Cultivate Body Awareness with Massage and Training | Gay in Austin | A Relocation Guide for Gay People Moving to Austin, TX

Cultivate Body Awareness with Massage and Training

Jul 01, 2014 Comments Off on Cultivate Body Awareness with Massage and Training by

I am a trainer. In the most simple nutshell, I help people learn how move their bodies in functional ways.  Through the years, I’ve shifted my focus from making my body look “perfect” to acknowledging and addressing the epidemic that seems to affect everyone, even myself.  The more we focus on looking a certain way based on outside images, the less we actually feel what’s going on in our own bodies.  Personally, I lifted weights in my twenties with the sole intent to “get bigger” without respect to personal body knowledge.  I copied what I found on Google and bodybuilding websites, spurring myself forward with “manifestation images” of men I wanted to look like.  Sound familiar? Unfortunately, in my youth, I had not learned how to support my spine and move from core to extremity.  A few years into my efforts, I had severe shoulder pain and tendonitis in my triceps and elbow.  Luckily, I shifted my focus, began a journey of self-exploration, and my body healed.  As a result, my career also shifted to mirror my experience. I now help people learn how to better position their bodies for daily tasks, and I help uncover mobility restrictions that keep people from achieving those positions.  I call it a secular ministry.

The majority of the American public is deconditioned and unable to find the proper body position to do the most trivial of tasks like picking up dirty laundry from the floor.  Sound like I’m exaggerating?  I’m not.  I have personally worked with clients that have slipped discs in their backs putting up dishes.  I have helped rehabilitate and realign bulged discs once exacerbated by sitting for prolonged periods.  I’ve known individuals that have torn their ACLs by merely making a direction change while walking.  One woman I worked with had been taking cortisone injections for a bad case of “tennis elbow,” following a traditional doctor’s orders to “not use the arm for a few weeks.”  Another woman I know has recently had a surgery to pull her bladder back up where it belongs so that she doesn’t suffer from incontinence when walking, sneezing, laughing or otherwise.  I wish she had come to me first, because the same bladder lift can be achieved by strengthening the muscles of the pelvic floor that suffer significantly from sitting without core engagement for long hours.  The problem with these scenarios is that they all have an underlying cause, in my opinion.  The people involved worked in jobs where they must sit all day and use their brains, essentially “turning off” necessary body awareness.  These people had not done much cultivation of body awareness nor how their bodies are supposed to be positioned in space.  They lacked significant understanding of how their bodies are supposed to move and feel.

Fortunately, many people are learning to address the symptoms that develop from poor movement and posture by reaching out for a massage or some kind of body work instead of merely popping an Advil.  That is one half of the picture.  The other half is learning to feel and use places in the body that are inactive because of your job, and, therefore, currently invisible to you.  Massage addresses the soft tissues and mobility restrictions that result from poor movement and posture.  Training addresses the motor unit recruitment that actually causes these movements.   Think of it this way.  If you were a computer, a massage would be a virus scan, detection and deletion. My job would be to write your system a new program that circumvents current problems.  The symptoms will not relieved without both sides of the picture.

I see a handful of massage therapists, all with a different focus.  I need this kind of complexity because of the work that I do.  For most people suffering from the most common symptoms like tight necks and shoulders, headaches, and low back pain, it is important to find a therapist that can help you in a holistic kind of way.  Your massage therapist will help you the most if he/she is also helping you find how these symptoms relate to the overall picture of your life.

Yesterday, I went to see Lisa Talev of Inspired Wellness, Inc.  The experience was exactly what I needed to bring some current issues that I’m dealing with into focus.  Lisa helped me select an appropriate aromatherapy scent to work with, based on what I’m trying to bring into my life.  The ambiance of her studio and her intention in her work sets her apart from many other massage therapists I’ve seen.  Instead of shuffling me onto the table, mechanically blazing through my tight spots and sending me on the way, she got me to truly put my mind on pause for a few minutes and settle into the experience as whole.  Her intention helped me remember my own intentions.  Even though I spend my days wrapped up in high volume work, I was reminded about the power of my intention and what I want to create with my body and my life.

As a physical experience, the music (that she allowed me to select from a list), aroma and massage were perfect.  She used hot stones and warm cloth wraps to open up the tight places in myself that I’ve been holding for a while.  These places have been affecting my movements and moods for some days, as I have been working long hours and using my head a lot. I’ve been going strong and forgetting to care for my body.  Specifically, she used a hot stone to carve out the tissue in my pecs that have been pulling my shoulder forward out of alignment. While on the table, Lisa gently brought me back to my inner intentions with questions that needed no out-loud answer. Instead, the questions helped me bring the physical experience into the overall picture of my life. As a result, the massage is more valuable to me than a routine turn-and-burn experience. My shoulder feels great today, and my overall posture and mood is improved.  Even work seems less taxing on my body.

Lisa also counsels clients in nutrition, wellness, and strategies for greater fulfillment in life.  Check out her website and see her for a hot stone session!  Then see me to help you understand how to keep the symptoms from coming back.  You can teach your body how to hold the amazing openness of this kind of massage experience.  The first step is reaching out for the support. You can cultivate a greater body awareness that will help you heal yourself.

Lisa Talev

Inspired Wellness, Inc.



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About the author

I have chosen Austin, TX, as my home, because I thrive here. To my clients, I am their personal trainer, life coach, spiritual counselor and friend. To myself, daily I'm finding the same boy I knew inside as a child. I look in the mirror each morning as I get ready to meet the city. The changing lines and scruff on my face have, over thirty-four years, morphed the childhood image I used to see into Finn Deerhart, the man that I think I know more and more with every new experience. I believe Austin, TX, is the perfect place to be well and develop yourself in any way you choose. The experiences in health and wellness available here can put you in touch with the same sense of freedom I have found in our beautiful city. I hope to meet you and help you on your journey! Welcome to Austin!!
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