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We all know we ‘should’ be doing more, right? Should be moving more, should be doing yoga more, should be eating more greens, etcetera, etcetera.  We all know we ‘should’ be doing less, as well, right?  Less screen time, less blueberry muffins, less sitting, and so on.  But we’re here, now, and we’re all doing the best we can, given what we’ve got to work with.  In light of this, I wanted to share my three favorite upper-body stretches I do to combat all the time I sit hunched over my computer, sitting in my car, staring at my phone, and all that jazz.  I try to do these whenever I think of them, whether that’s for a few seconds in between sessions, or for 10 minutes at the end of the day.  Anything is better than nothing.  (Although, if you want to get technical, you need to hold a stretch for a minimum of 45 seconds if you want lasting change in the fascia.) And there’s very little needed by way of equipment, so you can get started right now, if you want.

Doorway hanging

All you need for this is a doorway and your body.  The idea is to open up your arms, shoulders, and rib cage as much as you can comfortably.  No need to push yourself into an injury.  Just grab the frame of the doorway (wherever you want), and walk through until you start to feel a stretch.  Try to keep the bottom of your rib cage in line with your pelvis instead of jutting your ribs out in front of you.  You can get a million different stretches with this just by adjusting your hands through the whole rainbow of possible positions.

Supported Snow Angels

For this one, I like to use a rolled up towel or small blanket, but you can use a pillow, a yoga block, a foam half-dome, or a rolled up sweatshirt in a pinch.  You’re going put your towel or whatever on the floor, then lie down on your back, with your spine running the length of your prop.  Then, pretend you’re making a snow angel with your arms, at a ridiculously slow speed.  Spend longer in the places where the stretch is more challenging. Also, if you can get Miss Marley to supervise, she’ll make sure you’re doing it right.

Platysma Pull

Your platysma is a muscle that extends from your collar bone to your jaw, or your lower lip, depending on who you ask. This is my favorite “I’ve been looking at my phone way too much” stretch, because the platysma gets short when we look down all day.  Start by looking down, and using both hands, press your fingertips just under your collar bones, with a downward motion.  Hold that pressure and look up as high as you comfortably can without compressing your neck.  This in itself should give you a pretty good stretch.  But when you’re ready for a bigger challenge, slowly jut your chin up towards the ceiling.  Hold that for a minute and you’re well on your way to justifying all that time you spent on SnapChat.

Happy Stretching!

Hey SassyPants,

I’ve been meaning to drop you a note about how awesome Katy Bowman is and how you should read her books and listen to her podcast and watch her videos and read her blog.  And that’s probably going to happen at some point, because Katy Bowman is my hero and she is, indeed, awesome and you should, indeed, do all those things.  But, this isn’t that note.

What I want to talk about today, is the Rolfing 10-series.  This is a weird one for me for many reasons.  While I love, love, love the 10-series, I don’t recommend the 10-series very often.  It’s such a big commitment.  I find the thought of committing to 10 whole sessions, right off the bat, to be intimidating to a lot of people.  I mean, we just met.  I’m not going to ask you to commit to spending 15 hours and $1,200 with me, right from the start.  Sometimes a client walks in already committed.  They want the 10-series.  They’ve watched my videos and read my blog posts; they feel like they already know enough about me.  They’ve researched the 10-series, or had a friend or relative go through it and it’s something they’ve wanted to do for a while.  They’re ready.  And good for them.  But that’s not average.  Most people come to me because something hurts and they’ve tried everything else and it hasn’t worked and finally they’re ready to give big, scary Rolfing a try.  So, no, I’m not going to tell those brave souls that they now need to commit to coming back 9 more times and undertaking this huge transformative journey.  Especially when it might not be right for them.

If you’re in agony, the 10-series is not for you.  The 10-series is for healthy people who want to be healthier.  It’s for people who feel good, but want to feel great.  If you have low-back pain that makes it so you can’t sleep, can’t sit without pain, can’t enjoy a meal, do you really want to wait until the 6th session before we work on your back?  ‘Cause that’s how the 10-series is set up.  If you put one to three weeks between sessions, we’re looking at 6 to 18 weeks before we directly address your back pain.  Sure, with the magic of fascia being everywhere and all connected, your back pain might go away after we address your breath in session one.  Or maybe after we address your feet and lower legs in session two.  But maybe not.  Remember, most of my clients are coming to me after they’ve been in pain for a long time, and have tried a lot of other things that haven’t worked.  The last thing I’m going to tell them is to give me a month or three to see if maybe I can help.

