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Self Care is Health Care

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Personal Boundaries and Self Care

When is enough, enough?  When is too much, too much? In terms of doing for others, I mean... closewalkHow do we feel when we set no limits of time and energy with family members, with friends.  We want to be helpful but at what cost to ourselves? How does it feel to change that pattern and begin more self care?

I like to think of my body as a primary boundary.  The bones that are my structure, the muscles that covers the bones and move me, my ribcage and skull that protect my vital organs are all physical boundaries I can see and feel. When something is wrong in my body, pressure, tension or pain, I have the ability to respond, or the response ability to change into a more comfortable state.

An equally important boundary is my field of energy that surrounds me. Some call this the "aura". Whatever you call it, we notice when someone gets to close that we do not know well, and pull away, or if someone we love is too distant, we pull them in.  A vibrational field of molecules that are activated by our moods, our emotions.  The auric boundary is harder to discern, but once it is discovered, it can be helpful to access subtle changes around us.  We could say our intuitive nature lives out here.  With practice, we could avoid many harmful substances, situations and relationships that just are not healthy for us.

An a counselor told me many years ago, "even an amoeba knows how to stay away from a harmful substance!"

When I fill my time with pleasurable experiences, really noticing my body sensation and taking care to breathe when I feel the urge to react...I can respond.

Feeling stiff? Stretch gently.

Feeling overwhelmed?  Deep breathe for a few minutes.

Feeling tired in the middle of the day? A brisk walk or a 20 minute power nap.

Whatever it takes...there is nothing more important than that you feel good today!

Join me  July 20-22, 2012 for a 3- day Trager® Mentastics® Movement Class. You will learn how to improve your boundaries, connect with yourself and others and feel greater ease and peace within.  The Trager approach is a gentle, effective and life changing process.  We will move together, to discover a new, freer sense of self through Trager.

 

 

 

Trager Mentastics in Water

Have you had a Trager session?  It is an experience you will not ever forget!  Today in a class a woman said she remembered a session she had with me 8 years ago!  I honestly did not remember her, until she told me when and where.  She said she had recognized my eyes, and finally put the two together.  As she described her session, I was amazed that she was able to recall so much.  Her memory served her well!

Mentastics is the aspect of the Trager Approach that involves using the imagination to evoke movement where there is none.  Generally, it is done before and after each session.  The movement gives the client a way to keep the session going long after the session is over.

I have had a few opportunities to lead a client through Mentastics in the water. The session relieved some very tight shoulders and a neck that held some traumatic family experience, that the client had not been able to share until that moment.  It reaffirmed Milton Trager, MD's comment that "for every physical manifestation in the body, there is an emotional one to the exact degree".

During the session, we explored our own movement, allowing the buoyancy of the water to support us. We played with our weight, our effortlessness, our freedom, as we cannot do on land.  Letting go of our own tension is what this approach is all about. Then the body can do it's own healing.

As  my client floated, I began gentle movements of the limbs with my hands. The body followed, easily integrating the spaces I was creating through gentle elongations.  Walking backward pulling her along, we both enjoyed the movement.  Placing my hand under her back, she felt even more support, and as I walked my fingers down her vertebrae, more releasing occurred.

Coming back to standing in the water, she described to me a feeling of freedom, which stayed true even on land. She was relieved to let go of the secrets that were locked in her neck and upper spine.  A phone call a month later, showed that the tension pattern had not returned, and she was sleeping much better.

I will soon be offering sessions in the water. If you are a water baby, give me a call, and we will see how you like it!  If you have your own pool, or a hot tub larger enough to float freely in without touching the sides, I would make a home visit. 

If you already have access to water, I suggest floating for the best relaxation there is.  Enjoy!

