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Saturday, August 16, 2014

Snap the Habit

One of the best things I've found about being in a body is the consumption of food.  Right??! mmmmm chocolate............

But if you're anything like me it can be hard to know when to stop sometimes -- even though I know I shouldn't!!!!

While eating food can be one of life's greatest pleasures, it can also be a source of frustration, shame, and personal torment, as we are faced with a plethora of croissants, pizzas, brownies, bagels, pastas, barbecues and candies.   Just knowing what's good for us doesn't seem to be enough for a lot of us who struggle to "eat right".  

For the longest time I felt like I was eating pretty well but couldn't maintain a healthy weight.   I would eat an egg with a piece of toast for breakfast, a salad for lunch, a fruit snack mid-afternoon, and a chicken stir-fry with rice for dinner, and while it sounds good on paper, later that night I  might feel compelled to eat 5 chocolate-chip cookies......

In the morning I would wake up feeling hung-over from all the sugar and discouraged, embarrassed, and not to mention a few pounds heavier.

Many people are like me and eat a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables, try to get organic as much as possible, and eat healthy portions (most of the time....).

But certainly the classic American diet looks something like this:  coffee with bagel or pastry for breakfast, pizza and salad for lunch, candybar mid afternoon, meat and potatoes for dinner (and sometimes dessert after that).

What this standard diet and variations of it does is spike and drop the blood sugar, going from blissed out and 'high' to a feeling of being critically hungry within a couple of hours.  Do you know what I"m talking about?  If I eat something that burns quickly -- such as a bagel or a pastry -- within an hour or two I feel like I'm STARVING.   

Actually, the body really does think it's starving, because the spike in blood sugar causes such a surge that when it drops, it drops hard.   So most people choose to eat something that's going to boost their energy right away --  and end up spiking up that blood sugar yet again.  Then the blood sugar drops and we feel like we're starving, and the cycle never ends.

The tendency to over-eat, binge, or eat foods that taste great but lack nutritional substance can lead to a plethora of health challenges through the development of insulin resistance -- a precursor to many of the world's leading diseases such as heart-disease, diabetes, obesity, stroke, vascular disease,  polycystic ovarian syndrome, fatty liver, and more.

That's why I'm so excited to be offering my new program:  "Snap the Habit" -- a 5-day dietary cleanse which helps to reset the body's glycemic index (check out the video below to learn more about this proven cleanse), combined with an energy psychology tool known as EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique), which helps to reset our emotional stories in general, and around food and eating specifically for this course (see video below to learn more).

In the last 6 months I've lost a total of about 15 pounds consistently, and I know that doing the AIDS Lifecycle and biking my butt off helped a lot (see earlier post on this blog).  Since doing this cleanse a few times over the past couple of years, I can say that I am a whole lot more consistent now about my eating choices than I used to be.  For me doing this cleanse is not so much about having a skinnier  waist (although -- cool bonus!!), as it is about avoiding serious health problems down the road.  I have a history of heart disease, diabetes and stroke in my family after all.....

It's common knowledge that eating and food choices can be intricately linked with emotional ups and downs.  Who doesn't want "comfort food" after a rough day at work or "a treat" after a long week?  With Snap the Habit, we will be interrupting the craving tendency on a cellular level, effectively making it much easier to make a healthy choice, and giving ourselves a much stronger chance to remain healthy and vibrant throughout our lives!! 

Combining EFT with the 5-day cleanse provides the double whammy effect by addressing the underlying beliefs which drive our food choices, while simultaneously normalizing blood-sugar levels with yummy shakes, bars, vitamins, and coaching to support participants throughout. 

Snap the Habit is an exciting pairing and I'm so excited to be launching it this month!!!

