THE LINK BETWEEN ARGENTINE TANGO AND ORGANIC STRETCHINGTM

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


"It took eight years of cruising, 
but Pat Henry finally achieved
what no other
American woman had …
the first solo circumnavigation of
any American woman in history."

Barbara Lloyd, 
Cruising World
 


Tango...a moment of complete connection
Tango...a moment of complete connection
By PAT HENRY

PUERTO VALLARTA…I began dancing Argentine tango in August, 2005, and five months later met Heather Wallace, the creator of the Wallace Method (the pain management therapy whose principles form the basis for Organic StretchingTM). Both of these unique forms became a passionate core in my life. At this point, I cannot imagine one without the other.

Tango has brought life to all my senses from the center of my body out. In it, I have found a quiet place inside that can connect with one other person, the music and its special rhythms, and the tango floor that supports us. Unlike other dances done in an embrace, tango is improvisational. Anything is possible at any moment…it calls for surrender to the leader’s mark and to the distinct characteristics of the dance. Even without hearing the music, one can see the tango in the shape of the bodies, the flow of the movements, the obvious connection between the dancers. The impetus transmits from the music, through the floor and passes from one body to the other as the dancers move as one entity…separate roles, distinct movements but inextricably unified.

Organic StretchingTM has provided me with a flexible body with balance and the capacity to move, allowing me to fully enjoy the dance. I first began as a client on Heather’s table working on old injuries which had become limiting, now and then painful and a part of my life. Not something I thought about all of the time, but none the less there to restrict me.

After becoming certified by Heather Wallace and beginning to share this unusual method with others, I found my joy in teaching it so they could once again enjoy the freedom of movement I had found. The challenge came in drawing students into the improvisational mode rather than giving them a structured routine to follow. But, like tango, the work is a communication in the moment…from the core of the body. It requires learning to listen to the body and allowing it to move as it needs to, in order to unlock the twists and knots acquired over a lifetime in the connective tissue structure.

In tango, we learn and try to perfect tiny pieces that become passages in a dance, maybe happening only once in a lifetime in that particular pattern…spontaneous but controlled by the principles of Argentine tango. It is the identical process in Organic Stretching™; one begins to move with no idea where the movement will go and allows the body to lead the pattern following the OS principles and trusting the direction.

Both produce a physical euphoria as the urge to control what is happening slides away and the music, the inner body knowledge, and the connection between bodies or within one body takes over. I use one to prepare for the other and both to experience completely the potential of my body.

I teach Organic StretchingTM in my studio in La Cruz de Huanacaxtle twice a week and in monthly weekend workshops in my studio and at Pura Vida Spa/Rancho el Limon between Ixtapa and Las Palmas. Each month, I offer a free introductory class for people curious or interested in knowing more about this unique system. For more information, videos, and a calendar of events see: www.pat-henry.com/organicstretching/ or call 329-295-5289 to inquire.

February events: Feb 7…Free Introductory Class; Feb 11-13…Weekend Workshop in La Cruz; and Feb 18-20…Weekend Workshop at Pura Vida Spa.

 

 
ORGANIC STRETCHINGSM INTRODUCES WEEKEND WORKSHOPS AT PURA VIDA SPA

Great release for the shoulders!
Great release for the shoulders!
photo by Josef Kandoll
PUERTO VALLARTA…November 26 – 28, marks the beginning of a new program for Organic StretchingSM and the first in a series of special events at Pura Vida Spa at Rancho el Limón. Pat Henry has been teaching this unique stretching program for the past three years as group classes, but to make it available to more people (too busy during the week) and to give them an accelerated understanding of the work, she is offering an intensive weekend workshop. There will be 12.5 hours of stretching, discussion of the principles underlying the work and the potential benefits it offers.

For Pura Vida Spa, just opening at the end of November, this will be their inaugural event. The spa is located in the midst of an active organic ranch that has provided organic produce to the Puerto Vallarta area for more than 20 years. Housed in the old family hacienda, they will be adding services and overnight facilities over the next month. Their focus is on simple, natural treatments such as clay, steam, water, hot stones, various massage techniques, and much more.

The upcoming weekend workshop will begin on Friday, Nov. 26, at 1:30 with a welcome fresh juice before class and end at 4:30. On Saturday and Sunday, we will begin classes at 10:00 and end at 4:30 with a break for a healthy organic lunch fresh from the ranch and time to take a bike ride or hang out in a hammock.

Organic StretchingSM is based on a system of pain management therapy created by Heather Wallace (The Wallace Method). The system works in slow, small moves that gradually unwind the restrictions that a lifetime of small injuries (or large ones), repetitive movements, and general misuse/neglect of our bodies bring about. Trained and certified by Heather Wallace as a practitioner, Henry decided to develop a teaching method to provide her students with the benefits of this program in a way they can carry out on their own.