Balance, Flexibility and Reflex Response

Within the Trager Approach is a technique that Milton Trager MD developed during his 60 years of practice, called Reflex Response (RR).  A skilled Trager Practitioner will provide the immediate benefit of RR, by asking the client for slight pressure from a specific muscle group that may be resistant to movement.  RR is woven throughout the session, the only active part the clent plays in a session.  It is extremely beneficial and efficient in waking up sluggish muscles.  I explain it to my clients, like this: If you have a large house, and a light is left on upstairs all the time, you may not even notice it.  RR is like realizing the light is on, and finding the switch to turn off the light.  Without fully relaxing your muscles, you cannot fully contract them. Muscles shorten without use, and become less strong. 

The RR technique focuses on regenerating communication between a muscle and the Central Nervous System (CNS). The term "reflex response" also refers to the operation of the CNS.  The reflex arc is the route that the message is taken.  The speed within which the nerve impulse travels along this arc is extremely fast. The fastest moving message or response is through the A fibers at 130m/sec.  Now that's fast! And luckily for us, because when we sense danger, we want to move fast! 

Reflexive responses are used frequently for diagnosis, and are measured at birth as part of the Apgar scale, administerd by a nurse to assess spinal cord and brain function at birth.  As we get older, reflexes can become weak or absent due to trauma, repetitive motion and many other causes.  Compensation from other muscle groups occurs when a reflex not used properly for some reason, creating a pattern that may slow down our movements.  Balance problems often result.

If you picture in your mind, an octagenarian that has  poor posture: head down, slow gait, shuffling feet, perhaps with a cane for support, you can imagine also that those reflexes have lost their speed. Partially this posturing is brought on in the aged because there is a myth in our culture: as we age we become less flexible and weak.  Many persons succumb to this myth.  Psychologically, a person with depression embodies this posture as well. It is as if the weight of the world is on their shoulders.

As many of us are discovering:  "Movement is the way to agelessness" (Milton Trager). The person in the picture above, has stopped moving. For whatever reason, the flexibility left the body when the movement stopped.  In order to keep our balance, the nerve impulse from the feet to the brain must operate at optimum capacity. When the reflexes slow dow, we "hunker down" to feel safe.  Without movement, there is no way to practice this.  A simple movement to improve balance is to shift your weight.

When you shift your weight, the neurons fire rapidly from the soles of your feet (our feet and hands have a multitude of sensors that send messages to your brain to keep you upright. Use your feet only as the impetus for this movement, not allowing your waist or another part of your body to do this work.  Allow the movement to come solely (no pun intended) from your feet. Repeat many times in varying directions.  This will improve your balance.

I have recently started dancing, ballroom and salsa, and I thought my reflexes were great!  When we dance, we refine our movements toward precision. And when we dance with another,  we have their reflexes to contend with as well!  I can say, that the more I dance the quicker my reflexes become. This is true with any activity, playing the piano, running, swimming...we develop a muscle memory, that allows us to continue the movement pattern without thinking so much about it. It begins to be imbedded in our unconscious mind, as a pattern that is needed and utilized frequently.

 Picture now another Octogenarian, out on the dance floor, enjoying life to the fullest, laughing....that would be you someday, with a little more consciousness about movement!

If you feel you have problems with balance, or you just want to get moving, the Trager Approach may be for you. With each session you will learn to move more freely and easily in your body. You can read more about this in the blog that I wrote last Feb about the 4 E's: the ecomony of effort and the efficiency of energy. This time of year warrants more fun! Do some dancing, get a Trager session...by all means, get moving!

