i.R.Y. is happy to provide free yoga for veterans through Comeback yoga Wednesday nights at 530 pm. We also are providing iRest Meditation for all at 7 pm for, cost is 20$ or pay what you can. Both of these classes are small and intimate great for beginners or the more experienced practitioner.
So this is just a short post about a personal experience I had two days ago. I moved in bed, heard a loud popping in my neck which resulted in me not being able to move and being in extreme pain! I had to have help to even sit up, and once I was up right in gravity the left side of my face and shoulder went numb. I was in full panic mode. It was also 0630 on a Sunday morning. I called every Rolfer, Chiropractor I could find on the internet. Well surprise surprise no Chiropractors were open on a Sunday, but thankfully Rolfers were open and able to see me! I choose a colleague I knew from school and got in to see her about four hours after the neck issue happened. I could still not move and everything from the top of my head to my shoulders was stiff! I was worse then Darth Vader! I was statue-esc! After a one hour session with the Rolfer, she mainly focused on the muscles on the front of my neck, and along the side of my face I could move! The pain was almost completely gone and when I pulled out of her parking lot I could turn my head to back up with no pain! Times like that remind me of why I love my profession. The session was so gentle, no popping of bones back into place. Just calming the nervous system and releasing the tension and poof I was 90% better! Huge shout out to Rolfing and the healing it can do!!! Check out a Rolfer before or after a chiropractor too if you want to see how much gentler and just as effective it can be!
Why the 10 series?
Session two is all about finding the earth and grounding yourself so that balance can start from the feet up in gravity. What does that mean? Think about your feet. Walk around the room. Do you feel your feet? The outside edges, the inside edges? Do your toes flex freely? Do you have flexible ankles? Do your lower leg bones move and work as shock absorbers for your body? All these questions and ideas are what a rolfer maybe looking for in session two. If any one of these areas is not moving as well as it could be, or is not being using in the most optimum way it can affect the entire body. Getting the kness to Toes in alignment may help ease neck pain, shoulder pain, and make standing and walking easier.
Session two works from toes to knees, or knees to toes, depending on what draws the attention of the Rolfer. Session two helps the client feel their feet and find a good connection to the ground as they are walking. This session might also involve a lot more client movement then session one. Session one the client may have worked on breathing and expanding the ribs. In session two there will be ankle movement, toe movement, maybe even movement in the knees to help the body open and release better. Session two is also about bringing more awareness to the body. How it is moving, where it is connecting, and how can it possibly move better?
Session two can relieve a lot of discomfort in the body. From planter-fasciitis relief, to relief from shin splints, locked knees, ankle immobility. When our feet can move not as a single unit, but as a shock absorber with all the bones moving independently, our bodies feel lighter and easier to move.
Rolfing is ideally done in a 10 series. Which means 10 different sessions focusing on different parts of the body and different ideas about how those areas can best be served. For example can the shoulders move independently of the rib cage? Or is the body functioning and moving around some sort of restriction or adhesion? The human Body is amazing, and even if you are pain free and functioning well, it does not mean that your body has not made some sort of adaption to accommodate a pattern. Rolfing can help you recognize that pattern and maybe even find a better way for your body to move and function.
So session one is mostly about the Breath. Something we do all day and night, and if you are not a Yogi or take part in some other sport where you must be aware of your breath you may never think about how you breathe. But take a moment and inhale. Where does your breath go? Is it in your Chest? Belly? Are you able to breathe into your side and Back body? Are you able to even feel those sensations? Maybe you have never tried, or you have had some sort of physical or mental trauma that you don’t want to try?
Session one of the Rolfing 10-series is all about those questions. By using gentle pressure, and movement from the client we work together to free up adhesions or to bring awareness to patterns and perhaps working towards changing them. This session is also about creating a partnership between the Rolfer and the Client. Do we work well together? Do we feel comfortable with the Journey we are about to take together? What are the client’s expectations and is it something that we feel we can accomplish together?
Session one also is about teaching your body how to be Rolfed, and your Body teaching the Rolfer how it likes to be Rolfed. What type of pressure and speed works best for your nervous system? Each session also opens and closes the same, this informs you’re nervous system what to expect each time you get Rolfed. So what’s after session one??? Why session two of course! Come back next week to read session two’s Blog.
I will be spending the next weeks discussing why the 10 series is a good idea, why it works, what each session will involve, and which sessions can be grouped together and which sessions you want to make sure to continue with. If you have specific questions that you would like answered please let me know!
Has your self care fallen away with the leaves? Do you know why? Is it time? Is it money? Something else? Why not take care of yourself and a gift for someone else with a November special! Buy a gift certificate for someone who would be a new client for me and as a thank you I will give you a free Rolfing session! Thats two sessions for the price of one! What a deal! Email me at email@example.com for more information. Dont let your self care fall away!
I cant tell you how many times………..Have you tried Rolfing? No way I’ve heard it hurts!