With this course participants will receive:

*  2 one-on-one coaching sessions
*  3 group EFT sessions
*  5-day supply of shakes, bars, and vitamins
*  50% off massage therapy and EFT sessions from course teachers
*  proprietary training videos in EFT from one of the world's leading experts
*  private facebook group for ongoing support to sustain a low-glycemic diet

Total cost:  $175 (includes products + coaching)

Registration Deadline:  August 29

Dates of  Cleanse:  Sept 8-12

To register please contact me directly at jenniferbenorden@gmail.com to schedule your first coaching session and order your cleanse.

To learn more about the cleanse:
http://www.usana.com/webhosting/jennyjup?page=page4

To learn more about the science behind EFT and how it can re-wire our thinking:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VFKVVP8KXd4

Course leaders:

Jennifer Jupiter Benorden, B.A., musician, filmmaker, and licensed massage therapist 18 years, women's group facilitator 15 years, wellness consultant with USANA Health Sciences 8 years, Shamanic practitioner, 10 years, Soul Proprietess, Expand Community Wellness 6 months.  She believes strongly in the body's ability to heal, and also in the power of witness and group support to speed healing.  www.expandwellness.blogspot.com; www.jennyjup.usana.com; www.holycrapthefilm.com

Mayah Hegre, B.A.,Licensed Massage Therapist 17 years, Certified Holistic Health Coach 12 years, and Certified Adv. Emotional Freedom Technique practitioner 8 years. She brings the wisdom from her own healing journey and experience from working with many people from all over the world. Mayah is a compassionate person here to support your transformation, empowerment, and growth. She provides individual and group sessions in San Francisco Bay Area.  www.wellnessmentorsf.com 











Monday, July 28, 2014

My uterus. That bitch! I don't miss her.....

It was 1991 the first time my uterus tried to kill me.  The second time was about 10 years later in 2001 when I had a seizure-like menstrual cramp.....

I had just ridden my bicycle from San Francisco to Los Angeles in the California AIDS Ride (with my best friend EVER Tonia Lach), and had started my period on the morning of the last day of the 7-day ride.  At that point I was still having pretty regular periods, but usually had a lot of cramping on my first day.

Amazingly, I finished the ride without any cramps (though I did cry my eyeballs out the whole last day because i couldn't believe I rode my bicycle to LA!!!!  hormones? perhaps....).  But that evening when shopping for dinner preparations with my friends I had a really scary cramp.  I felt like someone had just grabbed my womb and squeezed it very hard and it took my breath away.  It only lasted for a second but I went outside and sat down on the sidewalk.   I'm kind of looking around like, 'What the heck is happening??'  It happened one more time while I was sitting there.  My entire uterus clenched down on itself like a very strong jaw, locking  (hmmmm, symbolic?  I know that not speaking one's truth can lead to a lot of different physical ailments.....).

I didn't tell any of my friends that night.  I didn't tell anybody about it and I did not call a doctor - even though I knew that was very abnormal.   But it was also very abnormal for me to ride 560 miles in a single week.  Since I had just completed a full week of very intense physical fitness (because I am a bad-ass athlete!!!!), I just kind of let it go.....

Over the course of the next few years, my monthly cycle became an increasingly prominent player in the scope of my life.  I had been told I had fibroids in 1991, when I had an ectopic pregnancy that nearly killed me.  The doctor said I was very lucky to be alive and good luck and oh yeah - you have fibroids on your uterus but they are very common and not to worry about them.

"What are they?", I naturally asked.

"Benign growths", he said. " One in three women have them.  Shouldn't be a problem.  Just keep an eye on them."

It would have been so nice if the doctor at that time had told me that while one in three women will develop fibroids, some of them will also have extreme complications as a result.

I was definitely one of them.  I remember one cramp in particular that came over me while I was walking down the hallway to the bathroom.  It crippled me to the floor.

Where do uterine fibroids come from?  Why have they become so prevalent?  We know that they are caused by excess estrogen -- but a lot of research (and my instincts) tells me environmental toxins in our air, water, food, and body products are at least partly to blame.  One in three women have fibroids which can lead to sterility.  In my thinking, that is epidemic proportions of something that could result in human extinction!! (Maybe that's why we always see these apocalyptic films foretelling the end of times....).