Doing a Demo

Here are some tips for demos, taken from a flyer I received from SMA (Sohnen Moe Associates, the Business Mastery folks). As a facilitator, I have access to lesson plans, inspirational info etc...check their website sma.info@sohnen-moe.com ) I have paraphrased their suggestions to make them more Trager applicable...and from my own experience. 1) Whenever possible, do demonstrations with a colleague, so that one person can be talking while the other is performing the demonstration or moving through the room. 2) Always check your equipment and supplies beforehand. Bring flyers, handouts, business cards and a sign in sheet. Include snail and email address space.Use this list to promote your excellent practice, or a newsletter for your clients. 3) Create a demo kit that is stuffed and ready to go, complete with the above. 4) Allot sufficient time to set up and assemble displays. be flexible in your demonstration plan. The audience may not be dressed appropriately for certain activities or may be limited in their ability to physically participate. Sitting in chairs or getting up and down form a seated position is something everyone can do. (ok, you may do a demo with a group in wheel chairs) 5) Do things sequentially. Coordinate the demonstration with handouts, transparencies or posters that illustrate what you are doing. There are many learning styles...a variety will meet everyone's needs. 6) Invite the group to stand up and surround the demonstration area so everyone can see 7) If a volunteer is unable to do what you ask, change your approach, alter your pace or use different language. Be affirming. 8) Make the volunteer feel at ease and reinforce his/her self-esteem by saying something like, "It takes a while to master this" "As you continue with these technique, you will notice vast improvement" 8) Be prepared with a contingency plan in case a demonstration goes awry 9) Practice talking and working as the same time 10) Distribute sample practice items for the group to work with while you are demonstrating. For example, if you are showing people how to massage their pets, pass out stuffed animals that they can rub. 11) Use toys as teaching toys. I always carry bean bags to help people feel the weight and slinkies to make a point about spinal articulation. Hula hoops are great fun and liven up a class. People remember that. 12) Add a seed circle statement or a line in your business plan about how many demos you want to do this year. How about at least one every quarter? I went over my records fro tax purpose recently , and I demo'd for approximately 75 persons last year at 6 separate events, ranging from 1-3 hours. I have a goal to do a demo or networking event monthly, an intro quarterly, 2 Mentastics classes, and 2 supervised practice days, all events filled to capacity. What are your goals for 2006? Enjoy the process! Judy

Trager and Pregnancy

The Trager approach can help new moms, and experienced ones for that matter, carry and deliver their babies more easily, and feel good about their bodies during pregnancy. A pregnant body has to shift the weight bearing through the whole structure, to support the new being. Legs and hips rotate slightly out, knees can be stressed, and feet want lots of attention! Hormone changes stir up the emotional stability, sleep problems may occur, and appetite changes can upset normal eating patterns. Sounds like fun??? When you hold that new baby in your arms, you will forget all of this! In the meantime, let's get more comfortable with the pregnancy. A feeling of compression and downwardness can happen before you know it, rather than joy you felt at the beginning of the pregnancy, you may begin to feel heavy and immobile. The Trager approach provides movement explorations and the gentle touch of a practitioner, to help you regain a feeling of spaciousness in your body. Feeling your "sky hook", a simple technique that is taught to help you lift through the crown of the head, gives a gentle elongation throughout the entire spine. The muscles of the belly relax and and is better able to receive the support of the pelvis. You regain freedom in movement!

Severe pain in the hips that runs down the leg(s), is a common complaint for pregnant women as movement decreases in the pelvic area. Walk with a gentle kick, or as you sit on an exercise ball or chair, try rolling your hips back and forth to create space in the pelvis, relieving the compression of the major nerve that runs through this area, called the sciatic nerve. These movement suggestions will also help those with back pain.

After the baby is born, you can regain your original strength and structure more quickly with a few sessions of Trager. You bones will still be feeling the effects of elastin for a while after the birth, and it is a great time to get moving back in the direction you would like to go.

It is a pleasure to work with a pregnant mother, creating a joyful and peaceful pregnancy and birthing process! Your baby will feel the effects and express the newfound freedom with more movement and dropping into the birth canal with less effort. Let's create a more peaceful world, one birth at a time.

Judy

Morning Mentastics

A Mentastic is a "mental gymnastic" according to Milton Trager MD, who developed this approach. He and his wife Emily made up the word to describe what he was after with the idea of movement re-education. Combining these words gave the best explanation of using the mind to move the body. I want to be totally conscious while I move, and then totally conscious of letting go of the movement. This is a totally new concept of moving for many of us. If you have chronic pain anywhere in your body, you are moving without thinking. If you learned to move in a way that was easy and free, you would not have the pain. It is true that the pain may have originated from an accident or injury. After the healing happened, why is the pain still there?

