Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Pole Mamas Pole Body Grip

Yet another sample provided in our Pole Expo goodie bags: Pole Mamas Pole Body Grip -- Sweet Janeiro sample.  The sample is adorable.  It looks like a tiny, fat chapstick.  One of the girls in our room, in fact, may have used it as chapstick before realizing what it was.  I did finally try it out in pole class last week.  It is a bee's wax type consistency.  It smells lovely.  And it gives some decent grip (less than iTac2, which would be the closest in product consistency, which is good since iTac2 is awesome for gluing me to a spinning pole).  Again, as I don't have sweaty hands, I can't say how it would work if you are sweaty, but for trying moves like Jasmine (which is what I'm trying to get without crying about kneepit pain), it worked great! 

Achy Muscles? Try Sore No More!

At Pole Expo, we were given a sample of Grounding Flight Aromatherapy's So No More in our goodie bags.  Remember how I smashed my face on the ground while I was there?  Well, I had expected to not be able to move the day after that little incident.  As I was going to bed, one of the girls in the room suggested I try the sample in our bag.  I realize that a product like this can't fix a ruptured disc, but it certainly did seem to help my muscles relax!  I was able to move around a lot better on Sunday than I expected. 
I have continued using the product on my neck and lower back in the last couple of weeks as my muscles take on various aches from being injured.  It is very gentle (not like the shock of my usual favorite, BioFreeze), so I can still use a heating pad with it.  It smells slightly lemony, so it also doesn't shock the senses like Icy Hot or BioFreeze.

So if you are looking for another way to ease those achy mucles, give Sore No More a try! 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

My performance at Cowboy Wild's Pole-Tacular Birthday Extravaganza

This will be short and sweet.  Here's video of my performance at Robert's birthday (you can read more about the weekend HERE).  There is also the playlist of other performances.  Thank you to AJ for teaching us the choreography from the video!  And thank you so much to all of my back-up dancers!  Since I could barely remember the dance, I needed you!!! 

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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

September 2014 Blog Hop: Hot for Teacher

You've heard the saying:  "Those who can, do; those who can't, teach."  While I know a ton of amazing pole teachers who can do *and* teach, in my case, that is actually true!  When Bel asked me to become an instructor almost three years ago, I really didn't feel qualified.  I didn't have a background in dance or fitness.  I really had only a very basic understanding of body mechanics.  I had been working out, doing yoga, and paying trainers for almost 18 years, but that still does not make me an expert.  However, I started to shadow Bel (who is a certified fitness expert and is also Xpert certified in pole) and eventually started to teach a beginner pole class. 

Many of my students were also friends and ended up dancing with me for over two years.  We also had new students come through, so I was teaching a mixed level class.  Again, I didn't feel qualified.  A few months ago, we started trying to encourage them to take other classes so that I could get back to basics and teach the beginner levels again.  The plan is for my class to provide a solid foundation so that little baby pole dancers can go on to intermediate and advanced classes with confidence. 

While I miss my regular class and friends terribly, I also really enjoy teaching beginner pole.  I feel like I can actually provide useful information and teach moves. 

I have been frustrated with my pole journey lately.  I recently lost 21 pounds and wanted to start taking more classes so I can grow -- not only so I can be a better pole dancer but so I can be a better instructor.  As seems to happen to me, injuries, time, money, life...it all gets in the way. 

I really do enjoy teaching beginners because I feel like it allows me to continue to be an ambassador for pole.  Each time I teach someone who has never poled before, I feel like I am responsible for helping them see how awesome pole is.  I see Yelp reviews for studios and instructors who are horribly mean and nasty to their students.  That will never be me.  Everyone is welcome in my class.  You won't learn how to Iron-X in my class, but I promise some dancing, sweating, and a lot of laughs. 

Who was your first pole instructor?  Do you still take class with them??  Leave your comments below!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Mo' Injuries, Mo' Problems

So, I mentioned how, at Pole Expo, I'd flipped out of the Fly Gym and smashed myself up pretty well.  Although my toe was super bruised, and I thought possibly broken, my first and biggest worry when it first happened was the crack I heard in my neck. 

First off, I did have my foot x-rayed.  There was no break.  Although there's not much that can be done for broken toes (other than taping, usually), my doctor was concerned that the metatarsal may have been broken based on the level of bruising and swelling.  Although everything ended up being fine (well, "fine" as in, "not broken"), over two weeks later, my left foot is still swollen and my second toe hurts like a bitch all the time.  I imagine that constantly walking on it with a body weighing 240 pounds doesn't give much rest to tiny toesies.  I have another doctor's appointment this week and will probably start icing the foot to get swelling down.  I just barely got over my last foot problem (other foot, at least).  I don't need to go through this again. 

