Caution: Work In Process


The upside of vacation is time to think. The downside of vacation is time to think. And I’ve been doing more thinking than usual. That usually gets my husband nervous. And for good reason. Toss in a little PMS and I can be all but combustible. Poor man, he really deserves a peaceful vacation.

Most months I can read the telltale PMS signs. They’re like most signs — orange with black letters. When the hormone monster begins to take shape I make it clear I need a wide berth. I advise accordingly. (I’m nice that way, I think it’s best for everyone to know what they’re dealing with … you know something along the lines of: Warning – ‘Mone Surge, Proceed with Caution.)
Okay, now try: Self-actualizing. On vacation. With PMS.

Not. An. Easy. Thing. To. Do.

First I have to calm down the ‘mone monster. Lose the Pamela who would like to exercise some aggression and locate the nice Pamela, the one who wants to self-actualize. The one who wants to be make barren beautiful. (Oh, in case you need to be reminded, I’m a Gemini — twins, remember?)

I fully admit that I’m a work in process. Some days I make huge progress. Other days not so much. Yesterday I think I made some progress and it happened in the middle of a massage. A great deep tissue massage. A beat me up until I’m not sure that maybe I’m not a masochist massage.

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Little Liz, a tiny slip of a thing, was working me over something fierce and then asked in a gentle voice, have you ever been Rolfed?

Ah, Rolfing (aka Structural Integration). I did a little research into this a few years ago when I was at the end of my rope with infertility making me half mad — husband would likely say three-quarters or more mad.

Rolfing is something of a mind-body thing started by Dr. Ida Rolf a biochemist who was influenced by osteopathy, physical therapy, and yoga as a form of bodywork. The goal is to improve health by bringing segments of the body into proper alignment. Here’s what one website had to say about it:

“Structural Integration is primarily concerned with
physical changes in the body, it affects the whole person. We are
made up of emotions, attitudes, belief systems and behavior
patterns as well as the physical being. All are related. Align the
physical structure and it will open up the individual’s potential.
Clients often report positive changes, stating less stress, greater
self-confidence and improved ability to handle life’s changes.”

Ah, yes, “life’s changes.” More to the point, how about when life kicks you in the head!?

Liz told me that quite often people with chronic muscle tension (yours truly) need more than massage. That’s because muscles have memory and store up negative energy associated with those memories. The only way to fully release the muscles is to confront the memories, work them over (a combination of physical and emotion massage so to speak) and let them go.

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These thoughts immediately leaped to mind: Infertility? Negative energy. Some un-actualized anger and sadness perhaps??

I admit it sounds a little more new-agey than this Midwesterner-born girl is usually comfortable with, but after the deep tissue massage with Liz — who herself has been trained in Rolfing — I could feel some emotional release. Now that very well could have been my hormones surging, but I’m giving the Rolfing thing some consideration.

Anyone out there heard anything good, bad or indifferent about it?

In the meantime, I’m going to try not to hurt anybody.

* * * *

Okay, this should help tame the ‘Mone Monster a bit. I learned that my blog made the list of Top 100 Women’s Health Blogs from the Nursing School Search website. And I’m not alone in the infertility category. Got some good company. Check out the list.


17 Responses

  1. Ellen K

    August 14, 2008 4:52 pm

    I’ve worked on some books about comp/alt med and thought that Rolfing seemed very interesting — I think you should go for it! I totally credit acupuncture and guided imagery with getting me through my IVF cycle.

  2. shinejil

    August 14, 2008 6:30 pm

    I’ve never been Rolfed, but muscles do have a kind of memory, and it can take some guidance to get them to release (we can get so used to all the tension and discomfort and think it’s “normal.”) I’ve got a wonderful yoga teacher who has shown me this and helped me work through some old injuries. It took over a year! I think Rolfing would speed up the process.

    I say anything that sounds soothing and supportive that isn’t harmful is worth a try.

  3. Lori

    August 14, 2008 7:48 pm

    Congrats on your inclusion on that list!

    I went through the 10-session Rolfing right before I met my husband. In fact, I am certain that the releases it triggered allowed him to come into my life and for me to be ready for him.

    Count me as a proponent.

    Sorry about the PMS, though.

  4. Amber

    August 14, 2008 8:11 pm

    Haven’t been Rolfed but I am a fanatic about a good-hurting massage. I get them on a regular basis. Rolfing sounds a bit “out-there” to me as well…and yet…somehow makes sense. Not sure I’d do it but I would not look askance at those who do.

  5. annacyclopedia

    August 15, 2008 4:25 am

    I’ve never been Rolfed but I’ve felt drawn to it ever since I learned about it. I think the nearest practitioner to me is over 2 hours away, so I haven’t gotten around to it, but I’m very interested. So if you do take the plunge, I’d love to hear about your experience.

  6. luna

    August 15, 2008 5:54 am

    it’s true muscles do have memory. and it’s common to release the emotion tied up there through bodywork. happens all the time. never been rolfed though. but why not?

    hope you’re feeling a bit better.

  7. Ms Heathen

    August 15, 2008 8:54 am

    Rolfing certainly sounds an interesting way of addressing the mind-body connection. As shinejil has already said, anything that sounds so soothing may be worth a try, particularly if you find massage helpful in releasing emotional as well as physical tension. Let us know how you get on!

    And congratulations on making the top 100 women’s health blogs! It’s a very well-deserved award!

  8. Alacrity

    August 15, 2008 3:34 pm

    Congratulations on making that list!!

    I have never been rolfed, but I don’t see why you shouldn’t try it. It couldn’t hurt.

  9. loribeth

    August 15, 2008 6:48 pm

    I’ve never been rolfed either… but I remember Brian Orser, the Canadian figure skater, talking about it back around the 1988 Winter Olympics (Battle of the Brians, etc.). I do enjoy yoga, & I go for the occasional massage when I’m feeling especially stressed/tensed up. In the underground concourses of downtown Toronto, there are several outlets of the Great American Backrub Company. You can go in at lunchtime for a mini-massage on your neck & shoulders (fully clothed) for 10, 20, 30 or 60 minutes. They do great foot massages too!

    Also, congrats on making the list!

  10. honeywine

    August 15, 2008 11:04 pm

    I’ve never heard of rolfing. But, it sounds fascinating. I certainly can understand that even if there’s just a little kink that it could be a huge problem in the tiny webs of nerves and capillaries. Makes sense in a way.

  11. Geohde

    August 16, 2008 6:33 am

    PJ- sorry about the PMS and the timing of it. I don’t have any knowledge of rolfing, except that I first read it as ‘ralphing’- slang here for vomiting….


  12. Phoebe

    August 16, 2008 5:53 pm

    PMS on vacation DOES suck!

    I have been rolfed. Loved it. I live in Ida-Rolf-alternative-medicine-central, so there is a rolfer about every block in my town. I had had chronic neck pain for years and have scoliosis, a curvature of the spine. I decided to bite the bullet and invest in the 10 series. I didn’t start noticing results until about session number 8. Rolfing is painful, but I needed it. I wore a back brace as a teenager for four years for scoliosis. My rolfer said she felt like she was working me out of the brace. I did have emotional releases. I assumed that was from the pain of having to wear that brace for so long, but who knows? I recommend it. Rolfing also makes you look better!

  13. nursepam

    August 16, 2008 6:24 pm

    There’s something about women named Pam who are geminis ;^)

    Congratulations on making the top 100. Looks like you have earned it and more. Keep working through the pain. Life has wonderful things in store for you.

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