Body Self-Maintenance 4

14) Full Length Mirrors: Your flexibility work will benefit greatly if you have a room in which you can put at least one full-length mirror on the wall. If you cannot fasten it on the wall, at least you can lean it against the wall, which works just as well. By watching your body as you go through the Flextasy!® movements you will gain much visual understanding of body-mechanics as well as seeing day by day your body changing shape and moving differently. Without mirrors these changes will still be occurring but it is quite helpful and inspiring to observe and monitor the process. A mirror is essential also for watching your body-mechanics while using the 7' Pole (#7).

15) The 10 Ft. Balancer: (a stylish, industrial-strength pipe apparatus 10" to 16" off the ground) teaches flexibility and body awareness, the two foundational building blocks of Balance.

The Balancer is a powerful tool for finding courage, focus, self-confidence, and stability in a challenging situation. It is also the most powerful practice I know of for finding and experiencing the Free Space. It will transform your body posture and your relationship with your body. Almost everything you will try to learn and integrate today about movement and posture is theory and intellectual. Everything you learn about movement and posture using the Balancer is experiential, dynamic, and immediately apparent. Using it, it is possible to gain access to another realm of awareness as you learn the wisdom of insecurity by discovering your center, as well as finding your vertical line, having repercussions physically, emotionally, and spiritually. This tool will open up Doors of Perception you always knew existed but had no idea how to find.

How to build your own Balancer
What you will need:
1 -10' of 11/4" galvanized pipe; threaded at both ends
6 - 6" nipples (pipe threaded at both ends)
2 - elbows
2 -T's
4 - end caps
***all of this needs to be inch and a quarter (or inch and a half if you can't find 11/4")

For a balancing pole (to carry as you walk on the Balancer) use a 10' piece of one inch pipe and put end caps on each end; not necessary but you may want to try it; useful for work on the tightrope and tightwire.

For more of a challenge, use a one and a half inch diameter pipe 20' long with end caps on each end and use wood blocks at least 18" high for the supports. Use plumber's brackets to fasten the pipe to the wood blocks.

Use vinegar to clean the pipes of residue before use or painting.

I'm working on a short book about Balance, for those who wish to utilize Balance a s catalyst for creating change in their life, and have a lot of challenging fun in the process.

16) The Thumper Massager: If you haven't experienced one of these incredible percussion massage machines then I suggest that you must! I am all for human touch but, it can do what no hands could ever do. I bought my first one after only a 3-minute demonstration on myself while standing in a store. I was amazed!

THUMPERS come with a 5-year guarantee. They are easy to use even if you know nothing about massage and that is the beauty of it. With a THUMPER any bozo can send you into a state of relaxed bliss; 10 minutes feels great but is a tease, 30 minutes and you couldn't care less about anything, and after 45 minutes you are out of your body. I finish most of my bodywork sessions this way to integrate all that has been accomplished during the session and my clients love it. It is truly more than a massage machine as it changes the receiver on many levels. Woody Allen coined the term ORGASMATRON in one of his movies to describe a futuristic machine that delivered unbelievable bliss and sensory satisfaction, and that is a name I can use, and you will too, for the THUMPER.

17) The CHI MACHINE: This amazing machine not only feels wonderfully relaxing it also does the following:

a) Cellular Activation: Massage stimulation to the sympathetic nervous system opens up the bronchioles to provide maximum oxygen access to the lungs, simultaneously the blood flow to and from the lungs us increased, enhancing oxygen exchange from the lungs to the blood and therefore to the body cells, exciting cellular metabolism.

b) Spinal Balancing: With the body relaxed in the supine position with no weight on the spine, the Chi Machine will influence a correction to certain conditions of misalignment. Such corrective action can in turn cure or alleviate complications arising in vertebral joints from spinal misalignment.

c) Improving The Immune System: The Chi Machine stimulates globulin production which increases the immune systems defense capacity thereby providing greater freedom from disorders and disease.

d) Blood Production: Blood is produced in the spleen and spinal bone marrow. The Chi Machine's action on the spine stimulates the sympathetic nervous system that increases spinal "marrow" blood production.

e) Restoration Of Balance To The Autonomic Nervous System: Symptoms of imbalance may include insomnia, excessive dreaming, digestive problems, stomach pain, anxiety, constipation, neurasthenia and extensive forms of aches and pains, as well as various types of mental stress, including depression and migraines. The influence of the Chi Machine on the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems can restore their vital balance essential for the restoration of health.

f) Exercising Internal Organs: Unimpeded flow of "Chi", the life-force energy, is essential for organ health. The Chi Machine aids in unblocking the pathways of this vital energy.

18) Anatomical Muscle And Skeleton Charts and if possible, A (life-size) Skeleton: It is extremely important for you to have visual references on your journey towards flexibility. It is most important to know what your skeleton looks like. For this, a picture is OK, and the real thing is much better. I will tell you truly that my understanding of the body and body mechanics was affected more than any other single thing by purchasing a life-size skeleton (molded plastic, for those of you who wonder) and being able to look at it while I worked on the bodies of other people and while watching my own body while I practiced my Flextasy!® movements. It is not macabre or sinister, not gruesome or gross, to visualize the skeleton and own the fact that one of these is inside of your body and is your physical core. The more you can visualize and understand the practical mechanics of your skeleton, the quicker and more profound your transformation process will occur and the easier it will be to feel and accomplish the movements outlined in this book. It is a return to your roots, an acknowledgement of the foundation of your body and nothing to shrink away from in disgust or misunderstanding.

Of secondary importance is the visual and practical understanding of all of the muscles or your body, which are the ropes, guy wires, and rubber bands animating and moving your skeleton around. The clearer picture you have of your skeleton and your muscles that move it the more rapid will be your journey towards flexibility, self-awareness, and a pain-free body. (charts and skeletons available from Anatomical Chart Co.; Chicago, Ill.)

Many of these self-maintenance tools are available from Evolution Health and Fitness. See the order form at the end of the book for ordering information.

Moral of the Story

Self-maintenance tools are a valuable adjunct to flexibility work. The use of any, or all, of the above-mentioned tools will enhance your experience of turning back the aging clock (what flexibility work is all about!) and releasing pain and tension from your body. And remember, once you've accumulated these wonderful implements:
Don't let your body rust while your tools gather dust!