One creepy, bony foot; one swollen foot
Next issue:  that sickening crack I heard in my spine when I hit the floor.  The first doctor's appointment after Pole Expo was to deal with the toe.  The purple bruising was pretty fantastic, and everything else was just vaguely sore.  When I went in the next week (which was last week), my doctor asked how I felt.  I said, well it's weird but I feel this pinch and pain down my entire leg.  He said, I was worried about that!  He also said he was surprised I wasn't in even more pain.  Well, now that he's mentioned it, I *am* in a ton of pain! 

My doctor said that most likely I ruptured a disc when I fell and it was swollen and pinching a nerve.  He said to be careful about my arms (potentially indicates ruptured disc in neck) or legs (potentially indicates ruptured disc in lower back) falling asleep, because that could mean we have a larger issue (or worse injury than we thought).  At that point, maybe I will need an MRI??  Well, I'm sure its psychosomatic like the previously reported increased pain, but suddenly this weekend, I had several instances where my arms or legs went to sleep.  In fact, when I got up on a massage table yesterday, there was a pillow under my feet and the angle almost immediately put my legs to sleep.  I had to move it and shake my legs out and I was fine within seconds.  It was scary though.  And I'm still wondering if it is mostly in my mind. 

Apparently the next six weeks are critical (well, the next four weeks since two weeks have already passed).  I am supposed to be taking it very easy in the workout department.  No lifting of heavy things, which means no spotting during pole class.  I also need to be careful about back bending.  I haven't been to yoga in a couple of weeks (mostly because my toes hurt in positions like downward dog) but did do a very gentle Fly Gym class with Ginger last week, which felt great.  My doctor said this type of injury is usually too deep to ice but I have been icing my back and hip on occasion anyway.  I did a lot of walking and sitting while driving this weekend, and have low pain this morning, surprisingly.  This morning, in fact, my left hip is completely pain-free for the first time in years (thanks to the myofascial release).  The rest of my leg is slightly throbbing, however.

I feel like I will never get ahead.  As soon as I'm ready to start kicking ass and taking names, I get pushed down in the dirt.  I have another doctor's appointment this week.  I will mention the sleepy arms and legs, but am still feeling a little crazy that I didn't notice it until he mentioned it.  My goals at this point are to figure out how to be kind to my body without letting all my progress go by the wayside.

How do you deal with injuries?  I don't want to injure myself permanently, but if I stop exercising every time I'm hurt, I will essentially never exercise.  If you have any advice, please leave it in the comments below! 

Friday, September 19, 2014

Need another product to stick to the pole? Try Stunt Grip!

While at Pole Expo, I met up with Steve Gale, one of the creators of Stunt Grip (he and his partner, Victor Flores, are also known for bringing us Pole Sleeves).  As Steve has been in the business of stunts and Chinese pole for many years, I very much respect what he has to say and any products he endorses. 

Earlier this week, I wrote a review about Dry Body, a product to help you stop sweating.  Now I want to write about how to stick to the pole once you've stopped the sweating.

Stunt Grip comes in a little black bag.  You tap the bag onto your hands.  You can use it dry OR you can use a spray bottle of alcohol to set the product (which is why a little sweat doesn't hurt...and maybe if you are sweaty, you don't need the alcohol, as your sweat will be enough).  I find that the delivery system helps keep the clumps (which happens with chalky tacks) from falling into your hands and only allows a fine dust to cover you.  Over the last week, I've asked several people to try it and give me their feedback. 

For myself, I found it to work well.  It is a chalky powder but it didn't get everywhere.  Since you do use liquid to help set the product, sweaty hands isn't an automatic death warrant.  However, for my *super* sweaty-hand friends, they did sweat through it (remember, I sweat from my head, not my hands).  It might be a good product to layer over something like an anti-perspirant or Tite Grip (or Dry Hands, or whatever product you like to get your hands to stop sweating).  I feel like Ginger gave a great assessment.  It gave her more stick than Mighty Grip, and I would add, but less grip than iTac2.  It would be a great medium grip product to add to your arsenal (you know, trying to avoid that "cooter squeak" by not over-tacking yourself). 