For more information on Organic StretchingSM and on the coming workshop see: www.pat-henry.com/organicstretching/ or call (329)295-5289 and for information on Pura Vida Spa check out www.rancholimon.com

 

 
HENRY IN GROUP SHOW IN SAN ANTONIO

Glen and Kathleen with La Vals
Glen and Kathleen with La Vals
Bandaras Bay artist Pat Henry’s monotype La Vals traveled first to the Museo de Arte de Mazatlán for Glen Roger’s December 2009 show Hecho en Mazatlán: Prints from the Workshop of Glen Rogers/Featuring Local and International Artists and then to StoneMetal Press in San Antonio for a continuation of the exhibition.

Henry studied with Roger’s in 2008 in her Mazatlán studio, learning the techniques and processes of monotype and producing two suites: one of tango shoes and the other in Mexican themes.

Glen Rogers is a successful, internationally recognized painter, printmaker, and public artist. She talks about her work on her blog spot:
“My work is inspired by nature, archetypal symbols, and images from sacred sites around the world. After living in the San Francisco Bay Area for 25 years, I relocated to Mazatlán, Mexico, six years ago. I enjoy the slower pace, living close to the ocean, with plenty of studio time.”

Her well-equipped, bright, sunny studio in Mazatlán is host to students from around the world who come for Rogers’ intensive workshops and to enjoy the hospitality of Mazatlán’s refurbished historical center. Glen accommodates beginning artists as well as providing advanced instruction and top quality materials and press for the professional.

The popular First Fridays Artwalk in the historic center of Mazatán was initiated by Rogers as her studio became an active center in the local art scene. You can find out about her workshops on her website: www.glenrogersart.com. Her next workshop is scheduled for November 2010.

The San Antonio show opened May 6th and will continue through June 19, at StoneMetal Press Printmaking Center, First Floor, Bldg B, Blue Star Art Complex, 1420 South Alamo, San Antonio, TX 78210, 210-227-0312.

Pat Henry Studio, Las Glorias 6, Col Jose Chavez, La Cruz

 

 
ORGANIC STRETCHING JOINS YOGA VALLARTA

PUERTO VALLARTA... Tuesday, December 15, marks the beginning of an exciting new chapter for Organic Stretching in Vallarta as the program joins the outstanding range of classes offered by Yoga Vallarta.

The beginnings of the Wallace Method, upon which Organic Stretching is based, go back more than 25 years when Heather Wallace, a veteran yoga master of more than 20 years experience, began developing her revolutionary program. At the time Heather was responsible for running the physical therapy segment of a pain management unit in a Minneapolis clinic. After exploring and studying many of the most current modalities of the time, searching for a way to actually improve the clients she was given to help, she diverted down her own path to create something totally new. And it worked.

Over the ensuing years, Heather developed a private practice and worked with every kind of structurally based problem imaginable, constantly refining and expanding her approach. Among those who came to her door were those suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome, rotator cuff, knee, back, neck problems, toe walking children (a birth defect) and many others. Her ratio of success spurred her on and brought some who wished to learn the principles and techniques of the Wallace Method to become practitioners. Most of these had first been her clients.

This was the case with Pat Henry. Pat and Heather met at a local art walk four years ago. It was a perfect match in both of their lives. Heather had bought a home in PV and came each winter, but she had never pursued her practice here. Pat had a number of physical limitations, as most do at that age, but had gradually accepted and adjusted to accommodate by limiting her movements. Pat began to see Heather as a client and became a staunch supporter of Heather’s creation, writing many articles and encouraging Heather in her development of a practice in PV.

Over the ensuing years Pat studied and became a certified Wallace practitioner and then began developing her own group teaching method to provide people with a means to do the work on their own bodies. The teaching methodology known at Organic Stretching has been very successful for many, as reported by one of Pat’s students:

I lived for years in an aching body but always searching for a way to heal and enjoy my full potential once more. I investigated many different kinds of body work, in order to ease the pain and train and maintain my body without doing more damage to it. When I read "Organic Stretching for pain management through increased range of motion," I knew I had to try it. After only two months of twice-a-week classes, the results are miraculous. Now I am able to sit on the floor with my legs folded under me again. My body feels energized and comfortable like it felt 30 years ago. It is impossible for me to describe any of this technique. It is unlike anything I’ve seen or experienced before. I have been recommending it to friends, especially those who are handicapped. In this system, you learn to help yourself! I feel blessed to have this option available right here in La Cruz.


The name Organic Stretching expresses well the rounded, flowing movements that characterize the system. It is a free form, body driven program which gradually opens space in the connective tissue allowing structural elements to shift to more favorable locations, bringing greater range of movement and removing pressure on nerves, blood supply, lymphatic vessels, muscles, soft tissue and bones.

