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A Boost in Vitality — and Blue Zones

When  I started to write the last post, I didn’t realize it would eventually be going so deep into self-exploration as I am now noticing.

As much as I want to express my passion for people, I just can’t reach everybody. I guess that’s just the way it is. It would be unreasonable to expect anything else: there are certainly many that don’t even want to know about me and my work. But there are some, who really can benefit from my professional help and yet don’t know about my work. There, I can give with care and passion something meaningful, while being respectful to the other – and to myself simultaneously.

“Simultaneously” – what a great thought!  A professional colleague of mine reminded me today. I am stunned! I’ve never had this idea when displaying respect to the other person to think that, at the same time to also give myself the same due respect.

I have been observing time and time again how challenged I feel when people don’t give each other that respect I think is due. And the degree to which I am challenged is more often than not out of proportion in comparison to the trigger-event.

So, it looks like my last post is getting me into a self-exploration, something I really never would have thought when I started this blogging journey or started on the last blog post …

On the RunThis week I had an interesting encounter with a client  –  she was having severe pain on her face and asked for help. She had been looking in all the places she could imagine, had been to several dentists, looked into help from competent doctors, competent complementary therapists and was suffering from a nerve pain in her face that was considered to be an inflammation of the trigeminal nerve.

When I worked with her the pain happened to be still excruciatingly sensitive –  which was a good thing, because we then had a very clear discriminating measure to find out if it was going to improve or get worse immediately during our meeting.

When I gently touched her neck from the front, let’s say, starting from where the top button of the shirt that she is wearing and then slowly move upward, I can feel her voice box.   Continuing past the voice box, is the transition area to the (lower) jaw. The bone of the lower jaw can be palpated.

Did you know you have another bone in the middle of that outside rim that makes for your lower jaw?

I didn’t either.

But, when I touched this area I couldn’t believe the solidity of that region. In other people this bone is usually called the tongue and other muscles. I always thought that muscles are defined as soft tissues, but certainly not in her case. Never have I encountered such an amount of force in this region on anybody during the past 30 years!

When we worked together on releasing that amount of tension, the effects were dramatic:
The pain in her neck disappeared, the headache went away, the tasting in the tongue came back, and most importantly the excruciating pain in the face disappeared within a course of ten minutes.

This event and other events like e.g. Katie’s on this page  leads me to conjecture, that not all of the problems we encounter are purely structural, bony and part of a group of symptoms indicating a major health issue – though it is always a valuable thing to be on guard for that possibility – but we are such innovative creatures capable of moving violently against ourselves that we cause such major harmful impact on our well-being and sometimes with even severe consequences.

When you develop interest in your own movement quality, when you start studying it with the due diligence your own well–being deserves, then this study is not some new hobby, but it really is something worthwhile studying – because you learn a life skill that is serving you for a lifetime and (as F.M. Alexander puts it) it becomes incrementally more effective year by year.
So why do only so few people dedicate some of their time to it?

  1. Well, first of all only very few people know about this possibility, that they literally can learn some reasoning skills that can help them tremendously in their everyday life.
  2. Only few people would ever believe that they are that powerful and can have a major influence on their wellbeing to such a degree.
  3. As long as it doesn’t hurt they don’t care.
  4. People are too busy being frozen in front of their computer and feel drained at the end of the day.
  5. Not everybody is ready to replace habits that don’t serve them with new behaviors that help them.

Why is this so? I have not run a large study sample but over the years I have accumulated some experiential data while having met and worked with thousands of people, and here are my best guesses:


  1. I believe it  is ineffective information politics or you may call it  bad marketing. That depends on how you look at it, but it is something that I am targeting e.g. with my blog here.
  2. That is certainly because school didn’t teach us — we are not taught in schools— not taught about this possibility neither in schools or elsewhere. Since our parents and teachers don’t know about it, there is slim chance of us knowing about it.
    I  taught ten years (1987-97) at the Stuttgart University of Music and Performing Arts. The level of understanding how performance is related to the physical movement was stunningly low! That was one of the reasons why my classes were always filled and overcrowded..
  3. Unless you have a strong reason to change, you will always continue in the ways you have always done – I can easily relate to that one myself.
  4. Because that’s what you know, and it gives you a sense of comfort.
  5. You may be tired of old habits that hold you back, but you may be too tired to pick yourself up

A certain mindset is necessary for people to get moving in this direction. To really get yourself into the mindset of taking action – especially referring to point 5  above, takes effort, courage and discipline:
The first time  I came across this critical shift in mindset was at a Frontier Trainings course. Clinton Swaine, Frontier Trainings Lead Trainer introduced the idea of falling down five times and getting up six. And some days ago I came across a Japanese proverb: “Falling down seven times and getting up eight.”

