Tree Pose for Snowboarders

Here is my latest article for the Mount Baker Experience.  Ski Season is over this weekend but the back pain doesn’t end if you don’t do something about it!

https://www.mountbakerexperience.com/fix-pain-from-snowboarding-with-the-tree-pose/

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German documentary on Back Pain & Help with Rolfing Structural Integration

One of my favorite Rolfers Robert Schleip is in this German documentary on back pain.  This is long so I didn’t add it to my site.  I just gave you the you the link in case you are interested!  https://twitter.com/RolfInstitute/status/844594886129049601

 

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The Importance of Rest

http://www.mountbakerexperience.com/the-importance-of-rest/

The importance of rest

 By Luca Williams

I grew up near the jungles of Panama, and one of my favorite memories is waking up before my family and listening to the jungle come alive. The monkeys, birds and insects all whispered, hummed, screamed and howled as I absorbed the life around me. I didn’t have to go far to have an adventure, I just had to pay attention.

As I have grown older and life has gotten busier I often forget to make time to just sit and listen to the sounds of the world. Yet paying attention to my surroundings helps me get connected and feel part of a bigger picture. What’s even more difficult than paying attention to my environment is taking time to pay attention to myself.

Most of us spend our days running from one project to another – working, taking care of kids, driving, exercising, adventuring or planning our next adventure. By the time we hit the bed we haven’t even thought about or listened to the whispers of our own bodies – until we have pain or discomfort that screams and howls in a way we can’t ignore. Taking time to rest just isn’t on the to-do list.

WHAT’S EVEN MORE DIFFICULT THAN PAYING ATTENTION TO MY ENVIRONMENT IS TAKING TIME TO PAY ATTENTION TO MYSELF.

I have found that each of us has our own inner jungle that we can listen to and notice, but we have to take the time for it. The best part about resting is, we give ourselves a chance to reconnect to our true dreams and aspirations. We give ourselves an opportunity to reset ourselves instead of being swayed by the demands and desires of our bosses, co-workers, family and friends. Resting gives us a chance to just be.

So how often do you check in with yourself and ask, “How am I doing? How do I feel? Do I like being this busy? Do I want more out of life? Or is everything just perfect except this nagging neck or back pain?”

As a body worker I love stretching, moving and dancing when I have a discomfort that I am trying to work out. When things go really wrong in my body or my life I go back to the basics and my absolute favorite resting position. The position allows me to give in to gravity. This one posture allows my nervous, muscular and skeletal systems to rest.

At the same time, the rest position allows me to listen to the whispers, the hums, the screams and the howls that I have been ignoring. As I lay in the rest position, something else happens; all the pieces of me – the mother, the body worker, the friend, the wife – dissolve and I feel childlike again. I am left with a sense of wonder. Here is the place where I can enter an adventure into my own being.

Rest position

1. Put a pillow under your knees with your feet flat on the bed or floor. Or bend your knees with your feet flat on the floor without the pillow. Hold your upper body up with your elbows.

2. Lower yourself slowly, vertebra by vertebra, imagining that each vertebra has space from the one below. You can use your elbows to help elongate your spine.

3. Place a pillow or towel under your head if need be. Optimally, you want your face to be parallel to the floor.

4. Check that you have a small gap between your lower back and the bed or floor. If this gap is too large or nonexistant then you are not resting but creating more tension by overarching your spine or over-tucking your pelvis. The key is to relax.

5. Place your hands on your chest or belly to remind yourself to rest downwards toward the center of the earth, giving in to gravity. You can either leave your hands on your belly or place them palms up by your sides.

6. Allow yourself to exhale, releasing any extra tension or stress that you have built up through the day.

7. If you find yourself obsessing about the day, or a situation, or a pain that you may have, wiggle your toes and fingers and take a deep breath exhaling the thought away. Breathe and repeat.

The rest pose can be used anytime to help you reset or fall asleep. This is a wonderful opportunity to connect with yourself and elongate your spine at the same time. You may find yourself zoning out into a beautiful space where you can experience an adventure into the jungle of your own being.