This morning when I woke up, I became conscious of what it would be like to get out of bed. This happened before I started moving. Then I rolled my head around on the pillow, moved my shoulders, and lengthened my legs. While stretching feels good, when I stretch to the point of non movement...I feel my limit. When I stop right before that end point, I feel my potential. The Trager Approach is about potentiality.

Knowing that I have at times some tenderness in my arches when I first stand up in the morning, I eased into a standing position and today just barely felt my arches this morning. What a concept! Being gentle with myself really works!

On to a little time on the floor, for about 15-20 minutes, I rolled, moved in any way my body wanted...I played with beginning to move and letting the effort go, moving and letting the effort go. Wide awake and energized, with very little effort.

Start your day with Mentastics...in fact any time during the day you want to take the pause that refreshes, take a 5 minute mentastics break. Ask me or your practitioner for some ideas to get started. Enjoy! Judy

Introductory Workshops

Have you wanted to know a little more about the Trager Approach, but not sure if you want a session? I have been teaching introductory workshops for about 4 years now, and find that most folks thoroughly enjoy the time we spend together, creating space in their body and their lives in a new and relaxing way.

Intro Workshops can be of any length, and I have done a wide variety: two hours; a 4 week one hour series; a full day, and 2 days. Each group that comes together feels they come away with more freedom in their movement as well as the good feeling of a growing community that is interested in what Milton said he was doing: "creating peace in the world, one person at a time".

Peace is available to us at any time. It is a choice. We simply have to recall a peaceful moment in our life. Perhaps when you were holding a newborn, or watching a sunrise. That is the feeling I am talking about. Spend a day with me, finding and expanding this feeling through movement re-education. This is the Trager Approach.

The first part of the intro, your body awareness will increase with guided movement in the morning. By the afternoon, you are ready to give this feeling to others. After lunch in the format of al 1 or 2 day class, we set up massage tables, and try our "hand" at touching another with the intention of sharing this feeling. You will be amazed how you can continue to become even more peaceful as you interact with another. I am doubly blessed as I get a session everytime I receive one.

Wouldn't it be wonderful if everyone could do the work they really love? I am doing it! You can too! Think of the Trager Approach as a career move. I guarantee it will change your life, for the better.

Why not come to an intro. On my website, I have scheduled a one day event on March 11th, at my office, and a two day event at the Pittsburgh School of Massage in April. Watch for more updates. If you know a group of persons you would like me to present to, give me a call. There are many benefits to being a class organizer. Or come and get a session, to experience what this work really can do for you. Judy

Family Patterns

Providing transformational movement re- education for 2 or 3 different generations within the same family is really fascinating. The genetic patterning in speech as well as movement are obvious. Even pain and postural positioning is evident. I also notice that when one family member changes the others also begin to take notice, and often want to change also. Many times I have seen this happen without the others being aware of it! I also have personal experience with this. At some point a few years ago, I realized the pain I was feeling in my neck was very similar to my Mother's description of hers. I had picked up her habit of reading in bed at night without good support and alignment, as well as tilting my head slightly to the right. It was like looking in a mirror.

So I consciously looked in a mirror, and said out loud "I am not my Mother's body". This was helpful as a beginning step to releasing the pattern. As you can imagine, emotional and communication patterns are also passed down the genetic coding just like disease tendencies.

As I moved away from the pattern of pain, I would occassionally "test" it , to see if it was really gone. This is how we keep the pain alive in our body. We search for it, when we do not feel it. When we find it we say "it's still there". Then we can forget about it again for a while. It becomes a "project " in the body, Something that needs to be fixed, or worked on. We tell everyone about it... we miss it if it isn't present and look for it again.