Regular classes are available in both Puerto Vallarta at Yoga Vallarta from December 16…Wednesdays, 5:00 – 6:00, and La Cruz de Huanacaxtle at Pat Henry Studio on Mondays and Thursdays, 10:00 – 11:00. A free prerequisite introductory class is offered monthly at both locations…PV on Tuesday, Dec 15, 2 -3:30pm and LC on Monday, Dec 14, 1:30 – 3:00pm. Private classes are available in La Cruz at Pat’s studio.

Phone: (329)295-5289
Yoga Vallarta, Basilio Badillo 325-3, Col Emiliano Zapata, Puerto Vallarta
Pat Henry Studio, Las Glorias 6, Col Jose Chavez, La Cruz


 

 
When Passions Meet

Pat and Glen pull from the first plate of La Vals
Pat and Glen pull from the first plate of La Vals
PUERTO VALLARTA: When artist Pat Henry left to study monotype with Glen Rogers in Mazatlan last spring, the only images she took along were of her tango shoes.

Henry, a long-time watercolorist, spent spring 2008 exploring new avenues for her artistic expression…moving from realism to pure abstract, from watercolor to acrylic and oil, expanding the physical size of her pieces, and rekindling her passion for painting. Having met Glen Rogers in 2006 at the T Fuller Fine Art show of Rogers’ powerful paintings and monotypes inspired by nature, archetypal symbols, and images from sacred sites, the prospect of a week creating art in her Mazatlan studio seemed the perfect component to help move Henry beyond her comfort zone.

La Vals
La Vals
Monotypes are original works of art. Each print is a one-time piece created with an etching press. Rogers’ large press can handle up to full-sheet work. The plates are smooth pieces of acrylic (or metal), and work is created directly on the plate without etching. The artist may choose to create several plates making repeated passes through the press for special effects.

The series of tango shoe works created by Henry explored several of the possibilities monotype offers—from a direct, one pass piece to a multi-media example using a “ghost print,” a second plate of brushed gold ink, gold leaf, and markers.

Argentine Tango became her passion when she began dancing with TangoVallarta in 2005 and taking her to Buenos Aires three times for total immersion. The tango series of monotypes carry the names of the three rhythms of tango…tango vals, milonga (a fast, almost march like rhythm), and the tango itself. Her fourth in the series is titled Nuevo Tango, representing the new move popular among younger dancers.


Henry invites the public to her studio this season for bi-weekly open studio evenings. The events for March are on the 6th and the 20th from 6:00 – 9:30. Appointments are available at other times at 222-4119. The Pat Henry Studio is located at Jacarandas 183 in Zona Romantica. Her show includes abstracts as well as the tango monotypes and an additional series that plays with Mexican imagery and colors.

Information about Monotype in Mazatlán is available at www.glenrogersart.com

 

 
Pat Henry Studio Announces Open Studio Evenings

Open Studio Evenings
PUERTO VALLARTA: The Pat Henry Studio has announced a series of Open Studio Evenings, and Friday, January 9, marks the first event for the 2009 season. Henry will welcome visitors to see her new direction in painting as well as a series of monotypes from 6:00 PM until 9:30 PM at Jacarandas 183 in the Zona Romantica.

Henry has been a well-known member of the permanent expat community of Puerto Vallarta ever since she arrived alone on her sailboat more than eleven years ago at the end of a solo around-the-world adventure. She financed that voyage with colorful, highly detailed watercolors of the ports where she stopped along her 40,000 mile voyage.

What is hanging in her studio now is a long way from those paintings. She has kept the bright, tropical colors, but almost everything else has changed…now she is painting oil and acrylic abstracts that explore spatial relationships through color, texture, and movement. There is a new freedom and playfulness in her work, something she sought and has finally discovered with the change of medium and approach.

Her monotypes include pieces reflecting colors and patterns of Mexico and a playful series of tango shoes…influenced by her passion for the past four years for Argentine tango. Henry is a member of the local tango community TangoVallarta.

The biweekly open studio evenings will continue throughout the season: Jan 9/23; Feb 6/20; Mar 6/20; Apr 3/17 and May 1/15. Henry’s studio is also open by appointment. For information: 222-4119.

 

 
New Directions for artist Pat Henry

New Directions - Art Opening
Opening Night
Photo courtesy of BoatMexico
PUERTO VALLARTA…Puerto Vallarta artist Pat Henry sailed into Marina Vallarta on her 31’ sailboat eleven years ago and decided to stay. After traveling 40,000 miles alone and visiting 40 countries, with the natural beauty of the Bay, the charm of the old town, the local art scene, and the incredibly friendly people, she chose PV for her home. Henry continued painting the watercolor scenes that had paid her way around the world…markets, old buildings, and daily life from along her route.

