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Rolfing is a big undertaking.  It’s not cheap, it takes a lot of time, it takes a lot of bravery and vulnerability, and there can be many uncomfortable side effects in the physical, emotional, spiritual, and mental realms of your life while getting Rolfed.  And so, I am often asked by my clients, “What can I do to help?”  When undergoing such a possibly transformative process, many people want to make sure they do their part to help things along, and to make sure they’re getting the most bang for their buck, so to speak.  (Which is awesome, btw.  I love when my clients are really invested in the process of transformation.)

Generally, most of what you can do to support the work of Rolfing, whether you’re doing one session, or the 10-series, or ongoing work to unravel old injuries and patterns, is a lot of stuff that we all know we should be doing regardless, but is extra helpful if you can do it around your sessions.  Drink a lot of water.  Eat the food your body is asking you to eat.  Stretch and move when and how your body asks you to stretch and move.  Rest when you body asks you to rest.  Don’t sit in one position for hours on end.  In short, pay attention to what’s going on in your body, then respond accordingly.  It’s so obvious, but a lot easier said than done.

There are, however, a few things specific to Rolfing that can be beneficial to supporting your sessions.  Exercising immediately after a session is not a great plan.  So, get your workouts in beforehand, and make sure you can take a rest day after your session.  Actually, this applies to more than just exercise.  If you have the freedom to schedule your sessions so that you can relax and tune in to what your body is asking for afterwards, that can be super helpful.  Even if you do hear your body screaming that it would like a nice, long walk after your session, it’ll be hard to manage if you’ve got back-to-back meetings scheduled for the rest of the day.  Also, letting your body be a body without many other inputs is great for the integration of the structural changes we’ve made.  This means no shoes, no tight or restrictive clothing, no sitting on/in furniture/cars, and no movements that don’t happen in nature (i.e. no treadmills, no ellipticals, and no lat pulls).  Pro-tip: If you need a machine or a piece of equipment to do it, it’s probably not a natural movement.  So save that stuff for after your session has had a while to settle out and your body has found its new normal.  Obviously, it’s hard to go 24 hours in our culture without shoes or sitting in chairs or cars, so I’m really just asking that you mindfully avoid these things as much as possible, but there’s no need to get obsessive about it.

And on the emotional/spiritual front, talk therapy can be very helpful for processing and integrating the changes being made through your work with Rolfing.  As I like to say, “There are issues in the tissues.”  If any of these emotional issues come up during your sessions, I’m happy to talk about them, but it can also be super beneficial to work with a trained therapist, social worker, or counselor who can more thoroughly and skillfully help you get to where you want to be.  I’m also happy to coordinate with your therapist so they have a better idea what you’re going through (as so many people, therapists included, still don’t know what Rolfing is), if that’s at all helpful to you.

But that’s it.  Try to be aware of what your body wants and needs (both physical and mental) and create space to do what you want and need.  That’s all it takes to support your Rolfing sessions.  That, and enjoy your new flexibility, balance, strength, and stability.

(And buy a whole new closet full of barefoot-shoes, and get a moveable stand-up desk, and probably quit your job, and do pilates and yoga, and start walking a lot more, and climbing trees, and sleeping outside, and throw away your phone…  But that’s it.)

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!

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!

Please forgive me, SassyPants.  I know I wrote back in May about how I became a Rolfer.  In fact, I wrote so damn much about it, that it took up two posts.  And now, I’m telling the same old story, again, this time on video.  Really, if you already know, or don’t really care how I became a Rolfer, you don’t have to watch the video.  Not that I could make you if I tried.  But really, you don’t have to watch it.  I just get this question ALL the time.  And I love answering it.  So I answered it in a video to put up on my site.  And I loved the results.  So I’m sharing it with you.  And I say ‘and’ a lot.  Also, I say ‘so’ a lot.  So many things to beg forgiveness for.

If you have anything you’d rather hear about or questions you’d like answered, please let me know.  All the topics I considered writing about today bored me.  I’m asking you to be my inspiration.  Got anything good for me?