I want to acknowledge that 80-90% of my body is very well indeed. I have overcome many different displays of attention seeking pain from my body, my inner self that craves attention. It thinks the only way I will notice it is if it's "bad" or "in pain". Could this be a result of a pattern of my Mother's relationship to me as a child? I think yes. It is very similar. I didn't really have any health problems as a child, and since my brother did, he took all my mother's time and attention.

In addition to becoming very self-sufficient, which was a direct result of my Mother's behavior toward me, I took on her pain and suffering much later as an adult, even repeating relationship scenarios that were uncannily similar.

These emotional patterns may be more obvious, the physically painful ones, not so. It may be that the physical pain that is being masked is the result of an emotional trauma in the family. When I see a family with 3 generations of neck and jaw tension, I have to wonder, "what started this pattern so long ago?" Bringing awareness into the family about how we carry forward past memories and patterns helps to let the objectivity of a situation be the healing force.

I can be less judgmental and more compassionate toward myself when I know the pain I feel is the result of a patten that was my mother's and grandmothers. And that now that I have this kowledge, it is my responsibility to change it.

For an experiment, ask you parents and your siblings if they have similar body issue as you. I bet they do. Judy.

Accountability and Ethics

If you are building a business or private practice, do you have an ethical code or standard for yourself? Do you have clear client guidelines, that tell them what to expect from a session, a few paragraphs about your training, and experience? Do you have a clear policy about missed appointments and cancellation? Policies such as those mentioned and a code of ethics could be very helpful in defining what and who you are for your clients. They are written statements that say, I have thought about these issues, and am being proactive in preventing problems for you and for myself.

On a larger scale, if you belong to an organization, is there an ethical comittee that is proactive in reviewing ethical issues that are up, revise the by-laws and codes regularly to see if they still fit, perhaps look at other organizational ethics codes and issues, and see how we could be better prepared to prevent incidents from occurring? Does your organization possible have a column on ethical practice would be helpful to the members? Do you know how to resolve ethical issues? How to deal with a peer that is acting unethically or find support for a situation you are uncomfortable with? Knowing the process for resolution makes me feel safe and protected. It gives the practitioner and the client a safe container to explore and expand the work we do.

Maybe you do not even want to look at these issues. You may say "I wouldn't touch this with a 10 foot pole". Perhaps, you say " sounds like someone wants control" and you think none of this is needed. Having served as an ethics committee chair for a National organization, considered many local and regional issues, I know this is an important part of any business.

As a leader, I take responsibility for acting ethically, and understanding the importance of educating others about this important aspect of our work. I want to be held accountable by my peers. I know I have blind spots in my actions. I cannot help but act from patterns from the past, as many of us do. I do not want to do things "because they have allways been done that way" You are my mirror not just in ethical action, but in communication, success, emotion expression.....I cannot be fully me without you.

Independence is a value that runs high in my life today. I have fought hard and long for it. I value it so much, at one point in my life, I created a wall around me, so much so that interdependence was forgotten. My views and even my body had hardened around ideas that were no longer useful. I had isolated myself, and then realized I missed being in community.

The search for community let me to understand the term interdependence. Interdependence is a concept that the indiginious peoples all over the world knew and operated from. Their very lives depended on this concept. Every thought and action was done with interdependence in mind. Here are a few: we are all related; consider the seven generations before, and the seven after when making a decision; take only what you need, leave the rest to regenerate; share resources and no one will go without. These principles fostered self responsibility, empowerment and community.

Without this knowledge and understanding, accountability becomes a question. I may have my own perception of what is ethical action, and create my individual world around this knowledge. When we belong to a community or organization however, I must have a different understanding, a common mind with the rest of the community members. I must operate from a different set of standards, ethics, and values.

It is true, I am drawn to this particular community because of the values I see being expressed. But what are the values? Does everyone hold them equally the same?

