I’m feeling humbled today. I was going to write an article about my dermatome mapping process for publication in the American Society for the Alexander Technique Journal.
I’m going to miss my deadline. It’s too important to rush. Though I know the practice really works, that people gain ease and more coordination, I don’t know enough about why yet.
I do know that our body schema – our self image – is profoundly affected by both movement and touch. What I don’t know is how well the dermatome mapping process really reflects the actual structure of our CNS, or why learning this approximate map (because there is no one “accurate” dermatome map) through touch is effective in improving coordination.
I learned something on a non-cognitive level this weekend from all of my somatic colleagues, though. Something about not rushing, not pushing.
If you are interested in ease and fluidity, you are talking about waves. You can’t push a wave! Sound waves, light waves, the movement of fluid inside your body which is 60% water.
All that water, however, is contained within a structure that’s guided by your central nervous system, which is “controlled” by your brain. You are in constant dialogue with water. When water can’t flow, your tissues will feel the stress and strain.
And that will start calling your attention.
The more you pay attention to the strain, the more you will feel strain. It’s a nasty loop. But that’s what your brain is designed to do, so that you will pay attention to problems within the body, take care of them, and survive. Please forgive it! It’s just waiting for you use one of it’s hidden assets more skillfully: paying attention.
If you pay attention to ease, you will still feel discomfort, but you will have a larger, more fluid frame for your experience. That larger frame is much more supportive and calming to your CNS. It just requires a conscious choice on your part.
It takes patience and a slowly built stamina to make conscious choices about attention and movement. We know now that over-training can screw up your coordination big time. It’s called “maladaptive plasticity.”
Learning conscious choice is a delicate, fluid process. It requires a good, quiet, clear, supported space in which to practice and learn at a workable, fluid pace. That’s what I’m teaching in my classes, workshops and online gatherings.
Yes you can learn to guide your fluid self with clarity out into the world, into life-affirming movement. You just can’t push it!
I’ll be restructuring my Tuesday evening Movement Lab to focus more on the needs of dancers and movement educators (including Alexander Teachers!) who wish to explore developmental movement form (via the Dart Procedures) with ease! Without structure and form, it’s not possible to move.
For now, the Lab will stay open to any topics at all – through the end of December. So come on over if you’ve been wanting to give it a try!
Lots of love,
More Ways to Study:
My video channel (the videos will give you background on the anatomy of the central nervous system, from which I’ve developed Kinesthetic Thinking.)
2) $14 per class:
Open Group Class every Wednesday 2 – 4 at Movement Research, through December 20 (No class Thanksgiving week).
2) $25 per class:
The NYC Tuesday evening Movement Lab
3) $110 per hour
can be split with a friend!
Private Study: go here for information