Throughout the years of Henry’s voyage (’89 – ’97), each time she put down her brushes to sail across another ocean or to repair and do the numerous maintenance jobs on board an active sailboat, she vowed to become more free with her painting…to loosen up and let the paint fly. And each time she began painting again, her work became even more precise. Her watercolors were well known for the attention to detail and the feeling of being drawn into the scene. Not realism, but realistic and full of color.

In 1999, she took a painting sabbatical to write the story of her adventure and the inner journey that ensued, By the Grace of the Sea: A Woman’s Solo Odyssey Around the World (McGraw Hill/International Marine) was published in 2002. With many projects and interests over the following years…a book tour and speaking engagements, the John Huston Homage, Coming About...the women’s sailing school she launched, helping to bring the Wallace Method to Puerto Vallarta, and her involvement in TangoVallarta…it took a long time for Henry to find her way back to painting. But she has.

And this time she did it! The paint flew. New Directions 2008 is a totally new approach for Henry. No more watercolors, she is painting in oil and acrylic. The colors almost explode off the canvases in abstracts full of motion and space. The collection also includes a series of monotypes with a playful suite of tango shoes.

Pat Henry invites all to visit her Puerto Vallarta studio to see New Directions 2008, a show of her new work.

Open by appointment: call 011-52-322-222-4119 (from the USA) or email

 

 
FEBRUARY…TANGO MONTH IN VALLARTA

by Pat Henry

Tango Masters Beatrix Satzinger and Michael Young visit Puerto Vallarta
Tango Masters Beatrix Satzinger and Michael Young visit Puerto Vallarta
PUERTO VALLARTA…February 2008 is a great month to be an Argentine tango dancer in Puerto Vallarta. With abundant opportunities to take classes, plus dance and hang out with tango dancers from Canada, the US, and other parts of Mexico, TangoVallarta is alive with the passion that sweeps people off their feet from Beijing to Kosovo via Buenos Aires.

We will welcome internationally recognized teachers Beatrix Satzinger and Michael Young for a series of workshops and private lessons over the coming week (Feb 10 – 15) which will begin and end with special private milongas (a tango party). Guests are expected from San Francisco, CA, and tango communities around Mexico, in addition to visiting tango dancers vacationing in Puerto Vallarta.

It is a mark of distinction that our young community has attracted Beatrix and Michael who have taught in Canada, where they live, the US, Mexico, Buenos Aires, New Zealand, and Australia. Michael Young has been teaching for more than 30 years…first ballroom and then Argentine tango. Beatrix Satzinger grew up dancing and turned professional in Germany before taking her interest in dance and movement therapy to Canada and finding Argentine tango in 1997. She and Michael have been teaching together for the past five years to rave reviews from students and dancing together to the delight of audiences.

TangoVallarta’s usual tango activities will continue throughout the month…classes on Monday evenings from 8 – 10pm and practicas on Wednesday’s from 8 – 10pm at J&B Dancing Club. The practicas are open to the public and should be especially interesting on Wednesday, February 13th. We also usually join the dancing on Sunday evening at the plaza for a tango or two between the danzons.

You may wonder what it is that makes tango so special and so different. In part, it is the manner in which we dance…it is the only dance done in an embrace which is totally improvisational. There are no “steps.” The leader creates a new dance each time the music starts. An intense connection between the partners makes this possible and gives the dance the epithet of “a three-minute love affair,” as the dances last just three short minutes.

The roots of tango are unique also, bringing together cultures from Europe and Africa in what began as an answer to loneliness and longing for men who followed a dream of jobs and wages to Buenos Aires in the late 1800s. These humble beginnings evolved into the most passionate dance in the world. From its origins in the bordellos of workers’ slums through high society Paris and back to middle working class Argentina, tango expressed the core of that society. Forced underground in the infamous political tragedies of the 1960s and 70s, tango emerged unscathed to a worldwide welcome in the early 1980s…and has not looked back as the fever raced around the world.

I can’t remember when the bug bit me, but I already knew tango was something I wanted to learn when tango masters Al and Barbara Garvey retired and moved to Puerto Vallarta in 2004. The Garveys had been on the top of the first wave of Americans to travel to Buenos Aires in the early 80s to learn tango where it originated. They returned to San Francisco and launched what is now one of the oldest tango communities in the US. For the past four years they have taught, danced and nurtured a budding tango community in Puerto Vallarta, and this month seems to be a celebration of all their efforts.

If all of this whets your appetite to learn Argentine tango, there is a free introductory class on Monday, February 18, at 8:00 pm at J&B Dancing Club…a chance to learn the first elements of this amazing dance.

