If you’re like me, you’ve had a time where you feel the weight, the confusion, and the unknown of the moment starting to overcome your ability to deal with it. The tunnel vision of stress can limit my ability to even think. Remembering to breathe returns me to the moment with expanded awareness. This stretch helps me do that.
Coming back into your body is a great way to destress after dealing with the outer world all day. It’s also a great way to start your day- from an internal awareness of your body and the joy of being you.
Do let me know if you have trouble understanding the video and I will articulate more clearly. I’m open to any feedback that would help these videos be more helpful to you.
Before you start, take into account your particular situation. If you have a health condition that would be worsened by this stretch, don’t do it. (For example, if you’ve recently torn your sartorius- best wishes for speedy healing, C!- simply take some deep breaths in whatever position you find yourself now).
…or should we say physical distancing and distance socializing:)
It has been almost a week since I last gave massage. I have been thinking daily about how to make it possible, but given our ever-evolving knowledge of COVID-19, I will not be giving massage until further notice. If we all do our part to flatten the curve, it likely means a more positive outcome. I found the simulations in this article very helpful in driving home the importance of social distancing:
These graphs show the extremely positive impact of extensive social distancing:
Blue represents uninfected population, orange are infected, pink are recovered from infection (deaths are not represented).
What can you do instead of coming in for bodywork?
Until we can resume our massage time together, I will be posting videos with suggestions for achieving some of the same goals as massage: coming back into your body, releasing tension, re-centering, and supporting your mental and physical health.
I miss seeing you all, but I’m so grateful we can at least be in “touch” technologically!
In the Hippocratic vein of “First, do no harm”, I am following the protocols suggested to massage therapists by my professional organization:
Most of these protocols are ones you’ve probably heard about already. I won’t be wearing a mask or gloves, but I will be washing my hands even more thoroughly than before as well as wiping down doorknobs and other commonly touched surfaces in between appointments. An ounce of prevention is worth it to keep us all healthy. A votre sante!
A special way to celebrate Valentine’s Day, you will learn the key components that make any massage great, while giving and receiving massage to and from your partner. With hands-on guidance, learn a new favorite way of spending time together. Register by calling 802-496-3263 or emailing email@example.com. $80/person, class held at IDEAS.
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!