 times the size of the other!  I felt like everyone in the room was probably laughing at me because I looked so funny and unbalanced with one side all inflated and one side all flat and lifeless.  I felt like I couldn’t wait for her to do the other side!  And, I was still waiting for that dreaded pain I’d been expecting.  Needless to say, I loved Rolfing.  And I now wanted to be a Rolfer.  One session in.  I told myself to wait until the end of the 10-series before making any rash, life-changing decisions.

The second session was better than the first.  My Rolfer worked on my feet and lower legs and while it was a little intense, I’d had worse pain from massages.  Then, I sat up and put my feet on the floor, and the strangest thing happened.  I looked down and got really confused.  Those weren’t my feet there below my legs.  No really.  I knew what my feet looked like and those weren’t my feet.  Strange.  And when I stood up…oh wow.  I felt so…stable.  Not that I’d felt wobbly before.  But comparatively, I might as well have been walking on stilts, blindfolded before this.  I felt like I could stand for days and walk for miles and miles and miles.  I just felt so strong and stable and balanced and grounded.  This was it.  This was what I’d been looking for all those years.  It was like the clouds parted and the sun shone down and the angels started singing and playing their harps while birds were chirping in the background.  Once again, I reminded myself not to do anything drastic before finishing the 10-series.

I made it to the 7th session before I walked in the admissions counselor’s office and asked, “what do I need to do to come to school here?”  (Convenient that it was just around the corner from my Rolfer’s “office,” eh?)  She told me that the next introductory class they had was full, but that she’d put me on the list for the class starting in 4 months.  She gave me the application material and told me to get it back to her when I had a chance.  The next day I got a phone call from said admissions counselor, “Hey Theresa, I’m calling because we just had someone drop out of the class that starts next month.  Do you want that spot?”  I hesitated for about 4 nanoseconds before practically screaming at the poor woman, “YES!”  We managed to finish out the conversation and I got off the phone.  Then, I clearly remember jumping around my kitchen and yelling and jumping some more.  Then more yelling and more jumping.  Then calling some friends and not understanding why they weren’t yelling and jumping with me (they would’ve, but they were at work).

I was gonna be a Rolfer!!!!

And the rest is pretty boring, I guess.  I went to class.  On the first day, we sat in a circle and introduced ourselves and for the first time in my life I felt like I was really home.  This was my family.  I had to get up at 5:30 every morning for class (at the time my regular hour of waking was 11am) and I woke up every morning with a smile because I got to go learn more about Rolfing.  I studied and did homework and practiced on anyone who would let me.  I went to lots more class.  I practiced a bunch more.  And slowly, but surely, I became a Rolfer.  On April 30, 2010, I graduated as a Certified Rolfer from the Rolf Institute of Structural Integration.  I was crying and smiling and crying and smiling some more.  It was incredibly difficult and at the same time the most natural thing in the world.  I never for one second doubted that I was on the right path.  Finally.

So that’s it.  That’s how it happened.  Now you know.

As promised, this week we’re going to continue with the commonly asked question of “How did you get into this?”  Which is probably my favorite question, but it takes a little while to answer it.  So get yourself a mug of tea and settle in.  We’re going all the way back to the mid nineties.

Once upon a time, as a high school student, I started getting interested in alternative medicine.  I’m not really sure where this interest cam from, although my parents’ distrust of medical doctors may have played a part.  Then again, my brother’s a nurse, so it could have gone either way I suppose.  Regardless, from a fairly early age I struggled to accept the “something hurts, take a pill” view of healing.  And as the obsessive-compulsive, overly passionate, eager reader nerd that I am, I dove into every book I could get my hands on about alternative methods of healing.  I read about ayurveda and reflexology.  I learned about nutritional deficiencies and acupuncture.  I read about yoga and macrobiotics.  And, because I was a pompous know-it-all I started lecturing everyone about whatever I’d learned that week.  My volleyball coach was obviously suffering from a vitamin C deficiency.  If only my friend with eczema would start eating flax seed all his problems would go away.  My own bruises were treated by applying vitamin E.  Of course, I didn’t stop eating flammin’ hot cheetos and drinking cherry coke every afternoon.  Do what I say, not what I do.  I’m sure I was a real joy to spend time with.

Anyway.  With the arrogance only a teenager can posses, I decided I would grow up to be the best doctor in the world.  I was also planning to be an astronaut (the first to visit Pluto) and the President.  When people told me I could grow up to be anything I wanted to be, I apparently took it to heart.  In my plan to be the best doctor in the world, I would then need to go not only to medical school, but to chiropractic school, and acupuncture school, and massage school, and ayurveda school, and aromatherapy school, and reiki school, and herbalism school, and homeopathy school…you get the picture.  I wanted to know all there was to know about every single modality of healing on the planet.  I also had the foresight and general practicality of a teenager, so it didn’t dawn on me that A) I’d be so far in debt by the time I was done with all that school that I’d never be able to get out of it, B) I’d be about 237 years old by the time I was done with all that school, and C) having spent all those years in school and zero years actually practicing anything I’d learned, I’d be the worst doctor in the world, instead of the best.

