Video #5: When Should I Get Out Of Bed?

When you're not feeling well, whether it's an acute sickness or chronic condition, how do you know when it's time to get out of bed, part with the sweatpants, and return to the hive? What's the difference between resting, healing, and avoiding the demands and responsibilities of life? Also, how much Game of Thrones is too much? These are the questions that have been circulating in my mind over the last week and a half as I've been recovering from a surgery (I'm doing really well). I was given some fairly concrete prohibitions…continue reading →

#2: Help! I’m In Pain & What Should I Do?

What should I do if I am in pain? Here are three simple steps to reduce your pain, stress, and stop feeling like you need to police your pain and body all the time. 1. Acknowledge the pain. Take a breath, allowing what is here in this moment (including your dislike of it). 2. Notice your thoughts, especially judgmental thoughts and imperatives to "fix" the situation. 3. Connect with your desire to change. What do you really want? Try to just feel the intention without putting pressure on yourself to make it happen.…continue reading →

What Good Is Chronic Pain?

How is life with chronic pain different or the same as life without? Is it worse? Better? The first video in a 10 part series where I answer questions from viewers and students about the body, well-being, and the journey to greater health (in less than the time it takes to brush your teeth). Quote from the video: "Chronic pain is practice for being human."continue reading →
Dispatch From an Inflamed Knee

Dispatch From an Inflamed Knee

This last weekend I creaked around on an inflamed pair of knees. The act of standing had gone from a neutral activity to a distinctly painful and exhausting one. I found my shoulders migrating up towards my ears, fleeing the natural disaster below. My feet and toes were tense as well, as my brain endlessly recalculated how to stand without sending any weight through the knees. I know this is impossible, but there’s this part of my brain (a very old part, from an evolutionary perspective) that responds to pain in the most…continue reading →
How I Ended My War with Pain

How I Ended My War with Pain

Seven years ago, I developed a mysterious chronic pain in my upper body that had me unable to type, hold a piece of paper, and relegated to the cool wooden floor of my girlfriend’s apartment for hours a day. I was 26, unable to work, and learning to dial a phone with my toes. From my floor-bound perspective, I stared for hours at the ceiling fan, imagining where this health trajectory was heading. I, who could not open a tea wrapper, began to resolve myself to leave New York and be cared for…continue reading →
Unhooking Shame from Pain: A Way Out Of the Cycle

Unhooking Shame from Pain: A Way Out Of the Cycle

Pain is tough, of course, but the thoughts and feelings which pain can stir up are the real nightmare. In my own history and my private practice teaching adults with pain, feelings of shame are never far behind a chronic pain condition. In our culture, it seems easy to interpret pain or loss of function as a personal failure. We look around at gluten-loving, sedentary, slouchy coworkers and think: why don’t they have pain? I’ve tried so hard, done all my stretches and exercises, watched my food and drink, and still, my body…continue reading →
Small Mindfulness & Alexander Technique Classes in Midtown!

Small Mindfulness & Alexander Technique Classes in Midtown!

I’m very excited to present a new format for group teaching which is ideal for students who would like more individual attention and hands-on, but may not be able to afford weekly individual sessions. Starting on Wednesday, April 8, I will be teaching a four week series for only three students at my new Midtown location on 55th St. and 6th Avenue. When we experience pain and stress, we often feel stuck. We might come to feel fearful and ashamed of our own pain. By learning a three-step process for dropping into the…continue reading →
The Importance of Being in Pain

The Importance of Being in Pain

Some people in severe pain can't even fold the laundry, let alone try to keep the house as perfect as you'd see in a Clorox commercial. The dream of a perfect life – unlimited upward mobility, floating in a comfortable financial hammock – all this is off the table, for now at least. The dream has been shattered, so who are you now? The advantage of being in pain, or dealing with a disability like this, is that you aren't waiting to live a more present and meaningful life. You aren't waiting until…continue reading →
What I Teach: The Power of Not Resisting

What I Teach: The Power of Not Resisting

Here's how I recently answered that question when someone asked what I do for a living, "I teach people to improve their posture, overall coordination, and relief from pain in the process of being genuine and present. Too often, we sacrifice one for the other. We tell ourselves we need to be better versions of who we are in order to lose weight or sit up straight. All these roads lead away from ourselves, our moment-to-moment lived experience. That the way to change ourselves, whether it's dealing with ingrained painful habits or a…continue reading →
Prison Wisdom: Building Strength Slowly and Safely

Prison Wisdom: Building Strength Slowly and Safely

I just returned from a Florida vacation where I lightened up my beach reading with a 300 page book on prison recreation. "Convict Conditioning: How to Bust Free of All Weakness – Using the Lost Secrets of Supreme Survival Strength" The book came recommended to me by, Malcolm Balk, an excellent Alexander teacher who coaches runners in Canada. This is not standard reading for an Alexander Technique person. In our work, we often use words like “release”, “lengthen”, and “ease.” So what’s up with this guy? For years during the worst of my…continue reading →