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I’ve been thinking about Core a lot lately, SassyPants. Therefore, I wanted to write about Core. But I thought to myself, “Theresa, you always write about Core. And yeah, it’s important and all, but come on. The masses are tired of hearing about Core.” Turns out, I’ve written about Core twice. Once on January 3rd of last year, I wrote about my favorite Core muscle, the psoas.  And almost two years ago, I wrote about your energetic core, or your golden midline. So I’m going to write about Core again, since I don’t actually always write about Core. I just always think about Core, and I always want to write about Core.

So, ‘the Core’ is something Rolfers are always going on about. A whopping 4 sessions of the 10-series are devoted just to the Core. We’re always rambling about movement being initiated from the Core, and lengthening the Core, and accessing the Core. And while it all logically makes sense, I didn’t know what any of that felt like in my body until I was halfway through my second 10-series in the middle of my training to become a Rolfer. I got up off the table, and could feel my Core. It was lovely! So strong and stable! So long and tall! I felt like I could stand forever without getting tired. My Core could support me and my ‘sleeve,’ on the other hand, could just rest. Physically, I finally knew what Core meant.

In the last few years as I went through my Saturn Return, I had a very real sense of my non-physical Core. This was the essence of who I was as a human being. It felt as though my Core was a ceramic vase, and was being smashed to smithereens. Not exactly a pleasant experience. But among the shards and dust, I felt like a new core, this one made from un-smashable steel, was emerging. As painful as it was, it turns out I’d rather have a steel pipe than a ceramic vase as my Core, and I’m grateful for that brutal smashing. I now have a very clear sense of this indestructible mental, emotional, and spiritual core, to go with that physical core I found back in Rolfing school. Huzzah!

Lately, I’ve been doing a lot of yoga. Well…a lot by my standards, which means 2 to 4 classes a week. And those yoga teachers, man, they just won’t stop talking about Core. Engage your Core! Use your Core! And they’re so right. Each pose, each movement feels better and stronger and more stable when my Core is engaged and active. It’s when I forget about my Core that I fall over or tweak something in a weird way.

So, yeah, Core is important. It’s a big deal. I might go as far as to say Core (and your ability to access it) is critical to a happy, healthy life. But learning to relate to your Core can be challenging. In my case, it took 15 Rolfing sessions before I could feel it. It took years of soul searching, and a fair number of tears, before I could emotionally access it in a moment. It took a lot of journal entries and long walks with friends before I felt confident in my Core. So if you’re there…if you know your Core and how to access it on all levels, good on ya! I’m so impressed. And if you don’t, if Core is still a bit of a mysterious concept to you, don’t fret. Little by little you will learn, if you want to learn, how to relate to your Core. And more importantly, how to make sure every movement you make, every word you speak, every spell you invoke, and every thought you think comes from your Core. And that will be a beautiful day, indeed.

It may be hard to believe, but sometimes I forget about Rolfing and how helpful it can be.  It’s especially hard to believe considering I am a Rolfer.  This is what I do all day, every day.  But you see, I have this weird thing in my brain about Rolfing: I think it can help just about everything, for just about everyone.  Except me.

Someone tells me how their knee’s been bothering them; I think to myself, “I can help with that.”  Someone tells me how they feel out of whack and off kilter; I think to myself, “I can help with that.”  Someone tells me how they get headaches a few times a week; I think to myself, “I can help with that.”  Someone’s freaking out about work and their house and their boyfriend; I think to myself, “I can help with that.”  Then, I break my toe, sprain my shoulder, get emotionally wrapped up into a giant-multi-colored-extra-knotted ball of string and I think to myself, “Whatever am I going to do?!?  Who could possibly help me with this!?!”

And so, last week, I found myself with said broken toe (my first broken bone!), and sprained shoulder (thanks for nothing, yoga), and emotional ball of knots and I finally (finally!!!) remembered that Rolfing might be able to help me.  So, I called up my bud, Dave Sheldon, a Rolfer in Boulder, and asked if he could fit me in.  He said yes and I walked into his office with a laundry list of complaints.  It was one of those sessions (do you do this?) where you go in, planning to mention just those two or three things that are really bothering you, and by the time you’re five minutes into the session you’ve listed 23 things instead.  “AND my roommate’s dog is driving me crazy!  AND my sister’s coming to visit next week and it’s stressing me out!  AND my sacrum feels all wonky!  AND I’ve been wearing flip-flops for two weeks now and I’m sick of it, but I can’t wear any other shoes without my toe hurting and I can’t exactly walk into the bank barefoot, can I?”  And so on, and so forth.

