Standing, you asked me what I was noticing…. I don’t completely remember what I said… I think I mentioned feeling more ease, more anterior-posterior movement of my right illia, more of a lumbar curve, clearer connection to earth, and more open…. and what was most significant for me was the prominent sense of joy. I clearly remembering sharing that I wanted to dance. – an expression of my joy. Right then! Dance! The sense of joy was deep, profound, and gentle. It was a sense of joy within me and around me. A feeling of connection and belonging – physically, spiritually, and emotionally. This was a very profound session, Hiro. Thank you ever so much.
Months after the session, I continue to play with, embody, and evolve the work. I re-visit “that lying supine with knees bent, Hiro touching my feet…flow of connection and shift of lumbar curve”. I feel even more the vitality it brought and still brings. I continue to welcome back my lumbar curve. I remind myself of the joy, the letting go, the allowing. Over these months, I notice that a constant systemic static is diminishing. I feel more peaceful. I feel more at ease being seen, being in front of people. I bring into my practice, and into my life in general, the concept of MA. And I curiously ask myself, “What is this work that we call Rolfing Structural Integration?”
Again, I thank you, Hiro. I hold you and this experience in my heart.
Note: I’d like to provide you with a little more background information, if it is helpful. About eleven years ago, I had a spinal cord injury. All my lumbar discs herniated and my L5-S1 disc shattered and migrated up my spinal cord. I was not able to walk, sit or stand for more than 5 minutes. I lost the use of my right leg for 1 month until I received surgery to remove the shattered disc from my spinal cord. In order to remove the disc pieces which were applying pressure and blocking my spinal cord, the surgeon had to remove approximately 3/4 of an inch of bone in the right sides of vertebral bodies L3 and L4, removed the associated facets on the right side, and parts of the discs. This intervention returned neurological flow along the spinal cord and I then was able to partially use my leg and begin to learn to walk again. I am very thankful for the surgery. The surgery also introduced much instability and new, different, flatter spinal curves. During the three years that followed surgery, as I gained feeling and strength, I broke my right leg three different times in three different places. Again, I am thankful for so much. I have much support and skills, from within myself and with my family, friends and community, that overtime I heal. As you notice, I walk quite well now. I continue to find ways to awaken my body and connections, to find easier movement, to remember joy. I feel our session together help me find connections and ways of being in my body and spirit that were previously dampened or obscured, perhaps from my injuries.
I’d also like to share of how the feelings I experienced during and after our session (those of connection and belonging – physically, spiritually, and emotionally; and the deep, profound sense of joy and peacefulness) were very similar to the feelings I experienced in a near death or “death and back again” drowning episode years ago. During that episode, when I realized that, no matter how much I struggled, I could not free myself of the ropes that held me under water, I became very clear. I let go. I felt free and fluid. I felt a sense of connectiveness within and around me. A profound sense of joy enveloped me. It was lovely. I do not know how my drowning experience that included near death or death relates to our MA Rolfing session. I image it may be in the commonality of fundamentally experiencing profound joy and ease, albeit in different manners. Or perhaps, as I am just beginning to understand, it is MA – the pause, the space, the relationship – that is the commonality.
I am curious, Hiro. Thank you for sharing your work and this important concept of MA.
I am grateful that I stepped forward for the opportunity to be your, Hiro’s, demonstration client for 2017 faculty meeting. This was a courageous act for me – sharing myself in this way in front of a group – as I am a rather private individual. My curiosity to understand and experience the work that Hiro brings forward was compelling. I wanted a felt-sense exploration. The session proved to be one of my more profound Rolfing® Structural Integration experiences.
In response to your question, Hiro, of what I was noticing as I stood in front of the group at the beginning of the session, I verbally shared that I felt a notable and long-lived discomfort deep in my right hip and that I felt more weight in my left side and through my left leg. When walking, I felt more ease, fluidity, and more anterior:posterior motion of my left ilia relative to my right. There was a “hitch in my giddy-up” on my right side and my low back ached.
While lying supine on the table, eyes softly closed, I gradual became more peaceful and much more aware. The growing rich awareness included the physicality of my body, the spaciousness of my being, and a novel type of dialog. I remember a gentle curiosity as I felt into and within my cells. I noticed the space and texture between cells. There was time of discomfort around the left side of my peritoneal bag – internally with organs and also with visceral connections inside and outside of peritoneal bag. Some time passed and what I remember next were very intense connections and attentions at my right side in and around L3 to L5 and the associated areas of my spinal cord and dural tube. It felt like very specific and refined palpations that keenly invited my attention. The refined “palpations”, connections and attention had a quality of accuracy, clarity and refinement that I do not remember ever experiencing before when touched. I recall a feeling of building focus and sense of sorting that brought ease and relief. During this entire time lying supine I believe you physically, hands on, lightly and briefly touched me once on my leg.
The second time I remember you physically touching me during the session was, near the end of the session, when you asked me to bend my knees so my feet were on the table. You adjusted the placement of my feet and then touched the bottoms of my feet. What happened then, was an amazing feeling of a flow from my left visceral side, diagonally across connecting with a flow around L3 down the spine and through my pelvis and into my right leg, flowing down and through the entire leg. My lumbar curve shifted, increasing – returning to it’s more natural way, and with it a beautiful sense of relief, welcoming and ease. I felt more sinuous like a stream in its natural course. I felt very whole and integrated.