Introducing NVR and some Thoughts on Self Care….
Hello again Dear Humans,
If you would like to see my last email to you (including some good links!), I went ahead and posted it on my website.
In my last email, I let you know that I plan to be back in my office and seeing people on a very limited basis beginning in mid-July if the Multnomah county opening comes to pass. Aaaand….it has indeed come to pass!
I’m scheduling in-person (office) sessions on Tuesdays and Thursday mornings for the end of July and beginning of August. Please note that these may need to change if the COVID-19 situation dictates. I will plan to extend days and hours beginning mid-August if everything goes well.
I had also promised to follow up with some options for people who are needing bodywork but cannot receive work in person. So, to that end, I’m excited to say that I have begun working with people remotely through Zoom (or other online formats) doing gentle, guided structural work meant to address nerve and artery tension in the system with some fantastic results. It’s been surprising how easily through an online connection, we can work together to provide you with more freedom, ease, and support in your structure!
What it is:
NVR = Neuro-vascular Release
What that means:
The basic idea (story) is that just like any other structure in our fascial web, the nerves and arteries can be fixed or “stuck” in a particular position or pattern. Because the body cares a lot about what is happening with the nerves and blood supply, when these structures are held in a particular pattern/ under tension, the body may “guard” these structures in such a way as to limit range of motion or to promote a particular pattern of movement. This story may sound familiar to some of you. Over the years, we have worked one-on-one, in person to help change patterns in your system which often lead to decreased pain and discomfort and more ease in your day-to-day life. This is just like that….but different.
How is this different? What can I expect?:
This is a bit different in that these are remote sessions. They are familiar in that we will be doing some movement and postural assessments throughout the sessions to check in on progress or to determine next steps to take. After getting settled and exploring some range of motion, I will guide you through some simple hand contacts and movement. Together we will provide gentle lengthening of the neurovascular tracts that your body has been protecting, and this will naturally allow your body to reorganize, feel more balanced and more mobile.
If this sounds interesting, we should start with a 45-minute neck mobility session (all NVR online sessions are about 45 minutes long). In addition to freeing up your neck, this session helps bring your head back up on top of your body, and it can help to regulate your nervous system. Think of this as gentle “core” work that helps with mood regulation.
The rate for this online guided bodywork is $80 per 45-minute session, or a three-session series for $200. Regardless of if you wish to do one session or all three, we will begin with the head and neck. You will receive a written handout to refer to as you take this information and begin to use it on your own. You will be welcome to record your sessions for future reference. These techniques are designed to be utilized whenever you feel like you need them. Once we have gone through them, you can explore them on your own. Follow up sessions can be considered as needed.
If you are not sure that you want to commit to a series or are not ready for a full session, though the end of July, I’m happy to schedule a 15-20 minute free session which will allow me to introduce the neck work to you.
Last but not least, I want to share a few items of interest regarding Self Care (other than guided nerve and artery work!).
With everything that we are collectively living through, a frightening pandemic accompanied by what feels like a genuine lack of support and guidance from our leadership (on so many levels), accompanied by civil unrest on a scale that most of us have never experienced to an absolutely bewildering amount of information that needs to be vetted and sorted through, many of us are on total overload.
We are overwhelmed, tired and grieving. Which is a completely normal response to what we are currently having to navigate. I have been fascinated with my own process and reactions to what is happening and even though I know what I am feeling is shared by many, it doesn’t necessarily help to know that others are suffering along with me.
What has helped however, is finding ways to be embodied. Literally, coming to my senses (I have five!). I’ve written about this before, but it bears repeating. Resistance to what is happening is partly what generates fear, anger and sorrow and overwhelm often results from being exposed to too much information too quickly. In the language of trauma, we can find ourselves in fight/flight or completely frozen when subjected to too much stressful information with no pause or resolution. Finding ways to minimize overwhelming input and get out of my thinky-brain and into my body have been tremendously useful in helping me regulate my nervous system so that I can move through the world a bit more mindfully and be less frozen or over-reactive (I’ve enjoyed both ends of this spectrum recently!)
