Somatic Rockin' and Rollin' | Sets of Two | Breathing

Here's a little thing called, "Sets of Two".

It goes like this, using Cat Stretch Lesson 7, Breathing, as an example, but understanding that I am illustrating a principle that can be applied to all kinds of movement elements of all kinds of somatic education exercises.

The point of Cat Stretch Lesson 7 is to round out the breathing process, both in terms of evening-out the movements of inhalation/exhalation and in terms of BALANCING the sizes of inhalation and exhalation. By "balancing the sizes", I mean that we exhale as completely as we inhale; for understanding-by-means-of-contrast, people with emphysema and/or asthma are generally stuck in the inhalation action; you don't see people with these conditions with scrawny, caved-in, shrunken chests; their chests are stuck in inflation. Because they don't give themselves as completely to exhalation as they do to inhalation, and they breathe in and out from an inflated place, their tidal ("in-lung") air tends to be stagnant, and so they tend to gasp by inhaling further. You get the picture.

So back to Lesson 7 and Sets of Two, Lesson 7 is built around "the breathing pump", the pistonlike movement of shuttling the in-lung airball between the chest space and the abdominal space. The point is to ream out the passage between the two locations so the movements are uniformly easy AND we breathe, balloonlike, into and out of the center of breathing (not piston-like). The Breathing Pump is the central action used.

To apply Sets of Two to The Breathing Pump, we use a cadenced action.

Each time we shuttle air to the abdominal space, we pause for a moment and then shuttle it a little further in the same direction.  That's a "Two". It's a gentle action that has a very satisfying effect upon sensory-motor learning, which I will leave to you to discover.

Likewise, each time we shuttle air to the chest space, we pause for a moment and then shuttle it a little further in the same direction.


Move to the other place

A - B - A       B - A - B
and so on.

Let us hear your experience of doing it that way. There's a place for that, below.

NEXT: integrating The Tongue Mudra into Lesson 7

ACCESS TO THE CAT STRETCH EXERCISES (complete program containing Lesson 7)

That Little Ol' Ganglion of Rebes

The Ganglion of Rebes, The Ganglion of Rebes . . . . .
has anyone heard of The Ganglion of Rebes?

The fabled nerve plexus is accessible through the nose
(according to my training in The Rolf Method)
The septum of the nose and vomer bone
(which connects to the ethmoid bone,
roof of the nose and floor of the brain case)
together with the ganglion
function like a servo-gyro
which registers and self-corrects balance
in neurological concert with the balance centers of the inner ears
and the myofacial web.

The Ganglion of Rebes reports into the brain
the sensation of stresses going through the nose
-- their shape and intensity -- and by extension
the sensations of stresses going through the cranium
that converge at the septum/mid-plate of the nose.

However, it does so only when it's turned on.
And it's not always turned on.
Is yours, right now?  Ah HAH!!!

The sensing function of the Ganglion of Rebes relates to
the relation of the tongue to the roof of the mouth/palate ( see, below ) --
so that when the tongue is placed in a certain position
under the mouth's palate and breath is taken in through the nose
the septum can be felt and the Ganglion of Rebes actively turns on.

Upon turning on, the first thing that is sensed and noticed
is any "sidedness" of head position -- side-tilt, generally.
The distribution of space within the two sides of the cranium
reflects side-tilted-ness. Cavities on one side of the head
are more open than cavities on the other side --

the old, "One Open Nose Hole" routine.

You know the one.
I'm sure you do.

Then, upon breathing and feeling the shape of the tongue
curled and cupped under the palate, above,
and the place on the palate that is sensitized by the cupped tongue
along with the inbreath into the nose,
a spontaneous turning-on of the upper cervical vertebrae region occurs
and with it, a spontaneous set or series of head-movement-adjustments.

Crunch, Crunch

A similar thing may happen in the spine region behind the heart
particularly when the "floating palate" variant of The Tongue Mudra is used.

All from turning on that little ol' Ganglion of Rebes,
which practitioners of Dr. Rolf's Recipe seek to do
with the magic tips of their little fingers.
Wiggle, Wiggle

A little on The Ganglion of Impar,
the Other End of The Ganglion of Rebes,