Healing In My Fifties

I have grappled with health issues much of my life. Being in my fifth decade has brought a whole new meaning to healing. Those of you who have reached that decade know of what I speak. Those of you who have yet to reach that decade may be able to prove me wrong by following the advice offered on our blogs, the Natural Healing Products blog and the Better Health Library.  Each season has its gifts and its challenges. I love being in my fifth decade because I have had some brushes with the reality of my mortality and feel lucky to be here. My own mother didn’t make it to this decade. By giving to yourself, the joy of life can blossom. By showing love of self with regular massage, at least seasonal tune-up meridian therapy acupuncture sessions, and a passion filled exercise program, you too can feel lucky to be alive and revel in the living of it. Let me share with you my latest exercise passion, GYROTONIC® and GYROKINESIS®.

Here in St. Louis Body Fusion is GYROTONIC® Central. Anne Thomasson has been a professional associate and someone whom I have called friend for perhaps two decades. I have always thought her to be a dedicated and passionate person. We seem to share that. I trust her. A couple of years ago, I began learning GYROTONIC® and GYROKINESIS® from her and one of her trainees. But money got tight and I stopped justifying it for myself. That, I have come to learn, was folly. This past July my back decided to teach me about repetitive stress injury pain. I have been leaning over a therapy table since 1989 as a full time alternative health care provider and not participating in cross training. Yes! even though I tell my patients all the time to be cognizant of that very thing. So when I became encumbered I first turned to my own medicines. Once my energetic core had been re-established I had the judgement to add an exercise routine to my lifestyle. I turned to Gyro as I had really enjoyed it when I had done it in the past. It has been the right thing for me to turn to. Let me tell you why I like it so much.

I like GYROTONIC® and GYROKINESIS® so much because it claims to be an energy based therapy. They talk of and call upon the “fifth line” of energy. It has taken me some time to get a sense of what that means. It is an experiential thing. I will try and describe it. But you will really need to experience it yourself to fully understand it. My sense is this: being aware of the energy that fills your body from the inside out and the energy that presses in on you from the outside to inside seems to be the crux. Each of the movements has a counter stabilizing force. At the most basic in Oriental philosophy, I believe that to be the concept of yin and yang. Yin collects and yang expands. Yin holds and yang moves. Yang has a seed of yin and visa versa.

Ueshiba Sensei (the Father of Aikido and contributor through Nakazono O’Sensei to Kototama/Inochi medicine) when asked from where he got his moves answered, “from the sound of Su”. As a student of the Kototama philosophy, I have come to understand the sound of “Su” as a vibration of spiraling and a connection to physical center. In attending the classes offered by Body Fusion, I am physically experiencing that spiraling activity by performing their structured movements. I am rediscovering my three dimensional self. I feel the energy moving through out and within as a spiraling movement that allows me to morph from one position to the next while keeping that core connection which allows for both strength and flexibility. Like the green bamboo that the Orientals see as strength and resilience. I am drawn to it more than Aikido because I want to move and experience the physical, mental, and spiritual balanced self without the martial art aspect of hitting and being hit. That latter aspect is just not my style. Especially the being hit part. 

“GYROTONIC® methodology is a revolutionary concept in fitness focusing on the integrated movement of the entire body. The training consists of a series of full-rotational, fluid exercises — performed on beautifully handcrafted weight and pulley based equipment — that stretch and strengthen muscles and connective tissue, while simultaneously nourishing the body with focused breath work.” Is how it is described on their website. They have instructors who guide you through the steps. And the equipment helps engage more of your physical being. Now I can say that this means that more muscle fibers are being engaged to allow greater strength and flexibility due to the weighted work. But there is more to it. The machine work guided by the personal training helps you to better understand your body and the way that it has developed habits that are really unhealthy compensations. It then guides you toward healthy more sustainable movement. And I find it fun!

“GYROKINESIS® exercises allow one to work on the entire body through seven natural elements of spinal movement: forward, backward, left side, right side, left twist, right twist and circular, as well as all other joint articulation. This approach systematically and gently works the joints and muscles through rhythmic and undulating movements. These movements stimulate the body’s internal organs while different corresponding breathing patterns are integrated along with the movements.” Again a quote from the website. This technique has been harder for me to find the fun. But I am now embracing this method of self discovery and am finding the joy within the classes and hidden within myself. I love that I have methods upon which I can draw from at home. When I feel achey muscles from having moved in ways that I haven’t for perhaps decades, I know now that this means that energy had accumulated and had also become stagnant. Smooth flowing energy is vitality. Stagnation can manifest as pain or disfunction. By taking a class, I erode away some of the concrete I have allowed through inactivity or repetition. After I return to my usual patterns I may feel the accumulation re-occurring as ache. That is when I can employ the homework. Going through some of the gentle movements releases the accumulation and allows for smooth flowing energy. The empowerment excites me. I love having tools that help me regain and maintain healthy function.

We have acquired energy and ancestral energy. We tend to burn through our ancestral energy by age thirty. Acquired energy we gather through proper or improper breath, nutrition, and exercise. This method of exercise helps one practice movement that empowers the individual by encouraging balance. Empowering the individual by reminding one of their healthy balance is what Kototama/Inochi meridian therapy medicine does. And that is why I embrace this exercise method so readily. It is another way I can remember my true self.

I am proud to know Anne and am grateful to her for bringing to St. Louis, MO such a fabulous self empowerment program. I am also grateful to her as Body Fusion has become our first retailer (besides us) of the Te A Te Reiki Healing Energy Blanket. Living the healed life is easier when you have the right tools. These are natural healing tools that are within easy reach. It only takes you to embrace them and use them. Hope to see you at a class soon.