Tag Archives: Videos


Peter Deadman is a Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner and acupuncturist living in the UK. He is a founder of the Journal of Chinese Medicine, co-author of a famous Manual of Acupuncture, and author of the book Live well, live long, about the Chinese nourishment of life tradition (yangsheng).

Last year during lockdown he shared the video of a simple routine to nurture life forces, activate circulation in the body and specifically the lungs, all the while cultivating calmness of the heart and mind. Under a soft, easy, humble (humbling) guise, Qigong can bring significant improvements on one’s well-being when practiced regularly.

He now shares a 20 min sequence of seated Qigong for long covid sufferers to help build up strength, improve breath, and reduce anxiety and fear. It should also be good for people who are not long covid sufferers but who live with chronic disorders or are otherwise weakened, who will be glad there is stuff out there that isn’t only destined to the young able bodies.

Maybe this/these sequences practiced regularly can help some of us. In any case, Peter Deadman’s tranquil, grounded, low-key delivery is in itself rather soothing, a welcome contrast to all the frantic care-consumerism that has been going on since the pandemic hit us.

WikiLeaks & Assange films & videos

The UK Don’t Extradite Assange campaign has put together a list of films on WikiLeaks, Whistleblowing, Free speech + all episodes of Julian Assange Show The World Tomorrow + a selection of Julian Assange talks, categorized by topics like Media / Power / Hope.

Instructive and valuable then, instructive and valuable now.


“The WikiLeaks official Don’t Extradite Assange campaign announces an online film festival – The WikiLeaks Lockdown List. Our contribution to those who are following medical advice and self-isolating due to the Coronavirus pandemic. The WikiLeaks Lockdown List contains free films and talks you can watch to learn more about WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, whistleblowing, activism and seeking justice. Share this list and support our campaign to free Julian Assange. Please take care of yourself and those around you during this time.”

> WikiLeaks lockdown list


NO one should die in prison, not during an epidemic, not ever

Current circumstances are very worrying

> Sign petition to release Julian Assange from Belmarsh before Covid-19 spreads




Quinta-feira, dia 8, às 19h
Filme MIAU: Movimiento insurrecto por la autonomía de Una Misma
* seguido de conversa de boca cheia sobre saúde sexo e autonomia

“Convidamos todas e todos a assistir a este documentário!
É uma chamada a todas as que ignoramos o funcionamento do nosso corpo e nos vemos submetidas a qualquer estrutura machista e patriarcal, seja a médica, a farmacêutica ou qualquer pessoa ou instituição que nos tente silenciar.
Nós lutamos para viver numa sociedade livre e enquanto o fazemos, criamos laços de confiança e compartilhamos o conhecimento aprendido, esperando que se entenda que aí está a graça, em aprender e ensinar, com generosidade, matando o ego e a usura.
Por isso este documentário é uma prenda, porque é conhecimento livre.”

Sexta-feira, dia 9, às 18h
Workshop livre – Calendário menstrual e partilha de experiências

>> MIAU no vimeo


Police infiltration, traumatized trust

“The news that people we knew, trusted, worked with and loved are not who we thought they were, has come as a shock to many people. For some, it has meant that close and intimate relationships were not what they seemed, representing a massive personal betrayal. Others may not have known the police infiltrators so closely, or even at all, but the news can still have a big impact on us, as individuals, groups and movements.”

Read Activist Trauma Support leaflet on the sickening effects of police infiltration, how to heal, support each other – and find more resources (on PTSD, self-care in activism..), contact info, on their website.


Watch “Lily”, Harry, and Jason’s talk about their experience at Chaos Communication Camp 2015:

“Resisting surveillance: It’s not just about the metadata. The infiltration and physical surveillance of activists.


Basic hand and forearm massage tutorial

Here is a nice tutorial for basic hand and forearm massage, using oils or cream, with giver and receiver sitting face to face at a table (beauty salon set up). It shows easy lovely moves, smoothly executed and described. It conveys good standards for care, with clear instructions for set-up in the beginning and remarks about hygiene and health precautions.

Hint: Observe how she warmly secures the person’s hand in hers when she needs to turn it.

Video tutorial By Homespa beauty

Une Arme de choix / Weapon of choice (Florence Tran)

Une Arme de Choix from florence TRAN on Vimeo.

La caméra peut être une arme de prise de conscience et de résistance. Pendant la révolution égyptienne, réalisateurs et cinéastes égyptiens ont essayé, chacun à leur manière, d’agir, de témoigner, de peser sur ce long et complexe processus de transformation. Dans un contexte chaotique, explosif et volatil, comment donner du sens à tous ces bouleversements ? A travers leurs choix et leurs témoignages, ce film est une radiographie d’une société au cœur de la tempête, un état des lieux des défis et des dilemmes qui la traversent. Ceux qui filment essayent de comprendre, posent un diagnostic, proposent aussi des pistes pour s’en sortir… et surtout rester engagés, malgré les difficultés.

Weapon of Choice from florence TRAN on Vimeo.

A day in Tahrir hospital + Portrait of trauma surgeon Seif Khirfan (Florence Tran)

A day in Tahrir hospitals from florence TRAN on Vimeo.

Seif Khirfan from florence TRAN on Vimeo.