One doctor I was seeing almost demanded that I have a hysterectomy.  She was concerned I might become anemic (which I eventually did.....), and she was concerned I might develop cancer (which is VERY rare when it comes to fibroids).  But even though I didn't really think I wanted children (since my first child sorta tried to kill me.....), I wanted to save my uterus and avoid what I felt was an over-used procedure for something that could be healed naturally.  It didn't help that she was cold and pushy and didn't seem interested in me as a person. 

In all the reading I was doing (Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom, by Dr. Christiane Northrup, and A Path of Practice, by Bri Maya Tiwari, were my favorites) I learned that there were so many ways to heal naturally from fibroids.  I delved into all of them by changing my diet, by pursuing my passions,  drinking certain teas and doing hot compresses and acupuncture and eliminating coffee and caffeine altogether and changing my body-care products and by doing certain yoga poses and by writing in my journal, having more sex, doing breathing exercises, spending more time in nature, and more.

The things that seemed to make the biggest difference in my experience were:  high-quality (as in, not store-bought) vitamins, regular exercise, learning how not to rush, no caffeine of any kind while bleeding, and doing my best to keep my environment drama and stress-free during my cycle. 

There were months that seemed like I was going to be normal again.  There were times where I would have a pretty easy cycle with no big bleeds and no scary cramps at all!  But by 2011, 10 years after the first scary cramp, I started to have more bleeding, more clots, more intense cramps, and longer cycles.

I was still hoping I could recover my uterus and get back to normal, and began writing a uterus journal.   I would ask my uterus what she needed.  I was attempting to tune in but often times what I found was a blank stare looking back at me.  I was depleted in every sense of the word, and I think by then I was just exhausted trying to build a bridge to a dying island......

In April, 2012 I finally realized the time had come.  I needed to have the surgery.  It had become completely unmanageable, and by May I actually had to have a blood transfusion because I almost passed out from severe anemia. 

I met a surgeon who was young, hip, and an expert in laparascopic hysterectomies.  The first time I went to her office a huge clot passed onto the floor while I was waiting in the exam room.  She came in as I was heading towards the napkins to try to clean it up.  I was completely mortified (shame from bleeding goes deep) but she put me at ease right away if you can believe it, and reassured me that she was the woman for the job.

We scheduled the surgery for 2 months out and I had to have 3 more blood transfusions during this time.  I became very familiar with the nurses at the transfusion clinic, as the procedure took several hours at a time.

A few days before my surgery I gathered my close friends together and invited them to my "fibroid shower".   I decided that I wanted to have a blessingway  like my friends did who were having babies, for the fibroids that I was going to "birth".

The so-called shower was really more of a mindful ceremony.  My mom had flown out to support me after the surgery, and I was so glad she was here.  It made a huge difference for me!  My best friend helped me create the ceremony.  We asked each person to come wearing something that represented their feminine, and to bring a special bead for me.   I read some of the writing I had been doing to and from my uterus, and introduced everyone and how much they meant to me.

Then each person expressed their intentions for me with my surgery, and breathed their intentions into the bead they had brought.  One of my friends strung the beads onto a strand, and I put it inside of a bag to have with me during the surgery.

In reading Dr. Northrup's suggestions to prepare for surgery, I was inspired to ask my surgeon to participate in setting a clear intention for a safe, successful surgery, and she was completely agreeable.  The night before the surgery I wrote out several statements for her to read before she made the first incision, before she started removing the uterus, and after the last stitch was sewn.

Before falling asleep I wrote one last time in my uterus journal and thanked her for all of the lessons she had taught me.  I asked her if she had anything she wanted to tell me or ask of me, and the one thing she wanted was that I share my journey, that I share my lessons, that I teach what I have learned to others.

