Positioning-Based Bodywork Stories

In '93 I lived in Minneapolis and had a friend who was broad-sided pretty badly while driving his car. The car was totaled. I had been studying body positioning as a healing tool for a couple of years and worked on him the following day. He could barely climb the stairs to my studio he was so sore. We carefully got him onto my massage table and I got him fairly comfortable. Carefully I followed the small adjustments his body was making. After about 45 minutes he lay on his back with his left knee pulled almost up toward his chest, his right leg fully extended, both arms bent by his chest, his ribcage bent out to the right and his neck turned hard left! If this was how he was fairly comfortable, no wonder he had been sore!

beach and sky

I had all kinds of pillows and cushions supporting him in this complex pose as I slowly came to awareness that it was this exact position his body was in at the moment of impact during the accident! His left hip and knee had contracted to get his foot off the clutch pedal as his right foot jammed down on the brake. He had torqued his ribcage to the right as the car that broad-sided him pushed the inside of the car door into his left side, and he had twisted his neck left to see what was happening, all in an instant! Both his hands needed work as they were stuck in their "remembered" grip on the steering wheel, especially the thumbs and heels. In the next hour we got everything to release except the heel of each hand, which had really been squeezed hard in their grip on the wheel. They improved but remained a bit sore. My friend at one point, right after I clued him into how his body was taking him back to the "memorized" pose, burst into tears for a minutes or so, largely releasing the emotional component of the crash, and later walked home feeling pretty good. He has had no lasting affects from the crash.

I do a breath/stretching/weight workout at a gym three times a week. Last winter I noticed that repeatedly I had a pattern of feeling pain in my right leg from the foot up past the knee. It was a dull, broad pain and sufficiently uncomfortable that I favored that leg slightly while walking on it. As I slowly explored what positions contained comfort for the leg, I noticed that consistently the pain entirely left when I turned in the foot toward midline! For the rest of that workout and for the next couple of days, I made sure to keep my right foot turned slightly in while monitoring how that felt and keeping my breath relaxed. It consistently felt relaxed and at ease and within a few days all signs of tightness and soreness were gone!

Anytime I have a headache, which is rare, I do the following: as soon as I notice any tension or pain, I put one finger with the "pad" of the finger resting on the spot that is in the center of the tension. I let it rest there and allow my breathing to fully relax. Then I use the tiniest, subtlest of movements, almost no movement at all, to "feel" which way the spot under my finger relaxes, i.e. north or south? East or west? For each pair of movements I see which way, if either, feels more relaxed under my monitoring finger and just hold it gently in that direction for a moment while breathing full and relaxed breaths, not pressing, almost just suggesting the movement. I am aware of whatever thoughts or feeling come up during this, especially anything needing care. I almost without fail dissipate any tension on my scalp within a few minutes and it never fully develops into a headache!