Seif is a trauma surgeon who was shot in Tahrir the 25 th of January. This triggered a complete transformation in him. He is now a presenter for a TV program called “Let me hear you”. He goes in the field and listen to Egyptians who have positive and citizen initiatives.

Holly Herndon’s NSA break up song

Holly Herndon’s HOME, a love/break up song “for prying eyes” and corrupt confidants/devices. Data rain of NSA symbols in music video by Metahaven.

Holly Herndon says:

For my debut album Movement, I communicated an intimacy with my laptop. It is my instrument, memory, and window to most people that I love. It is my Home.

The ongoing NSA revelations have fundamentally changed this relationship. I entrusted so much in my device. To learn this intimacy had been compromised felt like a grand betrayal. Is everything done privately on my laptop to be considered a public performance?

Metahaven says:

The NSA spying on our network may have been tacitly known from reports going back as far as 2002, but the aesthetics of this surveillance were not so known. Code names, acronyms, icons and graphics from a shadow world designed to never be publicly exposed.

For “Home,” we created a data rain of these NSA symbols.


Protein synthesis danced

“Only rarely is there an opportunity to participate in a molecular happening. You’re going to have that opportunity, for this film attempts to portray symbolically yet in a dynamic and joyful way one of nature’s fundamental processes: The linking together of amino acids to form a protein”.

This is Protein synthesis: an epic on the cellular level, from Stanford department of chemistry, 1971.

Watch the Ribosomes, “depicted in the film as tumbling, rolling, clusters of bodies, amorphous by themselves but organized and structured when in the act of translating a message”

This little gift was found reading WHEN GOOGLE MET WIKILEAKS, by Julian Assange.

ONE of the many gems with which his interview with Google’s Eric Schmidt & crew is paved, including the fantastic footnotes. Educational, empowering, curious, challenging, frightening but also invigorating and heart-warming… BRILLIANT, and not only for tech experts.

To paraphrase JA last words in ” The banality of ‘don’t be evil’ : “ WGMW is “essential reading for anyone caught up in the struggle for the future, in view in one simple imperative: KNOW YOUR FRIENDS

Feeling grateful 🙂

Chen Xiaowang on Chen style taijiquan

Nice video here of Chen Xiaowang explaining and demonstrating some principles and characteristics of Chen family style taijiquan, extracted from a documentary for chinese television. Below is a transcript of the (sometimes approximate) english subtitles.

Capture d’écran 2014-09-04 à 17.05.57



(Transcript of english subtitles)

Chen Wangting (1600-1680)


Chen Wangting, from Chen village in Henan, building on the martial arts of his ancestors, studied famous Ming general Qi Jiguang’s and many internal fighting arts, integrated meridain theory, and confucian, daoist and traditional taiji yinyang teachings, created Chen style taijiquan and two person push-hands practice.

Four characteristics of Chen style taijiquan

Chen Xiaowang:

The first characteristic: movement spiraling and rotating, ‘chansi jin’ (reeling silk force). What is reeling silk force ? The jin which comes from silk reeling practice is reeling silk force. This spiraling, twisting way of moving is characteristic.

The second characteristic: Fast and slow alternate. Circle, slow. When circle arrives at straight, fast. Circular, lively movement. Light soft movement. At the (moment of) fajin it becomes straight. When doing fajin it is fast.

The third point: It preserves – cuan, beng, hao, yue (leap, bounce, jump, leap) teng, nuo, shan, zhan (soar, shift, dodge, open)

The fourth point: In the first form, soft spiraling movements dominate. But when this movement pattern is established, practice the second from, jump, leap… Soar, shift, dodge, open. Fast, faster than shaolin.

Slowness is the obligatory path” (to “form the dantian as core”)

Journalist: Master Chen, we often see the form done slowly, so why when it is applied it is so fast ? How would you explain this ?

Chen Xiaowang: The slowness is to slowly form the dantian as core. One part moves, all move, connected from section to section, qi unbroken throughout – To arrive at this movement principle. Now this movement system, if you can adapt it to all circumstances then when the opponent attacks you convert his attacking speed into your movement power. E.g. If he suddenly pushes … I change. He can push me quickly I retain my calm (position). I use this movement system, the dantian as core. I don’t move, he attacks. Second, after the system is developed, adapting it to all circumstances is about not losing this core. You must proceed from the slowness, to reach slow but not scattered, fast but not chaotic. If there is not ‘slow but not scattered’, if there isn’t this construction, this movement system process, there cannot be the resulting speed. This is the obligatory path, from slowness.

Relaxing is for coordination, harmony”

Chen Xiaowang: First of all, just relaxing is no good. E.g. This part, the position is not right. Can I relax ? No. First, correct the position. Only when the position is right can I relax.

Journalist: The position must be correct.

Chen Xiaowang: Yes, that’s the first point. Point two: relax how much ? Too much is also wrong. Relaxing is for coordination (harmony) to serve the movement principle. It is not ‘The more relaxed the better’.

Journalist: Is it true that too relaxed turns into slack ?

Chen Xiaowang: Right. This is called diu (losing, abandoning)

Agility appears”

Chen Xiaowang:

So to put it simply this movement principle is the foundation. After establishing this movement principle, when error is reduced to a certain level, movements are coordinated with the inside, not using brute force, then agility appears.