The morning of my surgery I awoke with an almost ecstatic feeling.  I was ready in every way.  I had the support of my community, I had a very competent surgeon, I had made peace with my uterus, was ready to let her go, felt that she was in agreement with the decision, and was just about as stoked as I could possibly be to put an end to the blood-letting that had (ahem) colored my life for far too long.....

I offer this blog post to honor the request my uterus made of me.  So:  for all who suffer from uterine disorders, for all who live with those who suffer uterine disorders, for all who are attempting to make sense of their monthly cycles, to all who witnessed my extreme bleeding, to all who saw my face getting paler, and paler, and paler as the anemia became more and more advanced, to those who seek natural solutions, to my community who came around me so close when I needed them, to those who may not understand what some women are going through, this is for you.

A couple of months ago I did the AIDS ride for the second time (with my amazing sister and her partner!!!!!! Team Jupter what??? see previous blog post).  It was the perfect full circle.......

Even though I'm revealing a lot of very personal information here, it feels good to share my story.  I want folks to know that they are not alone, and that there are ways to manage their symptoms.  I am so happy to talk with anyone who wants to compare notes on what they have found is working for them, questions they have about different approaches.  I am available to support anyone wanting to prepare for surgery or to discuss some of their options. I believe that if I had incorporated some of the habits I did to heal the fibroids earlier on, they may not have advanced the way they did!

I do not miss my uterus.  I do not miss the bleeding whatsoever (are you kidding me??).  Instead I feel, still, to this day, a huge relief that I parted ways with that organ.  Was she a bitch?  Sort of because she almost killed me.  But it's not her fault, so I forgive her.  She was a real fighter!  May she rest in peace......

www.drnorthrup.com
www.mayatiwari.com
www.jennyjup.usana.com
www.facebook.com/ExpandCommunityWellness



Thursday, May 1, 2014

I'm doing the AIDS Lifecycle!!!

In just shy of one month I will be embarking on a very exciting journey.  My sister Suzanne, her partner Christie, and I will begin riding our bicycles (along with about 2500 other riders) from San Francisco to Los Angeles.

The AIDS Lifecycle is a 545-mile supported ride beginning June 1.  We'll start at San Francisco's Cow Palace, and travel down the summer coast of California and the cilantro-scented fields of the Central Valley --  and over many, many, MANY hills......to arrive in Los Angeles on June 7.

This ride is a massive undertaking and is an opportunity for every rider to test their limits, increase their fitness, and raise money to support the SF AIDS Foundation and the LA LGBT Center -- two organizations leading the charge in the global AIDS epidemic.

Did you know that over  1.1 million people in the US are HIV positive?  Globally over 33 million people are struggling with this virus, and there is currently no known cure.  But there are organizations which offer support, resources, jobs, and medicine, and the AIDS lifecycle supports two of the best right here in California.

This will be my second time riding in the event, as I did it back in 2001 with my dear friend Tonia Lach.   We did all our training on our own and showed up on Day 1 having never met anyone else on the ride!!  But this time, my team mates live in Eugene, OR,  so I've been mostly riding in the awesome official ALC training rides and have also done dozens of rides with friends and solo.

In this time I've seen my fitness level increase from practically bonking out on my very first ALC training ride (with two ride leaders following me all the way up to the Golden Gate bridge through Sausalito -- a notorious ascent at the top of which I nearly chucked it), to riding 60-miles solo over two other notorious ascents in the East Bay:  the 3 Bears and Grizzly Peak, and feeling super strong at the end. 

One of the most remarkable things for me this time around with this ride is, at least so far anyway, I've had very minimal pain in my knees.  This is remarkable primarily because I've had two major knee injuries (a broken tibia at the knee back in 1996, and a torn ACL on the other knee a few years later.  The ACL has never been surgically repaired).

When I did the ride in 2001, I definitely struggled with knee pain.  It's a bit of a paradox, because riding can be very good for strengthening the quadraceps and the hamstrings and certainly the calf muscles as well.  But it also puts a lot of strain on the knee joint if you're not careful.