But I do love, love, love the 10-series.  So, when a client is ready for it, I get excited.  And the other day, when my Rolfer friend, Dave sent me this text, “Want to trade a ten series?” I got pretty excited, and “yes!” was the only response available to me.  I’ve been through the process of receiving the 10-series 2 1/2 times before, but it’s been 4 1/2 years since that last half a time through.  And, this may sound odd, but I’ve never actually received the 10-series from a Certified Rolfer™.  What?!  I know!!  My first introduction to Rolfing, and trip through the 10-series was as a model for a student in a class of soon-to-be Rolfers.  And my second trip through was in my own class, halfway through my training, when all of us students did the 10-series on each other.  My 1/2 journey through the series was when a similar class had a student drop out in the middle and since they were all working on each other, they needed someone to step in and take his spot.  I was that person.  So, all of my Rolfers in my experience of the 10-series, have been students.  When I realized a few days ago that I was about to get my first 10-series from a Certified Rolfer, and a very experienced, skilled Rolfer, who does SourcePoint, at that, I almost started wagging my tail I was so pumped.  (I don’t actually have a tail, but I often wish I did.)

For those of you who haven’t researched the 10-series extensively, or who haven’t already been through it, the 10-series is basically one really big, full-body session broken down into 10 pieces, because 10-15 hours of bodywork in one day is too much for anyone to receive, as well as too much for one bodyworker to give.  It’s broken up into three segments.  Sessions 1-3 are called the superficial, or sleeve sessions, with the structural goal of opening the outer layer of the body, to prepare it for the deeper work to come.  Sessions 4-7 are called the deep or core sessions, and they work with (surprise!) deep or core structures that aren’t often addressed in a typical massage.  And sessions 8-10 are the integrative sessions where we focus on finding the highest possible level of organization, connection, and communication throughout the body.  Each session has goals of its own, both structural and energetic in nature.  And each Rolfer and client can have specific goals for the series as a whole.  When Dave asked me what my goals for the series were, I’ll admit, I didn’t have a great answer.  My goals are kinda vague and nebulous.  I mean, I’ve already had a lot of Rolfing.  Even if I haven’t been through the 10-series in a while, Dave and I have been trading a session every month or two for about 5 years now.  And I’m a Rolfer.  I do a fair amount of self-care as I need it.  I stretch while waiting for clients to show up.  I’m mindful of my posture and my habits.  But at the same time, I haven’t had dedicated, focused, regular bodywork in a long time.  Since my last 10-series, I’ve gone from never running to being an ultra runner.  I got really into yoga, doing 3-6 classes a week, and then stopped doing yoga altogether.  I’ve taken up (and put back down) climbing.  I met and married my husband.  I’ve moved a few times.  I’ve made friends and lost friends.  I got a pull-up bar.  You know, things change.  And there are a lot of little things that bug me regularly.  My right foot turns out to the side a bit.  My left hip aches now and again.  My shoulders round forward more than I’d like.  And every now and again I have a rib go out of place for a few days.  So, I’d like to address all of those, if we can.  It just feels like I could use a full-body tune up.  Which, the 10-series is great for.  Also, enlightenment.  I’d like to achieve enlightenment.  The 10-series can do that, right?

So, I’m starting the 10-series and I’m going to try to write about it as I go.  Both from the perspective of a Rolfer, knowing the objectives of each session and all the nerdy behind-the-scenes goodness, and from the perspective of a client, receiving the sessions in an attempt at greater health.  I hope it’s interesting or helpful or entertaining.  (Also, if you’ve been thinking about doing a 10-series yourself, this might be a great time to try it, as I’ll be digging through all my notes and whatnot from classes that I may not have looked at in, oh, 5 or 6 years.  Good stuff.)  Let the journey begin!

