The Michigan Daily-Weekend etc.-February 13, 1992-Page,3
. r 6 b'f
by Forrest Green 11l
The locker room is the first place
where, fresh from the gym, we rel-
ish the aftermath of determined
physical exertion. Our hearts pound
forcefully and our skin, flushed
with the healthy state of circula-
tion, seems to glow with vigor.
That inevitable feeling of fatigue is
temporarily delayed by the enhanced
flow of blood through those over-
Your exercising brings you back
to a healthy and uncomplicated
ground zero. The aloofness of your
mundane existence has been forgot-
ten for the refreshing totality of
mind and body you feel now. Smell
that? Mmmm. The rewards of em-
bracing your physicality at length
are great, aren't they? After a stren-
uous bout with yourself, the
strained body staring back at you
from the mirror will remind you
exactly of who and what you are.
Your tired muscles are only
properly greeted by the gaudy bow-
els of the University's two health
facilities - the Central and North
Campus Recreation Buildings'
My first experience in the
C.C.R.B.'s locker room was a wry
and perplexing one. Who decided
that it should be painted that way?
And once I'd locked my street
clothes away by depositing a return-
able quarter into a locker, where the
hell would I keep the key for the
The locker room of the N.C.R.B.,
comfortably nestled behind Bursley
residence hall, has been the source of
many fascinating stories, being
smaller and much more remote than
its Central Campus counterpart.
The first story I'd heard about it
was during my freshman year. An
athletic type of guy from my house
at Bursley - I'll call him Biff -
was complaining to me about a re-
, ' S
David Bay, Bio. department photographer, takes it all off. DOUG KANTE/iv
The exotic art of rolfing
Are you s ufferingfrom stress and tension? Ancient
massage techniques help you kick back and relax
by Alexandra Beller
You're walking through negative
ten degree wind and you feel it
stinging your forehead. You're
sitting at your desk at three a.m.
typing a Sociology paper and you gasp
at the pain shooting from the middle of your back. Did
you ever wonder how climate and tension and other
vague stresses culminate in physical pain? If you
haven't, you've probably at least wondered how to get
rid of them.
The answer is fairly obvious - massage. Some
techniques, however, deviate from the mainstream.
Shiatsu, reflexology, ampuku, rolfing and Swedish
massage are some ways to relieve yourself of pain and
stress. They combine, in varying proportions, the
theories of Oriental healing techniques and modern
Swedish massage is what your friends are probably
talking about when they ask, "Will you give me a
massage?" It is the "standard" backrub where the
masseuse, who often uses oil, pushes and pulls the ma-
jor muscles of the back, legs, arms and neck. It reduces
the overall sensation of tension by softening up mus-
cles and relieving major spasms.
Shiatsu and reflexology both rely on the theory
that various body parts and organs correlate to
"pressure points" in other body parts. Shiatsu, which
literally means "finger pressure," relies on applied
pressure to specific points (or tsubos) all over the
body. These tsubos are arranged along fourteen paths
0 (or meridian lines), each correlating to a different or-
gan. For example, the lung meridian extends from the
middle of the pectoral muscle, down each arm and into
the thumbs. By applying pressure to the specific spots
along the arm, problems such as asthma, coughs and
congestion can be relieved.
Reflexology relies on the same concept but all
fourteen meridians are located in the feet. In other
words, for every problem in the human body, there
exists a spot on the foot which, when pressed, will
relieve the pain. Both shiatsu and reflexology are often
somewhat painful in their application, but veterans of
the techniques have fondly dubbed it "good pain"
because the aftereffects are usually unbelievably
successful and long lasting. Not only do they relieve
major tension and pain, but minor illnesses and injuries
can often be healed or diagnosed. Problems such as
sinus pain, cramps, digestive problems and even sexual
disorders can be relieved by repeated treatments.
Ampuku, often included in a shiatsu treatment, is
pressure applied to different areas of the stomach. The
midsection of the body is considered to be the energy
center of the physical and spiritual being. Through
massage, energy imbalances (which relate to fatigue,
depression and weakness in the immune system) can be
Rolfing is another massage technique which relies
on the concept of "stored emotions and stresses."
Rolfers believe that problems and events in our lives
which we are unable to fully deal with are stored in the
muscle tissue, changing the shape of the body and often
causing chronic pain. Rolfing requires repeated sessions
and uses extremely deep, but somewhat generalized
tissue massage. In the sessions, emotions (especially
from childhood) are dealt with and often the patient's
most deeply buried feelings of pain and anger are
released. Over the course of therapy, rolfers claim that
the shape of the body is noticeably changed as the
"weight" of past experiences is lifted. The sessions are
usually very emotional, but are therapeutic for both
body and soul.
If you're interested in experiencing one of these
healing techniques, there are many people practicing
both on campus and in the Ann Arbor area. There are
also books (Ohashi's Shiatsu for beginners) which can
help you learn the art of massage yourself.
cent experience of his own.
Biff had walked into the locker
room after a long, tiring workout to
find another man sitting there, mas-
turbating, and rather oblivious to
their intimate surroundings. Biff
stared in shock for a moment.+
"Enjoying the show?" the man
asked him, continuing his exertion.+
Needless to say, Biff quickly left
the locker room.
The locker room can be an excit-
ing and provocative place in its usu-
ally primal, sometimes burlesque
atmosphere. It challenges you, long
after you've already pushed yourself
to your limits.
Early this September, two of my
roommates, Taurus and Heed, made a
jaunt up to North Campus for a
workout with our friend Kamran. It
was intended to be a recollection of
old times (they'd spent their previ-
ous year together at Bursley), but
instead became an ordeal of night-
As Heed gives his account, still
fresh in his mind, "There was old
naked men walkin' around, bozacks
a' hangin'! No shame at all! We"rej
just tryin' to chill and these guy;
are walkin' around the sauna na ed
- no shame at all, no towels or
Heed continued, "It was almost
on purpose. The young dudes ho...
weren't wrinkled as a prune were
covered. But the old guys were just
bozacks a' jinglin'! Kam was likes
'I'm not down with the bozacks '. 2
Like Taurus, Heed and Kam real~
ized, the fervent motivation of our~x
body-shaping frenzies find an awk-
ward dissolution in the locker
room. The refuge of privacy that g"
required for these sensitive Mo=u'
ments of recuperation is ofteW-4
shattered by the gruesome reality $f1
our public health facilities.
A clash of biological time peri?.,
ods? A simple conflict of post-
workout health regimens?
Whatever the cause for the fellas'
annoyance, one thing's for sure. Such
extremes of the carnal and obscene
can't come much more easily,or
glaringly than in the locker roon,
Han Lee's Taekwon Do Center
Learn to Set