It’s pretty amazing what has been accomplished in exploring outer space. As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo moon landing, I think of how many thousands of people worked together on this common goal of understanding the universe around our precious planet? How many more thousands have explored other phenomenon- black holes, solar winds, or nebulas, where stars are born? So much wonder in our world.
Likewise, there are trillions of cells working together towards the common goal that is your wondrous living body. A beloved yoga instructor introduced me to the phrase, “Be an astronaut of your inner space”. Part of what I love about receiving bodywork is going into my inner space to see what’s happening, be it an area of tension I wasn’t previously aware of or a new energetic awareness. In the best massages, I lose my conscious thoughts and meld with the experience. I hope the same for my friends and clients. Movement and bodywork, whether it’s tai chi, yoga, physical therapy or massage, are ripe activities for becoming more aware of the universe inside you. So here’s to space exploration- inside and out!
While I haven’t walked it myself, I’ve followed and worked with people who have, so I thought of them when I saw an article, “The Physiological Effects of Walking Pilgrimage,” by Dr. Brennan Harris (a ’93 William and Mary Dept. of Kinesiology graduate, what are the odds!) It describes the effects on your physical body of walking the Camino, and rings true with the lived experience of those I’ve known who have walked it. You can read about cardiovascular, metabolic, musculoskeletal and other effects here: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/331641930_The_Physiological_Effects_of_Walking_Pilgrimage
I hope by sharing this article those who experienced ailments will not feel so alone, or beat themselves up for injuries sustained. Seems like it’s baked into the experience of repetitive motion, whether we’re sitting at a computer or walking for days on end. Congratulations to those who undertook the training, focus, and adjustments made in walking the pilgrimage!
Couple’s Massage Class- with a twist! For this class, I’ve teamed up with Misa Dikengil, owner of Valley Glow Yoga, to create an evening of reconnecting with yourself and your partner while learning how to give each other massage. Misa will lead practices to get centered and embodied first with yourself, then with your partner. I will lead you through a massage sequence for head, neck and shoulders, providing hands-on refinement so that you can bring about stress relief and relaxation for your partner, and they can do the same for you.
Class is conducted fully clothed. Limited to 6 couples. $40/person.
So, Brett in Nov 7th’s post does a nice job of leading you through some Tensegrity exercises, but what IS Tensegrity exactly? Tom Myers, a leading practitioner and educator in the field of structural integration, explains in this short entertaining clip:
hope this helped deepen your understanding of and valuing your body for
the sublimely constructed being that it is. It can inform the way you
move, and is supported by the exercises in Esther Gokhale’s book I
recommended in an earlier post. Seeing the body as a tensegrity
structure definitely informs the bodywork I do- feeling for the guywires
and noticing how your body is strung at the present moment, giving your
body information through my pressure and massage so it can make
changes, creating spaciousness and ease of movement. It’s the reason I
work the whole body rather than just the area of complaint. During our
sessions, I love hearing people become more aware of their bodies from
the inside out- feeling muscles relax in their back when I’m working on
their feet, for example. Of course the physical level is just one level
of describing bodywork, but that’s a topic for another blogpost:)
I HIGHLY recommend Esther Gokhale’s book as an owner’s manual of sorts for how to move our bodies through everyday activities to ease discomfort, reduce wear and tear and prolong our parts. Entitled 8 Steps to a Pain-Free Back, (I have a copy you can borrow), it’s a great resource for every body, regardless of whether or not you are in pain.
Our bodies adapt to the ways we habitually move. If it’s a dysfunctional movement pattern, the result, even if it takes years, is injury and usually pain. You might think of common repetitive stress injuries, like carpal tunnel or tennis elbow, but it can also result in pain in the back, neck, hips, knees. This video helps release tension while also retraining your movement patterns to be easier on your joints. (If you don’t have dowels, no worries, just pretend:) As always, listen to your body and work within your comfort zone. Enjoy!
I awoke with a wicked sore throat and swollen lymph nodes. Urgh! I don’t have time for this! What to do?! Yoga is almost always a good answer. Moving the body gently to stimulate the lymph, bringing fresh oxygen into all aspects of the body, as well as letting go of the mental frustration were all accomplished with the help of this instructor’s guidance. Thank you, Brett, for helping me today.
May this video be a help next time you feel run down. Namaste.
Come this Saturday, June 16th, from 1-5pm at the beautiful Skinner Barn in Waitsfield, VT to a great gathering of holistic health practitioners. Bodyworkers, herbalists, tarot readers, even a puppet theater for anyone to play with will be there. Admission is free, it’s a fun time for yourself or the whole family. At 3pm, hear Lou Bevacqui talk about how to maintain your inner peace despite what’s going on around you. Check out the children’s book he has written about it, Changing your weather. Learn more about Lou at http://loubevacqui.com/
Massage Cupping is the use of specialized cups to lift the tissue, creating space between muscle fibers and fascia for old debris such as scar tissue and stagnant lymph to come to the surface. Without this debris clogging our systems, the body is able to function more efficiently, which leaves you healthier as well as more relaxed.
Although the therapy is often associated with Chinese medicine, it is known to have been practiced by many different cultures in all parts of the world ranging from east Asia to Europe, Middle East where it is called hijama, northern Africa and even by North American Indians. The exact location where the technique first developed is not known but historical accounts point to the possibility that migrating people carried the knowledge with them to other parts of the world. cuppingresource.com
Today, cupping is recommended for the treatment of pain, gastro-intestinal disorders, lung diseases (especially chronic cough and asthma), and paralysis, though it can be used for other disorders as well. The areas of the body that are fleshy are preferred sites for cupping. Contraindications for cupping include: areas of skin that are inflamed; cases of high fever, convulsions or cramping, or easy bleeding (i.e., pathological level of low platelets); or the abdominal area or lower back during pregnancy. Cupping by Subhuti Dharmananda, Ph.D., Director, Institute for Traditional Medicine, Portland, Oregon