Rolfing has changed a bit since Ida Rolf left our world. Even if she were still around I believe it would still have changed. She was a constant learner and devoured new information and incorporated into her Structural Integration sessions. Ida was born in 1896, she became an organic chemist, who studied yoga and chiropractic work. She had to even sneak into some of her courses because she was a woman! Talk about determination to learn. She developed her Structural Integration work in the 1930’s; her students are the ones who named it Rolfing. "Rolfers make a life study of relating bodies and their fields to the earth and its gravity field, and we so organize the body that the gravity field can reinforce the body's energy field." –Ida Rolf
So if that’s what Rolfers are trying to accomplish. Bringing the body into alignment with gravity, why do some people fear that it is painful? My understanding is when the modality first started being practiced we were still working on learning about fascia and how can we help effect change on that tissue? Rolfers thought we could hydrate the fascia, or help it become more mobile by applying firm pressure and asking fro movement. This at times could be painful. Believe me, the first time I got my shoulder Rolfed to work the scar tissue from a surgery was very painful. But it worked. So how can the same work done more gently and without pain create the same results? Jeff Maitland a Advanced Rolfer said “Rolfing structural integration is a third paradigm modality, serving a goal of wholesome. In contrast, typical fascia work in massage is working in the second paradigm, that of corrective action and fixing things.”
So this third paradigm in my opinion is why Rolfing is becoming less painful and more effective. First paradigm is Relaxation, second is Corrective, and the third is integrative. Rolfing really incorporates all three paradigms, depending on what session you are on and who your Rolfer is. However when I am working with a client it is a partnership, I am constantly checking in with them and asking what their level of comfort or discomfort is. I work gently and energetically. I am a firm believer that if we move beyond the pleasant discomfort level we are not effecting as much change as we could if the body felt safe. Think about it, if I apply pressure to a body part and it becomes painful your body is going to instinctively pull away or tighten. However if I apply light pressure and wait, your body will eventually go, oh ok I am safe and this is helping and it will release. Working in this third paradigm I am being integrative with the client and the work. Listening to the body and allowing it to go where it needs to go, helps it “release”. If whatever is being held in the body is from some mental or physical trauma and I come in and try to force or hurt the body is it going to trust the work to work?
So Rolfing with me is not painful. At times is can be uncomfortable, or we will have to work a different way to help your body feel safe. Contact me for safe, energetic Rolfing.
Why do we do a 10-series in Rolfing and what is each session trying to achieve?
Rolfing is typically done in a 10 series. Each session focuses either on one area of the body or one idea of what is trying to be aligned.
What are the general goals of each Session?
Session1- Freeing up the breath, movement in shoulder and pelvic girdle. This session helps with shoulder, rib, neck pain, and relaxing the client.
Session2- Feet and lower Legs. Giving you a foundation to build on. This session can help with Balance and feeling grounded.
Session3-Sides of the body establishing a lateral line and there-dimensional space (opening the “seams” of the body!). This session can help relieve IT-band tightness, shoulder and hip balance and ease.
Session4- Inside line of the legs. From foot all the way up to pelvic floor on the inside of your leg. What is the pelvic floor? Come find out! It can be an intense session for some, as body workers do not often work this part of the body. This session helps bring the legs under you, so if you feel you have to stand with wide legs to stand this session is perfect! It can also help with hip and knee pain.
Session5- Back to the front working from Knee to rib cage. Lengthening the front of the body and working into the deep Psoas muscle that attaches your legs to your spine. Did you know that? This work can help you have a longer stride, reduce back pain, and help sitting be more comfortable!
Session6-Back to the back from knees to the middle of your back. Mirroring the work we did in session five a bit. This session is essential as we opened the front, and if you don’t open the back it can lead to back discomfort from the front being so open. This session we work into the sacrum and can be beneficial for sciatic pain, scoliosis, and tight hamstrings!
Session7- Head , neck and shoulders! Rolfers work the skull bones from the inside of the mouth and nose. This can help with headaches, puts your head back on your shoulders, and releases shoulder tension.
Session8 and 9- Are the beginning of the integrative sessions. One will be an upper and one will be a lower. Diagnostics will decide which comes first. These two sessions look to balance the shoulder and pelvic girdle, and add some movement homework to create new motor pathways.
Session10- Integration of all the previous work. Gentle work from toes to scalp. Bringing closure to the client, and maybe even a last bit of balance.
Integrative Restoration Meditation or iRest can help you welcome, meet, and greet, all that life has to provide. Just like most things in life, the more you practice the better you become at what you’re practicing. In the iRest practice we welcome all sensations, emotions, and thoughts that arise. That way we become more aware of how our body and mind feel when things change. What would it feel like to welcome anger as it arises? What it will feel like to fully welcome and be Joy? Like all things on earth we must allow our emotions to live their life cycle. Allowing them to be born, grow, and pass on. If we try to block the emotion and don’t allow it to happen… What does that feel like?
What does it mean to welcome an emotion? The next time your feeling emotion: anger, joy, stress, stop and think what does this feel like in my body? Is your heart racing? Does your throat feel tight? Does your body feel light and free? Noticing the changes in your physical body that go along with the emotion. Believe me, it’s not easy when someone cuts you off in traffic, or your mother in law criticizes you for the millionth time to stop and feel your body. That’s why we practice in a class or at home to learn the tools and skills of iRest (aka Noticing the body).