Luca Williams is a certified rolfer in Glacier.  She helps snowboarders, skiers and other outdoor enthusiasts get aligned and out of pain. Website: lucasrolfing.com Blog: movingwithgravity.wordpress.com

 

 

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Rolfing Video

This is a great video explaining how Rolfing works.  It includes a short segment on a session.  My son kept saying “He sounds just like you mom.  You say all the same things he says.”

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Gravity = Love: Skiing and Applied Physics

So I love Applied Physics which is why I love Rolfing Structural Integration and Skiing so much.   Skiing has taught me so much about my work and working with people in movement has taught me so much about skiing.

The secret to Skiing just may be the secret to life.

Falling in love with gravity

Complete Awareness of your Body (or learning to gain better body awareness)

Complete Awareness of your Surroundings (or you will get hurt or hurt someone else).

 

 

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Spinning and Turning Both Ways

Brandon Breitenstein

Brandon Breitenstein at Hood

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.mountbakerexperience.com/the-zen-of-spinning-both-ways/

Here is my latest article for the Mt. Baker Experience

By Luca Williams

To be honest, I don’t get people’s love for spins, grabs and flips. But my kid does and I love my kid so I try to pay attention to his world of skiing, even though when he launches through the air at the speed of light I’m sitting there wondering about our insurance policy and how many broken bones it will cover.

Yes, I nag him to be careful. Yes, I begged him for years to quit trying to backflip off of every “perfect” rock or cliff. But I know passion when I see it, so now I just listen when people comment on how big he goes, even though I really want to stick my fingers in my ears and pretend it’s not my son that they’re talking about.

I have two skiing lectures for him: Your body is your temple, and you only have one, so take care of it. He ignores this one because he is 17 and 17-year-old boys know everything and they are invincible. The second lecture he listens to … sort of: If you are going to twist one way all the time, remember to twist the other way too.

When my son started to pay attention to me he noticed that he can spin to the left two-and-a-half times around but he can “only” spin to the right one-and-a-half times. He obviously favors spinning left. So the muscles of his shoulders, back and abdominals that help him spin left are becoming quite strong while the muscles on the right side of his back are over stretching with every left spin he engages in. Hearing that he spins so much easier to the left tells me that he is setting himself up for back pain in the future.

Repetitive twisting can begin to hurt whether you do it in the air or at a desk. Which way is easier for you to spin? Stand with your feet hip-width apart and twist to your right and left. Twist around to look at something behind you. Don’t force it! Notice your eyes, head, neck, shoulders, ribs, arms and your upper spine as you twist. Feel how your feet, knees and legs are also engaged in the act of twisting.

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Just by doing that simple, small movement with awareness, your brain got curious. When we introduce movement with awareness, our brain gets excited and begins to make new connections. Having a habit of twisting one way more than the other is not bad. But it can get bad if it gets so ingrained that we become severely limited in twisting the other way. So here is a simple exercise to test and expand your twisting fitness that requires no force and 100 percent curiosity!

1. Standing with your feet hip-width apart, side bend to the right and to the left, allowing your fingers to slide along your leg. Which way is easier? Your fingers will get closer to your knees on the easier side. Side bend 10-15 times on each side.

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2. This time when you side bend to the right allow your hips to shift left keeping your feet flat on the floor. Notice how you can side bend farther to the right when you allow your hips to shift left. Switch sides. Now side bend to the left, shifting your hips to the right. Side bend about 15 times on each side.

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3. After you have finished side bending, take a moment to just stand there and sense the weight on your feet. Check in to how you feel. You may notice that you are more alert, your rib cage or feet may have more sensation, or you may even feel tired. Regardless, go back to twisting right and left and check how far you can twist. Is it easier? Can you feel how your turning angle has increased on both sides?