For more information: Visit www.tangobar-productions.com for TangoVallarta, www.embracetango.com for Beatrix Satzinger and Michael Young.

 

 
WALLACE METHOD CLASSES AND 2008 WORKSHOPS


by Pat Henry

Final days of Wallace Workshop PURTO VALLARTA, MEXICO…The popularity of Heather Wallace’s unique free-form, multidimensional stretching system is growing in Puerto Vallarta. Now with two classes weekly as well as three workshops (for 2008)—one each in January, February and March, word is spreading on the effectiveness of Heather’s creation.

Developed over a 20-year period as former yoga master Heather worked with the patients assigned to her in a Minneapolis pain management clinic, Heather discovered valuable insights on the source of pain. A high percentage of it is based in structural imperfections which cause pressure on bones, connective tissue, circulatory vessels, muscles, nerves, and organs. Her system gradually and gently releases the misaligned bones and allows them to find their proper location and remove the source of the pain.

The Wallace Method has several modes of activity. In the primary mode, one-on-one, a certified practitioner moves the body slowly through a gentle series of motions and techniques designed to open the constrictions at the joints and eliminate conflict between bones encouraging the healing flow of blood and lymph. Heather will be offering three practitioner workshops in Puerto Vallarta for 2008—Jan 17 – 21, Feb 21 – 25, and Mar 13 – 17.

Also available in PV, Pat Henry has begun offering stretching classes in the forms of the Wallace Method designed for maintenance and personal improvement of the structural system. These practices include solowork allowing the students to focus their stretch as their individual bodies dictate, employing the same principles and techniques used by the practitioner…like being both practitioner and client. Students also work in partnership using the resistance of both bodies to achieve deep, effective stretches. The most common response to this work is, “It’s like dancing!!”

Classes for new students will begin on Nov 19 with an introductory session at 3:30 followed by a standard group class at 4:30. Reservations are required for this session. A beginning session will be offered once each month for new students. Weekly classes are taught on Mondays at 4:30 pm and Thursdays at 9:00 am.

All methods play a role in achieving optimal structural health. Heather’s workshop includes training in each. Students at any level gain guidance whether they are working toward certification or on their individual program.

For further information or to register for a workshop see: www.wallacemethod.com and to register for classes with Pat call after Nov 16th…in PV 222-4119 or from the US 011-52-322-222-4119

 

 
CELEBRATING WITH DONNA LANGE…SHE DID IT!


by Pat Henry

Donna Lange with Pat Henry PUERTO VALLARTA, MEXICO…Eighteen months ago Donna Lange left Bristol, RI, alone on her 28-ft boat to sail around the world in search of inner peace. She has returned with all that she sought and more.

You may ask how this relates to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. In November, 2005, as Donna was preparing her boat Inspired Insanity for the ultimate test—a two-stop around the world voyage via the Southern Oceans (Roaring 40s) and below the major capes…Good Hope, Australia, and The Horn, the builder of her boat, Clark Ryder, suggested that she call me in Puerto Vallarta to discuss her plans and the boat refit. Clark had built both of our boats in Bristol as part of the Southern Cross series. Donna called, and a friendship was born.

We emailed. She sent me a CD of her original music, Alone at Sea, and I sent her a copy of my book, By the Grace of the Sea. I followed updates on her website www.donnalange.com as she struggled toward New Zealand in rough conditions for much of the way. In April, 2006, as I sat at anchor off La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, enjoying after-dinner conversation with Heather Cairnie and Carol Dutcheshen, students at Coming About Sailing School, my cell phone rang. It was Donna calling from the Bass Straits (a nasty stretch of water between Tasmania and Australia)…exhausted, completely spent by huge, tumultuous, chaotic seas. She had 30 cans of beans left for food and 30 days to sail to New Zealand. We talked, I encouraged, and my two minutes of time—at satellite phone rates—ran out. She needed more, but there was no way to call back…I had no number.

My students knew this was an incredible moment for both of us. Without a word I sat down, and we joined hands bowing our heads, sending energy and love and our prayers to Donna. Two days later, I read her online log…I went up on deck after talking with Pat Henry. The seas immediately began to steady. The back of my neck prickled with the connection we had made halfway around the world.

Her 168-day passage complete, in New Zealand, Donna spent months rebuilding and refitting her boat and entertaining the locals with her music. She composes, sings, and plays guitar, steel drums, Irish drum, whistle, and harmonica. Last November, she set out once again for the final leg home. Caught in the same storm as Ken Barnes off the Horn, she offered to divert for a rescue when his boat lost its mast, leaving him floundering in huge seas. Another boat made the rescue while Donna handled message relay between Ken and his family.

