I’ve been Rolfed and I don’t mean by disgraced Aussie TV star Mr. Harris (although, actually, I was in fact goosed by him some 30-years-ago, but that’s for another blog). Rolfing is a form of deep tissue massage that aims to balance the body.
Invented by a biochemist called Dr Ida Rolf, it corrects imbalances that life, injury or trauma have caused in the body. I store stress in my shoulders, mostly on the right hand side. When it gets really bad, the pain travels up my neck and into my head.
I’ve been popping Anadin Extra for a couple of decades now and have decided it’s finally time to tackle the cause and not the symptoms. I’m attempting to manage my stress by living in the present moment (almost impossible!), meditating daily (even more impossible) and being Rolfed regularly.
I read about it in Louise Hay’s You Can Heal Your Life and then I found a Rolfer in Lewes by the name of Prue. I don’t live in Lewes, but as I am visiting my dad there on a weekly basis, it made sense to kill two birds with one stone.
I’ve signed up for a course of 10 sessions. So far, Prue has worked miracles on my shoulders, had a go at my upper body and tomorrow, she’s working on my feet – which reminds me, I’ll need to shave my toes, take off the nail varnish I applied in the summer months and do something about the dry skin. Jesus, it’s worst than a first date…not that I have ever let anybody see my feet on a first date, God forbid!
Rolfing is intense and like no other form of massage I have ever experienced – for example, last week, she dug her hands right into my armpits. I noticed that she did so with a balled tissue and wondered if this was because I was a bit sweaty. Anyway, the first time I had it done, a miracle was worked on my right shoulder. It was very nearly frozen when I went in and felt like a different shoulder when I walked out.
Last night, I went to a meditation class and was thrilled to hear many of the seasoned meditators, people who know complicated Buddhist words and things, admit that they have trouble with their chattering minds. Hurrah! It’s not just me. I feel both heartened and horrified by this. It means my difficulties are quite normal, but it also confirms that reaching what Dr.Joe Dispenza calls the ‘sweet spot’ during meditation is difficult. That’s not going to stop me trying of course. I hit some sort of spot during the class last night because I found myself nodding-off. I half feared I might fall off the chair at some point, but I managed to stay alert enough not to cause embarrassment.
And finally, I read that Diana Athill has died at the age of 101. If you want to know what growing old gracefully looks like, read some of her later memoirs. I’m going to leave you now with one of her quotes –
“Looking at things is never time wasted. If your children want to stand and stare, let them. When I was marvelling at the beauty of a painting or enjoying a great view it did not occur to me that the experience, however intense, would be of value many years later. But there it has remained, tucked away in hidden bits of my mind and now it comes, shouldering aside even the most passionate love affairs.”