Chen Changxing’s 10 important points”


Chen Changxing’s 10 important points says:

When the upper part moves, the lower follows – When the lower moves, the upper leads – Upper and lower move, the middle responds – Middle moves, upper and lower harmonize – Hands move, waist moves, feet move, gaze follows – Only when upper and lower follow each other can we achieve taijiquan’s higher level requirements

Dantian moves, hand moves, foot moves…”

Chen Xiaowang:

Hand, elbow, shoulder, chest, abdomen. Below is pelvis, knee, ankle, foot. If above and below can follow each other, you can achieve dantian as core: one moves all move, unbroken. So what does follow mean ? First, the right position. Maintain the dantian as core. When you move with dantian as core, it brings about lower and upper moving together. Dantian moves, hand moves, foot moves.”

Different approaches for different angles of attack”

Journalist: Horizontal, vertical or sloping circles…

Chen Xiaowang: Yes, all appropriate for different angles of attacks, as necessary for striking. Sometimes the opponent strikes from the front: the arc should go this way. If he attacks from behind: shan (dodge) goes this way. From the left, this way. From the right, this way. Different approaches for different angles, to adapt to different attacks. This becomes front, back, left, right.

Journalist: So the opponent’s attack determines which circle I use ?

Chen Xiaowang: Correct.

The difference between hard and stiff”

Chen Xiaowang:

So by gang (hard) we mean fajin. What is the difference between hard and stiff ? One part moves, all parts move, Qi is unbroken. Then it is gang (hard) strength (jin). e.g. I do a fajin movement. This jin from the dantian, compared with this one… Two different feelings… Hard jin is qi unbroken, flowing. Whole body strength as much as possible, concentrated into one point. That is gang jin.

The characteristics of fajin (fali, emitting force)”

Chen Xiaowang:

The characteristics of fa li can be summarized: relax, lively, springy, shaking. These four words are hard to understand. The first step: get the body right. Before the fali, the whole body is relaxed. You mustn’t be over-relaxed. Every body part in the right position. For example, forearm and hand raised this much is enough. Using more force can obstruct the inner qi flow. In the wrong position, that is wrong too. So you need both the right position and not use to much force. This is the right amount of relaxation. With this precondition, with every part in the appropriate place, the dantian as core will naturally emerge. When you move, starting from the dantian to move the whole body, then its jin will have relaxed, lively, springy, shaking results. One hand, two hands, sideways, all the same.

Before fajin, you are relaxed. The fajin time, the shorter the better.

The art of hard and soft”


Renowned taiji master Chen Xin wrote insightfully about this. The taiji practitioner, reaching hard and soft, and mixing them seamlessly. Hard and soft nature is like a spring. A spring’s pliability and toughness is soft, its springy vibration is hard. The soft is not floopy, the hard is not stiff. Taijiquan is the art of hard and soft.

Chen Xiaowang:

So ‘gang’ is fajin, and soft is slow movement, change movement. In hardness, softness, and in softness, hardness. Pure hardness, without soft, lacks coherence. Pure soft without hard, is empty. What happened there ? He threw a punch. First I deflected his attack. This deflection is ‘soft’.

Journalist: So you absorbed it, absorbed the force

Chen Xiaowang: Correct. This part is ‘soft subdues hard’. The down part is ‘store up and emit alternating’.

Journalist: The down part is ‘gang’

Chen Xiaowang: Yes, the change.The transforming part is ‘soft’ subdues ‘hard’. After subduing hard with soft comes ‘store’. Not like this, that way I’m gone. When he comes I store up. Downwards is store and release alternating. Store and release, mutually changing.

Soft subdues soft”

Chen Xiaowang:

If the opponent doesn’t use force and I don’t use force, it depends on whose absorbing skill is better. If one person soft absorbing skill is good, he can feel his opponent’s changes and grasp the opponent’s core and fali. This is soft subdues soft. He is soft, I am even softer. If he comes very lightly, I can still lead him and change, soft subdues soft. If he softly listens to my force – you attack me. Then I first listen to his force then grasp his weak point. He is listening to my force. He is soft I am soft, I change, still soft, find his weak spot.

Hard can subdue hard”

Chen Xiaowang: Sometimes both are fajin. Then it depends on who has better hard jin.

Journalist: But if both are hard, don’t you get blocking ?

Chen Xiaowang: If the opponent’s quality is poor, he will be thrown right out. Now he is using hard force. He fajin’ed, I did too.

Journalist: Yours was harder than his

Chen Xiaowang: Yes. A question of whose basic skills are better. One strong, one weak. It’s the same, hard can subdue hard.

Many ways to control the opponent”


We can see taiji’s hard and soft needs close investigation. Soft does not always subdues hard, hard subdues hard, soft subdues soft, there are many ways to control the opponent. Taijiquan is like this, seemingly full of contradictions which can be perfectly resolved. Hard and soft, fast and slow are like this. Movement and stillness are also like this.

Handle movement with stillness” and Winning by surprise”

Chen Xiaowang:

Handle movement with stillness means feeling the opponent’s force as it comes. How does he come, from which direction ? Which angle ? Should I harmonize and change ? This is not a fixed rule, handle movement with stillness. If you also handle movement with stillness and I do too, if we both don’t move, that is no good. There is no opposition. So then there is winning by a surprise move. Find the opponent’s median line , weak spot, empty, weak point. You can attack first. You don’t have to handle movement with stillness. E.g. I push with (Chen) Bing . Step and close. Both waiting for the opponent to move. But here he is weak, here the qi is not enough. I see his center is here, I can take him down, suddenly attack. It is not always handle movement with stillness. Even if he doesn’t move, I can move.”