This well publicized rescue and Donna’s role put her in the international public eye, sending her website into overload with 10,000 hits a day. Donna still had a long way to go and many challenges including a near swamping, a close call with rocks near St. Thomas, and finally the monumental, 20-year storm off the East Coast in mid-April as she was just one week from the end.

With public celebrations already planned for April 25 and 28 and more storms due in a few days, chilled to the bone when she was submerged in a knockdown, and with no engine, a broken self-steering system, and other damage, Donna agreed at last to divert to Bermuda and fly north to accept her accolades. She had already completed a full circumnavigation in the Virgin Islands and long ago crossed her outbound track.

We finally met in person and what a glorious moment…just minutes before she marched barefoot to the front of the Rhode Island State House to accept their Proclamation of Donna Lange Day on April 25, 2007. On the 28th, at the Herreshoff Museum in Bristol, she celebrated with friends, family, and supporters with Halsey Herreshoff opening an awards ceremony that left a pile of citations, certificates, burgees, and plaques, including the prestigious Joshua Slocum Society’s Golden Circle Award. As Donna offered her appreciation and a powerful call for all of us to join our personal commitment and energy to heal our world and our oceans, she paused and began singing a cappela a piece she wrote at sea.

The audience rose in a standing ovation for this awesome, courageous woman.

Plans are underway to bring Donna Lange to Puerto Vallarta this winter…watch for news and don’t miss meeting a very special person!

 

 
HEATHER WALLACE TO PRESENT WORKSHOP
ON HER PAIN MANAGEMENT SYSTEM…THE WALLACE METHOD


by Pat Henry

Heather Wallace working with Pat Henry PUERTO VALLARTA, MEXICO…Heather Wallace has returned to Puerto Vallarta with her pain management system, The Wallace Method, and will present a practitioners’ 5-day workshop in February.

When I met Heather in January, 2006, I was intrigued with her unique program and its potential. After working with Heather for almost three months, I could see and feel amazing changes in my body…an absence of pain from old shoulder injuries and extended movement and flexibility in my neck, back and hips. It was encouraging enough for me to continue on my own with solo work and with a friend, doing partner work, while waiting for Heather’s return. I not only maintained the improvements Heather had brought about in one-on-one work, but had continued to progress on my own.

Other clients of The Wallace Method have been equally pleased in their results:
“After years of chronic migraine pain, I am so grateful to Heather for giving me back my life.”—Elizabeth Streeter

“When I came I was wearing a wrist brace several nights per week; always traveled with one—had a spare in the car— was contemplating wrist surgery.. Heather has tried to educate me as to the causes and sources of the pain...given me a few exercises I can do on my own ... but mostly (99%) of the time—there is no pain. I have not worn a wrist brace in years ... and the left arm has never developed the full-blown symptoms that were on my right side.”—Evy Sussman

“I was a candidate for knee replacement and I said, "No way." I had had several knee surgeries already. The more I continued with Heather, the more my body called for me to stretch by myself daily. I even told myself that I could skip this, but my body spoke for me, and I did it and it paid off.”—Sister Bernadine Frischmon, OSB
Heather is now in town to work with Puerto Vallarta clients for the next 3 months and to teach her program to other practitioners in a Wallace Workshop from February 8 – 12. She will present background on the program’s development and the factors which make it successful where other approaches have failed. She will share the methods that have given her success in correcting a wide range of conditions. Students will observe demonstrations and then practice the subtle movements which gradually reshape the body’s structural system.

Workshop classes will meet from 9:30 am to 2:30 pm each day with snacks and beverages provided. A celebratory dinner at El Arrayan will close the final day. The cost of the class including the closing dinner is $251USD. For additional information or to register contact Heather Wallace at 221-5742. Class size will be limited.

 

 
CHRONIC PAIN MANAGEMENT THROUGH THE WALLACE METHOD


by Pat Henry   (part 1 of 3)

It began with the usual Art Walk chit chat…”how long have you been coming to PV?”….”where are you from?”…”what do you do?” The diminutive woman in front of me matched her studied response with a half smile topped by intense, twinkling blue eyes. “I sculpt bodies.”

Heather Wallace My friend Carol Anne, an artist herself, followed with a logical question, “What’s your medium?”

“Human bodies.”

She had my attention as I envisioned being turned into the svelte form I had always longed for. The curiosity she piqued that night has led me into the fascinating practice of the Wallace Method developed by Heather Wallace over the past 25 years. But her interest is not to produce cleft, sculpted bodies for the pages of fashion magazines. Heather’s goal is to relieve pain, improve the quality of life, and restore health to her clients by subtle, progressive changes in the alignment of the muscular-skeletal system.

