Marilyn's Story

My own experience with this leads me to believe that we have no idea of what normal is. I have one leg that has been shorter than the other for some reason. At age 8 I began ballet training and studied intensively for the next 22 years. It was not acceptable to have an uneven pelvis and unconsciously I put together a system of patterns that control the pelvic rotations and asymmetry so that I looked absolutely aligned. I didn't even realize that I have had uneven legs; I just thought I had tendonitis and a tight solar plexus. With Rolfing I began to understand that I had uneven legs, but because Rolfing theory at the time saw a competent structure as one you could draw horizontal and vertical lines through, there was no reason to see my pelvic structure as abnormal. And I felt much better, too, so this had to be okay. When I started practising Non-Directed Body Movement, the first thing my body did was to start playing around with how I was standing. Later I went into extreme pelvic rotations, which got quite tiresome. After a few months I found that, for the first time, I was standing with my weight evenly distributed over both feet and feeling very comfortable about it, but there was now a considerable asymmetry and rotation in my pelvis. It looked very odd. As I continued with this, many of the holding patterns I had put together to control this rotation came to light (and provided very interesting information and unpleasant sensations). After a couple more months and an odd assortment of symptoms, the tissue in my right hip began to stretch and unwind, so that now I have two legs that are nearly the same length. The way I stand and walk and move has changed, and I suspect will continue to change.

Now, it hasn't been all fun and games. There have been times when I spent weeks feeling nauseous as an old solar plexus pattern unwound. Sometimes the experience of standing gets more tedious and painful than I'd like to put up with. As these control patterns release I keep finding that those underneath tend to surface and unwind. Some of these are from childhood which means feeling like a young child again while simultaneously trying to deal with life as an adult. Interesting mix! But the more we unwind these patterns from the past, the more freely we move into the future, creating something new rather than rehashing what has already been done. NDBM is a way to explore what is normal for you without any preestablished theories of what that might be. It is a method of really letting your body define your structure and allow it to change as needed, and to keep changing for as long as you have a life.