Soft absorbing, hard emitting”

Chen Xiaowang:

So hard is fajin, everyone knows that. Soft is changing, not fajin. When the opponent uses jin we use soft means to change the opponent’s line of force. The opponent has come at my center. We change the direction of his force, change and dissolve his force. This is absorbing. When the opponent loses his balance, we strike with hard jin, attack the appropriate part. That is called soft absorbing, hard emitting. (Chen) Jun psuhes my center line. My core is here. His force doesn’t reach my center line. This process is called absorbing. If his force reaches here my hard force is here…I move like this..That is hard emitting. He wants to take my center – I change, redirecting his force direction. He heads off a different way, then he also loses his balance. The process of leading him is the process of storing energy. He loses his center, I store energy. And… Fali! Attack his weak spot. So the absorbing force becomes storing, so when he loses balance, fali.

Journalist: Then it’s an ’empty’ ‘full’ change

Chen Xiaowang: Correct. Don’t try to hit first. First you have to change and dissolve, maintain your own movement principle.


Music For Heart And Breath, Richard Reed Parry

In love with Music For Heart And Breath, Richard Reed Parry‘s first classical composition album that came out a couple of weeks ago.

What it is, in his words :

“Very soft, very quiet music, played utterly in synch with the heart rates and breathing rates of the musicians performing it. Every note you hear is either in synch with the heartbeat of the person playing it, the breathing of the person (or one of the surrounding persons) playing it. So what you hear when this music plays is played precisely in time with someone’s quiet, internal rhythms. Brought to musical life by a handful of different ensembles.”

I feel this album is a gift for bodyworkers and caregivers. I also work with a stethoscope in massage sometimes -to amplify and interact with body sounds in real time- and I have been working with a musician in massage-music composition. To me, Music for Heart and Breath is both a soulmate, an inspiration, and a great auxiliary for working and teaching. I play it in individual massage sessions and I sometimes play it in my workshops, where it works as a great (sensational) auxiliary for learning (feeling) how to carefully approach and massage a person, body and mind.

Like it is said in this Pitchfork review of the album:

“There is a palpable aliveness to the performance that makes the six pieces, written for different configurations, feel like a guided meditation. This is body music, unquestionably, and by the end of the album the music’s subtle internal rhythms have reconfigured your own.” 


There are no fixed points, just motion along a spectrum, and we never know exactly where we are. But the uncertainty, familiar as it is, is oddly soothing. “

One long phrase of movement

Trio A (The Mind is a Muscle, part I), Yvonne Rainer, 1966

[Trio A] would be about a kind of pacing where a pose is never struck. No sooner had the body arrived at the desired position than it would go immediately into the next move, not through momentum but through a very prosaic going on. And there would be different moves-getting down on the floor, getting up. There would be this pedestrian dynamic that would suffuse and connect the whole thing. So the whole thing, though it would be composed of these fragments of movement unrelated both kinetically and positionally or shapewise, would look as though it were one long phrase. There would be no dramatic changes like leaps. There was a kind of folky step that had a rhythm to it and I worked a long time to get the syncopation out of it. In a way the opening da, da, da, da of the arms set the rhythm of the whole thing. There were exceptions to this rule, but this began to be the overall structure rhythmically and dynamically of this solo.”

-Yvonne Rainer, interview with Lyn Blumenthal, 1984, reprinted in Rainer, “A Woman Who . . . Essays, Interviews, Scripts” (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1999), p. 64

Le “santé-mentalisme”, outil du néolibéralisme – Entretien avec le psychiatre Mathieu Bellahsen


Entretien vidéo avec le psychiatre Mathieu Bellahsen auteur de “La Santé Mentale – Vers un bonheur sous contrôle” (Ed. La Fabrique), sur Mediapart par Sophie Dufau.


L’originalité de cet essai réside aussi dans la personnalité de son auteur. Psychiatre des hôpitaux (ex-président des internes en psychiatrie et cofondateur d’Utopsy), il suit au quotidien les malades d’un secteur de la banlieue parisienne. Fort de cette pratique, Mathieu Bellahsen est allé voir aux sources du concept de santé mentale pour comprendre son évolution. Le décryptage de textes essentiels – émanant de l’Organisation mondiale de la santé (OMS), de l’Europe ou du Centre d’analyse stratégique (service dépendant du premier ministre) – permet de saisir combien l’intention humaniste du milieu du XIXe siècle s’est muée, au début du XXe siècle et sous un vocabulaire positif, en norme impérative des comportements :

– « La santé mentale et le bien-être mental sont des conditions fondamentales à la qualité de la vie, à la productivité des individus, des familles, des populations et des nations, et confèrent un sens à notre existence tout en nous permettant d’être des citoyens à la fois actifs et créatifs », écrit l’OMS en 2005

– « Une personne en bonne santé mentale est quelqu’un qui se sent suffisamment en confiance pour s’adapter à une situation à laquelle elle ne peut rien changer », estime le Centre d’analyse stratégique en 2010.