This time around I'm managing my knee and over-all fitness with a combination of things:  high-quality vitamins, yoga, and the styrofoam roller.

The vitamins I take are the very same vitamins taken by Olympic athletes the world over, and I can tell you they are definitely making a difference.  When I started training in September, I was having some serious pain after riding -- the next day or even later that night.  I would experience excruciating pain when getting up from sitting, and would have to walk a bit before it would start to subside.

Since starting the supplement routine, I've noticed that doesn't really happen at all.

This is what I am taking:  Procosa, a wonderful joint formula; ProflavonolC, a mega-antioxidant and natural anti-inflammatory, L-glutamine for muscle recovery, and a high-powered multi-vitamin in addition to a fish oil supplement, and calcium.

If you're a weekend warrior, a professional athlete, or just someone who struggles with joint pain, you may find these vitamins support you as well!  You can check them out at my website here:  www.jennyjup.usana.com.

The foam roller is also crucial.  I use it to keep my back open after all the leaning forward, and also to roll out my quads, hamstrings, and the calf muscles as well.  It really helps to keep the muscles more supple after working them so hard!

In addition, I am doing yoga daily, drinking a lot of water, cutting back on all dairy products, and increasing my commitment to sleep.

These things have all been making a huge difference and I'm thrilled to be almost ready!! 

I am asking 100 people to support my ride with $20 minimum donations so that I can finish my fundraising within the next week.   Currently I'm about 42% of the way there!!! 

We're offering raffle tickets for every $20 donated and the raffle prizes include a case of Oakshire beer, some very special wine, artwork, bodywork treatments, and more.

Will you be one of my 100?  You can make your donations here.

Thank you so much and stay strong!  If you're of sound body and mind, it's your choice to do so......

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Family Spa Day

This year marks my 18th year as a therapeutic massage therapist, and throughout this time I have had the distinct honor and pleasure of working with thousands of clients in many different environments:  spas, corporate board rooms, in-home, and in private offices.

Certainly one of the best things about my work is the feedback I often get that I "make people feel better".  Hearing that is a wonderful bonus but what my clients may not realize is that, quite often, the energetic exchange is mutual.  In other words, when I have a client who is very receptive to my work, takes it in, and allows it to change her somehow, there is something similar happening for me within my own internal world.

While I am helping another person to unwind their tension, the tension within my own system begins to unwind as well!  It is a delightful part of the work that only other therapists can really understand.

There has never been a better example of this mutually healing dynamic than I have with a mother-daughter team who have been bringing me into their home now for over a year on a monthly basis for what has become known as, "Family Spa Day".

On Saturday, I showed up at their house and everything was set up just the way we like it:  a couple of extra blankets on the couch in case it gets chilly, two cups of water set out with a candle lit, and a great station playing on internet radio.

The mom was first to receive yesterday, and it was so much fun to work with her as she had a terrible break in her wrist last winter, and it is healing so well!!!  I am very proud of her progress.  There is really nothing more satisfying to me as a massage therapist than for someone with a severe injury to trust me enough to work with it.   It is the greatest privilege of all!!!  She went into a deep, quiet place throughout our two-hour massage.

Working with her daughter has always been very special, and our session yesterday was no exception.  She is one of the rare people who see colors and auras, and during our sessions she often has multi-dimensional information showing up.  Something about her deep receptivity always seems to allow for me to witness or transform something within my own physical/energetic dimensions.

I feel like I grow as a person just spending time with these two ladies, and after our sessions yesterday, they booked Family Spa Day for the next 4 months!!!  I left their house feeling so blessed and full and rich and beyond grateful.

The truth is I burst into tears as I drove away.  It is just so rewarding when you see your skills, experience, training, and heart-work met with so much enthusiasm and gratitude, and to be compensated well and to be asked back again and again.

I cried out of gratitude, out of sheer heart-opening and love for these two women, and for the beauty of the path I have walked now for 18 years, the path of providing therapeutic touch to human beings, and some non-human animals as well including horses, dogs, cats, (and one very lucky coyote -- a story for another time).