In an iRest class we learn to do a body scan. What are we noticing what are we feeling? Are we sensing cold or heat? Do we feel the ground or the air on our skin? By becoming aware of these sensations in our body while we are comfortable and resting, it allows us to become more aware of our body as we move about our daily life. Why is it important to become aware of our bodies sensations?
When we pay attention to our body and what it is trying to tell us, it may be able to whisper to us instead of scream. If you were aware that when you become angry your heart races, you get hot, and cant breathe, and you practice feeling these sensations you maybe be able to remove yourself from the situation before you become angry. For example you are discussing Politics, it begins friendly but as the conversation goes on you notice your heart racing, and you begin to get hot, change the topic of conversation before you become fully angry and potentially keep the friendly conversation going? By noticing the body, and the signals it is giving you, you are welcoming and loving all emotions that you have.
Emotions need to be loved and accepted. Have you ever tried to ignore an emotion? How did that work out? Did it come back bigger and louder and at an inconvenient time? When we welcome the emotion, and notice how our body feels the emotion, and allow it to be. Not trying to change it, or make it go away, just accept it. It can live its life cycle and does not need to scream or consume us.
So iRest mediation can help you live your most joyous life by feeling what arises, welcoming it, and allowing it to move on when it no longer needs to be heard. All emotions are there for a reason. Next time one arises feel it, welcome it, and invite it in for tea.
Everyone has heard about the problems the VA has. Many of us have either experienced it first hand, or have a friend, family member, or co-worker that has. But my recent experience with everything that is going on in my life really re-inspired me to continue on my path of helping others heal naturally. I am using the VA for the first time since I separated from the military. I had a different and better insurance for the last 12 years (was married to a military member). As I know longer have this insurance I have had to use the VA. Which is just as nightmarish as you have heard. My most recent experience has been trying…
I take anxiety medication to deal with some PTSD symptoms. I use meditation and yoga to cope with most of the symptoms. However I have been on this medication for 12 years and every time I try to get off of it I go crazy. I am addicted to it. My body literally has no idea how to cope without this med. I will continue to try to get off this med, and the more I heal, the more I have hope that someday this will happen. But today is not the day. So I contact the VA to get an appointment to get this drug that I hate from them instead of my old insurance. I call and get an appointment that is 6 weeks after I call. Ok. I count out my meds and feel a bit of panic as this puts me close to the end of my supply. But I wait. When the appointment comes I show up, and they tell me the VA does not have this exact medication and I will have to be switched to something else. Insert Panic here. If you have ever had any doctor play with your meds to find the right one or the right dosage…its hell. Literal hell. Sleepless nights, hot flashes, emotional surges… so many side affects. Have you ever felt electric shocks through your brain… not pleasant. I say “ok” so lets get this started. The doctor then proceeds to tell me that the Mental Health clinic will contact me for an appointment. Seriously, more waiting? Five days goes by before the mental health clinic calls me to schedule an appointment to see me. Which of course is another four weeks away. So I cut my dosage of my meds so that will last till this appointment.
All of this waiting, and panic of running out of meds, and being told I have to switch my meds, and just wanting to so badly not even need meds is not even what re-inspired me.
While I was in the office waiting for the doc to come in, I found a pamphlet that broke me. “Taking Opioids Responsibly: for your safety and the safety of others”.
Really? The VA gives us these meds, makes our appointments so far out, gives us no options to get off the meds, and then tells us to be responsible? The pamphlet tells us that there are all these other options besides the medication, but the VA does not pay for these. The pamphlet says don’t get off your meds on your own, yet its so hard to get an appointment you may have no choice but to run out. The side effects it talks about are terrifying. Yet they pay for the opioids. They don’t pay for yoga, Rolfing, meditation, where is the funding for these modalities? It even talks about getting you help once you become addicted and they take it away from you…
This pamphlet, this need to overmedicate our veterans, my fellow veterans, is why I do what I do. If 12 years ago I had been prescribed iRest meditation, and learned to feel and accept these emotions, traumas, anxiety inducing things…. I would not be addicted to my medication. What has this done to m my body? Can I ever even get off them? Is my body capable of functioning without them? I believe the answer is yes, I will keep trying, and I will keep helping others try.
My ask is that if you know someone who is struggling, send them anywhere but the VA, or western medicine of prescribing drugs. Being Human is hard, but we can learn the tools to heal ourselves. Once medication is introduced we are numbed to things that we are suppose to feel. There is a reason we feel scared, pain, and sadness, there is a reason to feel all of it. If we have the support system and tools to feel these things, they will live their cycle. The sadness or whatever will be born, live, rise, fall, and eventually die off. We cannot numb ourselves to it, if we want to heal.
Please contact me if you or someone you know is considering medication, or is interested in working with me, and their doctor to come off the medication. Never stop your medication alone. I have tried; I almost lost my life because of it. But there is hope; there is a way to heal naturally.
I am here for you.