self treating the gnarlies…12-3-19

A regular visitor to my home hobbled in on one of those awkward walking boots this week.  I had no idea she’d been struggling with foot and ankle pain for six months.  She recounted a familiar sad saga.  Slow onset; chiropractic visits to no avail; sports medicine doctor for non-helpful cortisone injection; and finally, a podiatrist, who fitted her with the clunky boot.  So she could “rest”.  Inside, my eyes were rolling in frustration. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been with this story.  I asked if any of these medical practitioners had touched her foot, her ankle, her leg.  You guessed.  Not a one.

She was open to me doing a five-minute investigation with my own hands.  It was no surprise to feel really nasty fascial restrictions in the posterior tibialis inside the shin on the affected side.  I dug into the other side for comparison so she could feel the difference.  Then deeply massaged the gnarly zone for three minutes.  She could feel how much the pain had diminished when she took weight on the foot.  Then I showed her how to do it herself with the famous double tennis balls.

Eighty percent of the patients I see in my current practice are straight up simple like this.  She has some work to do, releasing first and then learning how to lengthen and strengthen the tissue once it’s not gnarly.  Many of the physical ailments that challenge us fall into the easily self-treatable category.  That’s why this winter I’m offering The Essentials 10:00-1:00 at Clara, third Saturday January, February, March.  Because for many of us, some body part on the fritz is the norm.  And sometimes that fritz really cramps our style.  What if we could suffer less? 

So who is this workshop series for?  Anyone who loves to move AND wants to continue being mobile and active until the end.  Because it really doesn’t take much time to give your body the support it loves.  Really.  If you have 15 minutes most days to whip your mat out at home, you’ll absolutely enjoy this simple body-tending.  Bonus: we’ll be rolling and releasing every session…so leave at 1:00 feeling like a million bucks.

Pre-enroll or drop into any one Saturday or, better yet, sign up for the series.  A review of the previous session is built into #2 and #3.  YouTube video support comes to your inbox following each session.  Makes your personal mat time so do-able.

And now a word to:
Dance and Yoga Students: 
I love dance and I love yoga and how I wish they were stand alone practices for maintaining optimal physical health.  But really, they are not; they need support.  In fact, in the presence of fascial restrictions and poor core tone, these practices can be risky.  Sustaining an injury while practicing is an unfortunate reality. Take it from someone who has been there.  More than once. Tightness won’t magically heal with stretching; it needs massage-like release.  Basic core tone?  Happens optimally with a deep listening, subtle awareness. And tuning into psoas extraordinaire is so integral that we’ll be delving into the tender loins in each session.

Yoga Teachers or anyone who teaches embodied practice:
This series, chock full of info and technique, is easily integrated into your own practice and into your specific way of teaching.  I have zero proprietary interest in this body of work.  At this point in my professional life, I only want the value of it spread as widely as feasible.

Massage Therapists:
Consider a possible shift in your practice: when you learn these basic skills you can teach them to your clients.  They will love you for sharing this way of maintaining all the goodness you create for them on the table.  See above about zero proprietary interest.

Runners, cyclists, rowers, golfers, tennis players…sports enthusiasts:
The awesome cardio-vascular capacity and great power in specific muscle groups you have developed comes at a cost.  Asymmetry and imbalance in fascia, length and strength are remediated with just the right dose of self-care.

This is expertise I’ve garnered over a long lifetime of treating patients and working with my own physical challenges.  It is intimately informed by my hours on the dance floor and the yoga mat.  Being fluid and feeling powerful are our natural birthright. The Essentials is a very small investment of time that supports a very vital life of optimal health.  Come feel it with me.

Love, Bella