Happy Valentine's Day all!  May you receive the best massage of your lives.....



Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Where do you feel it? School shootings

I don't know if anyone's noticed.....but it seems like we might have an epidemic of violence breaking out in schools throughout the country.

The phenomenon is deeply disturbing and one that deserves a great deal of attention in our national discourse.

I have a lot of ideas about what I think is helping to create the conditions for these acts of terror.

But what I'm interested in right now is this:

Where does this live in your body?

Where does it live in mine?

All of us are having to process the information, digest the information if you will, to absorb the information into our brains.  But where does it go from there?

Unfortunately I don't believe that it just disappears into thin air.

I believe that this information that is part of our collective consciousness is being interwoven into our very cells!  It is irrefutably a part of our collective and our personal experiences, and yet, where can we go to discuss the impact of this information on our systems?  Where can we go to release the shock of these reports?

Make no mistake:  school shootings are causing a shock to our systems on some level, certainly some people are more sensitive to it than others.

For example, one thing it is doing to our systems is making us numb.  It's a great way to deal with shock!  Very clever design.  Of course when intense things happen, it's a survival instinct to go numb, to go into automatic, to "get busy".

But when events of this nature begin to become common occurrence, is it a good sign we don't feel it as intensely as the first one, or the second one......or the third?

How can we pay attention to the news these days and not go either numb or completely crazy?

Reflections for our times.  There are no easy answers.

But I encourage us to look for ways to support each other to stay more present, to stay more embodied, through these types of events, in which we are all collectively unwitting participants.

Therapeutic touch is a great way to manage this type of stress and I would particularly seek out a Cranio-sacral therapist (I am not certified although I know some of the theory and points).  Cranio-sacral works directly on the nervous system and has a very calming effect on the body over-all.

How do you manage these types of events in your life?  Do you talk about it with people?  Do you feel like you hold this type of stress shock in a particular part of your body?  I look forward to reading your comments below.






Thursday, December 5, 2013

Parkinson's and therapeutic touch

Today I am seeing a woman for the second time at my new office in El Cerrito.  (Ojas yoga Studio, 707 El Cerrito Plaza -- above Trader Joe's).    I was one of the first people in her life that she told: she had just been diagnosed with Parkinson's.

I've worked with one other person with Parkinson's before.  That person had pretty advanced tremors at the time that we started our session.  But when we finished the session, the tremors had completely calmed down.

The effect of therapeutic touch on the nervous system cannot be emphasized enough.

The truth is, a lot of muscular tension is related to anxiety, stress, and emotional holding patterns.  These issues can often times be better served by addressing the nervous system, not the muscles.....

However, I am finding more and more that with Parkinson's, deeper work can help to awaken the connection between the limbs and the brain, healing at last temporarily one of the conditions of this complicated condition.

During my first session with the client I will be seeing later today, she had only very slight tremors to begin with, but they did seem to calm down during our session as well.   I hope to see that they have not gotten any worse!

Based on my research at www.sanoviv.com, I will be recommending that she make sure she is taking plenty of B12, which helps maintain a good and healthy nervous system, I will make sure she is taking digestive enzymes or a good probiotic, to strengthen digestion, and finally, I am going to recommend that she take as many antioxidants as possible, as they are proven to fight free radicals and keep cells healthy longer.

Do you or any one you know have Parkinson's?  I would be interested to hear their story and whether they have found therapeutic touch to be a beneficial part of their treatment program.

Motor function -- you forget that it's there until the moment it's gone.........



Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Foot Pain: A Window into the Soul



The foot is a miracle of architecture” ~ Leonardo DaVinci

This past Sunday I had the pleasure of attending a workshop over at Loka Yoga in Oakland, run by the wonderful Alice Jouneau.  The workshop focused entirely on the foot, primarily how to move through life without pain in the feet.

