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We all know we’re not doing everything we could be doing for maximum health, right?  Who among us gets all the sleep we need in a perfectly dark, cool, quiet room?  What about getting all the movement and stretching we need and all the water we need while breathing crystal clean air and eating perfectly healthy food in a totally stress-free environment every day?  Anyone?  Bueller?  I certainly haven’t met anyone living that life.

But that’s no reason to throw up our hands in surrender.  Modern, westernized living may not be the ideal prescription for health, but there are a few small changes each of us can make to ensure that our bodies work pretty well for a lot longer than average, if we’re just willing to do them.  Yes, I’d love to see each of my clients (and myself, for that matter) move out into the wilderness and and totally commit themselves to health.  But until that comes to pass, try these six things for a better functioning body, now and as you age.

1.  Move more.  We’re all too sedentary and that’s just a fact.  I’ve seen 671 different clients so far and I think 5 of them were getting enough movement every day.  All 5 of them were under the age of 1.  Back in the day when we needed to move to find and prepare food, to carry water, and to travel from one place to another, we moved all day. Now, we can do all those things with very, very little movement.  The more your move, the more your body will thank you, so try adding movement breaks into your work schedule as well as your weekend relaxing schedule.

2. Move differently. Think about the different positions available to a given body and then think about the positions your particular body assumes in a given day.  I think I only get about 10 if I’m not careful: sitting in chair, standing, sitting on couch, lying down to sleep, sitting on the floor to put shoes on, reaching my arms up to pull a shirt over my head…boring.   When was the last time I tried to do a cartwheel?  Or army crawled from the bedroom into the living room?  Honestly, I don’t think I’ve EVER army crawled from the bedroom to the living room, but I totally could.  I’ve walked that trip a gazillion times.  Why not mix it up with a crab walk or a bear crawl?  Somersault.  Hop on one foot.  Build an obstacle course between the bedroom and the living room.  Move all of your body in all of the ways.

3. Spend time without shoes on.  I know I sound like a broken record and I’ve said it a million times.  But it’s just so dang important.  Our whole entire body is supported by our feet. And most shoes restrict and alter the ability of our feet to support our bodies.  Let your feet do their jobs!  If you’ve spent your whole life shod, start small, with a few minutes a day on the carpet and work up to hours outside on natural terrain.  Since you’re already building obstacle courses in your house this winter (you are, right?), build a pillow path along your most-used routes to gently build your foot, ankle, and knee strength up so you can be barefoot in the grass when it’s warm enough.

4. Squat.  This is one of those movements that is required for a healthy spine, a healthy pelvis, and a healthy digestive system.  But thanks to chairs, tables, toilets, and outsourcing our food production, we don’t need to squat throughout the day, many, many times a day.  So most of us don’t.  Which leads to so, so, so many problems down the road.  Pelvic organ prolapse, incontinence, constipation, and low back pain, just to get started.  Incorporating just two minutes of squatting into your day, every day, can drastically change your expected health in the long run.  I’m not talking 30 reps in the gym, but actually hanging out in a squat.  Ideally, you’d have your heels on the ground and your tailbone untucked while squatting, but after a lifetime of not needing to squat, most of us can’t do that squat without years and years of stretching and bodywork (Rolfing can help!).  Like it or not, your muscles, tendons, ligaments, and bones all grow into the shapes we use the most.  Which means after not squatting your whole life, you can’t just start doing full, proper squats today because you decided to.  But you can start the process.  And that’s what matters.

5.  Hang.  Just like with squats, we used to need this movement for survival; climbing trees to scout our direction of travel or to look for danger, to pick delicious food from branches, to stay safe, etc.  And now, well, when was the last time you swung from the monkey bars or pulled yourself up into a tree?  Unfortunately, just like with squats, most of us have long lost the flexibility and strength required to safely extend our arms above our heads and support our full body weight.  If we hadn’t, I’m sure we’d see a lot less TMJ, thoracic inlet syndrome, headaches, carpal tunnel syndrome, and on and on.  Alas.  Start by stretching your arms overhead to touch the doorway every single time you walk through one.  Work your way up to being able to hang your entire body weight from your hands.  Then starting swinging and pulling your self up.  Take it slow, but hanging and swinging can be so much fun!