In the meantime, if you want, check out the video and let me know what you think.  Worth putting up on the site?

Oh!  And Demo Day is on Saturday.  Yes, this Saturday, the 15th.  Tell your friends.  Or your family members.  Or your neighbors.  Or nobody at all.  But if you want someone to come give me a try, this could be a good way for them to get a taste.  30 minute trial sessions for $10 each.  New clients only.  Have ‘em give me a call, or shoot me an email, if they want to schedule one.  Yay!  Demo Day!

As promised, here’s a guest post from the talented Stephanie Lee Jackson, of Philadelphia, where she’s a massage therapist, Reiki practitioner, artist, and mom.  Enjoy!

 

Recently I interviewed a colleague, Kathy Fleetwood, about her Reiki practice. She lit up. “It’s changed my life,” she declared.

Last year, Kathy’s mother came down with something that doctors tentatively diagnosed as Parkinson’s. She lost weight, was too exhausted to work, ached all over, and walked with a shuffle and a stoop. Kathy flew home to the UK over Christmas, and gave her two Reiki treatments a day for ten days. A month later her mother was back to normal. The doctors couldn’t say what had happened.

Kathy’s brother is a heroin addict. He has come close to losing a leg from systemic infections. Kathy has given him Reiki when he needed a fix, and the cravings ceased for a day or two. She credits the Reiki for the fact that he still has his legs.

“It’s not coming from me, it’s the energy,” Kathy says. Reiki has been popular in the UK for over a decade; it is widely accepted there as a treatment for all sorts of ills.

In the U.S., Reiki is now being used on cancer patients in respected treatment centers:

Reiki is often described as a treatment that helps life energy to flow in a patient—an explanation not generally accepted by scientists. Barrie Cassileth, chief of the Integrative Medicine Service at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, calls the energy theory “absurd” but says light-touch therapy can have a “great relaxing effect” on cancer patients “who are constantly poked, prodded and given needles.”

I have been using Reiki in my practice for over a decade. I cannot give any scientific opinion about its efficacy, because with the number of different techniques I use, it’s impossible to say which are getting results, or whether it’s the integration of therapies itself which is effective. So all I can offer are my observations, as distinct from my beliefs, which change from year to year. (Belief, for me, is a tool for enquiry–if I subscribe to this philosophy, what are its effects in my life? What about that one? Next year, let’s try Buddhism!)

Some phenomenae I have observed in my practice:

  • If I start doing Reiki while a client is talking, they usually fall silent, sometimes in the middle of a sentence.
  • If they aren’t talking, they often fall asleep. Suddenly, with a slight snore.
  • Their muscles will sometimes release along an entire fascial pathway, with an abrupt jerk or shudder.
  • They feel heat coming from my hands.
  • During or after a session, they report a cessation of pain and anxiety, profound relaxation, and the occasional vision, color display or ‘spiritual experience.’
  • Over time, they describe a progressive increase of energy, positive motivation, and decrease of chronic pain.

All of this is mild, anecdotal, and easily explained away by the placebo effect. Any claim that Reiki is a cure for all ills is greatly exaggerated. But the placebo effect is an effect–it is the body’s response to the mind’s reassurance. All of our minds need more reassurance than we usually get.

What I have found is that Reiki imbues my work with reverence. It causes me to stop and contemplate the fact, as Kathy says, that I’m not the one in control here. It reminds me to observe myself, observe my clients, to acknowledge how little I know, and motivates me to discover more.

In other words, it’s a ritual tool for getting my ego out of the way.

So I have no quarrel with skeptics who dismiss Reiki as so much BS. I do not know whether I am channeling healing purple light through my palms, and I have no way to prove it one way or the other. I do know that we’re all going to die sooner or later, and Reiki won’t change that. The best I can do for my clients is to help them make their finite time more pleasant, and possibly more conscious.