In Rolfing school, we talked endlessly about congruency.  See, the whole idea behind Rolfing is to look at the whole picture, the whole human being, not just one muscle or bone or even limb.  How does everything work together?  My instructors would say, it’s no use getting one perfectly lengthened, hydrated, functioning hamstring if the other 5 hamstrings (you know you’ve got 3 hamstrings per leg, right?) are still short, dehydrated, and stunted.  Or, if you lengthen the IT band, but don’t look at the adductors, you may be encouraging the problem instead of resolving it.  Which is just anatomical jargon for: look at how the whole functions, not just a piece of it.  The message was always: make it congruent, not perfect.

I want to talk about that in a broader sense than just anatomy.  In junior high and high school, I was friends with a girl, we’ll call her Bridget, for the sake of our story.  Bridget and I were really good friends.  We spent a ton of time together and we could communicate with a look.  Bridget was also friends with a girl ‘named’ Sarah.  Sarah and Bridget grew up in houses on the same block.  They’d been friends for a really long time.  When Bridget and I were alone, she’d complain and complain about Sarah.  Sarah’s so annoying.  She’s driving me crazy.  Her house smells weird.  She’s stupid.  And on and on.  Okay, I get it, Bridget, you don’t like Sarah.  Not even a little bit.  Then Sarah would show up and Bridget would run over and give her this huge hug.  “Oh my god, Sarah, hiiiii!  How are you!  I’ve missed you!”  Huh?  What?  I thought you didn’t like Sarah.  In fact, we just spent an hour talking about how much you don’t like Sarah.  It didn’t match up.  And it made me really insecure around whether or not Bridget actually liked me at all.  ‘Cause she acted like she liked me, when we were together.  But I didn’t know what was going on when I wasn’t around.  Maybe she was talking about how my house smelled weird.  And how stupid I was.  There was a definite lack of congruency and it made me uneasy.

Just a little while ago, I was hanging out at a bar with my siblings and some friends of ours in Chicago.  Some of us had to get going because the last train to my parents’ house left at 12:30 and we didn’t want to miss it.  My friend, we’ll call her Michelle, offered to give us a ride instead, so we could stay later.  I turned to her and asked, “Haven’t you been drinking just as much as we have?”  She said, “Yeah, but I drink and drive all the time.”  Which in itself is disturbing.  But the thing is, Michelle is a state’s attorney and spends her days prosecuting drunk drivers.  What?  The lack of congruency made me sick.  And we took the train.

Congruency isn’t always easy.  Getting things to be congruent takes work, and it takes more work to keep things congruent.  That’s what makes my job so interesting and challenging.  I think it’s worth striving for.  When you expand the goal of congruency to include your whole life, it’s a matter of integrity.  And integrity is one of those things I value immensely.

Say what you mean.  Mean what you say.  Do what you say you’re going to do.  I want my private life to match my public life.  I want to make my right match my left.  Make my body match my soul.  I’m not always going to achieve that, but I’m going to try.  I want to be congruent.

 

***The next Demo Day will be Wednesday, November 14th.  If you want in on it, let me know.

Hey there, SassyPants, I’ve got a question for you.  When you have an injury, or a painful spot on your body, how do you talk to it?  When you sprain your knee, does the conversation go a little something like this?  “Stupid freakin’ knee.  Always gotta be hurting and twisting all funny-like.  Why can’t you just work right like other people’s knees?  Why can’t you just do what you’re supposed to?  Man, how long are you going to take to heal?  Does this mean I can’t play basketball on Wednesday?  Great.  Thanks a lot, you stupid knee, you.”

Or does the conversation go more like this?  “Oh, hey knee.  Well, you certainly got my attention.  Is there something you need?  Something you’ve been trying to tell me lately, that I haven’t been listening to?  Do you just want some time off?  Take a little break?  That’s cool.  You got it.  I love you, knee.  Let me know if you want some ice or gentle stretching or anything, okay?  You’re awesome.  Thanks for everything you do for me.  I know we’ll get through this just fine.”

I know my first instinct is to go the first route and be angry when I get hurt, or when something hurts.  But I think it makes a difference when we go the second route and send love towards the pain instead.  I can’t prove that it speeds the healing up.  But I know that whatever you think about all day trains your brain to keep thinking about that same thing.  It’s like when hundreds of people take the same shortcut across the grass in the park and pretty soon there’s a path worn through it.  From then on, it’s easier to take that path than to cut a new one through the grass, so you probably walk the path.  Your brain works like that.