Then, the funniest (and at the same time the most natural) thing happened.  I got on the table and closed my eyes, and Dave started working.  All of a sudden, it felt like all these layers were falling away from me.  Like I’d been wearing a suit made out of 23 layers of tissue paper.  So light that I hadn’t thought to take it off, but enough that it was affecting the way I looked and that rustling noise was really getting to me.  And one by one, Dave gently cut each layer away, and let it fall to the ground.  Some layers were wrapped tightly around my foot, keeping it stable, but I didn’t need those anymore.  Some of them were wrapped all around my shoulder, all the way down to my wrist and around my ribs and spine.  I didn’t need those anymore either.  Most of them were wrapped around my heart, or my solar plexus, or my throat, or my head, getting me caught up in unnecessary worry and fear and distress.  I didn’t need a single one of those tissue paper layers.

And I realized there, on the table, why it was that I fell in love with Rolfing in the first place.  Dave wasn’t taking away anything that I needed, or anything that was inherently me.  And he wasn’t adding anything to me, either.  He was simply uncovering the real me, and giving me permission for that to be enough.  I didn’t need any of this tissue paper to make me stable or pretty or to cover anything up.  I was perfectly me, without all that other stuff.  He was reminding my shoulder and my toe that they already knew how to recover from an injury quickly and with ease.  He was reminding me that worry and fear were good intuitive signals to listen to, but there was no reason to walk around spinning in them all day.  And the greatest part was that he did all that without saying a word.  He worked with the physical tissues and the energetic patterns and gently unwound them until there I was, just the way I should be.  And when I came from that centered, more-me sort of place, I realized, my sister and I had shared a house (and usually a bedroom) for 16 1/2 years.  We could probably figure out 3 days just fine.  Oh, and my sacrum felt better, too.

It was funny.  When I walked into his office, I didn’t feel like someone other than myself.  But when I walked out…the change was drastic and clear.  I’d walked in like a papier-mâché doll of myself and walked out as me.  And that right there is some good shit, yo.

This question came up three (yes, three!) times in one day in my practice and I found it odd.  So I started asking the same question of friends for the following few days.  Ready for the question?  Here it is:  On a scale of zero to one hundred, where would you say your heart is?  Let’s calibrate the scale, shall we?  Zero is drawbridge up, moat filled with alligators, and an armed gunman on every parapet.  Not to mention the reinforced concrete walls, the electrified barbed wire, and the cannons loaded and ready to fire.  Oh, and dragons; lots of dragons.  On the other end of the spectrum at one hundred, what we have is more open and welcoming than a puppy dog.  You’re more vulnerable and less protected than a baby.  You’re an overripe peach, without skin.  Anything and everything that wants to get in is getting in, and you’re not even going to raise a tiny baby fist in protest.

I hope that for all of us, this is a question where the answer changes hour to hour and day to day, based on the situation.  Obviously we’re not going to go argue about the cable bill with our hearts at 100.  And hopefully, when you hang out with your bestie or your favorite pet, your heart’s not in full-lockdown mode.  But, on average, say for the last week, where would you put your heart?  I don’t really care where it was when you were 3.  Or where you hope it will be when you’re 90.  Or if it wasn’t for that stupid ex-husband of yours, it would be at 70, but now it’s at 31.  Tell me where you’re at, right now, in this life you’re currently living.  Or better yet, tell yourself.  Are you on the open and vulnerable side with 50 or above?  Are you closed and protected with 49 or less?  Much more importantly, do you feel comfortable moving around on that scale?

