Blog

Nov 5th

…Slow Down

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lights

Life happens when we’re being, not when we’re doing. 

My life has become significantly more busy lately, juggling graduate school, business and life. It’s got me thinking about the pace of doing that most of us force ourselves and push eachother to maintain. I’m constantly checking myself to slow down, step back, listen for what I need.

We live in a green light culture. We stop only when we crash and slowing down is often not an option.

Being a bodyworker requires knowing how to hold stillness, motion, emotion, pain, tension… humanness. It means creating a space for calm in the sea of frenetics. It means having walked a certain path in order to direct others in the same direction. It also means witnessing the before and after of so many others’ arrival to themselves; the truth is everyone looks happier, younger, more attractive and more kind after a massage or RMB session.

The state of doing is auto-pilot, obligations, shoulds, addiction, tension, confinement. It’s the place we lose track of who we are, what we want and why we originally chose to do whatever it is we’re doing. Doing makes our lives feel mechanical, predictable, unnatural. In some cases, the chronic doing can send us into shut down – depression, anxiety, physical pain, relationship fractures. If you don’t agree, you just haven’t hit your red light yet.

When I broke my cycle of doing I found I could breath better. The air around me felt calmer and the simplest pleasures became abundant. Being is the place of feeling, inspiration, creativity, expansion, presence, relaxation, love. Being is not some state of ‘spiritual bliss’, but simply being present. My path included yoga, meditation, dharma talks, Hawaiian life, tons of bodywork, psychedelics, Burning Man, intuition, journaling, wise people of every age… and ultimately just taking time to get quiet and listen. Now there’s a flow between fast, slow, stop and when I get stuck in doing I notice and choose to switch gears.

Now it’s your turn… Will you join me in living more yellow?

 

 

 

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Sep 4th

Reflections from the Deep [tissue]

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The words “you can go harder” ring like sirens in a massage therapist’s ears, almost all of the time. Harder is not better, and often times it is not actually deeper; it is simply more painful.

I used to wonder why people enjoyed this sort of pain so much, I’m clearly not that sort of masochist…
And one day it clicked. The more locked down we are, the more tense we are, the less we can feel – physically and emotionally. This is not to say that tense people are insensitive, often it’s quite the contrary. But there is an undeniable correlation between muscular tenacity and emotional bottling. Neurologically, physical pain and emotional pain share the same brain region. Studies show that pain killers such as acetaminophen are effective in decreasing hurt feelings just as they are in treating hurt bodies. But, I digress…

Deep Tissue is a massage modality, a therapy in it’s own right. Literally it is a method of addressing the layers of tissue that sit deeper within the body (closer to the bone, farther from the skin). It is sometimes painful, when there is injury, adhesion or scar tissue; it sometimes brings up strong emotional release. Trigger points and pressure points can be particularly intense, but even these will respond to a surprisingly non-painful pressure. In fact, deep tissue can at times be painless, even pleasurable. It always brings different sensations and intensities in different areas of your body.

Any tuned-in massage therapist can read your body, and the body doesn’t lie. The body either surrenders to touch, or it fights against it. It is unconscious and uncontrollable for the most part, and it tells what is most honest. If you notice your breath being held during a massage, consider if the sensation is actually too intense. We massage therapists are listening to the feedback from your body, and adjusting pressure accordingly. Your body will respond differently session to session, so it is important to feel into your own body during each session. There is no reward (other than bruises) for powering through it.

Rather than blindly determining what you believe you need (unless you’re actually trained in anatomy and physiology), find a therapist who you resonate with and communicate openly. Together you’ll find the pressure that suits each area of your body, resulting in relaxation, increased circulation, detoxification, increased range of motion, and decreased pain. At the end of your session, instead of feeling beat up, you’ll feel freed up. You’ll learn about your body, and perhaps gain a bit more insight into where you’re really at.

Your request for ‘deeper’ may very well be a request for someone to pummel down the walls you’ve built; maybe the deeper you seek is not in pressure but in presence.

 

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Aug 17th

E Komo Mai

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e komo mai knob

 

Welcome to Mind-Body SF online…
The place to explore and pay tribute to the madness and beauty of being human.

The musings that follow cover all things physical, emotional, spiritual; through my lens as a somatic practitioner and teacher, and an unorthodox millennial.

 

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