How and Why was Flextasy™ Created?

Flextasy™ was developed out of my desire to minimize the need of frequent physical therapy for myself and my clients and to alleviate and hopefully eliminate the chronic aches and pains I, like perhaps you and a vast majority of others, endure on a daily basis.

I had the good fortune of having as a teacher, mentor, friend, and bodyworker, an exceptional healer from India, named Usha. I enjoyed frequent (difficult) lessons and life-changing therapy for over a decade (into the present, though sporadic). I had little need of personal maintenance as I knew that help was only a phone call and some dollars away. She was, among the other things listed above, my insurance policy. Perhaps you have a similar human insurance policy? Everything was fine until she decided to get married and relocate to the other side of the country. It was at this time that I realized that I had better come up with some way of taking care of my body by myself, as I knew that trying to replace Usha would be a futile and frustrating process.

It was also at this time that my own process of practicing bodywork was becoming increasingly frustrating. I would see changes in the clients I was working with but was not pleased with the percentage of the change which was lasting. I had been under the impression that 100% of the results were dependent on the hands-on work I did with my clients. Over time I came to understand that the hands-on work entailed only 1/3 of the phenomenon which would create lasting change in a distorted, painful body. The other two missing parts, equal in importance, I discovered to be Awareness and Maintenance.

Three aspects need to be addressed if any form of physical therapy and rehabilitation is to succeed. These are Hands-on Work, Body Awareness, and Self-Maintenance.

This realization was crucial to the development of the Flextasy™ series of movements which includes all three of these aspects necessary for lasting change. As you practice your Flextasy™ movements you are performing bodywork of the highest degree on yourself, affecting circulation, structure, energetics, and movement reorientation. Positive effects, both physically and emotionally, will be noticed as tension drains from your body and you learn how not to internalize the stress which accumulates to produce tension. By paying attention to your breath and to what every part of your body is doing at all times, your sense of how your body moves through space and relates to gravity is heightened. Practicing Flextasy™ is like having daily treatments from a whole platoon of different therapists working on every aspect of your being!

There is tremendous power in taking responsibility for your own malfunctions and healing, to whatever degree is possible.

I began thinking of things my clients could do which would support the hands-on work I was doing so that I would not have to repeat the same work over and over again, session after session. It was becoming clear to me what movements the client would have to do on a daily basis in order to integrate the change which was occurring during the bodywork sessions: that meant MAINTENANCE! It was also apparent that the client would have to step out of the role of passive participant and begin taking responsibility for what they were doing with their bodies throughout the day when not with me: that meant AWARENESS!

After all, aren’t our bodies the way they are as a result of what we do with them consistently on a daily basis?

I began to think of myself less as a healer and more as a coach. In addition to hands-on bodywork, I brought their habitual movement patterns to their attention and showed them specific movements which I knew would help reorganize their bodies and help them to become aware of new possibilities of movement. I also tried my best to inspire them to pay attention to their body mechanics as they went about their lives in their bodies.

I had experimented with traditional stretching, martial arts, calisthenics, and yoga, as well as running, swimming, and weight training. I knew that all of these things were supposed to be good for me, but my body was still in fairly chronic pain (originally stemming from a herniated disk injury suffered at age 21), and my body was not that much more flexible (if at all) than it was when I started. I had received well over 200 deep bodywork sessions, including all the well-known modalities, but I still knew very little about my own body. Proper posture was still a tormenting struggle to maintain and even though the pain in the various parts of my body would diminish or seem to disappear, it would only be a matter of time before I would be forced to call someone again to try and fix me, or if my finances were not up to it, to stoically grin and bear it. Sound familiar?

Realizing that I would like to be able to move better than most people I saw getting older, I set about assembling a series of movements which I knew I would like to be able to do now and as time passed by. My logic and experience told me that any movements I would like to be able to make as I grew older would need to be performed on a daily basis.

Exercises which involve a shortening of the tissues used for the workout, like weights, running, cycling, etc., cause a loss of flexibility. Whereas flexibility range of motion exercises would not only keep me as flexible as I started out, but would over time, allow my body to become even more flexible. (This turned out to be the case and at 45, I am very much more flexible than I was at 30, 20, or even playing the full range of sports in high school.)

Piece by piece, I observed and added movements to my collection. During this whole time I was also busy teaching myself and then others the rare, wonderful art of Tightrope Walking. How that came about is a whole story in itself, which I won’t go into now, but suffice to say, the wealth of enlightening information I gathered about balance and body mechanics was immensely enlightening and something very few others have as a frame of reference. I discovered, from my own practice and from watching and teaching others, what was necessary to accomplish the remarkable phenomenon of walking and performing tricks on a rope, even blindfolded!

Over a 3 year period I gathered movements from many forms of physical culture. On these I superimposed my experiential and working knowledge of body mechanics, balance, hands-on structural release bodywork, and my intuition. I accepted, rejected, or modified these moves to fit into my understanding of flexibility, and movement reorientation.

Gradually, the series fell together into its present form which is perfectly capable of taking your body apart piece by piece and then reassembling it correctly.

This movement series will also give you a new perspective of your body on a skeletal level. This is something which is absolutely necessary, if dense, painful tissue and a mis-aligned skeleton are to be normalized.

This set of movements I’ve named Flextasy™ is by no means the complete list of all possible range of motion movements. It is though, a perfect place to start on the long path which leads to a pain-free, flexible body immune from most injuries. As your body, and your attitude towards it, begins to change, your new knowledge of body mechanics and your logic and intuition will guide you into other movement forms which will be right for you.

Even if this initial set of Flextasy™ moves is all you ever practice for your flexibility maintenance, you will be well enough off, (far better than most) and extremely pleased, with the degree of flexibility, body awareness, and the state of health and well-being which you will have attained.

Seek and you shall find.