Once, I read about a study which showed that a heart which oscillates between beating fast and beating slowly is healthier than a heart that stays at a constant, calm rate.  (If I could find that study for you now, I would link to it, but alas; my 92 seconds of googling came up with nothing; I got frustrated, and I decided to just write this post instead.)  This report I read made the point that while we typically assume it’s better to be calm and even keel all the time, this is just not true.  Getting all worked up, whether it be physically or emotionally, is actually better for your heart, as long as you also have periods of rest and relaxation where your heart rate comes back down.  Living this way allows your heart to learn a sort of flexibility so that the highs aren’t so shocking and exhausting when they happened.

I feel like this applies to pretty much everything.  I don’t like air conditioning because I want to be hot in the summer.  It’s summer!  This is when you’re supposed to be hot!  I like to work out super hard, then sit on the porch talking with friends for hours.  I tend to get carried away when I cook and I have to remind myself that just because you can put every single one of the spices in a meatloaf doesn’t mean you should.  And at the same time, I’m perfectly happy eating plain crackers for dinner.  Go to extremes, then find middle ground.

Same goes for your emotional, energetic heart.  Your life experiences and your current outlook have led you to whatever number you came up with regarding the openness of your heart.  No biggie.  No need to judge yourself, or flaunt your number.  No number is better than any other (except 9, which is just the coolest number on the planet, but not any extra cool for this exercise).  What’s more important is, can you move from that number, when it’s appropriate?  26 may be a super comfortable place for you right now.  Safe, but not on full-lockdown.  Guarded, but you’ve got a good reason for that.  However, when the love of your life appears, do you have the ability to open up a bit more?  Can you get to 54 so they can squeeze through the door?  And if 78 is where you normally hang out, do you know how to draw things in a bit, when necessary?  Can you hear criticism without it destroying your whole week?  Are your boundaries well defined and well protected, in case an ill-wishing marauder comes your way?

If so, hooray!  You’re like a heart olympian!  If not, what stretches can you do to increase your emotional flexibility?  Imagine scenarios where your heart moves towards the bigger numbers along the spectrum.  Picture your heart lowering the drawbridge, putting the dragons out to pasture, and taking off the suit of armor.  What have you been missing out on, that can now come in?  Now go towards the itty, bitty numbers, put that chain mail back on, and grab your sword.  What challenges can you meet face first, with your heart protected like this?

Going back to your original number; is that something you’re happy about?  Are you comfortable there?  Does that rating of openness serve you well?  Again, if so, then super-duper!  If not, now may be a good time to point your nose towards the end of the spectrum you’d like to be closer to.  One day at a time, one decimal point at a time, make an effort to get your heart to a number that better suits you.  And remember, while it might be scary, it’s probably not a bad idea to Love Love 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!

Winter is a hard time of year for a lot of people.  Low levels of vitamin D, due to our position in relation to the sun can be one contributor.  Heap on some cold, snowy weather and we start exercising less, decreasing our natural ‘good mood’ chemicals in the brain.  Throw in a pinch of holidays and the attendant difficulties with family members and junk food, and it’s no wonder we’re all wearing our cranky pants.  It’s also easy to withdraw when things get tough.  No, I won’t be able to come to your super bowl party.  I don’t think I’ll go out dancing tonight.  I’d rather stay home, alone, in bed.  Which is fine and all; until it’s not.  Think of this time of year as the emotional equivalent of moving day.  Sure, it’s tough work and there’s a lot to do, but you’re strong and able bodied.  You can carry tons of boxes by yourself.  But you simply cannot move the couch alone.  No matter how strong you are.  It’s just too big and bulky and heavy and you have to turn it just so to get it to fit through the door.  We all have our own emotional couches that we just can’t carry alone.

As members of the human species, we do better when we work together.  And asking for help is a good idea, with physical heavy lifting, as well as the emotional kind.  But as prideful beings, we hate asking for help.  It’s a catch-22, deedlee-doo.  When we’re feeling low, hanging out with a friend can be more helpful than a bottle of prozac or vitamin D supplements, but a lot harder to ask for; which is too bad. ‘Cause no matter what, it’s easier to get the couch up the stairs, through the front door and into just the right spot with a friend (or three) helping you out.  Emotionally, or physically.  But asking for help can make us feel incredibly vulnerable.  And all sorts of old stories can come up about being whiney, or needy, or mopey, or a crybaby, or a Debbie Downer.  So we keep our mouths shut.  And the couch stays out on the sidewalk.  Getting wet and muddy and not helping us feel comfortable in our living rooms.  Blech.

