Letter of the Day:  U

U is for Unwinding!  Have you ever heard someone say, “She’s wound up so tight”?  Have you ever felt tension between your shoulder blades that really did feel like a knot was tied in your muscles?  Many of us are, indeed, wound up tight inside and need to untwist. 

At one of the breakout sessions at the Mothers of Multiples Convention, I heard Debra McLaughlin speak about Craniosacral Therapy. Craniosacral Therapy is a very gentle form of hands-on structural therapy that can profoundly help at any age to correct imbalances in the body. She showed us how she has worked with newborn babies who looked like they had a crick in the neck, arched their backs, cried when laid on their backs, and had terrible colic.  She taught the parents how to pick the baby up by her feet and let her untwist.  She likely had been in a twisted up position in-utero and had some trauma at birth.  Holding her upside down and letting her body naturally correct itself, allowed her to coil back into that position, then open up again, and finally relax.

I was fascinated.  The instructor also talked to us about her own experience when she was pregnant with her twins, 20 years ago.  She was stopped a stoplight, but the driver behind her hadn’t been paying attention, and although slowing, slammed into her.  It was a minor fender-bender.  But, now, she had pain.  She was worried about her babies.  She explained that the seatbelt holds you in place at your waist and left shoulder, but the right shoulder was free to be jarred foreward, causing twisting in her abdomen.  By using her knowledge of Craniosacral Therapy, she was able to correct the problem, and her babies were fine.  Boy-girl twins who are freshmen in college, now.

This got me thinking about my feeling of being wound up too tight.  I’ve had two major collisions with deer. 

I didn’t feel injured, but I’ve had a knot in my back since the first one.  I also carry my tension in my shoulders, and spend many hours a day hunched over a keyboard, playing piano, or teaching.  When do I ever really open up my arms and unravel my torso?

Debra encouraged us to lay on a ball and open up like this.

We need to stretch our chests and abdomens.  Another way to do this is to stand in a doorway, a narrower one like a bathroom, and place one hand on each side and lean in.  Move your hands up slowly and feel more muscles opening up.  Another place to try this is in a corner of a room.

Stretch, relax, let your body untwist.  Spend some time hanging upside down or letting your muscles go where they need to.  Start slowly.  Be gentle.  Be good to yourself and your body and you’ll allow all your creative juices to flow freely.

Journaling Prompt:  Do you have any tips on how to unwind?  How do you help your body relax and heal?