– La prise en compte de la santé mentale permet « d’améliorer la disponibilité des ressources économiques », peut-on lire dans le Livre vert de l’Union européenne, publié en 2005.


Journalists Sarah Harrison and Alexa O’Brien @ re:publica 14

SARAH HARRISON, who, on top of her great work with Wikileaks as an investigative journalist and legal researcher, has provided whistleblower Edward Snowden with some ultimate form of care last year, from Hong-Kong to his asylum in Russia,

and ALEXA O’BRIEN, the journalist to whom the world owes an extensive searchable archive of the only available transcripts of WikiLeaks source Bradley Manning’s closed trial,

together put a few facts straight about Wikileaks, Manning and Snowden in their conversation @ re:publica 14.

Watch it HERE.

“If you want to connect to me, you have to do it safely” – Jacob Appelbaum & Jillian York @ re:publica 14

Like people didn’t give up on sex because of STDs, they are not going to give up using the Internet or today’s communication devices because they are bugged. There are however (transitive) risks in exposing our lives to constant capture / monitoring by third parties, and these could be minimized if the variety of us become better informed and start to adopt know-better behaviors, like in safer sex. Could we then learn how to use crypto tools like we learnt how to place condoms on bananas ? Drawing analogies with public health campaigns, environmental education for children and other social movements, Jacob Appelbaum (TOR) and Jillian York (EFF) lay out the principles of what could be a harm reduction campaign against the epidemic of mass surveillance and erosion of privacy, in their talk @ re:publica 14. Note that in a salutary queering of the debate, Appelbaum and York also point to the fact that opting out of the problem today saying “I have nothing to hide” is pretty much equivalent to (dominant white male) hetero saying AIDS is a gays thing and doesn’t concern them : false of course, and irresponsible. True, not everyone exposed to mass surveillance in their countries is exposed to the same risks (as of now white westerners might not risk to be put in jail or drone striked overnight for expressing their thoughts or gathering together on a regular basis), but understanding the interconnectedness is a vital key for all across the globe.


Creative Maladjustment (Martin Luther King)

“There are some things in our nation and in our world to which I’m proud to be maladjusted… I never intend to adjust myself to segregation and discrimination. I never intend to become adjusted to religious bigotry. I never intend to adjust myself to economic conditions that will take necessities from the many to give luxuries to the few, and leave millions of people perishing on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of prosperity. I never intend to adjust myself to the madness of militarism, and to the self-defeating effects of physical violence… And I call upon you to be maladjusted to these things until the good society is realized…Yes, I must confess that I believe firmly that our world is in dire need of a new organization – the International Association for the Advancement of Creative Maladjustment…Through such maladjustment we will be able to emerge from the bleak and desolate midnight of man’s inhumanity to man, into the bright and glittering daybreak of freedom and justice”

Martin Luther King “Don’t Sleep Through The Revolution,” speech delivered at the Unitarian Universalist Association General Assembly in Hollywood, Florida (May 18, 1966).

Transcript from “Taking Martin Luther King’s for creative maladjustment seriously”, on Mad in America 

“CODING YOUR BODY”: Physical therapist Sophie Hiltner talks at 30C3

In this 30 minutes talk, physical therapist Sophie Hiltner explains basic anatomy of the musculo-skeletal systems, the physical structures that hold us together and enable our actions. This is of course of interest to people who spend most of their time holding themselves the same way, not shape-shifting much, sitting all day, heads tilted over screens, forever clicking… You get the picture.

How is a little anatomy interesting ? Understanding the physiology and mechanics of the bones, muscles and connective tissues, leads to a better understanding of the constraints and stresses our postures exert on these systems everyday all day, and of the negative consequences these postures can have for the general well-being and health. Over the years, these consequences can in fact turn out quite bad, Sophie remarks, as she invites the audience to not lose more time before starting to listen to important warning signals from the body (you know, like pain). Note that the worse posture of all can be any posture in which one will let themselves become a statue, that is to say, lack of movement sabotages us in the long term. On that subject, French readers can read my post “l’effort musculaire de la statue”, on my massage blog.

From Sophie’s overview of the musculo-skeletal systems it then becomes quite clear that preventing and/or reversing the negative effects of still and sloppy habits can/should be in one’s power, as one becomes more aware and hopefully doesn’t wait to be too hurt before he or she takes simple steps that can go a long way. Like… Getting up ! Moving! A little later on after the talk, Sophie took the crowd outside (best place, given the hot air, lights, hyperactivity and electricity inside the building) for a little stretching and moving about. NICE ONE :)

So yes, a little knowledge in anatomy is very useful, and it can trigger a realization that movement is vital, which can save everyone some avoidable pains and strains (not all pains in life in the world are so easily avoidable, so we might as well prevent those which we can). It was great that Sophie was there at 30C3 to communicate this, because as crucial as it is, this kind of knowledge and practical body wisdom is not much represented… I myself am not fond of the analogy with machines  when speaking of the body (I like to stick to the living), but I guess it helped in getting the message across at 30C3, which mattered. As an experienced masseuse I guess I also would have enjoyed it if there had been more time for Sophie to present the case studies of her patients she had brought but… next time !

