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It’s understood among ancyent circles of alchemy & magick that words possess a supernatural power. The Brothers Grimm pointed to this principle in their fairy-tales—if Rumpelstilzschen has a moral, it must be this: that to name a thing is master it. Scandinavian mythology supports this occult power of the true referent in that the dreaded nyx or nøkken (a shapeshifting water-horse, fatal to so many a wayward young maiden) could be defeated simply if called by its true name. Jewish theology corroborates the converse of this concept with the Tetragrammaton—the name of Almighty cannot be uttered aloud; a four-letter word not too common but too sublime to cross human lips. And naming is encapsulated just as poignantly in the Judeo-Christian tradition in the immortal logos:

In the beginning there was the Word, and the Word was God, and the Word was with God… (John 1:1)

The entire cosmos finds at its genesis God’s “word.” The Zikr, the essential devotional act of Islam, which consists in reciting the ninety-nine effable names of Allah, further demonstrates the manyfold significance of onomastics in that tradition as well. Modern science likewise gives credence to the magic of nomenclature with its recognition of Linnaeus’ intricate system of taxonomy. The act of naming is fundamental to a myriad faces of human culture.

Perhaps it will come as no great surprise then when I suggest that Rolfing® SI be cast in among these other, more illustrious traditions in which nomenclature likewise plays a crucial part. To name a thing is to gain mastery over it. In our work, in explicit recognition of a “problem” is the implicit potential for improving it.

If you’re happy & you know it, clap your hands! If you’re happy but you don’t know you’re happy, then don’t do anything because you can’t….  Imagine a greedy imp, symbolic of Rapunzel’s chronically hunched shoulders (likely the persistent signs of stress after being imprisoned by a witch on a lonely tower her whole life thitherto). The goblin, in its malevolence & deceit, manages to secure the rights to her firstborn child. In near despair, Rapunzel stumbles into the office at The Way of the Elbow headquarters. After some banter, she commits to the ten-series & in the first session we mutually recognise latent shoulder tension as an obstruction to full respiration. And in the moment of recognition, the covetous demon vanishes with a pop and Rapunzel is left with two shoulders AND a neck. And she can breathe easy knowing she is from any sort of crazy hereditary contracts.Image

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