A body rests face down on my treatment table and my hands, butterfly wings, rest upon the flare of ribs. I sense our breath in tandem gently pressing my way south—right, left, right, left. One side gives, responsive to my touch, springing back as I release compression. Swedish translation for this flare of ribs? Heart basket. Indeed, this one side gives way like the fibers of a basket. The other side lives up to the English name: rib cage. There is a dense unyielding quality, a jail bar rigid resistance. The two sides are like night and day.
I don’t remember when I began conversing with bodies this way. There are early memories of being behind someone, my hands an inquiry around shoulder blades, my thumbs in curious exploration where neck meets the head. This unfolding wonder about finding the knots, their strange asymmetry, the pleasure response evoked with just the right amount of pressure, the palpable sense of tension releasing. Eventually it became part of my work in the world.
I do remember the moment this hands on passion woke to new possibility. It dawned when my own heart basket was the recipient of treatment. The therapist taught me how to follow up using the double-wrapped tennis balls and be my own best body worker. It was 1984, it blew my mind, it healed my woes, my focus took a left turn. I realized the release that skilled hands can generate translates to what self-care tools can create. Since that epic day my work became duel-fueled: hands-on investigation paired with my rapidly expanding self-care voyage. Translating the provision of relief (often temporary when done TO you) into the power of deeply informed education. Lasting changes happen when the right stress is applied to the right tissue on a steady basis.
My latest discovery tickles me to no end. Calves. Tight on anyone who is active. The standard foam rolling technique—leaning back on hands with calves on roller—meh. Never felt like it was doing much. Catch this video if you want to really release calves.
We practice this calf release weekly in Essentials. This week we’ll pull together foot and ankle, shins and calves, knees and thighs…plug the whole leg into the sensual curvy ball/socket of the hip. 90 minutes Friday morning is total luxury; 15-20 minutes on your mat most days is magic. Maybe you’re intrigued. Maybe you’re tired of feeling too tight or too weak to do what you love to do. Maybe you feel the call to care for your one and only body. Here’s the best way in. Prepare for the journey with these tools. Then dive into Essentials: the introduction, now in the Video Library. After that there are three ways to show up for yourself: 1) purchase any session in the library 2) join us on-line Friday or 3) enroll for Friday and receive the most up-to-date recording that same day to do in your own time. Easy to create 3-4 shorter sessions with each recording.
And I am right here for that in person one-on-one session that flows in this dance from the pleasure and relief of hands on table work to the joy and empowerment of mat education. Zoom appointments you wonder? I guide the self release that informs the resulting education. Always we end with a video recording for home.
So is there a conversation you are currently engaged in with your body? It speaks volumes in sensation and whispers in endless variations of breath. Sometimes it clamors for our attention and other times it’s afraid to bother us. Listen in. I’m right here to be in that conversation with you.