If you spend your day thinking “my knee is so stupid and weak,” then your brain starts to believe your knee is stupid and weak.  So your knee behaves as if it’s stupid and weak.  But if you spend your day thinking “my knee is so healthy and strong,” then your brain starts to believe your knee is healthy and strong.  So your knee behaves as if it’s healthy and strong.  I don’t know about you, but “healthy and strong” sounds better than “stupid and weak” to me.

Now, I try to send my injuries love instead of hate.  Compassion and patience instead of frustration and anger.  So, SassyPants, what’s ailing you these days?  Wanna try sending it some love?

Hey Sassy Pants, happy Tuesday!  Yoga Instructor Appreciation Week starts on Thursday and I’m totally pumped!  It’s filling up quickly (only 8 spots left out of 30 available openings!) and I’m so grateful to you for all your help in spreading the word to the yoga teachers in your life.  I couldn’t have done it without you!

Now, let’s get down to it.  This issue seems to keep coming up lately, so I thought I’d address it here, out in the open.  What happens after a Rolfing session?  What should you expect?  I know we talked a little bit about this after your first session.  You may have gotten an email with lots of details, depending on when you started working with me.  But let’s just go over it all again, ‘cause some weird shit can happen after you get Rolfed, I’m not gonna lie.

First, let’s cover the basics.
-You might be very thirsty.  We are trying to make your tissues extra juicy, afterall.  I know it’s hard to believe, but you should drink some water if this happens.  Weird, right?
-You might crave protein.  Fascia is a protein matrix and as we move it around, you might need some extra oomph to fill in the gaps.  If this happens, you should eat some steak or beans.  This stuff is so complicated, I know.
-You might want to sleep for 12 hours straight.  You should follow this impulse.  I’m not sure why this happens, but I have two theories.  One, your nervous system is finally coming out of its perpetual ‘fight or flight’ state and would now like to take some time off.  Two, your body would like to integrate some pretty major changes and would like your logical brain out of the way because it keeps interrupting with things like, “That doesn’t make any sense!  Your head can’t feel different; she only worked on your feet!”  So your body says to your brain, “sssshhhhh…why don’t you take a nap…a really long nap?”  Either way, if you’re tired; sleep.
-You might be sore, like you would be after a good, hard workout.  Arnica, an epsom salt bath, lots of water, and rest are all good ideas.
-You might notice your balance and perception have changed.  You might be standing differently on your feet or holding your head in a different place.  Hooray!  Just be careful as you begin to do things like operate a car or workout.  You might want to lay off the gym for 24-48 hours after your session, just to be safe.
-That thing that always hurts?  It doesn’t hurt anymore.  I think I’m legally bound to say that the relief of symptoms is NOT one of the goals of Rolfing.  But let’s be honest, I’m not going to complain if your pain goes away, and neither are you.

Let’s get a little weirder, shall we?  These things are a little less common, but by no means unique.
-You might feel a little dizziness or light-headedness.  Please tell me about this before you leave the room.  We can work on that.  I don’t want you falling down the stairs.
-You might have small, sharp pains in different places in your body.  This is what happens when sheets of fascia shear away from each other because your body is changing its posture.  This is a good thing, as fascia shouldn’t be glued together, it should glide.  When this happens, it feels a little like a bandaid’s being ripped off, on the inside.  It shouldn’t last more than a second or two and should fade over the next 48 hours.
-You might feel like you’re gliding, instead of walking.  That’s awesome.  Work it.
-You might feel taller, or more expansive, like you’re taking up all the space in your body.  Words don’t do justice to this feeling, but it’s amazing, so if you’ve got it, live it up.
-You may feel a bit drunk or stoned.  Yes, that’s normal.  Again, be careful if you’re going to drive.  Or send texts to your exes.
-You may feel stronger or easier, if that makes any sense.  I have often finished getting a session and thought, I could walk all day!  I feel invincible!  I hope you sometimes experience that, too.
-You might experience an emotional roller coaster.  Usually, there are issues in the tissues.  And when we go stirring up the tissues, we stir up the issues.  Waves of whatever you don’t need anymore can hit you on their way out.  If you need to cry, then by all means, cry.  Pop in The Color Purple if you need a little help getting started.
-My mom says she feels all rolled out, like with a rolling pin.  Or spread out, like pancake batter.  Maybe you’ll feel this, too.  Maybe my mom’s just got food on the brain.
-You might be more flexible.  That yoga pose you always struggle with is suddenly a breeze.  You can touch your toes for the first time in years.  We’re trying to increase the length in your body, so this just means we’ve done a good job during your session.  Yay!