I’m one of those people who really struggles to ask for help.  Always have been.  Probably always will be.  But here’s a trick I learned that’s helped me a lot in recent years.  Think about how you feel when someone asks you for help.  Do you roll your eyes and feel completely put out?  Do you think to yourself “what a whiney, needy, crybaby?”  No, of course you don’t.  You probably feel like:  Yes!  Of course!  I’d love to help!  Why didn’t you ask sooner?  Is there anything else I can do?

See, it feels good to help.  And again, we humans do better when we work together.  Our brains know on a basic level that cooperation increases our chances for survival.  And when you help someone else out, there’s a better chance that person might help you out in return.  I LOVE when people ask me for help.  Want me to teach you some of my awesome dance moves?  Sure!  Need me to translate that letter your Italian lover wrote you?  No problem!  Need a hand with the couch on moving day?  You got it!  Need to lean on me for a bit while you sort this mess out in your head?  Let me grab some tissues and a mug of tea for you!

Whenever I’m feeling like I should just tough it out on my own instead of asking for help, I try to remember how great it feels when people ask me for help.  I turn it around and think of it as doing them a favor.  I’m just trying to make them feel better, by giving them the joy you get from helping.  And they can always say no, but it can’t hurt to ask.  I’m generally surprised at just how willing people are to help.  I just needed to let them know I needed it.  Give it a try, next time you need some help, but are hesitant to ask.  Think about what you would say if a friend asked you for help in the very same way.  Then go ahead and ask for help.

———

Speaking of asking for help, I could use some help myself. The next Demo Days (two in February!) are just around the corner, and I could really use some help making them both a huge success.  The first one is in Lafayette on Tuesday the 14th from 1pm to 6pm.  Next up is Denver’s Demo Day on Wednesday, the 15th from 11am to 8pm.  I still have several spots to fill in each one and I’d love it if you’d send your fabulous friends and family members in to try out this funky thing we do.  30 minute sessions for $10.  You can’t beat the price and it’s a great way to get a taste of Rolfing and SourcePoint without committing to a whole session.  Thanks, in advance, for your help!

I know you’ve been dying to know what’s on the menu, so without further ado, here you are:

Energy Work Demo Day

A prix fixe tasting menu for those curious about SourcePoint Therapy with Theresa Zordan

Starters
Diamond Points: setting four points around the body to provide an energetic container for the session  
Blockage Scan: a thorough scan of your body’s energy to find the primary blockage to the flow of information

Entrees-Please Choose One   
Rectangle Points: setting and balancing four points relating to the body’s physical energy; great for pain or after chemotherapy, radiation, or any trauma.  
Navel Point: supporting and encouraging the flow of healing heaven energy in the universe and the body      
Sacral Point and Sacral Diamond: supporting and nourishing the vital life force energy within the body; helpful after any bad falls to the tailbone and for TMJ
Guardian Points: acknowledging and invoking the inherent guardian energy at 15 specific points on the body; stimulating the physical and psychic immune system
Extraction: removal of foreign energies from the body
Stick Figure: reestablishing the basic energetic lines around which bones form; good after having any broken bones or surgeries.
Crescent Moon: creating left-right balance as well as grounding.  Goddess energy for those that are lacking.
Trauma Scan: locating blockages specifically related to traumatic events and addressing the largest of these   
Emotional Scan: locating blockages specifically related to the emotional body and addressing the largest of these  
Karmic Scan: locating blockages specifically relating to karma while addressing the primary blockage of these
Chakra Balancing: addressing all 7 major chakras, from crown to root in order to balance, clear, and awaken
Chef’s Choice: the most necessary of the above entrees, based on the chef’s intuition

Desserts
Sacral Hold: supporting and nourishing the vital earth energy within the body; settles and integrates the nervous system
Diamond Points: reestablishing the four diamond points to bring closure to the session

30-minute sessions.  $10 each.

So what’s your fancy?  A karma scan?  Maybe a sacral diamond?  Call me at 303-261-2568 to schedule your 30 minute energy session for just $10.  Looking forward to seeing you there!