OBSERVE a MASSAGE : A Thaï Yoga Massage demo

During 30C3 I will be giving massages on a futon on the floor, working over comfortable clothing (one-size-fits-all-yoga-pants will be provided). Indeed, we are now in winter, and in a semi-nomadic situation I want to optimize the warmth and coziness of individual sessions. Consequently the massages will use a combination of techniques drawn more from Asia than California, with powerful palm pressures, cat paws and elephant walks, yoga-like stretches… I also like to integrate to them tools coming from occidental body-mind therapy, like guided deep breathing exercises, subtle stomach massage, and other minimal moves for maximum mind soothing benefits.

To give you an idea of the family of massage I am referring to, I looked for a demo video. I came across this thai yoga massage demo by teacher Ralf Marzen, whom I have never met and whose school I didn’t go to. But he seems to be really good at what he does, and these 9 minutes of demo are inspiring and instructive. I chose it because I loved the sequence at first sight and could almost feel it while watching it: I immediately wanted to try it (to receive and to give it).

So those of you who didn’t know anything about Thai massage can have a better idea of the style (there are of course many more techniques and moves and styles and practitioners, and the beauty of it is also a diversity outside of strict protocols). Furthermore, watching a good demo (or watching someone IRL) gives an opportunity to really observe what goes on in giving a massage. We can maybe understand, “copy-feel”, integrate moves, and by the wonderful ways of memory and imitation, we grow a new practice. These aspects have been discussed in my workshops OBSERVE-HACK-MASSAGE.

Now, here are some of my thoughts as I observe this demo.

Although this sequence looks smooth and easy, it is actually (indeed) advanced. Quite advanced, more than I am at present -yet nothing I couldn’t grow capable of, precisely because it looks so tasty and I like to look up to things that look so tasty and learn from them.

It looks easy and smooth because it is executed with great art, grace, and presence. In general a massage feels quite like it looks. So you can pretty much trust what you see, and/or feel, watching it.

It looks and probably is then, smooth ad easy, because the giver is himself comfortable in his own skin and bones, has gotgreat coordinationfeet sensitive as hands, to name a few. He seems to have very well integrated what he is giving, his knowledge seems “incarnated”. Also, he looks in an attentive yet relaxed state, and in a kind of a “blurry focus”, quite characteristic. Indeed thai massage is traditionally done /approached by giver and receiver like a meditation.

Notice the similarities with Yoga, it is – yet another – form of Yoga.

Notice the similarities also with Dance: how the giver communicates his “groove” to the receiver, and how rhythm is kept throughout. Notice if you can, how this groove and rhythm originate from the center of his body (belly) and propagate to his limbs, hands, feet (it’s not just the hands doing something independently). Notice also how the bodies respond to each other, echo, however passive the receiver may seem (I would argue that receiving a massage is not such a passive thing, by the way).

Notice how the structure of the body (of receiver, but also giver) is very well handled, notice how movement is initiated where movement should be initiated: at the articulations. Notice how amplitude comes with opening (of the joints, of breathing..).

Notice the fluidity in the whole sequence, the oceanic vibe, brought by rocking and oscillating moves. Also, the stretches are many, long and soft. The masseur is taking his time, not rushing things, sometimes even pausing. He is listening, feeling.That leaves space for (deep) breathing. It also indicates that the pressures are applied progressively on the receiver’s muscles, thus respecting her body and needs. The whole thing is not so tonic, meaning the intention, and effects, are probably more about relaxation than waking-up or preparing for action. It is about gentle unblocking, melting tensions and opening of flows in the bodies. I guess it could be one metaphorical illustration of how “data must flow” can resonate in massage.

These are really cool massages to learn. So cool that to practice them well, you have to be really flexible and CHILLIN’. You cannot escape (at least not for long) working on your own body and mind (which is true with any massage but is especially true here with Thai, for occidental people). Once you integrate its aspects, some of which I have described, you become comfortable and capable of giving this kind of massage to almost anybody, even somebody with a body much larger than yours.

Do in automassage (le bien-être au bout des doigts)

Le Do In est une technique d’automassage issue de la médecine traditionnelle chinoise. Sa pratique est très proche de sa version japonaise appelée Shiatsu « la voie par la pression des doigts ».

Dominique Launay, praticien en shiatsu est l’auteur de “Do In automassage : le bien-être au bout des doigts”. Il a réalisé des vidéo pour le web présentant une série d’exercices pour prévenir et soulager les maux du quotidien des travailleur.euses sur ordinateur.

La démarche est expliquée et les différents exercices sont présentés ici:



About hackers and depression

Some material related to hackers’ psychological well being/health in the article CRACKING SUICIDE: HACKERS TRY TO ENGINEER A CURE FOR DEPRESSION, By Adrianne Jeffries. Full text here.



(…)Bernadette Schell, vice-provost at Laurentian University, studied hackers for more than a decade. (…) She wanted to know whether hackers matched their portrayal in the media, which at the time considered them maladjusted cyber-psychopaths. ”I kept looking for everything that would support these myths,” she said. 

“What I found was that the hacker community was a very well-adjusted group of individuals.“ At the time, the perception was that hackers were computer addicted, high-strung type A personalities. But the hackers in Schell’s study turned out to be emotionally balanced, “self-healing” type B personalities. They were a bit more introverted than the average population, but still socially connected. Most were employed and made more than the median income level. Incidence of depression was not higher than in the general population. (In fact, some studies have shown that engineers, a group that has a lot of overlap with hackers, have one of the lowest depression rates compared to other occupations.) The hackers were so resilient that even being sent to jail or charged for hacking crimes did not affect their reported stress levels long term.


