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Tag Archives: moving

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!

 

 

Hey there SassyPants,

It’s (apparently) been 8 1/2 months since I wrote a blog post.  I guess I didn’t have much to say.  But now I DO have something to say.  Two things, in fact.  No, make that three.  Good things come in trios, as they say.

First and foremost, I’m moving to a new office.  For the second time in my almost-8-year career, the space I’m currently renting will soon be torn down and turned into a luxury apartment building.  Love you, Denver!  And so, it is with great excitement that I announce Monday, January 29th will be the last day I see clients at 701 S. Logan and Wednesday January 31st will be the first day I see clients at 1221 S. Clarkson (suite 122).  I’ll be sending out reminders of the new location for the first month or so, but after that, you’re on your own.  The new building is around the corner from Whole Foods for all your pre- and post-Rolfing snacking needs and is still very accessible and in the West Wash Park neighborhood.  The only trick is parking, in that there are about 8 spots directly in front of the building on Clarkson which is designated as 2-hour parking.  The surrounding blocks are all 1-hour parking (which is a bit short for a Rolfing session).  However, exactly one block north, on Mississippi, parking is unlimited (except for the once a month street sweeping days).  So here’s your chance to get a little more movement in your life and spend just a minute or two more outside by parking a block away!  I really am excited about this new space and I’m looking forward to sharing it with you.  I’m also looking for a few other therapists to share the space with, as there are two treatment rooms and I’ll only be using one (and even that one I don’t use 24/7).  So, if you are a, or know any massage therapists, Rolfers, Reiki practitioners, acupuncturists, counselors, psychologists, or other healers who could use some full or part-time office space, please let me know!

Secondly, my dear friend and personal Rolfer, Dave Sheldon is organizing and co-teaching a SourcePoint Therapy module 1 class in Boulder at the Rolf Institute April 6th-8th.  This class is open to the public and you need absolutely no experience as a bodyworker or in any particular field to participate.  I’ll be attending the class myself for a review and would love to see you there as well.  If you’ve ever had any interest in exploring SourcePoint Therapy for your own personal use (or to use on your friends or kids or pets or unsuspecting strangers), this is a great opportunity to check it out.  You’ll learn a lot of the basics taught by the creators of SourcePoint, Bob Shrei and Donna Thomson.  Early registration is $550; after February 23rd it goes up to $600.  You can contact Dave directly at dave@davesheldon.com to register and more information about SourcePoint Therapy can be found at sourcepointtherapy.com.

Lastly, I wanted to let everyone know that I’ll be taking off 6 weeks this summer to thru hike the Colorado Trail (unless the whole state is on fire because we haven’t had any snow or rain).  My exact date of departure is yet to be determined, but will probably be around the first of July. I bring this up now just in case you want to do a 10-series this year.  Since a 10-series takes a minimum of 10 weeks to complete, and more commonly takes 20-30 weeks to complete, and because there are only 24-25 weeks before I head out, and because it’s really not ideal to take a 6-week break in the middle of your 10-series (but it won’t kill you either, let’s not be overdramatic here), it’d be ideal for you to either start your 10-series pretty soon, and get on a regular schedule, or wait until I get back, in mid-August to start.  If, however, you have already done the 10-series, or have no interest in the 10-series, then proceed as usual and don’t even worry about the fact that I’ll be gone for 6 weeks.  It’s half a year away!

That’s all I’ve got for now, peeps.  I hope you’re enjoying the new year!

Oh my gosh, SassyPants!  I have a new office!  I don’t know if you can tell, but I’m really excited about this!  So, my new office is at 701 S. Logan (suite 110).  Just about a mile and a half south of my current office, which is hopefully not too big a change for you.  It’s on the southwest corner of Logan and Exposition.  There’s plenty of parking (yay!), it’s on the main floor, with not one single stair (double yay!), and it’s got a lot more elbow room (hip, hip, hooray!).  Also, from what I can tell, it’ll be a lot quieter in this building than in my last, with less people tromping up and down the stairs or making phone calls right outside the door (yeehaw!).
I’ll be starting there Wednesday, September 17th, and with the new space will come slightly different hours of availability.  I’ll still be working full days on Sundays, Mondays, and Wednesdays, so that much will stay the same.  I might also have a half-day available on Fridays or Saturdays but those details are yet to be hammered out.  Regardless, if you book a session with me on or after the 17th of September, it will be at the new location.  I hope you like it as much as I do!  And if you have a soft-spot for my current office, be sure to get yourself scheduled in the next month to say goodbye to it!

Well, it’s clearly summertime.  Between seeing your lovely face at my office, backpacking, weddings, volleyball tournaments, long runs, visits from out-of-towners, and just the general fun of summer, I’ve barely had time to brush my teeth.  Just kidding.  I love brushing my teeth.  But seriously, what a whirlwind.  There’s been so much going on and so much I’ve wanted to write about, so here we go.

First, a very belated, but very heartfelt THANK YOU to everyone who participated in Pay What You Want Week back in April.  As usual, it was an absolute blast.  I can’t think of a better way to celebrate my birthday.  I got to meet so many new people, and see so many others I hadn’t seen in a while.  I have The Best clients.  Thank you for that.

Next, I’m sad to announce that I’ll be moving to a new office location soon.  The building I’m currently in has been sold, so I’ll be out by the end of September.  I’m looking at several options nearby and I’ll keep you posted with changes as I know more.  If anyone has a great space they know about, be sure to get me the deets!

For any of you who are interested in the energy work I include in my sessions, there’s a chance for you to learn to do it yourself September 26-28.  My friend (and my Rolfer) Dave Sheldon is hosting a workshop in Boulder, led by the creator of SourcePoint Therapy himself, Bob Shrei.  It’s open to anyone (not just bodyworkers or medical professionals), so if you’re interested, don’t hesitate!  It costs $500 and you can learn more by contacting Dave directly at 303-519-2412 or email: dave@davesheldon.com.

Lastly, there’s a weekend workshop in November at the Shambhala Mountain Center with Will Johnson, a Rolfer and meditation teacher from Vancouver.  I was on Will’s team last year when he did an 8-day retreat in Crestone and this is a mini-version of that.  If you’d like to do a meditation retreat where your body feels better at the end than the beginning, this is the retreat for you.  More information can be found here.

So those are the highlights.  Like I said, I’ll keep you posted with moving news as things get settled.  Until then, enjoy all the fresh produce of the season!

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.

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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!