6. Twist.  Our spines are designed to move in three main ways.  Forward and Back.  Side to side bending.  And twisting.  Luckily, getting into and out of our cars usually requires a little forward and back movement, as well as some side bending, so our spines get those movements regularly.  While we could probably all use a little more of the ‘back’ than the ‘forward’ and more side-bending in general, the twisting is the one that we’ve really let go of in this modern existence.  And the one place we used to get some twisting in, checking our blind-spots while driving, is now being phased out with back-up cameras and safety sensors and whatnot.  So, build it back into your life however you can.  I mean, putting on some oldies and actually doing the twist is probably my favorite of the options, but there are plenty of times throughout the day you can easily just look over your shoulder and give your spine a lovely squeeze.  For bonus points, do some twists while hanging from the monkey bars and make your body feel like it won the movement lottery!

That’s it, peeps.  There are books and podcasts and videos and such about how to safely increase your flexibility and strength in any and all of these ways (check out Katy Bowman’s work for my favorite source), but just getting started is the biggest challenge.  Happy moving!

 

 

Alright.  It’s all about me today.  Sorry.  But not sorry, ’cause it could be all about you, too.

Here’s the deal.  I’m looking to update some of my marketing and promotion materials.  Get some higher quality videos up on my website and get some before and after pics.  You know what I’m talking about.  Here’s where you come in.  I’m looking for two people to be models for said materials.  I need one person to go through the standard Rolfing 10-series, and one person to go through a less-traditional non-formulaic 5-series.

This is what you get for your time and willingness:
Better posture (Yay!)
Less pain (Whoo-hoo!)
33% off your sessions so they’re $80 instead of $120.  That’s a savings of $200 for 5 sessions or $400 for the 10-series.
My best work, ’cause I’ll be showing off for the camera
To be famous (at least for a moment on my website and in my promo materials)

This is what would be required of you:
You must commit to all 5 or 10 sessions, at my Denver office, to be completed in a minimum of 5 or 10 weeks respectively and a maximum of 6 months.
You must be able to start your 5 or 10 series by February 5th.
If you’re interested in the 10-series, you can’t have had a 10-series in the last 5 years.
You must be willing to be photographed in your underwear (or short shorts and a sports bra/tank top).
You must be willing to have those photographs used on the interwebs and in my promotional materials.
You must be willing to be video taped during all 5 sessions or the whole 10-series.
You must have the same willingness for those videos to be used on the intertubes and in promo stuff.

So, what do you say?  Are you interested, SassyPants?  Or do you know someone who might be interested?  Shoot me an email with why you’re interested and when you would be willing to get started we’ll go from there.  If you have any questions, let me know those, too and I’ll get back to you asap.

Yay!  Videos!  Yay 10-series!  Yay 5-series!  Yay photos!  Yay!

Housekeeping stuff:

Demo Day is tomorrow (January 16th) and there are only a couple spots left if you or someone else wants to give this Rolfing/SourcePoint thing a try.  $10 for 30 minutes.  New clients only.

I’m now open on Fridays in Denver.  How exciting!

 

I know I’m awesome.  Not to brag or anything, but it’s true.  I’ve worked hard to be awesome.  I follow my passions.  I spend my time doing things and learning about things that are interesting to me.  I invest time and energy into relationships that feed my soul.  I read books that inspire and educate me.  I eat food that gives me energy and vitality.  All the little things I do, all the quirks in my personality, all the experiences I’ve had, add up to awesome.  And why shouldn’t I be awesome?  I’m the best version of me that I can be right now.

And so are you.

Way to be awesome, Sassy Pants.

But the thing is, sometimes I forget how awesome I am.  I lose track of my greatness, just like my keys and my sunglasses.  When I’m hanging around someone who’s clearly smarter than me, I forget that I’m smart.  When I’m surrounded by beautiful people, I forget that I am still beautiful.  When I find myself in the presence of a true comedian, I suddenly feel like a boring lump.  I see a commercial for “So You Think You Can Dance?” and I feel like a robot, and not the dancing kind.  You know how it goes, right?

It’s uncomfortable to be reminded that I’m not the best at something.  But I have to remind myself that just because I’m not the best doesn’t mean I’m not good, or even great.  And when I come from a place of greatness; when I truly stand in my power, I am a better person.  I am more generous.  More kind.  More patient.  More understanding.  Which in turn, makes me more awesome.  When I feel jealous and insignificant and sub-standard, I act accordingly.  I am stingy and cruel and impatient and judgemental.  Which makes me less awesome.  Personally, I’d rather be generous.  I’d rather be kind.  So I will stand in my greatness.  I will own my awesomeness, and in doing so, become more awesome.

I dare you to join me in mutual awesomeness.