Men are born supple & yielding,
In death they become rigid & hard
The sapling grows tender & pliant
Above the old tree—fallen, brittle, dry.
Hardness is the disciple of death
Softness the hallmark of life
Everything hard will break;
That which is soft will bend.
—Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching; 76
The legendary Chinese sage Lao Tzu expresses what we all know: hardness hurts. To be alive is to continually adapt to a dynamic environment; with every step, the latter changes. If we fail to respond, we suffer & die. When our bodies stiffen, we lose this capacity for responsiveness. The same principle explains the seemingly contradictory & karmically inequitable survival rate of drunk-drivers in automobile accidents; marinated in wine, the said inebriate’s sinews are rendered tender & yielding to the chaotic forces of eventual impact. Binge-drinking, however, has many undesirable ramifications & therefore The Way of the Elbow cannot recommend it as treatment for bodily tension, or anything else, for that matter. Fortunately we find far better, more effective, & upstanding options for recourse, Rolfing® Structural Integration being one of the best!
Through Rolfing SI, we invoke the body’s native fluidity & ease at no detriment to your life, liver, or society. Our movement gradually thaws, resolving its rigidity, so that we perform our activities like water, which Lao Tzu calls:
…the highest good
It nourishes all things & does not contend
Tao Te Ching; 8
It also carved the Grand Canyon out of sheer rock.