Sunday, August 8, 2010

Healing a Dancer

A dancer in my class moves very stiffly and rigidly. Though she tries very hard and loves the class, she keeps getting frustrated over not having the same fluidity in her hips as the others. She would love to see me for a massage session.

The first thing I would check for would be to make sure there is no physical injury or condition that caused stiffness or inhibition of movements.

1. Upon examining her Mu and Shu points I expect that I would see that her kidney points, GB25 and BL23 are depressed to hollow, along with her bladder points, CV23 and BL 28 and her liver points may be a bit harder and blocked, LV 114 and BL 18. There is probably a deficiency in kidney and bladder points as well as an excess in the liver points, there may be some personal issues and discomfort with herself.

2. The major sign I expect to see in her tongue is that it is probably pale and swollen, possibly moist, denoting a deficiency in her yin energy and a definate yang deficiency. I would not be surprised to see redder, scalloped edges, some cracks, or a depression of the kidney area at the root of her tongue.

3. Although I see problems in almost all of her elements, the main one that I see would be a deficiency of her water element, the kidney and the bladder. I see this manifested by her stiffness and lack of sense of where her body is in space. I would also classify some of this stiffness as a problem with her wood element as her core, the spine, is stiff and lacks flexibility. She no doubtedly feels a bit of frustration and this would manifest as some slight excess in the fire side of her being.

As for a massage, I would start off with a nurturing energy, trying to open up the bladder and kidney meridians, wanting her to be comfortable in her body and with the feelings that the dance brings out in her. I think I would spend some time nurturing the liver as I expect there is some anger that is causing some stagnation there. I would want to add some exercises that twist and bend the spine and core. I would want to help her to see her body as it takes up space and be able to visualize it on the different planes in space, right, left, up and down and to be able to visualize how the movements that I try to teach affects how her body moves through space.

Seeing the stiffness is not an uncommon thing. First of all, the fluidity very rarely comes with a new dancer, it is something that comes over time. A woman of western culture frequently has problems with many of the movements if she does not come from a movement background, as we in the west are taught to move in a way foreign to the movments of oriental and eastern dance, using parts of our body that are kept stiff and reigned in with western culture. Often a dancer comes with a past history of abuse or stifling of emotions that takes a while to work through and this can be seen as a stiffness in the body or a lack of ability or awareness of the body as it relates to it's place in space (of course this is barring physical injury, condition or limitation on her movements). In some cases, there may be an excess of heat or fire as there may be a deep seated anger at past treatment or experiences or an inhibition in the sexual power that comes out from feeling comfortable in one's own skin, and it takes time to work through those things until the individual is secure in themselves and ready to surrender to the joy that the movements of dance can bring.

Most of all, I would encourage this dancer to give herself time and love to bring out the beautiful woman and dancer that is hidden inside.

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