I Got Life!

I’ve been trying to put my experience at Harbin Hot Springs into perspective since I returned on Sunday.  I feel like I went on a magical, mystery tour of discovery and the tour was all about me and who I am.  I’ve lived on this planet for 57 years but I’ve never felt my heart open like it is now.  I’ve never felt my body like it feels now.  I’ve never felt my spine move like it did in Richard’s Healing Boron Waters.  I’ve never felt such love and acceptance for who I am right now, in this moment.  There were no expectations about who or what I should be.  They just loved me for me!  It’s amazing that that can happen and it’s an amazing feeling to let yourself trust and receive.

After my first Watsu, I told Richard that “I feel like I can let my muscles relax but there’s something else that I can’t let go of”.  He smiled and just continued loving me.  After 5 Water Immersions with Richard and one with Yonti, I learned that I’m capable of sensing on a deeper level than I ever imagined, that I can connect with people in very loving and healing ways, and that I had let go of my inability to let go.  I’m not even sure where that restriction was.  In my psyche somewhere.  It said “Thomas, you have to be strong, a man, you can’t show your feelings, you can’t let someone else see you in your pain, you must contain all the bad and only show people what you think they should see”.  In my last session, I let go of all that.  My spine, hips and body were freely moving through the waters.  I sobbed in deep grief just because I had it and didn’t even need to know where it came from.  And the tears rolled down my face, knowing how much love Richard and Yonti had shared with me and that I’d let into my system.  Finally!  After 57 years!

As I was leaving Avalon for the last time, I heard a song that sums up my experience pretty well.  It’s called “I got life!” and it’s from the musical Hair.  After you watch it on YouTube, read the lyrics below and be glad that you too – have life!  I am!

I got life, mother
I got laughs, sister
I got freedom, brother
I got good times, man

I got crazy ways, daughter
I got million-dollar charm, cousin
I got headaches and toothaches
And bad times too
Like you

I got my hair
I got my head
I got my brains
I got my ears
I got my eyes
I got my nose
I got my mouth
I got my teeth
I got my tongue
I got my chin
I got my neck
I got my tits
I got my heart
I got my soul
I got my back
I got my ass
I got my arms
I got my hands
I got my fingers
Got my legs
I got my feet
I got my toes
I got my liver
Got my blood

I got my guts (I got my guts)
I got my muscles (muscles)
I got life (life)
Life (life)
Life (life)
LIFE!

Immersion in new learning

Dear Clients,

This Friday, February 10, I will be traveling to Harbin Hot Springs and Avalon Springs in California.  My intention is to deepen my meditation practice and explore a new modality of bodywork called Watsu.  It’s amazing to me that after 30 years of working with you, my clients, on a table or mat, on dry land, I can learn a whole new way of relating to the human body.  Here’s something that was sent to me by Richard Bock, the teacher I’ll be studying with:

Can you let the water remind you of your own fluid nature?
Like the water, YOU are moving; your life is moving. What if you could just let go and be present to what is moving you?
What if you could trust that this unseen force that animates everything including your life, IS intelligently & lovingly guiding the way?


When I visited Harbin this past fall, I had a powerful experience and feel called to immerse myself in this new way of being.  At this point, it’s not clear how or when I’ll be doing aquatic work in MN, but I’m sure my table work will be deeply enhanced by this experience.  I invite you to make an appointment with me upon my return when I will be integrating all I’ve learned.

After Friday, I will have limited access to email, phone or internet.  I will return your messages upon my return.

I look forward to being with you,
Thomas

How Massage Heals Sore Muscles

NY Times Article – How Massage Heals Sore Muscles

“Dr. Tarnopolsky, a professor of pediatrics and medicine at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, said that massage works quite differently from Nsaids and other anti-inflammatory drugs, which reduce inflammation and pain but may actually retard healing. Many people, for instance, pop an aspirin or Aleve at the first sign of muscle soreness. “There’s some theoretical concern that there is a maladaptive response in the long run if you’re constantly suppressing inflammation with drugs,” he said. “With massage, you can have your cake and eat it too—massage can suppress inflammation and actually enhance cell recovery.” “

Gene study: Massage reduces inflammation in muscles

“There’s general agreement that massage feels good, now we have a scientific basis for the experience.”

Saw this great article on massage reducing the amount of inflammation in muscles.  Somebody finally did a clinical study of the effects of massage after exercising to exhaustion.

Read the article here


Dangers of High Heels

A Scientific Look at the Dangers of High Heels

Just because they’re fashionable doesn’t mean they’re good for you.  New research shows just how bad they are.

“The scientists found that heel wearers moved with shorter, more forceful strides than the control group, their feet perpetually in a flexed, toes-pointed position. This movement pattern continued even when the women kicked off their heels and walked barefoot. As a result, the fibers in their calf muscles had shortened and they put much greater mechanical strain on their calf muscles than the control group did.

In that control group, the women who rarely wore heels, walking primarily involved stretching and stressing their tendons, especially the Achilles tendon. But in the heel wearers, the walking mostly engaged their muscles.”

“Several studies have shown that optimal muscle-tendon efficiency” while walking “occurs when the muscle stays approximately the same length while the tendon lengthens. When the tendon lengthens, it stores elastic energy and later returns it when the foot pushes off the ground. Tendons are more effective springs than muscles. So by stretching and straining their already shortened calf muscles, the heel wearers walk less efficiently with or without heels, requiring more energy to cover the same amount of ground as people in flats and probably causing muscle fatigue.”