Thursday, September 23, 2010

My First Body Tuning "Lesson"

Today I got what I might consider my first official Body Tuning lesson. Until today, I had simply been immersed in the art. Watching and listening to what Shmuel Tatz says to his clients about the practice were my means of learning. I have been gleaning lessons from my observations and from what I hear Shmuel saying to his clients. I also get pieces of the puzzle out of brief conversations I have with Dr Tatz.

And more recently, Shmuel has had me mirror him. As he works on one leg, he motions me over to take the other leg and I get to do exactly what he’s doing. We don’t speak, but we’re communicating through movements. And I have sometimes been fortunate enough to get feedback from the person we’re working on. Some have told me that my movements seem quicker and less fluid, and other have said that I use less pressure. It’s all good information and I’m growing daily from these experiences.
Today, however, Dr Tatz checked his schedule and then announced, “There’s enough time. You’ll Tune my body for half an hour.” My first reaction was excited nervousness. Imagine what it would be like if Mozart or Chopin asked you to play a piece on the piano for them, or if Michelangelo wanted to see some of your sculpture. But I took a deep breath and reminded myself that I’m hear to learn and that nothing could be expected of me but what I know.


My Sankalpa was very helpful here, too. I repeated it a few times, ‘It calms me to expose my imperfections to people.’ That calmed me. If you don’t know what a Sankalpa is, you should ask me about it, they’re great.

He told me exactly what he wanted done, so that wasn’t an issue. He told me first to tune his ankles and legs, and then to apply the ‘magnets’ to his upper back with my right hand while rocking his body with my left hand on his sacrum. Wow, so now I was nervous again. I’ve rocked someone and I’ve worked with the magnets plenty, but I had only ever done these things separately before, and I’d always used both hands to operate the magnets.

So I went to work. I started by lifting up his legs. I know that part of Body Tuning is feeling how the joints are moving, so I was attempting to feel what’s going on in the hip joints. From inside the face cradle he says, “You started wrong!” I lower his legs and listen. “First you touch, then you move.” He explained how I am more likely to encounter tension with the approach I just tried. It would surprise the person on the table to have their legs lifted up right away. So I laid my hands on his ankles and just listened with my hands.

He talked me through as I mobilized first the left and then the right ankle, and then the big toes and the rest of the toes. He asked me which ankle was moving better, which toe had more range of motion and told me to make it my habit to feel the difference between “what feels good and what doesn’t feel good.” He suggested I practice by moving healthy bodies around to get a good feeling for what it feels like. I’ve only been tuning bodies that are complaining of pain, but moving healthy bodies is important so I have a basis for what state I’m trying to bring the bodies to.

I remembered, “Slowly, slowly” and what I learned by mirroring him working on legs for the past few days. I tried not to be aware of the fact that I was working on the master and just see it as another body. I didn’t get any other instructions as I worked on the hips and thighs so I took that as a good sign.

When I was satisfied that the legs were more relaxed than when I started, I then I got the magnets and figured out how to hold them both in the same hand. It was a bit awkward at first, but I eventually got the hang of it. Before I knew it, I was rhythmically rocking his body with my left hand on his sacrum and adjusting the magnets with my right.

The magnets spark every three seconds and I keep them on the same spot for three sparks before switching to a new spot. It took me a while to co-ordinate so that I didn’t stop rocking while I switched spots. Eventually I got into the groove and was consistently rocking in a slow repetitive rhythm while moving the magnets around his upper back with one hand every ten seconds.

I was delighted to hear, after about seven minutes of this, he began to snore. I smiled.
Music to my ears.

When his fifteen minutes were up, the machine beeped and shut off. I put the paddles away and gave his body a few seconds of two-handed rocking. I said, ‘OK How do you feel?” He got up and got dressed and told me I did well.

The lessons I learned were, ‘look first, then touch, then move.’ And ‘feel the difference between what feels right and what feels off in human joint movements.’ Still lots more to learn, but today was a good day for improvements and practice.

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