Regardless, as I entered my senior year of high school, this was the genius plan I was sticking to.  Then, I read this book about homeschooling, which doesn’t have much to do with the story except that it encouraged me to actually meet a chiropractor and see what this whole “holistic healing” thing was all about.  There was one chiropractor in the neighborhood and I rode my bike up there and walked in the door.  I just laid it all out.  “Hi, I want to be the best doctor in the world and I’m really interested in alternative medicine and could I maybe work here or follow you around or just hang out in the lobby once in a while?”  And the generous Dr. Reed said yes to all of the above, which seemed natural at the time, but seems pretty amazing in hindsight.  I started working there a few hours a week and in the process, I learned a little bit about insurance billing, a little bit about supplements, a little bit about homeopathy, and a medium bit about what it looked like behind the scenes at this particular chiropractor’s office.  Once in a while the doc would (with his patients’ permission) let me come into the treatment rooms with him where he would explain what he was doing and why.  I got my first (and many subsequent) adjustments and felt e-stim for the first time.  I loved it all and thought it was amazing, but I had a hard time picturing myself as a chiropractor.

So, I just kept going.  After graduation, I got a summer job to help pay for college.  In addition to my few hours a week with the chiropractor, I started working for the local acupuncturist.  Same story, different building.  I learned about moxa, and cupping, and that thing they do with the spoon…maybe gua-sha?  It’s been awhile.  I had needles stuck in my meridians and I washed the sheets.  Dr. Broderick was as wonderful as the chiropractor about bringing me into the treatment rooms with her (with her patients’ permission) and explaining what she was doing and why.  Once again, I loved it all, but couldn’t picture myself as an acupuncturist in the end.

I proceeded with the plan.  My parents helped move my freckled self 1000 miles west to Boulder, Colorado to attend CU as a physics major.  Not only did I love physics (nerd alert!), but I knew my chances of getting into med school were better with a physics degree than the more common biology or chemistry degrees.  I took all the standard freshman-year classes, then took a year off to establish residency for cheaper tuition, which, again, isn’t relevant, except that my friends were now a year ahead of me in school.  During that year, I worked for Dr. Duggan, another chiropractor as the entire billing department.  I dominated those insurance companies!  I didn’t let them get away with shortchanging us or our patients even one cent!  And I was so incredibly stressed out and exhausted that I was miserable.  But, here I also met and worked with Dr. Leach, who is to play a part in our story later on.  Back to school, where I took all the biology classes and labs.  I took chemistry and then fell in love with organic chemistry (I warned you earlier about my nerdiness).  I learned about quantum physics and multiplying matrices.  But there was a wrench hurtling toward my plans, unbeknownst to me.  See, my best friend, Elizabeth, was planning to go to med school, too and she did so, one year ahead of me.

And I watched (over the phone) in horror as my best friend became this studying machine.  We rarely talked ’cause she had to study.   And when we did talk, all she talked about was studying.  She had no time to sleep, let alone eat, or have friends, or go for hikes, or do any of the things I really valued in my life.  I started thinking long and hard about this whole “best doctor in the world” plan.  Was it worth it?  Was it really what I wanted?  Was this the best way to go about it?  Maybe it was fear.  Maybe it was coming to my senses.  Maybe it was both, but I decided going to med school wasn’t what I wanted after all.  Which is great, looking back, but it left me feeling a bit lost.  Now what?

Truth be told, now, I wandered.  For a long time.  I dropped out of college with 3 1/2 years done towards a physics degree.  People told me I’d regret it.  But 8 1/2 years later I’m still waiting for regret to set in.  I only wanted a physics degree to get me into med school and if I didn’t want to go to med school anymore I didn’t see the point in continuing to acquire debt and struggle through math problems that took 4 days each.  So I moved back to Chicago for a while.  I thought I was going to open a restaurant (’cause med school would be too much work, ha!).  I coached a volleyball team.  I waited tables.  I realized I hated the weather in Chicago and missed the Rockies.  I packed up my old Honda Civic and drove back to Denver.  I waited more tables.  I got a job working for Dr. Leach as a chiropractic assistant at his practice in Lafayette.  Once again I was doing insurance billing, along with taking x-rays and doing ultrasound.  For the first time ever, I heard of Rolfing!  A patient mentioned they were going to get Rolfed later in the week.  I asked Dr. Leach about it.  He told me it was like super-deep-and-painful-massage.  Yowza.  No thanks.

I started working on my own development.  I guess this is what happens when you’re 23 or 24.  You realize you can’t just drink your life away and maybe there’s more to it all.  I started learning about qi gong and meditation.  I saw a shaman and got a soul retrieval.  I quit my job with Dr. Leach to open a dance studio.  I realized how much work it would take to open a dance studio.  I remember sitting in Wahoo’s Fish Tacos while two guys at a table next to me discussed Rolfing.  I paid attention.  They talked about how super-intense and super-deep it was.  I was still on the no-thanks-train.