How can we hold ourselves and each other accountable without threatening this idea of independence? Perhaps it is with educating everyone about the concept of interdependence? Would that be enough to move away from legal systems that imprison innocent persons, or empower each member of an organization to act ethically? Would that be enough to suggest self responsibility, and do we trust that everyone is capable of it? Personally, I can let go more easily when I know the proper process is in place to deal with issues, and we have done our best to educate our members, our peers.

I have taken a leadership role in many different organizations locally and globally, as a board member and executive committee member. I have gained some understanding of the complexities of these issues. It is enough to say, there are many questions, and many without easy answers. I do not know each person in my community. I have to help create the by-laws, and a system that I think will work best for right now. I am one of the ones responsible for creating the safety net of protection for all of us, and be open to changing it as needed. No one else will do this for me. I am a leader. If you have your own business or practice, you are a leader. Welcome and enjoy!

We are all related. Judy

TIme, time, time, it's on our side

Yes, it is...remember that song from the Rolling Stones? Time management becomes imperative when you own your own business. There are myriads of distractions to take us in a multitude of directions. Since I am totally responsible for my time management, I feel good about using it wisely and consciously. The Trager Approach has taught me about ease. One morning about a month ago, I was sitting with some hot tea, after breakfast, doing nothing but watching the steam rise. It was about 8 am. I had already completed my early morning ritual that includes attention to my body with Pilates and Trager Mentastics as well as meditation. I rise with the sun, and go to bed earlier and up an hour later than in the summer. I do not use any alarm clock, nor do I wear a watch anymore. My sense of timing has improved greatly!

I had recently decided to slow my pace in the morning, and was getting up earlier without effort, not hurrying to get somewhere. Even though I do not see clients until 9:30, I like to be at the office by 9. So with the steam rising off my tea, I had a nice feeling of emptiness and gratitude for the day wash over me. In an instant, this thought came to me "Ease means: the efficiency of energy and the economy of effort!" (see the other post entitled the 4 E's) This thought had come out of the blue like many others, when I get out of my own busyness my creative juices explode, giving new meaning to my life.

By prioritizing our time, we can accomplish a lot more. I had a friend who told me they ran circles around me, but I seemed to get much more done! Remember the story of the tortoise and the hare...

Apply this Trager principle of the "4 E's " to your life. If you need a little more education about living more simply and more fully...without all the hurrying, come a get a dose for yourself! I gaurentee, you will slow down, and enjoy life more. Trager is good medicine!

Judy

Barriers to Success

If you have already become as successful as you would like, congratulations! I applaud your integrity, persistence and commitment to your work. If you would like to be more successful, what holds you back? According to Cherie Sohen Moe, author of the book "Business Mastery", some barriers to success may be: a poor self-image; blaming others for misfortunes; expecting failure; negative self-talk; repeating errors and the major one: procrastination! If you can admit to any of these, it is a good place to start work on the energetic aspects of being successful.

Being a success demands our time, energy and attention. The issues above compete for them, also. Unconscious behavior patterns once brought into our conscious awareness do not have a chance...unless we CHOOSE to continue to ignore them. If you find you have known about your specific barriers all along, and feel stuck, find someone to help change your pattern.

I am available to help you change your patterns. As a Trager Practitioner, these patterns are not just in our mind, they live in our physical bodies as well. Movement and letting go is extrememly helpful as well as having someone to process your pain and frustration with.

You can create whatever you want in your life. Whatever you have right now is what you are committed to. Choose to be successful and you will be! Judy

No Worries

Is your head often filled with worrisome thoughts? I can tell you what happens to the head and neck physically when it is. Your neck feels like it weighs a ton, and your neck muscles have to work harder to hold it up! What could be lighter? Take a pause with me...If you are sitting up reading this, imagine you have a head that is filled with helium...it is in the shape of your favorite cartoon character..(mickey mouse?) and your spine is the string. Allow your head to float toward the ceiling, giving your spine length and ease as you are sitting. Keep this feeling alive as you get up and move around the room. Feel all tension melt away.