So if you're still looking for that perfect product to stick you to the pole, give Stunt Grip a try.  You can check out their website HERE.  You can also find them on Facebook HERE.  They have a deal on the price if you purchase before November! 

Check out Steve in action below:

Have you ever tried Stunt Grip?  If not, pick some up and let me know your thoughts!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Dry Body and Mighty Grip

At Pole Expo, someone from the Mighty Grip booth gave me a couple of samples of Dry Body.  It stops sweat, they told me.  Stops sweat?  This can't be true.  Yeah, I've heard of the medications you can take to stop sweat.  And yeah, I'm a sweaty person, so you would have thought I'd have looked it up before now.  But I guess I'm just lazy and until someone handed me a product, I never really thought to try it. 

[Want to catch up on my sweaty adventures?  Read THIS about my issue and THIS about magnesium.]

Anyway, back to the Dry Body.  My first concern is that sweat rids your body of toxins, so will stopping the sweat allow toxins to build?  According to THIS article, we have nothing to fear: "Another common concern about antiperspirants is that they may plug sweat glands and prevent toxins from leaving the body through underarm lymph nodes. However, there's no connection between your sweat glands and your lymph nodes [source: American Cancer Society]. In addition, your body doesn't get rid of waste through the sweat glands -- your kidneys and liver filter out toxins."  I mean, if it's on the internet, it MUST be true, right?

Dry Body is essentially like rolling your anti-perspirant all over your body.  You can read up on how that all works HERE:  "When an antiperspirant is applied to the skin surface, its active ingredients – usually aluminium salts – dissolve in the sweat or moisture on the skin surface of the armpit. The dissolved substance forms a gel, which creates a small temporary ‘plug’ near the top of the sweat gland, significantly reducing the amount of sweat that is secreted to the skin surface."

In this case, Dry Body, however, claims to work for an entire week.  I felt like the best way to find out if it worked was to try it!  So, here are my sweaty times.  I sweat in the middle of the night.  I sweat after showers.  I generally sweat when I get to work (left-over post-shower sweat plus now I've walked to work).  I sweat when I work out.  I sweat when I get nervous or am in pain.  I sweat when I eat sugar.  I sweat under hot lights.  I pretty much sweat all the time (which I have always attributed to my clear skin, so I'm mostly okay with it!).  My sweat mostly comes from my head, which then drips down my body.  I don't get super sweaty arm pits or palms.  If I am doing a crazy work out, then I will sweat all over my body, but for the most part, I have wet hair constantly from sweating (losing weight did help me be less sweaty but I've never been non-sweaty, regardless of my weight; my grandma is sweaty, as are a few other people in my family). 

So I followed instructions to dab (not rub) the towellette on my scalp, hair line, neck, and then, for good measure, added in some dabs under the boobs (yeah I guess I do get boob sweat) and arm pits.  Then I went to bed.  I did NOT like the tingle it gave me around my face.  It felt like little needles poking me over and over.  However, it didn't kill me and I was able to fall asleep fine so I wasn't uncomfortable for long.  It also smells like cloves, which triggers some old memory that I can't exactly put my finger on.  So it brings me to a weird place mentally when I use it.  That's not the product's fault though. 

Day 1:  Woke up un-sweaty.  Normally I sweat in the middle of the night.  After my shower?  Not sweaty.  Got to work?  Not sweaty.  I was even wearing Bb cream on my face and didn't sweat thoguh that!!  (Oh yeah, heavy lotions, especially on my face also make me sweat.)  Day 2:  I did sweat a bit in pole class that night but it took longer to start and I didn't sweat as badly.  Days 3 and 4?  No sweating.  Day 5:  Back to normal levels of sweat in all areas.

So maybe I didn't get a full week of non-sweatiness, but four days wasn't so bad.  I did another wipe again last night, and this morning, have had very little sweat.  I am still nervous about not sweating, so maybe this isn't something I would do to myself every single week, but perhaps before large events where I don't want to sweat through my performance, this would be perfect for me.  In fact, I wish I had used it before our pole show on Sunday, because I was a freaking wet wreck before/during/after that performance.  It does require a little forethought, as you are supposed to apply it the night before (and I don't like how it makes my hair feel, so a wash is definitely required in the morning). 

Below, you can see some photos of the packaging, the towelette and how I used it.  If you are interested in checking out Dry Body, please visit Mighty Grip's website HERE.  If you use the product, let me know how it works for you!


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

It was a Timber Brown weekend!

