Rolf(ing)

The guest lecturer in my class just talked about how Steven Hawken has come to Ottawa to work with ICES. I’m sure the audience is picturing a wheelchair-bound British physicist with a suicide vest strapped on. (If I were more on the ball, I would totally photoshop that shit.)

Speaking of physicists, I’d like to acknowledge that today would have been the 87th birthday of my intellectual hero Carl Sagan. I suspended my social media retreat to note that event.

Let us begin….

Rolf

One of my stranger hobbies is trying out various alternative medicine therapies. I’m an Epidemiologist, which means I’m supposed to be able to assess the evidence underpinning any medical therapy.  Things are “alternative” because their evidence base is poor. But that doesn’t always mean that they are totally without value.

I blogged about the Bowen Technique eight years ago, giving it far too kind of a review. It really does appear to be nonsense. I was going to try something called “quantum bean therapy”, but just couldn’t bring myself to spend money on that brainfuckery, even for shits and giggles.

One of the so-called alternative therapies that I quite enjoy, though, is rolfing, which is a kind of intense, deep tissue myo-fascial massage developed by German biochemist Dr Ida Rolf. Sometimes, it’s described using the standard pseudoscience quackery language of energy fields and chakras. But, to me, it has real value as a kind of specialized massage therapy offering incredibly painful immediate structural alignment.

I was rolfed for the first time 13 years ago when I was living in Washington, DC.  Those sessions began by taking polaroids of my unclothed body, and ended 10 sessions later by comparing my new body and posture to the photos.  Polaroids were chosen because there can be no negatives and therefore no social media blackmail.

Now, I know I have those photos somewhere. And believe you me, I have no compunctions about sharing them with you. So stay tuned; they still might turn up.

Having recently turned 50 and feeling the results of decades of physical self-abuse, I decided to try out the old rolfing table again. So today I had my first session at Myosense here in Ottawa.

No better way to start the day than by stripping down to my underwear and getting onto a table to contort with another middle aged man.

Appropriate reaction.

 

If you’ve ever tried rolfing, you will know that it hurts like fuck. In fact, in some circles it’s been used as a form of psychotherapy, which victims –I mean patients– reverting back to moments of extreme trauma that were previously buried, triggered by the extreme pain of therapy.

My first exposure to rolfing way back when involved a very large man driving his elbows into my shins. The pain was so intense that I would hallucinate geological formations. Weirdly, the endorphin rush caused by the pain can be a bit addictive, so much so that light massage now feels tragically unsatisfying and almost unpleasant.

This time around, I almost fell asleep. This, my friends, is the joy of being a scarred old man. Pain is a daily occurrence, so a large man driving his elbow into parts of my body (shut up, pervs) is just slight discomfort, insufficient to overcome the narcotic effects of lying horizontal on a table.

In The News

What’s happening today?  Well, my favourite stand-up comedian, Louis CK, has been accused of sexual shenanigans. He has not responded, but his publicist, Lewis Kay, has said some things.

Okay, let’s think about this. Louis CK’s publicist is named Lewis Kay. Kind of reminds me of when Trump pretended to be his own publicist named “John Miller.”

I’m not saying that Lewis Kay is just an alter ego of Louis CK. I am saying that in today’s wacky world, he really should be.

Today’s Breakfast

The Overly Complicated Breakfast™ today was….

Eggs scrambled in yogurt, apple slices fried in butter, kale & broccoli sauteed in garlic and olive oil, a dollop of garlic hummus, and a bowl of full-fat yogurt with homemade granola.  (No, it’s not the same pic from yesterday).

And yes, that’s a drone. Drones are now standard with breakfast.