– Go. Outside. – I cannot recommend this strongly enough.There is a concept in Japan (Shinrin Yoku aka “Forest Bathing”) that means essentially “taking in the forest through our senses”. Wikipedia lists it as “Nature Therapy“. I went for a hike yesterday (lots of uphill) and at a certain point, I realized that I was not thinking about anything other than what I was experiencing right then – burning calves, birdsong, breeze on my hot face, water running, sweat rolling down my neck, the smell of damp earth and my eyeballs and brain felt drunk on the amount of green I was seeing…. it was pretty sweet! The effects of this “bath” were profound and useful and can last for days. I have found that it works in the city too. Go outside, walk a bunch if you can, stop and smell all the roses (I favor the yellow ones for fragrance). But there are birds and trees and moss on walls and all the other bits of city-nature to revel in. It works. I promise. Feel the sun (or rain) on your skin. Smell the new mown grass or the flowers. Tune into the buzzing of bees or rustle of leaves in the breeze. Take in the preposterous colors of the blooms around your neighborhood. Taste the mint, or the nasturtium or the rose petals. Come into your senses.
– I found this article charming – it covers several topics but specifically it talks about the role of touch in greeting. When we cannot touch, a plethora of messages are not communicated. One of the suggestions to compensate for the loss of physical closeness in greetings is by being more emotionally open. This may mean more eye contact, taking a moment to really take the other person in and find out how they are before moving on to “business”. How does it feel in your body, in your system to intentionally connect with someone using language versus touch?
– Hugs. Plain ol’ Hugs. If you have been isolated at home alone or even if you have a quarantine buddy (if you’re like me at all) you know that nothing can replace a hug from a dear friend or a loved one. So, I present “How to hug a loved one in times of COVID”.
- Items needed: 2 masks, Clean blanket
- Each person puts on a mask.
- Person 1 takes the blanket and throws it over Person 2 (yes, they look like a trick or treater / ghost, go with it.)
- Person 1 hugs person 2 through the blanket.
- Remove and wash blanket – repeat as needed.
I used this method to hug my Mom after a couple of months of no hugging and it was very satisfying.
Lastly, on the topic of too much information – sometimes simply giving yourself a vacation from technology is the kindest thing you can do for your nervous system. Turn it all off for an hour, a day or a weekend. Give yourself the space, quiet and time away from the barrage of information that comes at us from every direction. If something REALLY important happens, you will find out. But I can attest (from personal experience), if we wish to move forward with any grace, we must care for ourselves along the way which for me includes finding ways to be away from news and social media or to limit the dosage so that we can still function. To that end, I want to share a poem from my friend Fara Tucker (See Below) – you can find more of her prose on Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/p/CBWUBUuDdG3/
to those of us drinking
from a fire hose right now,
we will never catch up.
we are woefully
and inexcusably late.
yes, this is urgent.
yes, literal lives are at stake.
but they always have been,
all the years we were
or perhaps for some,
our sleep has been restless–
but only uncomfortable enough
to complain or take a sleep aid;
the thing to do
was figure out how to sleep better–
rather than seeing this nagging discomfort
as a call to get out of the damn bed.
that muffled scream you thought you heard
was not your imagination.
the beeping fire detector
did not just need a new battery.
it was trying to tell you something.
so here we are, awake and listening and now what?
how do we resist the urge to sing ourselves
the old familiar lullabies?
we must drink, yes;
and quickly, yes–
no time for dawdling;
but the fire hose will drown us.
how can we use our voices
to join the chorus
when we’re gasping for air?
let us drink slowly enough to taste
this bitter and unfamiliar medicine.
let it permeate our cells and our bones
until we remember who we’ve been
and who we might be.
let the stream be slow enough
that we may resolve
to drink every day.
And….one last thing…. if you would prefer to not receive these emails, please do let me know and I will take you off the list.
Please know, I’m thinking of all of you and wishing you grace and ease every day.