(…)The roboticist, hacker, and Discovery Channel personality Zoz, also known as Andrew Brooks, served as a student mentor while getting his PhD in electrical engineering and computer science at MIT. He ended up counseling a lot of depressed undergrads who tried to reverse-engineer a solution rather than seek help. Many hackers even refer to their strategies for dealing with depression as “hacks.” 

(…)Of course, depression can be difficult to synthesize into a math problem. The cause is usually a combination of cascading factors that are often difficult to trace. The solution can be even harder to pin down.

“It can be incredibly frustrating to be sitting there, looking at your own brain, and going, ‘right, I entirely understand that something is not quite right with the way that my neurotransmitters are communicating with the receptors in my brain,’” Patterson said. “‘I recognize that I can tinker with this balance and otherwise engage in manipulations of my own mental state to try to resolve this situation. I understand all of this, and why is it not working?’”


(…)The popular impression that hackers have a high suicide rate could be because many of the hackers who killed themselves were at the top of their fields, and the highly gifted are statistically more likely to suffer from depression. The community’s facility for dissecting, analyzing, and communicating on the internet — a medium that naturally amplifies its message — has also contributed to the perception that there is a hacker suicide crisis.

In reality, the situation is getting better. While there are still some negative associations with mental health issues among hackers, that’s true of most cultures. Like the broader public, awareness of mental health issues is growing, and resources like BlueHackers.org, which has information about depression geared to hackers, and IMAlive, an instant message version of a suicide hotline, have helped countless hackers through their issues. Hackers are also eager to help each other; the line for Baldet’s talk started forming 20 minutes before it was set to start, and she was mobbed by questioners afterward.

Six months after Sassaman died, Patterson appeared on a panel called “Geeks and Depression” at the 2011 Chaos Communication Congress (CCC), an international hacker conference.


(this article was first published 28th August 2013 by Le massage en images)

“Feel what the medium has done to you”: Artist Yin Aiwen


Taking media analyst Marshall Mc Luhan’s famous theoretical pun that “the medium is the massage” almost to the letter as a staring point, chinese artist Yin Aiwen designs a performance-installation in which massage plays a central part, until the initial statement appears to be reversed, and “the massage” re-installs itself as “the medium”. A true human massage ultimately appears as a possible antidote to the panoply of psycho-physical pains quite willingly (=unconsciously?) inflicted to oneself by the modern human, otherwise “massaged” into a disembodied alienation by the soft, gentle, falsely-caring mass media machinery.

I as a masseuse happen to think highly about massage, and this work strikes me as interesting. I may have a few hesitations about the piece (mostly about the dispositive), still I feel it is conveying important, inspiring, and potentially emancipative material.

The dispositive is as follow: Yin Aiwen gives a 15 minutes a chinese medical massage to a participant installed in a massage chair, at the headset of which is installed a tablet playing a video-montage of clips from mass culture. A voice over reads, in a more or less relaxing, therapeutical tone, a text exploring the relationship between media, machines (computers specifically) and the receiver’s body, their pain, their vitality, all along questioning them, engaging them in instructive feedback loops with their sensations. A small audience is invited to watch the session.

It is almost a clever piece of reverse engineering, Yin Aiwen giving a massage and deducing, from the informations she collects at her expert fingertips, the design of the “end product”, the end product here being the human being in the capitalist world… So that she could then re-build this human being, re-model them, correct them, free them from this socio-economical-mechanical blocking ?

I have not assisted to the performance myself, so my judgment and impressions are of course limited. I only watched the video documentation, which I find was already quite an experience, and I strongly advise you to watch it ! As for the text, for which I post below a full transcript, it contains some gems and, in the light of my own experience, it speaks a lot of truth, however in somewhat dark aspects of it.

In the end, the piece altogether appears to be slightly too demonstrative, still too spectacular to my taste, authoritarian and somewhat cruel for the receiver (!) but Yin Aiwen completely admits it, for it serves her purpose : “The harsh, ruthless massage has no interest in your pleasure”, she writes. It gets the “message”/”massage” across…

However I believe this “message” is in essence one that emerges from massage during a private session. Indeed, a good massage will “inform” you of your condition. Here and now, and before, and even possibly give you an insight on after. It will move and question those layers of histories embedded in your flesh, sometimes it will allow images, memories, dreams, fantasies, to flash behind your eyelids, without a video being necessary. It will present to your consciousness, at your own pace, material very personal, possibly life improving; hints, cues, directions given by your senses to finding yourself again, connecting with yourself so that you be again the one “living” rather than the one being “operated” by. This way of the massage is known, and listened to, by many massage artists, practicians and therapists.This piece speaks to me of the substance of which good massage sessions are made of.

Find out more about the Massage is the medium by Yin Aiwen here.