After many months or years, repetitive twisting in one direction will cause your back to start to hurt in some way. If you don’t want to take up these exercises for that reason, at least learn to go both ways to make yourself a more well-rounded trickster.   x

lucawilliamsLuca Williams is a certified rolfer in Glacier.  She helps snowboarders, skiers and other outdoor enthusiasts to get aligned and out of pain. Website: lucasrolfing.com Blog: movingwithgravity.wordpress.com

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Over 50!

 

Why everyone over 50 should be Rolfed: Rolfing set to be the new health craze of 2017

http://www.high50.com/health/50-rolfed-rolfing-set-health-craze-2017

 

To find out more about Rolfing for our readers, I go to Evolve Wellness Centre in South Kensington to meet Sibyl Darrington, certified Rolfer and advanced clinical and sports massage therapist – she also operates from Whitstable in Kent.  ‘No-one had heard about connective tissue or “fascia” in the sixties and seventies so Ida Rolf, who started the whole thing, was way ahead of her time,’ she says.

For the Over 50’s

When we age our fascia tends to dehydrate and becomes tougher creating stiffness and rigidity in the body. Rolfing rehydrates the fascia and softens it, which is why people feel so much more free and vibrant after the ten sessions!  During and after menopause the collagen weakens in the tissues of the body – tendons, ligaments, veins or arteries – which are all connective tissue or fascia.  It’s easier to have strains and sprains and for joints to become unstable. ‘Many women around this time come in to the clinic complaining of pain or issues with balance and usually it is due to instability,’ explains Sibyl. ‘They may have had no history of these issues until menopause. Rolfing helps create stability throughout the body so the body is better able to support itself. It helps with the sprains, strains and injuries, which are all tissue injuries.   In general it helps with stiffness that starts to accrue at this time of our lives and it can increase range of movement and increase energy levels. Rolfing can help realign scar tissue and can help with any torsion or misalignment caused by that scar.  If we start to live in and enjoy our bodies more through Rolfing, then our attitude to the process of ageing is a lot more positive. Most people say they feel more grounded, or connected to the earth and that they feel more present in their lives.’

Rolfing Sybil in action

Nutritionist, Charlotte Fraser, who has completed all ten sessions, explains more fully what it’s about:

What is Rolfing® Structural Integration?

Rolfing aims to help restore the body to its most efficient form to enable full ease and freedom of movement. Picture the cogs, springs and wheels of a fine Swiss watch working tick tock in perfect precision. Rolfing greatly improves a person’s posture and balance, as well as helps release tension, alleviate chronic pain and restore energy.

Named after its founder, Dr. Ida P. Rolf, Rolfing® is a specialised method of bodywork that works with the connective tissues, or ‘fascia’ – the body’s internal flexible scaffolding – which permeate the entire body.  Rolfing works on this complex web of connective tissues to release, realign and balance the body as a whole.  Crucially,instead of viewing the body as a collection of separate parts, Rolfing treats the body as an integrated whole with connective tissues surrounding, supporting and permeating all the muscles, bones, nerves and organs.

Lifestyle habits and injury can cause our internal flexible ‘wiring’ to become over-extended or out of kilter with the tension resulting in chronic joint pain, sore muscles, postural change and restricted movement.

Rolfing Foot knuckles
How long does a Rolfing treatment last? 

The treatment takes place over a course of ten sessions referred to as ‘The Ten Series’; typically each session lasts 60-75 minutes.

Who would benefit from Rolfing?

Just about everyone can benefit, men, women and children.  It is already well known amongst sportsmen and professional ballet dancers for helping to alleviate injury and enhance performance.

The Eight Benefits of Rolfing:

Many clients report that the therapeutic effect of Rolfing carries on working long after the course of treatment has ended.  The benefits include;

  • Reduced pain and discomfort in the body
  • Greater flexibility and movement in the body
  • Improved posture – some clients report leaving taller
  • An enhanced sense of whole body awareness and new movement possibilities
  • Enhanced energy efficiency and more ‘get up and go’
  • Improved sports performance and greater resilience to future injury
  • Stronger emotional boundaries
  • The sense of feeling more comfortable in one’s skin

 

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