As you replaced the worries with this image, where did they go? They definately will not stay present if you are creating images. We cannot hold two thoughts simultaneously at the same time (that is different that multi-tasking). Your head will become lighter, and your neck tension will ease, your shoulders now can move more freely. You can try this lying down also, or while waiting at a red light or standing in line.

Worry takes effort and effort is wasted or meaningless until it is directed in the way we want it to go. Does worrying cause you to be tired? Now you know why. Spend you energy doing what you love to do.

Integrating skills

Today I was fortunate to be able to help someone loosen secretions in their chest with Trager and percussion...as a drummer and a nurse, percussion is an easy skill for me to use. The chest compressions and rocking we are taught to do in Trager is of great benefit for thisias well. The experience reminded me of when I did school nursing in a developmental center in Union County. There were children with Cerebral Palsy that needed percussion daily, and this was one of the services I provided as the the nurse. As a Practitioner, you bring lots of skills to your work. The Trager approach is a wonderful discipline that blends well with other approaches. If you feel another skill would be useful to help your client, use it. Be clear in communicating that this technique is not the Trager Approach, but you have this training, and thought it may be helpful. Your client will be clear when he/she describes your work to others. You are also respecting the guidelinnes and trademarks fo our organization.

If you feel another technique would be beneficial to your client and you do not have that skill, then refer them to someone you know. Referrals help us build our practice. Collaborating with a colleague allows us to expand our network, and creates a feeling of trust within your client.

I recently explored working together with a colleague that does Rolfing. We have been trading sessions for a long time. He appreciates the letting go aspect of Trager and I appreciate the structural awareness of his work. We thought of clients that may be willing to do both and found one. For 4 weeks, he was Rolfed and Tragered in the same week. This appeared to be very helpful, and both of us as practitioners felt it was speeding up the healing and education process.

If nothing else, we both have a deeper appreciation of each other's work, and understand our own limitations better. I also have experienced the feeling of how empowering it is to share resources (such as a client) and not be in a place of fear, that the person will leave, and not return. I truly want what is best for the client.

As we become more comfortable in our own bodies, we are able to let go of certain expectations and old patterns. In a business sense, we can really stifle our energy by operating from a place of fear and lack rather that a place of abundance and freedom. This is what we teach our clients, let's live it in our private practice.

As my clients leave my office, I have a sign on the wall that says "To all my clients, friends and colleagues, because of your referrals, my practice is growing! THANK YOU! "

And another thanks to all of you who continue to support me and my practice. Judy

The Benefit of Pain

Yes, Virginia, there is a benefit to pain...and there is no reason to continue to have pain! If you are waking up in the morning with pain, there is something wrong! iw want to help you get to the bottom of it! Amazing to think of pain as a teacher, but that is what I do. Even suffering, if done with the intention to benefit all sentient beings, can reduce the length and intensity. When I know the moment of pain or discomfort is information and will pass, I listen, modify my position, my thoughts, my feelings. Pain decreases. I have that ability. So do you.

What exactly is pain? Physical sensations we call pain is actually a lack of oxygen (O2) to the tissue. Oxygen deprivation at the cellular level causes ischemia or death of that cell. Without an oxygen exchange, carbon dioxide (CO2), builds up as a toxic gas and is stored in the larger spaces of our bodies, generally the joints. (Do your joints pop and crack? This can be caused by CO2 release.) In order to keep oxygen moving to the tissue, we must keep the larger body moving! This is one of the many reasons the Trager (tm) approach is so valuable as a healing modality.

Trager gets you moving, physically and literally! Since there is no separation between the physical and the emotional body, I find old patterns of thought and emotions are also released during a session. This happens because some of the emotional pain you feel could be old memories stuck in the celluar or physical body. The physical body has healed, but the memory has become stuck in the tissue. When clients have an old memory resurface, they may actually have to get angy, cry or just feel sad when this happens. Some want to talk about it, some don't.

When this occurs, I just take a pause, and encourage them to be comfortable and do whatever it takes to support them.