Welcome to the plug in systems.
Your body will be massaged in a few seconds,
Please relax…
You are going to experience a story that is specifically made by you, enjoy.
Please relax…
Some cream will be applied to your neck and shoulders,
It’s going to be fine,
Things will be nice and smooth…
That’s right
After your fifteen minutes massage, you’ll feel free like never before.
Now your neck is being touched, does it hurt ?
Have you noticed this type of pain before ?
I know you work in front of the computer a lot, picture that scene :
Do you see your face with the screen light on, glowing in the dark, just like everyone else ?
You work late quite often, don’t you ?
The quiet night… Only the sounds of your keyboard is in company.
Do you feel those blocks here ? It hurts a lot, doesn’t it ?
You must be the kind of person that is constantly thinking, probably getting annoyed by it sometimes.
Your tired brain creates this block.
It’s in the way in which your brain gets all the supplies.
So when it gets blocked, the supplies – oxygen, nutrients, and blood – will have difficulties to get into your brain.
Tiredness must be an old friend of yours.
That’s why you need this massage :
To clear out the scene, to make it work again…
Computers change you, starting from your hands,
Grow into your chest, get into your back, then to your neck, and eventually, to your brain…
I know you thought that your body was irrelevant, didn’t you ?
Otherwise, you wouldn’t let it be like this…
As if it’s just the operator of your mind, and you thought your mind is eternal,
travelling in the infinite universe, pluging into the mortal nervous circuits, being free…
The strain muscle you have, many people have it nowadays.
It used to be a professional injury for people doing paperwork.
But nowadays, almost everyone has it.
Even children have it.
See how stiff your front neck is.
It indicates the condition of your chest
Like here, the end point of your chest muscles, and the starting point of your arms’…
Do you feel how it goes all the way down to the hand that types the keyboard ?
Your injured body has become the burden of your digital soul.
It’s ok, many people thought so.
People say fickleness is the theme of society now
Streaming tweets, 24/7
Optical transmission, day and night…
The facebook « one for all, all for one » utopia, right in front of your eyes…
Your fingers dance on your keyboard non-stop
Your Iphone camera flashes at every corner of your life
Your exciting brain on wire, all season…
You are so willing to share yourself to the world,
That you are pleased to shatter yourself into a hundred and forty pieces…
All the consequences then fall on your back,
Sink into your neck, permeate your brain…
They change you so quietly that you thought it’s your choice.
Do you see your face with the screen light on, glowing in the dark, just like everyone else ?
Physical pain is easy to forget of course.
That’s why you constantly hurt yourself.
Do you see how badly you have hurt yourself ?
It’s so painful it almost becomes emotional.
Feel it…
Feel what has happened to you…
Feel what the medium has done to you…
Think about what you have done to yourself…
Can this pain that you have done to yourself make you regretful ?
The medium is the massage.
The sweet exciting kind of massage, catering to your every wish,
Manufacturing your desire, regulating your recognition,
Until you can’t tell if there is another kind of life anymore…
All you can see is what has been given,
ALL that has been given is ALL you can imagine…
In the world of cyber capital
Everything is soft, fluffy, gentle, fulfilling…
Like a massage.
Satisfying your longing to be cared for, to feel special, to feel loved…
All you need to do is to pick a set that is all designed.
Yes, the special design, only for you…
And a million duplications of you.
You think this massage is made for you, don’t you ?
Like this, it happens for a reason,
Reasons that are based on your condition
But so many people have the same condition,
The same analysis of you…
I did it to dozens and dozens and dozens of people.
You are the same, you are all made the same.
Together you are precious, together you are special,
Together you are unique, together you are alone.
It’s not enough that machines code your life.
It’s not enough that they design every inch of your life.
You will only be perfect when its perspective becomes yours,
Your only perspective.
Only then you will have your true freedom :
Boundless, painless, senseless, heartless…
Do you see your face with the screen light on, glowing in the dark, just like everyone else ?
In this optical fiber world, you are transcendant.
Your face is flattened after the speed of light.
You can barely see others faces, and others can barely see yours.
So you talk as loud as you can, in one way or another,
So you can grab as many hurried travellers as possible…
After all, the mass man needs the proof of his living…
So fifteen minutes of attention is already an extravagance.
If possible a massive killing weapon is in favour.
So taking a massage to you becomes a very odd, even uncomfortable idea, doesn’t it ?
You needed to have so many decent reasons to give yourself in, didn’t you ?
But you need this massage.
Through others hands, it reminds you that you are still human.
Through the pain, it reminds you that you are not entirely numb, yet.
You are more than the electrical signals from your neurons.
Your communication with people is more than a faceless P2P transmission.
The massage is the medium.
This person behind you, who’s touching you, trying to find out what happened to you,
Do you see her as a human ?
Two euros slide in a coin slot, and a piece of hamburger jumps out…
She’s not a walking commodity, providing catalogue services,
But that’s why you felt uncomfortable about the idea, isn’t it ?
It’s a better design that pryes your heart with a decent distance…
Have you noticed the silent communication between you and her ?
Or are you just struggling to fight with your body, learning about yourself ?
It’s ok, she knows what you have been through.
Underneath the fingertips size of skin that she connects to you, your trembling muscles are shedding a tear…
She knows.
The pain you’re experiencing is the last mayday your body screams out to you, do you hear that ?
Feel it…
Feel your blood running through your body…
So powerful, as if you are alive again…
Feel this warmth inside, as if you are being cared for…
Feel what is happening now…
Feel where they came from, and where they will go…
Feel it, before this massage comes to an end…
I would like to thank you for dedicating yourself to this experiment.
I hope it means something to you.
Before you unplug yourself,
Please take a deep breath,
And I would like to ask you : Do you think I am human ?