On to the extra odd.  Yes, indeedy, this Rolfing business is a strange one.
-You may notice that your dreams shift in quality as you do a series of Rolfing sessions.  Ida Rolf, when pressed, once said that Rolfing was really shamanism, but what did she know?  You may have more of a “journey-like” quality to your dreams for a period of time.  Keeping a dream journal could be an interesting experience, if you’re up for it.
-If you’ve had a particularly intense session, you may experience some out-of-body time, as disassociation can be a way to take a time-out from what’s happening.  Again, tell me about this before you leave, please.  This doesn’t make for safe operation of heavy machinery.

That’s all I can think of right now, but I’m sure I’ve missed a few.  Have you experienced some Rolfing aftermath that should be on the list?  Could you please remind me?  Or, do you have a crazy story about experiencing any of the above?  I’d love to hear about it!  Feel free to shoot me an email, or post it right here by leaving a comment.

And if you experience anything out of the ordinary that’s NOT on this list, please, please, please tell me about it.  I do free touch-up sessions if something’s just not integrating quite right.  As usual, thanks for reading.  Until next time, much love!

First, and foremost, I’ve decided on a name for the new service.  After many wonderful suggestions from the likes of you, as well as a fairly involved, slightly intoxicated debate with a bunch of people who had never been Rolfed, I’m happy to announcing the brand new Kick-Ass Rub!  Thanks for all of the suggestions, input, and slightly inappropriate comments (you know who you are).  I’m excited about the new session and now I’m excited about the name as well.  Yay!

Speaking of excitement, Demo Day is tomorrow.  Love those things.  If you have someone in your life who’s been wanting to check out this Rolfing/SourcePoint thing as well as this Theresa Zordan person, this is the way to go.  I still have a couple after-work appointments open, so have them give me a call (303-261-2568) or shoot me an email (t.zordan@gmail.com) to set up their 30 minute trial session for $10.

Okay, on to the learning bit.  Let’s talk about Left-Right Balance (and Imbalance).  I capitalized it to make it look important, but that’s just what I call it.  Ideally, your body has this whole communication thing going on between your right side and your left side.  Your two sides work together.  Sometimes they work a little too well together, such as when you hurt your left shoulder and a little while later your right shoulder starts hurting as well.  Really?  Come on.  Not cool, Body.  But what’s more common in my office is a complete breakdown of communication between the two sides of the body.  And I can spot it in the first 5 minutes of the first session.  Now I’m going to teach you how to spot it as well.

In the first 5 minutes of a session, I ask people for their body history.  Falls, accidents, surgeries, broken bones, problem areas, etc.  The conversation, when there’s a significant lack of communication between the left side and the right side of the body (and therefore the brain), goes a little something like this.

Me:  Which foot did you break?
Superstar Client:  My right one, when I was 7.
Me:  Oh, and your shoulder surgery in 2005, which shoulder was that?
SC:  My right shoulder.
Me:  Cool.  And you have carpal tunnel in both wrists?
SC:  No, just my right wrist.
Me:   Oh, and you have TMJ?
SC:  Yeah, my jaw pops on the right side.

You get the picture, right?

So, why does this sort of thing happen?  Well, we have a chicken and the egg sort of situation here, and I certainly can’t tell you which came first.  It’s possible that with the original injury to your right side, such as the broken foot when you were seven, you learned subconsciously, not to trust your right side.  And since then, you’ve been paying a little less attention to that right side of yours.  Therefore, you’re a little more accident prone on your right side.  And the next time you get a bump or a bruise on your right side, it just reinforces your belief that you can’t trust your right side.  So you put things you don’t like there, such as tension and stress and anger, all the while ignoring it a little more and a little more.  Poor right side.  It didn’t want to have a broken foot any more than you did, except for the cool cast for all your friends to sign.