Last night I sat down to write a newsletter about scarcity versus abundance.  Three paragraphs in, I decided to try a different approach.  Three paragraphs after that, I decided to try a different topic.  After a while, I just stopped.  As I climbed into bed, mad at myself for not having finished writing today’s newsletter, I realized the problem:  something else was on my mind.  Something else has been on my mind for about a week now, to be honest.

I got a call last week from one of my instructors at the Rolf Institute.  Apparently there’s been some discussion on the Rolf Forum about this video of mine, called “What Should I Expect From Rolfing?”  I made this video simply because I had about 20 people in a row come in for their first session and say to me at the end, “Well, that wasn’t what I was expecting.”  I thought that people should have a better understanding of what they were getting into before they came for a session.  Also, I figured it would help weed out the people who weren’t a good fit for my style of working.  I think it’s been doing its job because nowadays, pretty much every new client I get, I absolutely love, right off the bat.  There have been a lot of perfect fits, at least from my point of view, which is super awesome.  Less people wasting their money on the wrong Rolfer.  Less people spending an hour and a half thinking, “This isn’t what I was expecting!”  More people thinking, “Ah, this is just what I wanted!”  Seems like a good thing all around.

And yet, there’s this argument going on.  Let me explain.  The Rolf Forum was created back when the interweb was new, as a way to connect the (relatively small) Rolfer community.  To date there are just barely 1800 Certified Rolfers™ in the whole world.  Put a few hundred in Japan, a bunch in Europe and Canada, some in Brazil and Bali and Australia, and it can start to feel kinda lonely being a Rolfer.  I know it’s hard to believe, here in Colorado, where the Rolf Institute is located and there’s a Rolfer on every corner.  But there are zero Rolfers in Mississippi.  And two in Indiana (and they’re both named Dan; weird).  So the internet brought all these isolated Rolfers together to talk about questions they’d had or struggles with their practices or new research being done they wanted to share.  I’ll be honest:  I’ve never been on the Rolf Forum.  Don’t even know where to find it.  Not because I don’t want to connect with other Rolfers, but because my network of Rolfers is more personal and specific.  I feel very comfortable calling or emailing my instructors and mentors if I have a question or concern.  My classmates make the perfect network when I have a practice building question, or just want to geek out about Rolfing for a bit.  I call Sasha and Laura up, or better yet, we get together for beers when we’re in the same state.  I trade sessions with a few different Rolfers, and we ask all the questions we have, during those sessions.  I waste enough time on Facebook, thank you very much, and I don’t feel the need for another place to spend time online.  So it’s not out of disrespect for the Forum that I’ve never been on it; I just don’t seem to need it in my life.

But my instructor called me because my little video had started an argument on the Forum.  Apparently there are some Rolfers who don’t think what I’m doing is Rolfing.  Ida Rolf never talked about energy work, on video, at least.  There are plenty of quotes from her about energy fields and energy work in books, but she was trying to be seen as credible as she created this new form of bodywork in the 60′s and energy work didn’t go over so great with the medical community at the time.  Damn hippies.  Dr. Rolf put a great deal of energy into explaining things in structural terms and making sure her students were well educated in anatomy and physiology.  She wasn’t going to have people talking about pushing on the thingy until it felt squishy.  So, the argument goes, if Ida didn’t want to talk about energy work in her videos, why should I?  And there’s also the question of brand identity.  If someone goes to see a Rolfer in Minnesota, then moves to Denver and wants a Rolfer here, so comes to see me, they’re not going to get the same thing they got in Minnesota.

Well, duh, is what I say to that.  If you go see one doctor, then go see another, you’re not going to get the same thing.  That’s why it’s called a second opinion.  If they were all exactly the same, you wouldn’t bother to get a second opinion.  But just because different doctors do things differently, it doesn’t mean one’s a doctor and one’s not.  And when it comes to me talking about things that Ida wouldn’t…um, I’m not Ida.  Obviously.  I couldn’t be a little old lady from New York if I tried.  I don’t even like New York.  And I’m 5’8″, not 5’2″.  And Zordan’s a funny name, but not in the same way Rolf is.