When Robert aka Cowboy Wild decided to make his birthday party a benefit for Timber Brown's organization, Timber's Kids, we thought it would fun to invite him but figured it was a shot in the dark on whether he would have time to come out for it (or even want to...hello, we are virtual strangers asking him to fly out and perform on a promise that we are supporting his cause).  It never hurts to ask and this one paid off big time.

Timber's Kids is a charity that supports children who may have had rough childhoods and allows him to bring circus opportunities to them.  If you would like to support the cause, please donate HERE.  If you work for a school or other organization that would like to have Timber come out, please contact him. 

I first saw Timber perform at California Pole Dance Championships in 2011.  I was mostly only familiar with what I consider "traditional" pole dancers at the time, which consisted of female dancers.  Think Natasha Wang, Phoenix Kazree.  Beautiful dancers and athletic - yes, but they still were not doing anything like Timber was doing at the time.  CPDC was on stage poles that year and Timber blew my mind and probably almost knocked over the poles.  I interviewed him in my blog the same year.  [You can read that post HERE.]  Timber and I spoke on the phone before I sent him my questions and the one thing I took away was how sweet he was. 

Fast forward to Pole Expo 2013.  Timber was in the middle of his America's Got Talent ride and I finally got to meet him in person.  Sometimes I don't like meeting famous people.  I don't like to ruin my vision of them.  But again, I was very taken with what a nice person he was.  So when Robert wanted Timber at his birthday this year, I felt like we had nothing to lose by asking.  Timber not only came through but far-exceeded our expectations. 

Timber flew out last Friday and we went on an adventure in San Francisco.  We rode BART and Muni.  Timber climbed things.  Tall things.  [There was only one rule: he couldn't get arrested...death was fine, but handcuffs were not...until Sunday, that is!]  There were handstands in the Marina overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge.  We had cupcakes to celebrate Robert's birthday.  It was really a beautiful day (minus our sunburns).  That evening, Timber taught a private class at Twirly Girls and, after dinner for Robert's birthday, we went back to the studio for more fun on the pole. 

Timber brought a really fun new aparatus with him.  He has fashioned a chair to a spinning pole and the things he can do on it are pretty amazing.  The working title of the chair is Timber Brown's Pole Chair.  There is a patent pending.  Check out some play time at Twirly Girls:

I think one of the things I admire most about Timber is the intensity and the honesty in his performances.  It doesn't matter who is in that chair.  The eye contact is there and that person feels like they are the only person in the room.  I'm not sure Timber meant for his chair to be a lap dance tool but it sure did work out for Robert and his birthday!

Our fun continued on Sunday, as we returned to San Francisco to watch Robert's husband as Holotta Tymes in Sunday's A Drag at the Starlight Room.  We ate a delicious brunch and enjoyed the show from the front row.  We then went back to Walnut Creek, where we held Robert's birthday show to benefit Timber's Kids at Club 1220:  Cowboy Wild's Pole-Tacular Birthday Extravaganza.  You can keep an eye out on my YouTube channel for video of the performances, but I just couldn't wait to get Daisy's lap dance up for everyone to enjoy.  She donated $110 in order to enjoy this special performance up close and personal! 

In the end, over $1,800 was donated to Timber's Kids.  We are so touched that Timber was able to join us for the weekend and I'm so proud of how Robert is flourishing, both as a person and a pole dancer.  Thank you to every single person who made this weekend so amazing.  I can't wait to do it again! 

Check out a few photos from our adventures below:

Kate providing a lovely base for Timber's handstand

I caught him fair and square!!

Timber in SF -- to which a lady screamed: BE CAREFUL!

Timber in front of the Sir Francis Drake Hotel before brunch on Sunday

Hey, you're wearing my shirt!
Getting all up in Cassandra Cass
Holotta Tymes, Timber and Donna Sashay at the Starlight Room
Daisy enjoying Timber's awesome pole chair

Cake by Jessica!

Timber doing his thing
Another poletastic weekend.  Thank you to Robert and Dale for including me in the birthday celebrations, thank you to Kate for joining us this weekend, to AJ, Seanmichael, and all of the Twirly Girls.  To 1220.  To everyone who attended the show.  To everyone who participated in the show.  ESPECIALLY TO MY BACK-UP DANCERS!  And to Timber.  What an amazing soul.  I look forward to doing this again!  Until next time...keep twirling!  (Or twisting...that's for you, Steve!)

