Archive for the ‘Bodywork’ Category

20 Years!

Monday, August 5th, 2013

 

 

This month marks my 20th anniversary in practice!

I have been in the historic Maud Building the entire time, first just in the little room I now use as my office, and then expanding into what is now the treatment room in 1997.

I spent some time this weekend creating the invitation to a celebration I’ll be having on September 13, as you see above. I went back to hand-drawing, something I used to do a whole lot and have not done much of in recent years. If you are a client and I have your address, you will get one of these in the mail in the next few weeks.

I also scanned in old mailers and ads for a slideshow I’ll be playing at the party– what a trip down memory lane! These relics document my progress from an extremely earnest 22-year-old just trying to get a foothold in her chosen trade, through years of learning and into the somewhat more world-weary “Sorry I’m so booked” phase (that one goes on and on, lucky me), and from totally low-tech hand-drawn ads to computer-designed mailers featuring pictures of my kid.

I have always felt that it was important to put my self into my advertising and promotional materials, since what I have to offer necessarily comes through my being. Every mailer has been an opportunity to reflect on what I do and why, where I am going, and how I plan to get there.

Although my original intention was to use a massage license to get myself a college education, what I actually did was use it to get myself a higher education, one which has helped me be the person I want to be in the world and that has given me a sense of contributing to the greater good. My work keeps me humble while it nourishes my soul, it demands that I stay right with myself so that I can be present with others, and there will never be an end to learning as long as I am willing. That’s some good stuff– Thank you for allowing me to do it!

Here’s to at least 20 more years of growing, discovering, deepening, and enjoying my work. All my best, Bevin

 

Fascial Research

Monday, April 1st, 2013

This is a longish video from a German TV documentary about back pain. Good stuff!

Connecting body to Earth and energy

Monday, July 30th, 2012

Dr. James Oschman has been a friend of the Rolfing community for a long time. He has theorized that fascia is the primary energy conductor of the body, and written a couple of books explaining how “energy medicine” is a real thing and not just an airy-fairy new-age wish.
This article is about receiving positive electrons, which are powerful antioxidants, from the surface of the Earth by walking barefoot outside, a practice called “Earthing”.
One of the primary goals of a Structural Integration series is to help people find support from the earth– or the ground– so that they can find the length that comes from having a nicely rooted foundation. Waking up the soles of the feet to sensation and discovering their inherent ability to adapt to the varied surfaces of the earth gives us an all-over feeling of greater security and lightness of movement.
Here, Mary Bond, a wonderful Rolf Movement teacher, has several exercises designed to wake up the feet and lower leg.

Old Wounds, New Progress

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011

I had a great experience today in my own “healing process”.

I have been recently moved to tackle (again) a tricky knee I’ve been struggling with since about the age of 13 or 14. For the past year or so it has kept me from riding my bike and doing my yoga, as both activities created an all-day ache in both my knee and my sacroiliac joint which was distracting at best and truly painful at worst. I had arthroscopic surgery as a high school junior, I did Physical Therapy exercises both originally and again a few years ago, I tried to strengthen my core with Pilates, I have had excellent bodywork, and thought really hard about what the freaking deal was, with no real success.

Over the past few months I have been working with Michael Hahn who is an excellent Visceral Manipulation therapist here in Seattle. His work with the subtle connections of the finer fascial structures of my body have been fascinating and helpful– an extremely gentle session in my psoas/ilacus on that pesky right side felt like it was the beginning of a new possibility for that leg/hip/knee.

Michael encouraged me to go see Sue Knowles at Movement Systems Physical Therapy, and I felt ready, so I did.

I always enjoy a good opportunity to learn something new from a practitioner with a different skill set. With the first session, I got to try some new ways of standing and walking that were awkward, but interesting. I could also feel that what she was asking me to do wasn’t completely possible for my body– I knew enough to know I wasn’t doing it exactly right, but I did the best I could, and brought questions to my session today. She could see the difficulty I was having and after some testing and walking she began to do some gentle fascial work in my lower leg, asking me to let the leg melt down as she worked. (That’s something I would do!)

I tried, and could feel the resistance in my body. My Somatic Experiencing training tells me that resistance like that is containing something, usually something difficult, uncomfortable, probably something that once overwhelmed me and felt like it needed to be contained. I worked at it, feeling into that resistance while Sue continued to gently work my leg and foot.

I told her that there was a deep anxiety in that leg, and she agreed. She had me lay supine on the table for a bit more work, and in that position I continued to explore the resistance in my leg, the holding I could feel right up next to my bones. Gentle waves of sadness started washing through me; I mentioned them and Sue asked whether the knee had prevented me from doing things I would have wanted to do in my youth, or at other points in my life. “Yes, I suppose it did, but this feels more like vulnerability than loss”, I said. A couple of little tears worked their way out of my eyes, but I was maintaining curiosity, staying present with the desire to release my deeply anxious leg into a new way of supporting me.