This theme of alternative-medicine-healer kept coming up.  I was interested in a lot of things, obviously, but healing was recurring.  I had dreams where I was told that my carreer would involve working with my hands.  I thought about massage therapy.  But it didn’t seem like it was “enough.”  I felt like massage made people feel good temporarily, but didn’t fix what caused the pain in the first place.  It might as well be ibuprofen for all I cared.  I started a gardening business.  I grew organic vegetables for people in their own yards.  When I say I wandered, I mean it.  Then, my very good friend Kate started getting Rolfed.  She signed up for the 10-series, to be exact.  And very early on in the process she said, “Theresa, I think you need to check this out.”  Um, no Kate, Rolfing hurts.  I’ll pass.  I have better things to spend my money on.  A few more sessions in and she wouldn’t let it go.  “Theresa, for real.  This is a modality that I think you’d really like.”  I’m not a masochist, but thanks.  A few months later, I got “Know Yourself” and “Honor Yourself” tattooed on my wrists.  I passed out from the pain and thought nothing of it, other than it was embarrassing.

We could continue, and we will, but this is getting a little long, even longer than I’d imagined.  So let’s take a break, shall we?  To be continued next week, I promise.

Hey, ya’ll.  Next week we’ll be getting into how and why I got into Rolfing in the first place, but first I have to tell you about the exciting events coming up in May.  As you may know, I’m leaving town (again!) today and I won’t be back home until May 16th.  O little town of Bethlehem, here I come!  The thing is, I’ll be gone for my (31st!) birthday, on the 12th.  Also, Rolfing® Structural Integration National Awareness Week (what a mouthful, eh?) is May 14th-20th this year.  Also, also, Ida Rolf’s 116th birthday is May 19th.  In short, there’s a lot (and I mean A LOT) to celebrate upon my return to the States.  So, without further ado, let’s do this thing!

Announcing Pay What You Can Week! May 19th through May 26th!
Are you as excited as I am?  If not, maybe you should be.

Here’s the deal:

As you well know, my session fee is normally $120.  You know what you get, right?  Rolfing and SourcePoint in one, magical hour-and-a-half combination.  My undivided attention.  Communion with your healing spirits.  Access to my healing guides.  Elbows in your glutes and IT bands (if you need/want that).  Feeling all light and yet grounded and also expanded and integrated for the rest of the day.  You know, that magical, I-just-got-Rolfed-and-now-I-feel-a-little-stoned feeling.  Not to mention better posture and alignment and less pain.  You know what I’m talking about.

Now, for the week of May 19th through May 26th, you get all of that, for whatever price you can afford.  What you think is fair based on what it’s worth to you and what’s in your bank account.  Magical, no?

There are endless ways to play with this, but let me just explore a few of them with you.
Obviously, you can come in for a session and Pay What You Can, which may be $40 and may be $120.  Simple.
Another possibility is you can PWYC for someone else to receive a session.  Give it as a gift.
Or, you can PWYC for your session, as well as someone else’s session.  A pay-it-forward-pay-what-you-can combo!
Or, if you’re feeling generous and able to do so, you can pay a little more than the regular rate of $120, with the extra going towards covering someone else who may only be able to afford $10.
Or, if today you only have $5 in your pocket but you know that over the course of the next year, you could afford more, you can give me 4 post-dated checks (for 3, 6, 9, and 12 months from now) and I’ll even send you an email before I deposit them.

A couple of notes to make sure this stays fun:
Everyone pays something.  This isn’t Theresa-works-for-free-week.
No bartering or trades this week.  Cash, check, or credit card, baby.
It’s this week, May 19th through May 26th, and this week (technically 8 days) only.  If you’re out of town this week, or due to deliver your baby this week, or have 7 graduations and a wedding to attend this week, or just can’t make it this week, I’m sorry, but you’re out of luck.  (Also, I don’t work Thursdays and Fridays.  So take that into consideration.)
Once the spots are filled, they’re filled.  Don’t call me on the 25th and complain that I’m booked on the 26th and you didn’t get your chance at PWYC week.  You’re getting plenty of heads up and you know it.

So that’s it.  Pay What You Can Week!  Happy Birthday to me!  And Happy Birthday to Dr. Rolf!  And Happy Rolfing Structural Integration National Awareness Week!  And happy I’m-(probably)-staying-in-the-country-for-the-rest-of-the-year!  I could go on, but we’ll leave it there for now.

Schedule your PWYC sessions the same way you schedule any other sessions.  Click here to schedule online in Denver.  Or leave me a voicemail and I’ll return it when I get back in town.  Either way, get yourself and your friends in for PWYC week and celebrate!  And if you have any questions about anything, just shoot me an email and I’ll get it answered asap.  Much love until I return!