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Pole Expo 2014 from the perspective of a plus-sized pole dancer

There are a lot of bloggers in the pole world now (although shockingly few came to Pole Expo).  Anyone could tell you about everything that was going on at Pole Expo.  I'm sure every pole dancer's feed was filled to the brim with Pole Expo/Las Vegas shenanigans last weekend.  So rather than *just* talk about my weekend, I wanted to talk about attending Pole Expo as a plus-sized pole dancer.

First off, this year I was really excited (and strangely, somewhat surprised) at the body diversity at Pole Expo.  I don't want to say there were a lot of "big girls" (sorry, Roz, I just can't stop myself from using that phrase) at Expo, but there were definitely a lot more than the oft-seen tiny pole dancers.  There were also a lot of tall girls.  It was really cool.

That being said, of all the vendors at the event, I found ONE that carried up to a 2X.  I would like to give a shout-out to Artista Active Wear for thinking about us (they were practically sold out of plus sizes the first day, if that tells you anything).  Wink would take measurements for a custom costume, but there's something about impulse buys and walking out of the vendor hall with your purchase in hand.  Bad Kitty does carry up to XL on their website but only brought up to size medium for most styles to the event.  I know there were a few other places that carry up to XL but I still want to point out that Artista is acknowledging that life doesn't end at extra large.  There are pole dancers beyond that size and it can be difficult to find good 2X pole shorts.

I generally stick to floor workshops at events like this.  I know I am not advanced enough for pole workshops, and feel like I would be uncomfortable and lost on a stage pole with one to two other people in a huge room full of stage poles with one pole star trying to instruct us all.  Last year, I signed up for a beginner workshop and the first move they did was an inversion.  "Lucky" for me, I was in a boot post-surgery, so I had transferred my workshop to Robert.  If I *had* shown up, I would have been very disappointed.  This year I took Cleo the Hurricane's floorplay workshop and Michelle Shimmy's booty workshop.  Both had simple routines that were mostly done on the floor.  While both required more flexibility than I really have, I felt like they were simple enough for me to at least follow.  I may not have looked sexy doing either routine but I really enjoyed them both. 

In the free Expo room, Nia Burks gave a talk on the challenges of pole.  I believe she was discussing body diversity and acceptance.  I was in a yoga class, and was extremely upset I missed her.  I hope I can get into contact with her and am hoping someone videoed her piece.  I was very happy that I got to see Roz give her speech about affinity groups in pole dance.  She used black girls and plus sized polers as examples in her world, but she really touched upon why it *is* okay to have these affinity groups in the world.  [Watch that speech HERE.]

I was very happy to see Mone't from Sacramento participating in the burlesque showcase and the go-go contest.  She is a plus sized dancer who always impresses me with her moves.  [Watch her Star Wars performance HERE.]

I was also excited to meet Emma Haslam O'Toole from Britain's Got Talent.  I really admire her pole dancing and can only hope to be as strong and flexible as she is one day!  I'm really bummed I didn't get a photo with Roz and Emma.  I call us the trinity of plus sized polers.  I just want to pretend I am more epic than I am. 

So, now that I've given you my plus size highlights, I want to just tell you about how the weekend went in general.  First off, our very own Patrick from Twirly Girls Pole Fitness competed in the Pole Classic.  He did so well!  I was really proud of him!  [Watch his video HERE.]  The competition and showcase was on Thursday night this year inside the Pearl theater, which is so much bigger than Rain Nightclub.

On Friday, a few of us walked part of the strip to see the sights.  I'll include some photos below.  I also had my Cleo workshop.  [Watch hot video of our dance HERE.]

Saturday was all kinds of awesome [read sarcasm].  I felt like I was running around a little too much.  As soon as I got into the pool, it was time to go to a meet-up at the Adult Playground.  I went upstairs and immediately jumped on to a Fly Gym, which I have been on a bunch of times.  I flipped upside down once and realized it was too close to the ground, so I jumped out and made it higher.  I then leaned back again, didn't open my legs wide enough and immediately flipped out of the thing.  On the way down, I hit four of my toes on the wall behind me and smashed my face on the floor (giving me carpet burn on my face, bruising my cheekbone and cracking my neck pretty hard).  It knocked me silly but I jumped up and said I was okay.  Definitely as the day progressed, I realized one of those toes was pretty badly injured.  The bruise is fantastic.  I actually had an x-ray this week to find out if it is broken.  Mostly, I was just embarrassed that I pulled such a rookie move in front of everyone. 

