“Surviving Weightlessness”

 

This is how I feel right now. 

This concept I picked from up the book “The Surrendered Wife” by Laura Doyle. 

It very aptly describes the emotional vertigo and, therefore, anxiety that many of us face in transitional phases of our lives when we give up control and leap into the unknown. 

Choosing to move from a situation that wasn’t working and now moving on because, instead of staying and trying to unsuccessfully “make it work” (which I have an extensive history of), I am moving on without knowing exactly where I am going. 

This time, I am listening to my intuition… as scary and crazy as it seems, I opted for change having no vision of what to do, but knowing I’m on my right path.  It is freeing and feels “ weightless”.  I don’t know what my bearings are.  I just know “that” wasn’t “it”.

Growing up, I came from a home where the dichotomy between extreme scientific evaluation and intuitive hunches were valued and followed.  This leaves me with a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde approach to figuring things out when faced with new personal territory, which I think many people can relate to. 

(It’s the whole “Should I? /Shouldn’t I?” that shows up in life ever so often.)

I find this true in people’s bodies. 

The healthy person responds to stress (change) with adaptability, being able to do things in a different way than has been normal.  The body always follows the emotions, but mentally, the mind choses to be rigid (or “ being right”) in its approach. 

We massage therapists call this “not being in one’s body”.  I feel this is one of the most important values of massage/touch therapy.  The body is holding vital information, but it is being devalued by the mind as “unsafe”. 

So war wages between the mind and body over the way to handle things.  Both the mind and body suffer because there is not communication and unison in their actions and functions. 

Bringing peace, harmony and balance to the whole is how one gets back to some sense of wholeness.  Touch therapy helps you align back up with what makes you, you and to face changes and adapt.   

I will be trying to get in a massage or some kind of personal therapy this week.  How about you?

 : – )

(By the way, check out the book.  Here’s her link:  http://lauradoyle.org/   It has some excellent tips for negotiating all kinds of relationships, whatever they may be.)

Breathing…

Breathing… Even though it keeps you alive for 5 more minutes there is so much more to it! 

As a massage therapist, I was trained to scan a clients’ torso to see if they are breathing (or not) for a couple of reasons. 

One is, that if the pressure is too hard, they are flinching, which is counter-productive to easing muscle tension.  Two, the act of breathing (or not) is a reflection of whether the “fight or flight” sympathetic nervous system is still on high alert with stressors, or whether they are starting to relax and gear down. 

If I notice that someone is not breathing, I ask about the pressure.  And if the answer is “fine”, I might move into a little guided imagery for body awareness.  One that I suggest is relaxing in a certain area, like the front of the throat, the “belly”, the lap, the armpits, the face, the feet. Sometimes we slowly walk awareness through the body together from feet to head, “turning out the lights”. 

Then I will move on to asking them to breathe in spots that seem constricted, even if they are not directly related to the diaphragm.  You can breathe in your face, lap or feet, didn’t you know?

I like to give the analogy of breathing from the lap to the chin.  Think about your torso as an air mattress.  Before you start to fill an air mattress, it is flat and folded.  As air is pumped in, it starts to expand, filling out the shape of the rectangle and push out the corners.  By the time it is filled up, the air pressure has made the mattress firm.

Our hips and shoulders are “the corners” of this internal air mattress of our lungs.  Without sufficient pressure the whole torso is weak, just like an air mattress that goes flat by the morning.  No wonder our shoulders and legs bother us!  We don’t have sufficient air pressure to keep us afloat! 

Breathe!  –  Because you get to!”  (You are still living, right?)

Fill up your air mattress!

Taking care of feet…

Taking care of feet...

Reflexology

No one really knows how or why it works, but many rely on reflexology to recover and maintain their health. 

Reflexology is the stimulation of specific points mostly on the feet, but also hands, or ears in order to affect the whole body and therefore various organs, glands or structures in the body.  This enhances the body’s own natural healing processes for strength and balance.

Our feet carry enormous pressure through the day and could use some maintenance care through a reflexology session, or set of sessions depending on what is going on in the body.  The feet can carry tension and often pain. Tender points alert to problem areas and are addressed within client’s pressure wishes.  The whole foot is addressed to bolster the unison of the body systems, helping the immune system and encouraging a sense of vitality and wellness.

Only a small percentage of massage clients come in for pampering, relaxation massages.  Most come in for medical complaints: back pain, muscle spasms, sports injuries, migraines, fibromyalgia, and rehabilitation after surgery, etc. 

Many times Doctors will suggest massage for hypertension and high blood pressure.  But some people choose reflexology or energywork in tandem with conventional medicine to support the body through critical care, when the body cannot handle a full massage. 

Reflexology is easy to do over a lunch break, as it is only a 30-minute treatment, and doesn’t require disrobing.  Reflexology often requires a commitment of several treatments, especially if there have been serious health issues.  Ask for package deals! 

Check my “about” page for contact information.  Come try it out!

“ You can run like a racecar… “

… But you have to come in for pit stops.” 

I have said this so many times in massage or energywork sessions that I wish I had a dollar for every time I have said it!

What I am referring to is that balance is usually thought of as a Zen concept; where you go into a blissed out state, and live there (in a yoga posture) no matter what traumatic events may happen.  Now I have no problem with yoga, if that is your thing, but we all have our “thing”.  I like and use yoga.

But balance may be more of a concept where balance is the righting effect of going 100% and then screeching to a stop to catch your breath, like a racecar coming in to get the fuel and tires to continue on at a crazy pace.

I usually see people when their world has come crashing down around their heads, and they are in pain, hyper-tense, not breathing, and needing some relief.  Getting people and their bodies and their energy to a calm, relaxed state, and in less pain is the righting effect.  Scheduling down time before getting wound back into that knot is also has a righting effect, knowing that there will be a “port in the storm”.

We all have stressful times, and times when we can’t stop yet, but there needs to be an end strategy in place.  Taking time out for massage can be one strategy.  What are the positive ways you deal with stress?

Karate?  Walking?  Listening or playing music?  Involvement in community theatre?  Writing?  Getting more sleep?  Lunch with “the girls/guys”?  Veg’ing in front of the T.V./Computer/Game Console?  Reading a good book? Decorating/painting your house?  Art?  Cleaning?  Long, hot bath with candles?  Playing with your kids or pets? Working in a garden?  Volunteering?  The list goes on and is individual for each of us, at any given time.

Given the intensity and length of stressful situations, we may all reach for unhealthy choices, or close off from overwhelm.  I believe this is where addictions some in, sort of like a baby’s pacifier.  Depending on the situation, these can take us over.  Working back out of crisis situations can be a long or short journey but one that can be shaped by adapting with new habits and letting go of and replacing less beneficial habits.  A mental re-framing and re-claiming of one’s life and relation to it, is the road back.  Getting back your life, you come back up to speed with the rest of life around you.  Now you are back to flirting with the whole racecar mentality.  But now you have choices on how to spend your energy.  …Take time for that “pit stop”.

Mandy  : – )