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The only thing I do every day is brush my teeth.  I mean, technically, that’s not true, of course, because I open my eyes every day and I breathe every day and I eat every day and I drink water every day.   But you know what I mean.  The only helpful habit I’ve cultivated (that’s not demanded for life) is brushing my teeth every day.  Some people do yoga every day.  Some people meditate every day.  Some people take a multivitamin every day.  I brush my teeth, and that’s it.

Not that I haven’t tried to do other things daily.  I’ve gone through (relatively short) periods where I meditated every day.  I’ve taken different supplements for weeks or months at a time.  I like yoga.  But brushing my teeth is the only thing I do every, single, day.  So, when it is suggested to me, or I suggest to myself, that I start a new something, every day, my response, both to myself and to others, is usually something along the lines of, why bother?  How many bottles of half-finished supplements have I thrown out because after 3 weeks of diligent supplementing, I’ve completely forgotten about them until they expired?  How many yoga/gym/class memberships have I purchased for a great month of sweating to be followed by a few months of guilt and eventual cancellation?  Which means that I often don’t do things that I know are good for me.  Things that would make my life better.  The knowledge that I’m probably not going to be able to keep this up every day, forever, stops me from even starting.

But then I went to the dentist.  For the first time in 4 years.  Don’t judge me.  And the dentist said I needed to start flossing.  (I know, I know, I should’ve started flossing a long time ago.  But I didn’t.  Probably because I tried to to it every day, failed, and gave up.)  As it stands, I floss when I’m bored, standing in the bathroom with the medicine cabinet open, and the floss catches my eye.  As you can imagine, this is about twice a year.  Or, not as often as I should be flossing.  The dentist had the audacity to suggest that I should floss every day.  Which is approximately 363 times more per year than I’m currently flossing.  Naturally, I thought to myself, “That’s not going to happen.”  Clearly, my dentist hadn’t gotten the memo about me only doing one thing every day.  But then, something strange happened.  I went home, and the next day, I flossed.  And then, about a week later, I flossed again.  And then a week after that, I flossed again.

And then I felt silly.  Why even bother flossing once a week?  And then, I thought, “Wait a minute.  What if it’s not silly?”  I mean, flossing once a week has to be better than flossing twice a year, right?  I mean, it’s 26 times better than flossing twice a year!  And, if I’m 34 (and a half) now, and I live to be 100, I could end up flossing 3,275 times more in the next 65 and half years than I would if I just stuck with my regular schedule of twice a year.  That seems to me like a pretty significant improvement.  So maybe it’s not so silly.

And who knows?  Every now and again, I might get the urge to floss twice in a week.  Or three times.  Maybe next year, or in 2020, I could commit to flossing every other day.  Which might not be enough to make my dentist happy, but it’s a helluva lot better than twice a year.

As you may have gleaned by now, I’m not one for new year’s resolutions.  Not that I have any problem with you having them.  By all means, go right ahead.  They’re just not for me.  But, that being said, I do have things I’d like to work on this year.  And I’ve decided to try applying my new flossing approach to them.

For example, I’m trying to sit less, and stand and move more.  And instead of saying, “I will only stand while I write emails and check facebook; never again shall I sit!”  I’ve put my laptop up on a pile of books so that it makes more sense to stand than to sit.  Sure, I can and do take my laptop to the couch when I want to.  But now it’s more effort to sit than to stand, so through my own laziness, I’m standing more than I was before.  I’ve also switched to walking to work more than driving or riding my bike.  I’d love to say that I only walk to work and that I never drive.  But I drove to work on Friday and that doesn’t mean I’m a failure.  I’m still standing and walking more than I was before.  And I count that as a win.

I’ve gotten really excited about this idea of little changes over long periods of time adding up to big differences in the end.  And letting go of the idea that a habit is only good if I do it every single day.  It just makes me happy to come to terms with teeth brushing being my only every-day-habit.  I don’t have to do push-ups every day.  I don’t have to eat kale instead of cheese burgers for the rest of my life.  I don’t have to meditate for an hour a day, every day.  Doing 5 push-ups this week is better than no push-ups.  Even if I swap kale for a cheese burger once this year, it’s a step in the right direction.  And 2 minutes of meditation are better than zero minutes of meditation.

So that’s what I’m going with.  Baby steps.  And no beating myself up when I don’t floss.  Compassion always, even (especially) for myself.

Guess what I did this past weekend.  You may have gone skiing.  Or snuggled up in front of a fire with a good book and a cup of tea.  Or done keg stands and sung karaoke.  And while those would have been lovely activities for this weekend, what I did was cooler.  I promise.  Well, at least from my point of view; but I’m kinda weird.  I went to a four-day workshop on visceral manipulation!  That’s right.  Four full days of moving abdominal organs around.  Awesome.  Just like I said.  (Though maybe not cooler than keg stands and karaoke, I’ll admit.)

I spent four days with 21 other students ranging from nurses and physical therapists to Rolfers, acupuncturists, and massage therapists.  We drew our livers, stomachs, sphincters and secums (with eyeliner) so we could see where they are and just how huge our livers are.  5.5 pounds for the average liver, people.  Ginormous!  We learned all about listening to those organs (and others) to see if they are functioning optimally.  We learned to release restrictions and to reset normal motility to encourage ideal functioning.  We learned how to drain the gallbladder!  What?!?  Craziness.

More importantly, we learned why we might want to do all of those things.  I mean, obviously, you want your digestive system to work well.  And obviously having a restriction in your small intestine might be problematic.  But did you realize that a restriction in your liver can cause right shoulder pain?  Did you know that a restriction in the ligaments supporting your stomach can cause your neck to hurt on the left side?  Or that appendix or right ovary irritation can make your right knee unstable?  A restricted small intestine can exacerbate scoliosis.  Who knew?!?  Certainly not me.  Not until this past weekend, at least.

But now?  Now I know.  And I’m so excited to share these techniques (as it’s appropriate) with you!  So get ready to have your viscera manipulated.  I promise it won’t hurt.

 

Announcements:

Demo Day is Friday March 15th.  $10 for a 30-minute teaser session.  New clients only.

YIAW (Yoga Instructor Appreciation Week) is March 11th-17th.  $60 sessions for any yoga teachers.  Spread the word!

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!