In the early 1980s, with twenty years background as a yoga and meditation instructor, Heather was offered a position creating and implementing an exercise program at Fairview Hospital Pain Clinic. Heather understood the mission was to cure her patients, so she explored every avenue even when the medical professionals said they could not be cured.

At the clinic Heather was introduced to cranial sacral work, an approach which encourages and enhances one’s ability to follow the body’s own rhythms. She also studied the Barnes Method of Myofascial Release Work through the mastery level. She saw that this work defines the “how to” of perfecting the body’s muscular capacities, while yoga demonstrates the end result. Heather integrated these two systems, discovering that when she applied the resulting new method in her work, the muscular balance achieved resulted in the alleviation of pain for her clients. The Wallace Method was born.

As Heather explains, a great deal of pain is caused by the pressure of bones against soft tissue, blood supply, other bones and/or nerves. That pain is related to the muscular-skeletal system and can be cured.

Catherine Mora Cleary, a Wallace practitioner, had known Heather through yoga when she became unable to work, disabled by pain in her arm. X-rays showed a bone spur on her elbow. Heather dismissed the diagnosis, explaining that what appeared to be a spur was instead the end of a bone which had shifted out of alignment through repeated actions and misuse. Using her system of stretching, rotation, and release, Heather gradually moved the bone back into its proper place, and the pain disappeared.

Another client, Sister B, arrived ten years ago confined to a wheelchair following back and knee surgery at 55, certain that she would never be able to bend her knee past 90º again. Today she maintains a full work load, walking with the aid of a cane. Pain is no longer an issue for Sister B as she follows the Wallace Method to maintain her well being.

Heather will be offering an evening introductory session and demonstration on March 10th. For more information on the Wallace Method or the evening meeting call 221-5742 or 222-4119 in Puerto Vallarta of email Pat.

Heather Wallace lives three months of the year in her home in Puerto Vallarta. She maintains a practice, teaches, and trains in Minneapolis, MN.

Pat Henry is a Puerto Vallarta resident, author, artist, and director of Coming About Women’s Sailing School.

This article appeared in the PV Tribune. Parts 2 and 3 of this series should be available on line after March 21st. Click on “Healthy Living” issues #464 and 465.


 

 
World-sailor Pat Henry’s navigation tip:
Look for the silver lining!

Pat Henry, of Pat Henry Productions and founding partner of Coming About by Daniel Grippo

PUERTO VALLARTA, MEXICO...

When I walked out on the pier at the Marina to meet Pat Henry at her dock, she was on her hands and knees, sanding and staining a new seat for her sailboat’s dingy. As I approached, several passers-by stopped to greet her and ask about sailing classes. One person wanted to know more about Pat’s book, By the Grace of the Sea.

Pat stowed her tools and paint and we headed for a nearby outdoor café to do the interview. Pat excused herself to wash her hands, and while she was gone, her cell phone rang. The call was from Alizé, expert sailing instructor for Pat’s sailing school, Coming About. Next thing I knew we were hustling back to the pier as students in the class brought the sailboat in for a docking. But first we had to move a fishing boat that had been left in Pat’s slip out of the way….

You get the picture. Spend five minutes with Pat Henry and you’ll understand how this dynamo of energy could have sailed around the world by herself. She is a woman in constant motion, like the sea itself. Yet despite all that is going on, Pat remains attentive to the people she is with, greeting everyone with a smile as wide as the horizon.

It is this energetic nature that has driven Pat on so many journeys in her life, from riding a motorcycle across the U.S. and living off the land for two months in 1970 (“It was the Easy Rider days,” says Pat with a smile), to starting an international import-export business with a sales force of a hundred and 2,000 clients worldwide.

But when her business ventures ended in ruin and left her self esteem in the gutter, Pat decided in the spring of 1988 that it was time for a dramatic change of life. A sailing buff for many years, with 40,000 sea miles already under her belt, she decided to sell her home and buy a boat she could live on. By October, 1988, she was heading south, Mexico way.

Once underway, Pat was encouraged by others to ask herself, Why stop now? So after wintering in Mexico, she set sail from Acapulco Bay on May 4, 1989 aboard the 31-foot Southern Cross. Her destination: the Marquesas Islands, part of French Polynesia, 3,000 miles away and first leg on her solo trip around the world.

“I had completely identified with my business,” says Pat. “When it failed, I felt like my identity was collapsing. The sense of personal failure was just huge. I needed something very physical to do, to get outside of myself and to heal the grief.”

Pat left Acapulco with only $300 to her name. By the time she reached New Zealand, she was down to $3.00. What now? “As a kid I loved to draw. I used to ride my bike on Saturday mornings to a great mansion outside of town and draw sketches of it.” Years later, after an early marriage and motherhood, Pat decided to be an architect and ended up on the faculty at San Jose State University.