Often times it is assumed that getting older must be accompanied by a tendency toward stiffness and achiness in the joints.  But with Alice’s assistance, I feel pretty excited about the future of life with my feet.  

I’ll be honest with you:  they’ve been really hurting me lately.

That’s why I begged her to let me into the workshop after it had already been closed.  My feet have been very sore, and particularly when i get up from having been sitting, for a few years now, and usually alternating locations from one foot to the other or from one part of the foot to another.

For me I have pain around the lateral metatarsals alternating on both feet.  Someone jumped on my left foot one time while dancing, both of us were barefoot, and this person jumped on me while skipping around a room -- quite accidentally of course!  But it left a lasting impression on my nervous system, on my muscles, and on my bones there.

I had it x-rayed, and no visible breakage had occurred, so that’s good.  But it just sometimes aches a great deal and so what I’ve come to realize is that -- these injuries, these incidents, these moments in time in which our bodies are demanded to respond to  pain - to recover - to heal -- these “moments” in the body, if you will, become lasting teachers on how to make a come-back!  They become the intersections of time, history, and awareness, and they seem to know a great deal about us.

Pain points in the body are chalk-full of information about how we respond to pain, how we can choose to ignore pain, how we exacerbate pain, how we manage pain, how we adapt.  

I find it to be the case often times in my work that people will say to me, “Oh my right shoulder is killing me”, but then when we get into working together we find that actually the LEFT side was the one that was holding more tension.   In those times I wonder if the pain signals are meant to be some sort of an echo calling to the other side of the body to wake up, across the canyon of bone and nerve and blood and memory all the way over to the other side of a person’s torso where everything is trained in the opposite direction, and calling, “wake up! wake up!”

The pain sings the song of imbalance.  It tells the story of  discord, it harkens the way.  It tells us exactly what is happening.  We just need to understand how to respond!

A lot of pain in the body is caused exclusively from imbalance in the habits of posture and use.  When we can correct the habits the pain almost always goes away.  

To learn how to feel better, how to allow the pain to guide us into healthier habits of usage, we must pay attention.  We must adhere to the message we are being given, that there is an imbalance somewhere that must be addressed.  Whatever it is, just trust that it can be corrected.   Get interested in that area.  Go to a yoga class, to a physical therapist, to a massage therapist, and get input on how to respond to the pain.  Do what they tell you, trial and error, find the ones that work best for you, start feeling less pain, celebrate the joy of proper movement with alignment and balance, and move forward through time without the hindrance of pain!!!!  

In Alice Juneau’s workshop, I finally got the kind of information that has this kind of lasting impact.  How to properly walk and bear weight on one’s feet is surely one of the most basic ways to avoid pain in the body.

The feet are carrying us through time and they really do have the miraculous architecture Leonardo DaVinci proclaimed!!!

Understanding the flexibility inherent to the structure of the foot, how much movement is available within the body of the foot that most people have lost over years and years of inactivity.  

Try this exercise:  close your eyes and slowly begin to pick up and put down each of your toes one by one without moving any other toes.

There are a few people out there who can do this right away and bravo!!!  if you’re one of them.  

MOST PEOPLE won’t be able to do this and that’s ok.  It’s just a wonderful thing to know that your feet have as much dexterity as your hands do, and when you begin articulating more of their capacity, and when you activate their potential, they start to feel better.  The workshop was 2 days ago and I’m already having more success with this exercise......just think after 50 more years!

The beauty of the workshop was that I felt an awakening within the many, many joints within the foot, I felt the space returning, and since then have also been practicing conscious walking, applying the lessons I learned from the workshop, and giving more attention to the way in which I am using my feet.

Also, as always happens, whenever I have a new awakening of awareness within my own body, it shows up in my work as a massage therapist where suddenly I have more insights into how to help other folks with their bodies!  So now I’m extra interested in working with people’s feet .

Amazing!  Feet are just simply amazing.  There are 26 bones in there!!  Get interested in them.  They will thank you for it......

www.lokayogaoakland.com