Next she had me try a new exercise, a relatively simple hands-and-knees exploration of fine motor control in the hip, asking my femur to track straight back as I moved towards child’s pose with my sitz bones wide, and in trying to get there with her, I was suddenly completely overwhelmed with a distinctly young teenaged feeling of absolute confusion, fear, and misery. I was somehow facing my stepmom, the social realm, my own awkward existence and the need to justify it, and I had to stop the exercise to allow those feelings to move through me. Sue was kind enough to give me some space to do that, while remaining present enough that I didn’t feel abandoned or weird.

After a few minutes, I felt like trying again. This time, I could move into the exercise much more easily, the confusion and pain was gone, and my femur simply slid into place, going almost all the way down correctly where before I could only go about 25% of the way before being pulled off track.

That felt pretty huge to me. I have been abstractly aware for a long time that that leg contained some measure of my own sense of vulnerability, but being intellectually aware only goes so far. Having a skilled practitioner ask me to move in a very specific way that confused me, and allowing myself to experience my own vulnerability within that confusion, THAT might get me somewhat farther. I hope so, anyway; I’d really like to ride my bike to work again.

I’ll keep you posted. bk

Movement Cues from Mary Bond

Monday, October 31st, 2011

Mary Bond is the Chair of the Rolf Institute’s Rolf Movement program. She has authored two books, Balancing Your Body and The New Rules of Posture, and numerous magazine articles on bodywork and movement. Her teaching emphasis is on the practical sensory and movement awareness that contributes to sustainable improvements in mind and body functioning.

Here is a preview for a DVD that should be available November 1, 2011 that shows how to do a regular household chore with less strain:

More on Fascia

Monday, October 10th, 2011

This is from Dr. Robert Schleip in Germany, a Rolfer who has been scientifically investigating fascia for many years:

S.I. Client Handbook, circa 1997

Friday, August 26th, 2011

This PDF is the Client Handbook I wrote while completing basic training at the Guild for Structural Integration. It’s very thorough in its explanation of the process, and very earnest in tone. The file had to be broken into two pieces because it was BIG:
Client Handbook Part 1
Client Handbook Part 2
Enjoy!

Of Grace and Gravity

Thursday, August 11th, 2011

This is exciting (for a bodywork geek, anyway). Bruce Kubert is producing a film about Ida Rolf’s gift to us, interviewing all of the old-timers and pulling their collective wisdom into one clear message about what is possible for us as human beings willing to risk change. Here is a nice long clip that should answer some questions about how and why one might try the Rolf Method of Structural Integration:

Movement is Life

Friday, June 17th, 2011

Movement is life.
All bodywork is about movement.
Energy workers (reiki, acupuncture, Shiatsu) seek to move blockage or stagnation in your energetic lines or fields.
Swedish massage is about increasing blood and lymphatic circulation on a cellular, tissue, and then systemic level.
Structural Integration focuses on fascial freedom, restoring glide to the relationships between fascial layers.
Rolf Movement® takes a step towards the role of perception in our physical relationships, and Somatic Experiencing rides the waves of nervous system charge and discharge as they roll through our bodies and our lives.
We all know the feeling of being “stuck in a rut” or trapped by routine. My experience is that sometimes bodywork can help move us through those periods of sluggishness into a more dynamic relationship with life. Structural Integration and Somatic Experiencing provide moments of clarity in our being. Sometimes a slight shift in perspective or a slightly new experience of self is all we need to get going in a new direction, or in the direction we were headed when we got bogged down.
I am, of course, happy to help when there is just a need for maintenance– a rut can also be a groove we are digging for the time being– and that is why I practice massage therapy.

Rolfing® article in the NYT

Friday, October 8th, 2010

This article in the New York Times goes out of its way to stress the reputation of Rolfing® as being painful. It’s sort of a shame, since it seems like they only spoke with one practitioner, and I’ve watched a lot of excellent Rolfers do their work without any discomfort for the client at all. Some Rolfers lay it on pretty heavy, this is absolutely true, and I have been known to lean hard in order to try to get some change at times, but by and large, I find my clients are surprised at how NOT painful the experience is. It doesn’t have to hurt to get change to happen, and I am usually trying to find the easiest way to get movement, which is not to pin my client to the mat and watch them squirm.
I do like the way the article references the more metaphysical aspects of the process, even for the skeptical:

“Beau Buffier, a 35-year-old partner at a corporate law firm in New York, says he started Rolfing treatments after he injured his neck and shoulder in a fall. Despite three M.R.I.’s, surgery, physical therapy, a chiropractor, acupuncture and deep massage, the pain remained. Stress from his high-stakes job didn’t help.

But somehow Rolfing did the trick. “It’s dealing with the physical manifestations of something that’s kind of emotional or spiritual,” Mr. Buffier said.”

It’s pretty great when you can give someone the visceral experience of recognizing the mysterious ties between body, spirit, and mind, and have them report as much to the New York Times, and, really, it’s pretty great that there is mainstream media coverage for this truly helping profession.