She specialized in pen and ink illustrations, then learned watercolors. Her artwork ended up being her economic lifeline as she continued around the world. She had a show in Singapore where she managed to clear $10,000 in 10 hours.

One challenge met, more to come. She had to battle violent storms at sea and damaged equipment. Wasn’t she afraid? “There’s no time to be afraid during a storm. It’s survival, and you’re in constant motion,” says Pat. “Storms were not the scary part of being at sea. It was the large ships that could do you in, especially at night.”

“I’ve always had a rule: Never enter a harbor you don’t know at night,” says Pat. “But when I pulled into Singapore Harbor, after seven days of hard sailing from Bali on a total of maybe eight hours of sleep, I was exhausted and I just wanted to drop anchor. So I took a chance and entered the harbor at midnight. I broke my rule, and it almost cost me my life.”

A tug boat pulling a barge with a huge dredging crane nearly ran Pat over. “I saw this huge crane towering over me in the dark, it must have been 10 stories high, and I felt like there was ice water in my knees. I only had a split second to put my engine in gear and turn the boat out of the way. I’ll never break that rule again!”

Pat was not out to set any speed records with her circumnavigation, so she took her time, making stops along the way, spending up to a year in some ports. Eight years after leaving, almost to the day, she pulled into Acapulco Bay once again, on May 5, 1997.

She decided that Puerto Vallarta had everything she wanted in a community—Mexico’s safest harbor, a thriving arts community, the physical beauty, and the warm and wonderful Mexican community. “It may be a city of 350,000, but it still has that small-town feel and friendliness,” says Pat.

After painting for awhile, Pat landed a book contract with McGraw Hill for her sailing story, and By the Grace of the Sea was published in 2002. Ever the go-getter, Pat organized her own 10-week book tour with 40 events. It was a great success, and her book even made the San Francisco Chronicle best-seller list, but there was one more setback awaiting Pat at the end of her tour.

“While I was in the Los Angeles airport, trying to get back to Puerto Vallarta, Hurricane Kenna hit. My apartment was flooded and I lost everything — photos and charts from my trip, $30,000 in artwork, everything but the boat,” says Pat.

But if Pat had learned anything at sea, it was resilience. She soon had another dream, to open a sailing school for women, to encourage them to believe in themselves. “Over and over, women will talk about this nagging little voice inside that says, ‘When is the world going to figure out I don’t know what I’m doing?’

“I want women to know—whatever it is that you dream of doing, you can do it! That’s what the sailing school is all about. No matter what has happened to you, you can set a new course, you can change the direction of your life. That’s why the school is called Coming About.”

“One day while I was in Singapore, I passed a newsstand and saw a quote from Malcom Forbes: ‘I’d never hire anyone who hadn’t failed.’ I thought, ‘Right on, Malcom.’ The thing is, you have to risk in order to grow. Risking, even if it means failing sometimes, teaches us so much about who we are and what is really important in life.

“Adversity and setback always bring a lesson, they teach us something. They contain a gift. It’s like Grandma always used to say—there really is a silver lining out there, if you look for it!”


To learn more about Coming About sailing school and other Pat Henry productions, also visit www.coming-about.com.
You can reach Pat at 222.4119 or 044.322.111.8329.
Daniel Grippo can be reached at 222.7819 or dangrippo@yahoo.com.
Photo by Carol Anne Anderson.

This profile originally ran in the Vallarta Tribune, www.vallartatribune.com


 

Pat Henry's Journey
Pat Henry sailed west from Acapulco, Mexico, in 1989-- heading around the world on an odyssey of self-discovery, hoping to save herself.

 With her last marriage finished, a business failure wrapped in lawsuits and financial collapse, and her self-esteem so low she put the want ads away each morning wondering who would hire a failure, her life was in shambles. With little more than her boat, Southern Cross, $300, and her optimism that something would change in the miles at sea, she left to sail west around the world--alone.

 Over eight years, across the major oceans, and through 40 countries, Pat Henry survived by becoming an artist, and she grew through the challenges at sea: storms, near misses with reefs and large ships, equipment failures, and dead calm.

 Today, Pat shares what she learned on her voyage through teaching, public speaking, writing, and her art work. In March 2004 she helped launch Coming About, Any Woman's Sailing School * Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, to offer other women an opportunity to reach for their dreams, too.

Born in Chicago, and raised in Bloomington-Normal, Illinois, Pat now calls Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, her home.



Winner of the 
2003 Commodore Award

Southern Cross 
Owners Association

 




Recipient of the 
Golden Circle Award
March 2000

Joshua Slocum
Society International

 

Pat Henry
First American Woman to Circumnavigate the World Solo via the Canals

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