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Renewable dance shoes

Dance shoes made with quality materials and workmanship can last for years.

Heels and soles are replaceable.  Padding can be refurbished without destroying the shoe.

Straps can be repaired and full toes patched.

So if you have a pair of shoes that you love, take them to a reputable repair shop.

In Austin, we suggest Karavel Comfort Center at 5525 Burnet Road, 512-459-7603

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Dance direct to brain

Watching children performing ballroom dance on Dancing with the Stars has inspired me.  I was impressed by their ability to go completely into every gyration needed to perform the stylized movement.

The clarity of the children’s movements required an ability to explore the extreme range of each movement of the hips, the rib cage, the head, legs, and arms.  That detail combined with putting it all together with a partner was stunning.

How is it that children can go directly to this kind of exploration and for adults it is a longer process?  Studies on the brain show that children build brain maps early on and that the brain has a process of discarding old information to build new maps.

Even more important is the processes that children have built since birth.  Their job is to explore the full range of every movement possible, every sound, every color, every facial expression, every smell.  It is only later that they begin to discriminate and select the ones that they need to survive in their family and their culture.

Children have the “corner” on the exploration market when they choose to use it like the dancers on Dancing with the Stars.  They explore the full range of every little movement.  They go there and program it into their brain.  That is what children do.

How are adults different?  I am an extreme case to find out why it takes me so long to learn dancing.  For most adults, there is the awkward stage of doing something unfamiliar, no brain map.  Then if the fun is great enough and the encouragement of friend or spouse is enough, they go for the fun.  Or if the social benefit of meeting the opposite sex is important, they go through the learning process.

Some women have an easier time because they built the maps in childhood dance classes.  This is not the case for women like some of the female Dancing with the Stars contestants who have chosen sports or careers with less movement.  These women like most men have to start from ground zero to build the brain maps for dancing.

In inquiring about men, I have heard from dancing instructors that lawyers and engineers take to dancing more readily than others.  My guess is that they go directly to build the brain map with their sense of detail and determination.  It is a “can do” attitude but one that is related to building detailed maps.

For me, I have to go through a layer of emotion before I get to the movement.  I wade through how I feel about myself doing the movement and how I have reacted in the past.  Then I send it all to a holding pond before I agree to commit it to memory.

Consequently, every time I begin to dance, it is like I am beginning new.  I have forgotten everything and have to try the step to renew my experience of the step.  Then when the feeling kicks in, I have entered the “holding pond” brain map.

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Dance the hips before replacing them

When a body part gives us trouble and especially pain, that does not mean it is permanent or on its way to being a permanent deterioation.  I have had shoulder, ankle, and knee problems that I thought would require medication and limited activity.

Then I began to explore the resources of Pilates, chiropractic, Craniosacral Therapy, and massage.  I also found some help in magnetic devices but not as much as hands on work.

What I found in chiropractic was that my ankles and hips responded to being realigned.  In Pilates, I found that by retraining the muscles of my shoulder, I no longer had bursitis or whatever it was.  And with Craniosacral Therapy, I was able integrated and maintain the awareness and physical gains I made in the other two.

Consequently and to date, I have no metal or plastic moving parts in my body that require oil changes and replacement parts.

The only prescription that is necessary is to dance so that the body can put together all of the exuberance and awareness of how a real body moves.

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Brain maps for healing

Brain maps are ways that we connect with our bodies.  They differ for each person and affect their awareness and involvement in the healing process.  Dancers have unique access to brain maps by connecting physical, emotional, spacial, and intentional parts of the brain.  For this reason, I suggest practitioners who have an experience with dance or experience with working with dancers.

Here is a rough list of brain maps for identifying healing:

POINTS OF PAIN.  This is the easiest to identify.  This map can be accessed by deep pressure therapy and by the opposite principle of light touch used in accupressure and Craniosacral Therapy.

MERIDIANS or connecting lines between pain points.  The awareness of these maps can be developed by work with accupuncturists, chiropractors, and Craniosacral therapists.  Often a pain in one part of the body is related to or caused by a dysfunction in another part of the body.

ANATOMY MAPS.  An awareness of how muscles, bones, and tendons connect is developed in Pilates which concentrates on stretch and strength and  Zhealth which activates the nerves deep within the joints.  Massage and Craniosacral Therapy adds more information and sensation.

MOVEMENT MAPS.  For healing, crossing the mid line of the body activates more healing energy.  I use a healing movement from Tai Chi Chuan to encourage free movement of brain signals throughout my body.  Palms facing each other, I move them in figure eight patterns crossing my body from side to side.  My arms criss cross my body traveling up above my head and down to my knees.  To double the crossing of the mid-line, I turn my  head and hips towards the opposite direction my hands are moving.  Dance is a way to access and develop these maps as they connect to emotional areas of the brain.

LEFT BRAIN/RIGHT BRAIN MAPS.  Healing can be transfered from one side of the body to the other by moving the parallel healthy area on one side of the body to train a dysfunctional or injured part on the other side.

TOUCH MAPS.  Touching oneself and being touched activates an added attention to areas that need healing.  Touch maps can be activiated by the memory of the places that were touched during significant sessions of massage, Craniosacral therapy, chiropractic, osteopathic adjustments, and even use of electrical and magnetic devices.

HEAT MAPS.  An awareness of parts of the body that hold more or less heat is subtle but can be seen in imaging devices and discovered in accupuncture and through Craniosacral Therapy as well as other hands on healing arts.  Training can give access to these maps.

LIGHT MAPS are a result of meditation that allows a person at rest to mentally explore their body in detail and bring bright light to an area that needs healing.  Some training in prayer and meditation is suggested in order to deal with unexpected intensities within us.