I don’t know about you – but there are people for whom claiming their independence and vitality for the rest of their life seems such an alien idea that they have never ever considered that possibility! Yet another reason for writing this blog.

I want to reach you people with my blog here. The fact that you are still reading means you are asking yourself:  “Is there something more for me here?” “What does Motion Mastery™ / Ulf have to offer?” I strongly believe, Motion Mastery™ offers a fantastic contribution to people’s health in general, and to your movement health in particular. The offer of a life rich in vitality and self-expression is captivating and the processes used are one of a kind.

I want to ask you:
Are you ready to claim your independence and vitality for the rest of your life?
If you are, then Motion Mastery™ has something great to offer: Let’s have a refreshing start.

I created an new offer:  your Personal Refresh Button™ – Programme. If my blog post rings true for you and this Personal Refresh Button™ – Programme calls your name, please click on the link and sign up for it.

I’ld love to meet with you soon — and get you boosting your vitality!

In two weeks time, i will be talking about the colour blue and being in the zone (I haven’t forgotten this blog post’s title yet.) I’ll bring it all together and make sense of it then.  In the meantime, think of how you are moving and how it can be better.

It is my pleasure to continue improving the quality of your life through movement!


  • Ulf
  • Updated 4 years ago

Fun in Movement? Your Thoughts Seriously Affect that Ability…

At 65, Nilly wanted to do things correctly and safely. That was exemplified by the fact that she already moved into a home for the elderly while still pursuing an active lifestyle – hiking with friends, traveling etc. In the beautiful castle near Lake of Constance where we gathered for this summer workshop quite some years ago, she reported to our group how shocked she was when she moved into her new home and saw the omnipresent frailty of her co-habitants and their inability to move with ease.

The reason why she came to the course were her hip “problems”. She felt an indefinable pain in her hip region, where the doctors and even the orthopedic specialist couldn’t find anything that could account for that pain. Her niece who knew me and was familiar with my work, recommended her to join my Summer Workshop.

So there she was. This interaction with her still stands out in my mind as if it were yesterday—
we were meeting in a group setting and it was Nilly’s turn to choose an activity she wanted to perform. She chose walking as her activity and I asked her to show us how she walks. There were a couple of striking things that came to my attention, one of them was her way of walking which struck me as quite heavy.

Fun in Movement

I  spent some time working with her and then had her walk again. After that, as she walked down the hallway, I asked her whether it felt “same or different”. She reported: “Quite different“.  The other participants added that her walk changed noticeably as well. To me her walk looked closer to a more natural and fluid movement. Nilly reported that “it felt much lighter and it was easier” for her to walk…  and then she added, “but I cannot walk this way!!!“

We all were puzzled about this response since she literally had just walked down the hallway in a new way all by herself plus having been witnessed by the group and she instantly rejected her experience.

“How do you mean, Nilly?”  „Urh…because …urh,  my walking would then look like that of a teenager… my behavior would stand out and people would give me ‘funny looks’!  What will they think?!?“

Nilly, like many of the younger clients I work with, suffered from a universal delusion, that because we believe certain things about ourselves with which we create the “one and only true reality” when actually we are acting out our preconceived idea(s), that the world around us does not share. Nilly’s walk actually did look great and her reading into other people’s minds would be worth testing it out with these people themselves: to the contrary they actually liked the way she was walking down the hallway…

The BOX — thinking within or without?

Where have you allowed other people to box you in?
And how have you actively boxed yourself in?

Picture displaying: thinking about the box?

Boxing yourself in?

Trusting to move forward, one step at a time will get you out of the imprisonment of a self imposed box and that will result in better health. This will improve your vitality, empower you to shape your world and uplift others.

And we want to have a positive impact on the world, don’t we?  Besides… having fun in movement means, you are already on your way to having more energy.

The process I teach at Motion Mastery™ is a coaching to help you master your own way of moving. “Quality of movement becomes a deliberate choice”. This is where the beauty lies.

If you want to take the next step in improving your movements, click on the Motion Mastery Starter Package:
Either the “In-Person“ package – the IP-package where we actually meet in person because you live in London or Zurich  – or you don’t mind to travel
the Personal Coaching – the PC-package
where we will meet via an internet connection and the coaching takes place at your convenience.

If you’d love to break free from your own painful box,
click here to book your free 30-minute consultation.

If you want inspiration twice a month on how to move with less pain and more ease, leave your name and email in the boxes at the top right of this page”.

I hope to see you soon, perhaps even in person! Your comments below are welcome. Thank you for staying curious in this invigorating journey!

I’ll be back — every second Thursday with a new blog post.
The next one coming up on Thursday 3 July 2014

  • Ulf
  • Updated 4 years ago