So, it seems obvious to me, that this is a non-issue.  Yes, I’m a Rolfer.  Yes, I do energy work.  No, I don’t mind talking about it.  But now I want to know what you think.  Is what I do Rolfing?  You’ve had a session from me.  You’ve heard what other people say about Rolfing, and you’ve done your research on Rolfing in general.  Many of you have had Rolfing sessions from other Rolfers.  How do the sessions compare?  Would you say I don’t belong with other Rolfers?  When you get a chance,  post a comment on the blog here.  I’d really love to hear what you think.  And I’ll try to get to scarcity versus abundance soon.  I promise.

Oh, and Demo Day is Saturday.  If you haven’t had a session from me, and you want to try it for yourself, to see if I’m really a Rolfer or not, this is the perfect opportunity.  A 30 minute session for just $10.  There are only 4 spots left, so if you want one, get on it.

I’m back in the States from the incredibly lovely France as of yesterday and feeling pretty good, thanks to Jake’s acupressure tips to avoid jet lag.  Jake, my whole family says thank you.  However, my brain’s still a tiny bit foggy.  So instead of writing a possibly rambling, possibly nonsensical article about carpal tunnel syndrome, today, I give you a video.  Last summer, my friend Alisha interviewed me and this is the result.  I know, it’s a bit long.  But if you watch to the end, you get to see me dancing around my house like a goof, so there’s something to look forward to.

I hope you enjoy it, but regardless of your reactions, I’d love to hear about them.  Please feel free to post your comments here on the blog!  Thanks and take care!

Practical notes for clients:

Chicagoans:
Last chance for Chicago Rolfing.  I’ve got two appointments available tomorrow (Tuesday) at 2:30 and 4:00.  On Wednesday, I have an 11:30 opening.  If you want one of them, let me know.

Coloradans:
I fly back to Denver on Wednesday night, but my first available appointment is Saturday at 11:30.  Then, on Sunday is another Demo Day!  So let your friends and family know they can try a 30-minute teaser session of Rolfing for just $10.  New clients only, please.

Happy Valentine’s Day to you!  I’ve said it before.  I’ll say it a million times.  I have the best clients in the world.  Really.  The Best.  And you’re one of them!  I am so, so, so grateful for the opportunity to know you and to work with you.  And, for the opportunity to rub it in my Rolfer friends’ faces that I have better clients than them.  Pretty grateful for that.  Not gonna lie.

The thing is, I love Rolfing and SourcePoint Therapy so much, that I’d be doing it on stray dogs in the street if I didn’t have any clients.   I do it because I love it.  Because I feel like I was made to do this work.  When I finally found this stuff, it was like the clouds parted, and the sun was streaming down, and the angels in heaven started singing and playing their cute little harps.  I just knew this was it.  It was the first time I’d ever thought I could do one thing for the rest of my life without getting bored.  And so far, so good.  I have no plans to retire.  Ever.  I never want to stop.  I do it for love, just like Sara Bareilles.

But it helps to have clients.  While Rolfing my own hands and feet and stray dogs is great (not really), I prefer to have clients to work with.  And being blessed with the most amazingest, awesomest clients in the world doesn’t hurt, either.  It’s just that I learn so much from you, every time we work together.  My understanding of this work, the human body, energy systems, emotions, and myself deepens with every session.  So thank you, thank you, for providing me with such a gift.  You truly are amazing.  One of my mentors in Rolfing school once said, “you don’t have to like your clients, but you do have to love them.”  And lucky me, I get to do both, without even trying!  You are wonderful!  And it’s such a joy, such a delight, to work with you.  I look forward to seeing you every time you come in!!  I get to wake up excited to go to “work,” if you can even call it that!

I love you.  Thanks for making that so easy to do.

 

Also, this:

Coloradans:
Demo Day (in Lafayette) is today!  And Demo Day (in Denver) is tomorrow!  Thank you, Colorado peeps, for all your help in getting the word out to make them successful!