The other option for how it all started is a bit more woo-woo and out there.  But you know me, I’m a bit out there (not to mention woo-woo), so this is the one I like more.  In this option, we look at why it was that you broke your right foot, and not your left, in the first place.  Which brings us to theories about what the right side of your body means, and what the left side of your body means.  Typically, the right side (of the body and left side of the brain) is associated with things like masculine energy, logical and rational thought, and generally a German way of operating (I’m German, I can say stuff like this).  Get stuff done.  Do step one, then step two, then step three.  Dominate.  Dictate.  On the other hand (literally, ha!) the left side of the body (and right side of the brain) is generally associated with feminine energy, intuition, creativity, listening, and an Italian way of operating (I’m Italian, I can say this too).  Go with your gut, listen to the universe, pay attention to signs and omens.  Dance, draw, light a candle not for light or warmth, but for the beauty of it.

With this second, woo-woo option the interpretation can be a bit messy.  For instance, are all of your injuries on the right side because you don’t trust the masculine forces in your life or in yourself?  Are you uncomfortable operating from a place of logic as opposed to intuition?  Or do you over-identify with the right side, relying on it too heavily, so that it can’t get the support it needs from the left?  Don’t look at me.  I don’t have any idea.  But chances are, you do.  And if you’re one of those people who suffers from Left-Right Imbalance (there, I did it again, doesn’t it look important?) maybe you could take a minute or two to think about your relationship with logic and intuition.  Masculine and feminine.  Talking versus listening.  ‘Cause the thing is you need both.  They were designed to work together.  That’s why you have two hands, two eyes, and two legs.  Just one would make things a little more difficult and a lot more unbalanced.  Just a thought.

Let’s talk about body awareness, otherwise known as your relationship with your body.  I’m sure you’ve heard people talk about someone who’s really “in their body.”  Or maybe it’s phrased as “she’s really grounded,” or “he has great body awareness.”  Maybe you know a professional athlete and their body is pretty much their whole life.  Maybe you are that person.  But for the rest of us, that can be really confusing.  What does that even mean?  In a culture where living exclusively from the neck up is not only acceptable, but is generally admired, something gets lost in translation when we hear about people who are “in” their bodies.

He’s got a good head on his shoulders.  But does he have a good belly beneath those shoulders?  Why should we care?  The thing is, your body is a super-duper-awesome source of information, but most of us aren’t paying attention.  Take a minute and think about all the information you’re getting from your body, not your brain, right now.  You know the texture of the floor your feet are resting on, and whether or not it’s level.  If you were to step on a patch of ice, your body would immediately know the difference between that and the dry sidewalk.  Your skin is telling you how warm or cold it is where you are, as well as if there’s a breeze or not, and what texture and weight your clothes have.  Your stomach is telling you not only if you have to eat, but if you’re nervous or relaxed.  And that’s just the beginning!  You know how you can feel it when someone’s staring at you?  That’s your body, not your logical brain.

Unfortunately, most of us learn to disconnect from all the signals our body sends us pretty early on.  We learn not to cry when that’s all we want to do.  We learn to pour a cup of coffee when our body asks for a nap.  We learn to sit still and get the work done when our body asks for a walk.  And if our body says “this situation is uncomfortable, I’d like to leave now” we tell it to hush up, sometimes with drugs and alcohol, sometimes by simply staying in a place that’s wrong for us.  In extreme cases, like trauma, we sometimes pretend that nothing’s happened and everything’s fine, when everything is exactly the opposite of fine.  And just like a toddler throwing a tantrum, if you ignore your body for long enough, it gets quieter and quieter until you really can’t hear what it’s saying anymore.  What a shame.

The fact is, your brain and your body are one thing.  They’re you.  Trying to separate them, or to pay attention to one and not the other is like saying you’re only going to eat the flour and sugar out of a cake, but not the eggs and the vanilla.  Good luck with that.  Also, even if you could accomplish that, it wouldn’t taste very good, nor would it resemble cake.  And if you’re only paying attention to your logical brain without paying attention to your body, you’re only getting some of the story, and it doesn’t taste nearly as good as the whole story.

This is part of the reason we see so many ailments that are normal in our culture today.  If you stop listening when your stomach says “I’m full,” you end up overweight.  If you don’t pay attention when your bones say “I’m tired,” you end up with colds and flus and depression that force you to finally lie down.  And don’t get me started on all the anxiety disorders that are so popular today.  Perhaps your body is telling you that something’s not right in your life.

