Existential Fear


Chisei Kono writes in his book about his experience while visiting refugee camps after the 2011 Earthquake and Tsunami, that there were people with muscle tension in a particular area, between the scapula and the spine (T5-8). It is a diagonal line of tension. While this line remains it is hard to sleep, and the fear does not leave. So he advises to relax it if you find it.

Since San Francisco is supposedly waiting for the next big one, I took notes, while also wondering if I’d ever see it.

I have actually seen it several times since then. It seems to appear when we have existential fear, not just from natural disasters. A particularly prominent line was on my friend’s back, who was at the time really worried if her job was going to be around for next year.

I found it on my own back several days ago. As those of you who are friends with me on Facebook know, I got my purse snatched on a San Francisco sidewalk. I wasn’t physically hurt, and the bag came back in about 24 hours (minus the cash and some other items) so the damage was minimal. But what it did was remind me of my vulnerability. The knowledge that I am basically helpless if someone decides to attack shook me. I was tense for days afterwards, and I found this line on my back maybe on the second day.

Taking care of myself is a bit harder than taking care of my clients. For one thing, this tension on my back, I cannot feel it while relaxing. Twisting and relaxing do not mix well. I don’t feel like I am sleeping badly any more probably because it’s already been almost a week, but I might as well go see someone for a good session. It’s much easier when there is help.

Notes & Reference

Foot bath – find a tub!


Have I suggested regular foot baths for you yet?

Foot bath is easy, inexpensive, feels wonderful, simply awesome. It’s good for you, it’s good for me, good for pretty much everyone. (As always, please consult your doctor if you have any preexisting conditions. I am going to assume in this entry that you are in good enough health to try.)

DP122212-detailThe only thing you need is a bucket or a tub, large enough to comfortably hold both your feet. It should be deep enough to allow water to come up to about 2 inches above your ankle as well.

Which means, the tub we see in this Japanese woodblock print from early 19th century is just a little too shallow. That’s OK, since this guy is probably mostly washing his feet after a long day of walking. The picture is depicting a humorous scene in front of an inn. Two girls in the middle are literally pulling in more customers. Since it’s the 18th century, you see, the idea of making reservations doesn’t exist yet. Our guy on the right just checked in and has removed his footwear. Tub water might be warm, since it looks like the weather is a little cool. He’ll let out a sigh when his feet goes into the water.

We, too, are going to be soaking our feet. It’s going to be mostly for relaxation and health. To maximize the benefits, we need to get properly sized tubs to get the awesome acupoints of the feet warmed up.

Find a tub!

0251249_PE389842_S2.JPGThis flexible tub from IKEA seems just about right. 22 7/8 x 15 x 11, it says. Love the $4.99 price point.

(I’m not getting anything from the store when I put in links, these are just examples to show you what I am talking about.)

medium_yellow_compactOr maybe this bucket from Tugtrugs. Medium seems to be the right size at 15.5″ diameter and 12″ height. They’ve got all sorts of cheerful colors. I have a blue one in Small. It’s usable, but a bit too small. Medium recommended.


Other aspects of foot soaking, like how long to soak, how warm the water should be, do we put anything in the water, etc… I’ll get to those things in time. For now, just do it. Because warm water is great.

I will review the acupoints of the feet in my next entry.


Notes & Reference