Sunday was a little more relaxed.  I had my Shimmy workshop (which was pretty difficult with my injured toe).  [Watch video of the routine HERE.]  It is also the day I went home.  I had a 5:45 PM flight (delayed due to weather, once again), so I got to relax around the hotel most of the day.

I feel like I should have done way more than I did.  More workshops.  More free seminars.  More pool time.  More going out.  I need more hours in the day to do *all* the stuff!!  But I also need my 8 hours of sleep and time to recover from the workshops.  There has to be some balance.

In the end, I did have a great time.  I got to see old friends and make new ones.  We have outgrown The Palms.  Pole Expo next year will be at Hard Rock, which is closer to the airport and will be able to hold all of us a little better.  I believe Pole Expo had between 1,200 and 1,400 attendees this year.  In its third year, it has certainly grown into one of the largest pole events in the world.  I am happy I have been able to attend all three years to watch it grow and flourish.  Successful events like these help breed more success in the industry in general.

Did you go to Pole Expo?  Which vendors did you love?  Which workshops were your favorite?  I want to hear about your experiences below!  

Emma Haslam from Britain's Got Talent

Steven Retchless from America's Got Talent

You can't take us anywhere

Had to jump back on the horse immediately
Cleo the Hurricane

Shimmy workshop - photo by Nina Reed Photography
sad toe

Cowboy Wild and me at Caesar's #splitsontree

ahhhhhhhhhhh the sugar factory!!!!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Myofascial Release Update

This week, I had the 18th round of myofascial release done on my hip.  It is so crazy.  The knots move around.  Some days, it is right in the middle of my hip socket.  Some days, it's my butt.  Some days, it's my inner thigh.  All days...treatment is painful!  I started this adventure two months ago.  You can read that first blog about it HERE.  My doctor is intent on pinning the pain to an old injury.  I had a bike accident when I was maybe 10 or 12.  Two bikes and my cousin ended up heaped on me.  I can't remember if I fell on my left side though.  I had a snow skiing accident around age 13, which resulted in a broken left collarbone.  Maybe when I flipped over, I hit my hip.  My shoulder hurt so bad, I don't remember anything else hurting.  I also use my left leg to mount horses.  Maybe years of hauling all that weight up did some damage.  Then maybe the plastic surgeries and resulting scar tissue added to it.  Who knows?! 

I am happy to report that the therapy is working!  My pain levels are often only 2 out of 10 on most days (down from 5 or 6 most days, which is even further down from 8 or 9 before Keith got ahold of me).  I still can't figure out what makes it spike.  Does dancing?  Some days.  Does yoga?  Some days.  Does doing nothing?  Some days.  There's never any rhyme or reason.  We recently moved from two treatments per week to one.  I think it was difficult to figure out if it was working since muscle soreness would set in a couple of days after the treatment, and I was going in for the next appointment with a day or two after that.  I have noticed a big difference in how I feel now that my body has enough time to heal from the previous appointment. 

If you aren't sure what fascia is...read THIS article!  "Fascia is a web of fibrous tissue that permeates the body, but is it really the "Cinderella Tissue" that new age therapists, Rolfers, and yoga instructors suggest? The fascial system is still a medical mystery."  I kind of think of it as a net that holds all my meat to my bones. 

Why WOULDN'T I do this move?!
The bruises I get from the treatment can often rival my pole dancing bruises.  My doctor just shakes his head and laughs when I come in and he says, "hey, *I* didn't cause *that* bruise!"  I proudly take out my phone and show him photos of me doing some pole move.  When I showed him my shoulder stand (which resulted in a pretty nice bruise across my entire shoulder), he said, "how long did you hold that??" (just long enough to take the photo).  Then he said, "why??" (uh, why not??).  He then sent me to get tested for anemia again.  He doesn't understand why I do these funny poses on the pole but he has a good sense of humor about my shenanigans.  He also thinks it is hilarious that I come with a beach towel to put over the stupid paper covering the table.  As soon as the pain hits, I generally start sweating all over my body and then used to end up leaving with bits of tissue paper stuck to me.  Not anymore!

I am very appreciative that I have a primary care physician willing to do this kind of treatment on me.  I feel like he uses a mix of Western medicine with Chinese medicine.  I was so grumpy when my former doctor stopped accepting my insurance and I was randomly placed with this doctor.  What a blessing in disguise, though!

So, although it is painful, I am hopeful that enduring this now will mean I don't get arthritis in this hip later in life.  Have you ever tried myofascial release or rolfing?  I'd love to hear about your experiences!