If you’re one of the people who believes they’re a head with some other stuff below it, maybe you can try checking in with that thing carrying your head from place to place.  I know, that can be unfamiliar and strange just to think about.  But there are some really simple things to try to get you started.  First, take off your shoes, and take that body for a spin.  Think about all the information you can get from your bare feet.  What’s the texture of the ground you’re standing on?  Temperature?  Hardness?  Can you feel what’s underneath the floor?  Another thing to try is meditating on, or bringing your awareness to one specific body part.  Meditate on your stomach for five minutes before eating.  What is it really craving?  Protein? Sugar?  Fat?  Does it need a bowl of ice cream, or would two bites be enough?  Bring your awareness to your pelvis.  Can you sense the front and back?  Are your sit bones contacting your chair evenly, or is one more solidly connected than the other?  What about your breath and your lungs?  Does your breath fill only the front or only the back of your rib cage?  Maybe it only fills your belly or more of your right side than your left.  To start with, just notice these things.  This is your body talking to you.

Oh, and a couple more things:

Body Awareness is one of the big goals of Rolfing.
I know my ability to live “in my body” went through the roof with my first trip through the ten series.  And since then, I’ve been able to stop worrying about my weight for the first time since I was little, since my body takes care of it for me.  If you’re struggling with your own body awareness, schedule a session or three and let’s see what we can accomplish.

Thank you so much for your help with Demo Day!
Yesterday was my first ever Energy Work Demo Day and it was awesome!  Thanks for coming in yourself and/or sending in your friends!  Next month’s Demo Day will be a “normal” Demo Day where each mini-session will be a blend of structural work and energy work and it will be on Wednesday, December 14th.

If you’ve heard of Rolfing, you’ve probably heard two things: it hurts, and you have to do 10 sessions.  If you’re a client of mine, you already know that neither is necessarily true.  Rolfing can hurt, and you can do the 10-series, but neither are required.  I’ve talked quite a bit about pain, and how Rolfing doesn’t have to hurt, but I haven’t said much about the traditional Rolfing 10-series.  So what is this mysterious beast?  Let’s get into it.

Strangely enough, the 10-series is a set of 10 sessions, each with a specific goal.  (Weird that it’d be called the 10-series, I know.)  It’s also known as ‘the recipe’ and it was created by Ida Rolf herself, back in the 60′s.  See, Ida had this magical ability to look at a person and see where all the issues started.  She could watch someone walk, then say, okay, I’m going to start with their right shoulder, then go to their left knee, work a little on their tongue, and finish with their lower abdomen.  And the client would get up off the table and look great; their walk would be effortless.  When it came to teaching her students to see like she did, however, she ran into a bit of a problem: not everyone had this gift.  In fact, most people just couldn’t see the way she could, at least, not without several years of practice.  So, she developed the 10-series as a step-by-step way to go through the entire body.  This way, everything would get addressed and her students could be sure they hadn’t missed anything.

And what a beautiful recipe it is.  The first three sessions are called the ‘sleeve’ sessions and work with the surface, or outer layers of the body.  The next four are the ‘core’ sessions and get deep into the juicy bits.  The last three are the cleanup crew and the integration where we pick up any pieces that we missed and tie it all together.  Also, the sessions alternate between upper and lower body, so your whole being is moving forward together.

Unfortunately, the 10-series isn’t for everyone.  Don’t get me wrong; I think everyone can benefit from receiving a 10-series.  But it was designed for healthy people as a full body tune-up.  If you’re dealing with a serious leg injury, you might get frustrated when I spend 5 sessions nowhere near your legs.  It’s a very general recipe, which I do my best to tailor to each client’s needs, but if you have a major issue going on, it might be best to address that first, then go ahead with the 10-series.  Also, once you start a 10-series it’s very important to finish.  It’s a pretty big commitment and not for the faint of heart.

All in all, though, I LOVE the 10-series.  As part of my training, I’ve gone through the whole thing twice, which is not something that’s generally recommended, unless you’ve had 10 years or so in between (I had about 10 months).  I experienced huge, amazing, life-shifting changes with each journey through.  And a 10-series was my introduction to Rolfing, which obviously sold me on the whole experience.  So if your body feels good, but you want it to feel so much better, think about trying a 10-series.  I’d be happy to answer any other questions you might have about it, before you make that leap and jump into this wild ride of healing.