Chicagoans:
The next appointments I have available in Chicago are on Tuesday, March 27th, and Monday through Wednesday, April 9th through 11th.  Let me know if you want one!

This subject has come up 4 different times, with 4 different people in the last week.  So I figured now was as good a time as any to drag it out into the light. The conversation goes something like this:  “I’m fine with the Rolfing.  I just don’t believe in the energy work.”  Or, more directly, “So, you’re a witch doctor.”  And my favorite, “Weird.  You went directly to where it hurts and I didn’t even tell you.”

And can I just begin with this:  I know it’s weird.  I think it’s weird, too.  It’s just that I happen to like weird stuff.  I was first exposed to SourcePoint Therapy by my hero, my mentor, my greatest instructor at the Rolf Institute, Ray McCall.  And watching him work was amazing, in that we, as students, never had any idea how he knew what he knew.  But when the client got off the table, the results were undeniable.  They looked lighter, freer, easier, and about a foot taller.  It was so weird, and so maddening, because we had no idea how to recreate it in our own clients.  My classmate, Laura, and I commonly remarked that we just knew he had a magic wand somewhere, maybe up his sleeve, or under the table or something, and if only we could get our hands on magic wands of our own, we could be amazing Rolfers, too.

The thing is, it wasn’t too long ago that I thought energy work was for whack jobs.  I used to roll my eyes and nod condescendingly when people talked about moving qi and seeing auras and whatnot.  So if you’re there now, I’m fine with that.  I get it.  I wanted something “real;” something I could touch with my hands.  But now, I can feel energy, and touch it with my hands.  I know it’s real, even if nobody else believes me.  Call it intuition combined with self-esteem.  Call it the placebo effect.  Call it crazy.  It doesn’t matter to me.  This is the way I work.  This is what makes sense for me.  If it bothers you, or offends your sensibilities, or you think I’m wasting your time waving my hands in the air, then you probably shouldn’t be my client.  I’d be happy to refer you to a Rolfer where there will be absolutely no energy work or magic wand waving involved.

But when I get a session that includes energy work, it’s a much more holistic session, than one without.  Yes, we’re working on my back pain and that weird thing my knee does, but we’re also working on the bad ju-ju that’s stuck in my knee contributing to why I keep injuring it.  Which is why I signed up for a SourcePoint class ten days after I graduated as a Rolfer and have been incorporating it in my work ever since.  I called Laura after that class ended and said, “I feel like I got my own magic wand!”  She knew what I was talking about.  Now, when I’m working, I trust the information I receive from the energetic field.  More often than not, it makes for happy, pain-free clients, and that’s what I’m after.  Without SourcePoint, I’d be doing the 10-series, and pretty much only the 10-series.  Despite my love of the 10-series, it’s not for everyone.  Besides, I think the world could use a little more magic, in every aspect of life, so why not have a little more magic in our healing?  So go ahead, call me a witch doctor.  I’ll take it as a compliment.

You know the drill, but I’ll remind you just in case. This Sunday, the 15th, is the next Demo Day.  Demo Day is when newbies to the Rolfing world, or the SourcePoint world, or just to the Theresa Zordan world can try it all out.  30 minute trial sessions for $10.  Simple.  Straightforward.  And a super-duper good deal.

Got a friend, a lover, a neighbor, a parent, or a child who you think could benefit from giving this wacky thing a try?  This is the way for them to do it without that big scary commitment of a full priced, full length session.  It’s perfect for the skeptics.  It’s great for the ones who are convinced it’s going to hurt.  It’s best for the people who keep saying, “someday I’d like to try that.”

So have those people hit me up.  Show ‘em this post, or just tell them about it next time you see them.  Then, have them give me a call at 303-261-2568 or shoot me an email at t.zordan@gmail.com and we’ll get it set up.  This Sunday, the 15th, from 11:30am to 5pm.  I’ll see them then, and you’ll have so much more to talk about over coffee!