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  • Writer's pictureMargery Segal


Updated: Jan 5, 2023

End of an Ear

One of my ears has been blocked since before Christmas. Ears give us a sense of direction and orientation. Mine have been misfiring a bit so I look for sounds in the bathroom that are coming from the bedroom. One ear hears better than the other and so I am having trouble mixing songs with my ears as I listen, certain tones are missing and while one side sounds shy and retiring, the other side sounds urgent and over-eager to impress.

I spent a few days feeling hopeless and old because I thought this was permanent. There’s still a chance it might be, but it is so thoroughly blocked that the doctors feel it will awaken back to its senses once my eustachian tubes unblock.

So, while everyone is setting about making their goals for the new year, I am attempting to recover a sense of balance. Literally.

What’s cool is that there is gravity, enduring, reliable, consistently underfoot.

Or underback.

I spent a lot of time on my back with my head on books floating my skull in an attempt to unglue the cranial bones and free the fluids.

Which books? Soft books are imperative, Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott-very restful, How to Talk so Kids Can Learn by A. Faber & E. Mazlish, bright yellow cover and well worn and cushiony, and Sharing the Dance, Contact Improvisation and American Culture by Cynthia J. Novack, which I am in, thank you very much, due to Nina Martin’s choreographic work being featured. It’s a harder book so usually on the bottom but a good lead into my dance practice which follows the floor and floating skull sessions.

If things are gnarly, which they have been of late, I add Accessing the Healing Power of the Vagus Nerve by Stanley Rosenberg, firm, new, and underread, but adds the needed height and scientific heft to my practice.

Remember, I am still just lying on the floor, but with specialized awareness’s.

And it is quite magical, like floating down the Nile-which I have never done but apparently, this was a beautiful experience for someone in Biblical times and I have always imagined it as peaceful and without alligators or religious wars, but rather with a surrender to its colors and flowing waters.

I wonder if there are people, who are gracefully suspended, on their backs in other countries, who dream of floating down the duration of the Mississippi River like Jim and Huck Finn?

Coming back to our body, we are there on our backs with the appropriate supportive blankets and slowly I remove one book at a time and see if I can sustain the newfound length; there goes Bird by Bird, there goes How to Talk So Kids Can Learn, now gently resting on Sharing the Dance, ears akimbo, but head floating and free.

Exercise for Ears:

Gently Wringing out the Outer Ears

1) Using your thumb and index finger start at the top in front of the ear and work your way up, backward, and around the outer folds till you come to the front by the cheeks. Massage gently getting into every crevice and the front and back of the ear lobes.

2) Now go back and use your index finger to massage every crevasse of the ear, researching every fold of the outer ear and releasing the cartilage and skin of the ear.

3) Now do the other ear

4) Do not stick your fingers in your ear holes-even if you want to!

This is good if you are

1) tense, anxious: The vagus nerve is right there, and it will calm you down

2) if you are sensitive to sound this will relieve the sense of being bombarded by sound

3) If you are experiencing blocked ears, it will relieve some of the disorientation and tension

4) If you are feeling overwhelmed

5) If you have been wearing glasses or headphones and have smashed ears or are tired of having pressure on your bones, this will help

Try this and let me know what you think

Wishing you all pleasure in your ears and increased enjoyment of the sound of listening,


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