The Cat and the Vase

I had a patient message me asking for an urgent appointment.

“Jennifer, I wrenched my shoulders last night and have painful T Rex arms now. Help!”

When I asked her what happened, she told me she was so startled by an explosion in a movie that she jumped back in her seat and her muscles got stuck that way.

“Is it the movie’s fault? Can a movie do that?” she asked.

This is a good question because we vividly remember the trauma or trigger that precedes  big pain, but that’s not the real cause. Our posture and habits set our spine, muscles, and fascia into a precarious Jenga tower. 

I said, “Think of it this way. Imagine a vase was placed on the edge of a table. And then a cat jumped on the table and the vase fell down and shattered. The cat may have caused it to fall, but the vase was in the wrong place to begin with.”

Having worked on so many necks and shoulders, I can see it before people tell me. They might have even come in for something else—hot flashes, insomnia, chronic low energy, or stress—and I say,”what about these shoulders?”

I’m not looking for extra things to treat. I’m preventing T Rex arms down the line. 

We can release the body into greater harmony so that you can do spontaneous things like dancing or watching suspense movies or playing volleyball without wrenching yourself.

We can move the vase.  

Learn more about how neck and shoulder injuries happen and how to keep your upper body pain free by coming to January’s workshop:  5 Keys to Solving Neck and Shoulder Pain. Sign up now with this link:

Jennifer Mason
Improv is life: My journey from “Yes but… “ to “Yes and…”

When people find out that I do improv and standup, they often say something about my incredibly big ovaries. Or that they’d be too scared to even think about getting on stage. And that I am a badass.


This is funny to me because I signed up for improv in order to be bolder. I was looking for a way to find my voice and to get comfortable with the risk of not knowing what to say and feeling like I might be making a mistake. 

It was hard to show up for the first day of class. I was afraid that I’d be surrounded by seasoned comedians and I’d be the shy one. At least half of the people were just like me without any theater experience and just wanting to round out their lives. 

Improv is a great for imposter syndrome—the feeling that you don’t really know what you’re doing and people are going to find out. 

Because growing my business requires boldness and badassery, I made this year the year that I rushed willingly into the chance to make mistakes or make a fool of myself. The “yes and” philosophy as well as the “all mistakes are gifts” mantra were my gym.

In Level 4, we were told to ask ourselves onstage “Who am I? What do I want? What is my relationship  to the other person?” and then maybe “Find the funny.”  

It’s my goal to be able to answer these in my life every moment. And to not always have the same answers in every scene. 

After a few months of going on stage with my class, I had a vision of myself doing standup on my 50th birthday, and that happened. FCI was the first big stage that I did my set, and the support was amazing and phenomenal.  

Improvisers are the funnest, funniest, bravest, most supportive people I’ve ever met and I’m so glad I’m one of them. Thank you for accepting me into your pack even as I struggle to answer the big questions.

FCI Student Spotlight Jennifer Mason
Jennifer Mason
It's because you're so smart and caring....

Have you ever noticed that your greatest strength is also your greatest weakness?

It’s hard to see because we tend celebrate and enjoy our gifts, but they also bite us in the butt.

For example, there’s that outgoing friend of yours who always has great stories--but never shuts up long enough to develop listening skills.  Or all of the great chefs who tend not to be skinny. And most of the great athletes and dancers I know have a hard time sitting still.

And if you’re an anxiety sufferer, I bet you have a brain that works really well at organizing things and keeping you out of trouble. Your thinking muscles might be so good that you can’t turn them off. Or your tender heart that cares so deeply might easily slip into scenarios where you worry and worry and worry.

Not to brag, but I’ve been there.  Lying in bed watching my thoughts turn like wet laundry in a tumble dryer. As a 3rd grader, I spent many afternoons lying on the nurses couch with an ice pack on my neck to calm a migraine and many nights watching my digital clock change numbers into the early morning. More recently, getting divorced was a doozy for worry and big feelings.

So, I know. You can’t just shut it off and tell yourself to stop worrying or stop obsessing or stop being sad. You need to give your brain something else to do.

But what? Jennifer, you tease, tell me what the secret formula is!

Good news? There are a lot of options I’ve encountered since my hippie parents taught me to meditate at 8. And yes, the magic of acupuncture and herbs are in there too.

In fact, there are so many great strategies and perspectives that I’ve combined them all in a workshop I’m calling The Anxiety First Aid Kit. Past attendees told me they felt inspired and loved having so many resources to take home with them.  

More good news? There’s one happening on Saturday, November 17th at 12:00 noon. It’s $20 if you pre-register or $25 at the door.

Sign up! You’ll be glad you did.

Here’s the link to register:

Jennifer Mason
Heart and Hustle: Healers, Movers and Shakers

Recently I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Paulette Rees-Denis on her program, Heart and Hustle. Paulette is a transformational leader who talks to the most interesting and inspirational healers and leaders when she’s not teaching dance. In this talk, we discuss women’s health, menopausal changes, scheduling self-care, and comedy.

Let me know in the comments what was most interesting to you! Thanks for listening!

Jennifer Mason
To Yin-finity and beyond!
What is the meaning of these fish_.png

Yin Yang is more than a popular tattoo design--it's the basis of our medicine and the philosophy of Taoism.

It's black and white, cold and hot, male and female, but it's NOT good and evil.

It's tempting to see stillness, cold, boredom, silence, and winter as "bad" because they're not our favorite. We like sunshine and parties and summer. But endless summer, parties, and sunshine leave us exhausted and burnt out.

That's when we crave Yin.

Sometimes we mistake it for needing another coffee or energy drink to keep going. We need stillness, boredom, sleep, and quiet. It gently replenishes and soothes us.

If you're feeling prickly, exhausted, frazzled, and you're reaching for your favorite energy drink, consider reaching for some Yin instead.

Take a nap.

Stay in tonight and don't look at a screen.

Make some soup.

Put dark green vegetables in your body.

Be bored.

I know. It's horrible.

But then something happens--your bounce comes back. You begin to dream again.

Yes, Eastern medicine has yin supplements that I can prescribe (and I take them daily with my morning beverage,) but you can increase your yin by yourself too.

PM me if you want to chat about your yin, anxiety, or anything else about your health and wellbeing. And enjoy the start of our dark yin seasons.

Jennifer Mason
Thawing out a "frozen shoulder"

Have I mentioned how much I love treating neck and shoulder pain? 

I must have mentioned it a bunch I got a call asking me for more info by my friend, Shannon Perry from the website Did you know that post menopausal women are more likely to have shoulder problems?

Read all about it here!

And if you have questions about your shoulder, you know who to call. (It's me! Call me!)

Jennifer Mason