What about chronic pain? Pain that is chronic in nature can move out just as swiftly as occassional pain, but often takes longer. The problem with chronic pain, is that a sort of unravelling has to occur to get to the original cause. For instance, if an injury that created knee problems 20 years ago is still bothering you, your body has successfully found ways to take the weight your knee usually holds and re-distribute it to other area, hip, low back, up to the neck etc. We are grateful for this, as it allows us to go about our busy lives. As we get older, however, the compression of time and gravity, create structural problems. We need more time to regenerate cellular tissue so we begin to feel the effects of this patterning.

At this point, I work gently with the whole body to lengthen muscles that may have become shortened, and find a more balanced re-distribution of weight. Eventually, no matter what the age, your body can adapt again, this time in a more balanced and free-flowing way. Why not try a session and see if your body responds as well as I think it will!

NO MORE PAIN! Make this your mantra. Please feel free to send me your thoughts on the subject!

The busyness of business

Each day is a new adventure when it comes to having my own practice utilizing the Trager(tm) Approach... Today I discovered that the busier I am, the less attention I pay to details. Things like putting the correct date on the flyer, forgetting to write down the correct appointment time. I never understood the connection to the busyness of business until today. After 3 incidents in a row (it always comes in 3"s !) I realized I need to take a well deserved pause....

I sing about this in one of my songs...it's beautiful to do nothing and then just take a break! (sung in blues style) It's even more beautiful to be really productive and then take one!

Perhaps the pattern I was in , now exposed, can recede in to the past, as I create what I want. I am accountable to details, in a joyful way. I am busy and detailed. I am changing this as I speak.

Today, I can create what tomorrow will bring, I only need a few pauses now and then. The pause creates clarity. So right now I am going to take one! Join me for a few breaths, a moment of silence in the mind....enjoy!

Let's Get Moving!

Milton Trager, MD, knew "Movement is the Way to Agelessness" and in fact authored a book by this title with Kathy Hammond. (It is available on the Trager.com website). If this is the truth, why do we slow down with age? The myth of old age in general is dissappearing for me. My body is much healthier that 10 years ago before I ever learned about Trager(tm) and other modalities. I am taller also! No kidding! After one week-long meeting, I had to raise my table up a notch! I have joined a ball room dancing class, and am dancing 1-2 times a week. Believe it or not, I met a great Uncle of mine for the first time in my life, at a dance at the Mennachor in downtown Columbus! He used to be the "King of the dance floor" according to one of his peers. What a surprise! For some reason, this side of the family was never mentioned...same last name...perhaps an old feud from the days in Sicily...

As I take responsibility for my own movement, I am encouraging my clients to find a way to increase their activity. This could be as simple as parking furthest away from the door, to using stairs, things we have heard for years. What if we looked at it differently and simply suggest adding a little spring to their step? By imagining we have springs in our joints, we create more flow in our body. We increase metabolism, and have greater access to ATP-the energy source in our cells.

Maybe they could add a new class of some kind...I also started learning Italian, so I now attend a weekly class, and am enjoying the company and joviality of learning in this way. Laughter also creates movement, and it is hilarious to pronounce words in a different language! By asking our clients a few simple questions, we find our so much about the movement patterns outsinde of the session...

Shake it up! What have you always wanted to do , but haven't yet? If not now when? Ask a friend to join you, if you'd rather not go it alone. Cheers! Judy

Workplace Fatigue - What you can do

At the workplace, sitting in the same position for hours overworks some muscles and under works others, causing physical stress. All of us have developed our own patterns for sitting, standing, walking, reaching, etc. Most of us are not aware that the way we move (or don’t move) when we are at work, can cause pain at the end of the day. When emotional stress is present, even minute trauma is enough for us to experience severe pain. Chronic stress often sets off a progression of symptoms such as fatigue, tight achy muscles, joint stiffness, and pain.

Flexibility is the key...read more.

Trager TipsJudith Fasone