I have been accustomed to talking about the “Big Three” of bodywork, and I’m gonna stop doing that, Francoise Mezieres deserves to be added to the pantheon.
It is the “Big Four”. Ida P. Rolf, Francoise Mezieres, F.M. Alexander, and Moshe Feldenkrais.
Mostly working separately all their lives, and with differing ideas of how the body is organized, they still constitute a Morphic Resonance examining and practicing a holistic sense of the body. Mezieres had a huge influence on a major movement mentor, the Rolfer™ Hubert Godard, a Frenchman.
Last weekend in Kingsville Md. was a very exotic event: Helene Panitskas, a Greek Rolfer who grew up in France and is greatly influenced by Therese Bertherat, a student of Mezieres, gave 3 of us Rolfers a day of work as she learned in classes with Bertherat.
Mezieres, a French physical therapist, was a person who codified something she called anti-gymnastie. She didn’t like the school work she learned, and spent her life saying how it could be better. Bertherat, her student, took the work into the class format, and became famous in her own right.
Last weekend we Rolfers first had our own class. Then we were able to watch Helene work with 5 people (and we do their exercise also)who came in brought by their Rolfer, Audrey McCann. Patricia Sandage from Lexington VA was also a member of the class. Then we had another class for ourselves after lunch, and another the next morning.
Of course, Helene, being a Rolfer, didn’t just tell the things to do, she would get in and fix things so they worked better and were more able to do the movements.
Today I feel great. I didn’t feel that badly before, but especially one of my least favorite exercises, the “updown” got really easier. This happened as result of getting more flow in kinesiological chains. (BTW for you bodyworkers, Mezieres was the originator of the”anatomy trains”concept, although Ida Rolf had a lot to say about this holistic concept as well.)
Our Rolfers’ conversation over the days was fun as well, talking about how fun it is to have people learn that actually they can do things for themselves that will help their situations away from the folks in the white coats–and, quelle horror, even away from us!
Here’s a tidbit from the weekend that has to do balance, should you choose to take a little time now for yourself.
In standing, open your eyes really wide and your mouth really wide (within reason?) and breathe in through your nose and out through your open mouth.
Keep your eyes (and mouth) big open.
Put your big toes together, then add your heels so that your feet are together and under you. Press into the inside of your heels a bit, keep pressing.
Don’t close your eyes, keep them open wide. Breathe in through your nose, out through your mouth.
Wait for about a TV commercial worth of time, and begin to make small circles around with your head, hinge-ing at the ankles. Your body is straight but not stiff, though you have your feet together and your heels slightly pressing in on the inside and your eyes and mouth very open.
Draw a circle on the ceiling with your head, not bending your neck or anything, just hinge-ing around at the ankles. Then maybe go the other way.
From above we would see your head move and the rest of your body follow it, making a cone down to the feet.
Check if there are parts of the circle where you don’t really want to go, and any other observations which you have. This might take 3 minutes. Make a comment below if you care to.
The following morning I found my feet went easier together and I had better balance.
Ah lahk those results! (Came away with my Southern accent reinforced as well.) Translation: I like those results!