The MIPAWORK Method
1. The MYOFASCIAL PROTOCOL employs a slow and deep technique that restores myofascial integrity and natural postural alignment.
2. The MINDFULNESS practice helps you be more embodied, present and responsive.
3. Learning to master your BODY MECHANICS uplifts your own body while at the same time making your techniques much more effective.
1. The Myofascial Protocol
MIPAWORK (pronounced MEEPAH) offers a system of soft tissue manipulation that unwinds whole body tension patterns, while at the same time gradually uncovering the body’s inherent length and balance. The practitioner uses their hands and elbows to work the soft tissues, applying a slow pressure that is deep and at the same time responsive.
How Does it Feel?
The characteristic feeling of MIPAWORK is an easing of tension at deep levels. The techniques are slow and conscious, which brings feelings of delicious and soothing contact. A common response from people is, “Oh, that’s EXACTLY what those tissues have wanted for many years.” The work does that, it responds to what the body wants and needs at deep levels. This is because the techniques are grounded in mindfulness and an approach of ‘conversation,’ where the practitioners hands are listening and responding to what the tissues are saying moment by moment.
The Natural Balance of the Body
Restoring Whole-Body Integrity
The 10 session protocol restores the natural balance of the body. It achieves this through working with the geometry of the eight fundamental dimensions of the body. These are: front to back, left to right, top to bottom, and superficial to deep. These eight articulate a simple and organic logic of balance. For example if the front of the torso is short and compressed with respect to the back, that body will experience ongoing struggle just to maintain an upright posture. By contrast when these eight are balanced, the body is more resilient and at ease.
Drum Tuning Analogy
To better understand the how MIPAWORK achieves balance, consider the analogy of tuning a drum skin. Imagine you have a hand drum that has been sitting on the shelf for some time, and the skin has become loose and floppy. When you tune one of the tightening screws it creates a taut line in the skin.
Then, naturally you proceed to the screw opposite on the frame, then you do the ones at right angles, tightening only half way, as you systematically work your way around the frame, assuring that the skin is tuned in a balanced manner. It’s the same with the human body in the process of unwinding and rebalancing the entire fascial system. MIPAWORK proceeds with this balanced approach.
2. Mindfulness Meditation
We’ll learn and practice a traditional, embodied mindfulness meditation. The focus is on developing a simple, friendly presence with whatever is happening for us in body, mind, and emotions.
Mindfulness meditation is not trying to stop your thoughts or empty your mind, which are impossible anyway. Rather, instead of striving for what we want to happen or think should be happening, it’s about being honest with what is happening, and making friends with oneself.
From that place of authenticity, a powerful journey forward is possible.
In the context MIPAWORK mindfulness helps us drop deeper into our felt sense, and more in attunement with the person we’re working with. Our hands are more present, our body mechanics are more aligned, and we are more of a clear mirror for what needs to happen moment by moment in the session.
3. Body Mechanics
An essential aspect OF MIPAWORK is using the best possible body mechanics. Working with maximum ease and optimal alignment uplifts the practitioner’s structural balance and integrity, and it dramatically improves the results of your efforts.
By contrast when you work with a compressed and rotated structure, it is all that much more difficult to help your client’s structure to decompress and de-rotate. But when you are relaxed, long, and at ease as you are helping your client, those same qualities will naturally translate directly into your client’s structure.
My approach to mastering body mechanics stem from a variety of diciplines I’ve been fortunate to train in. These include 12 years’ studies in Japanese archery, training in karate and taekwondo, Iyengar style yoga, along with sitting mindfulness meditation where balanced posture is central to the practice.
Pressure, Angle and Direction
One of the hallmarks of MIPAWORK is the quality of touch used by practitioners. High importance is placed on working at just the right angle and depth, and in just the right direction. The pressure used is a perfect balance of assertive and receptive. The practitioner melts deeply into the fascial layers, all the while being sensitive and “listening” to the tissues for direction as to how to proceed.