Health is more than just exercise and diet.
We all know that in order to be healthy we need to eat healthy diets, take proper supplements to replace trace vitamins and minerals that our lifestyles (by and large) deny our bodies, and drink enough water to keep hydrated. We need to refrain from hitting the drive thru regularly (even if it’s far more convenient than cutting up a salad) and eat sinfully chocolate treats in moderation.
We need to exercise enough to keep us physically healthy. So many of us work jobs that keep up sequestered from the world in a rat maze of cubicles or holed up in an office devoid of sunlight sitting behind desk and consider ourselves fortunate on sunny days to grab a fifteen minute walk around the building. It’s not uncommon for clients to count the time chasing toddlers or hauling preteens to extracurricular activities as work outs.
Many of us pray on a regular basis, or have a belief in a power greater than ourselves, but less and less time is dedicated to connecting with our higher power, however identified, because our lives are more and more chaotic, and so we slip further and further away from the divine.
How often, though, do we take all three sides of the pyramid and combine them to make a whole picture of health? How often do we find ourselves in situations where we are completely out of balance in our lives, and we know it, but can’t quite put our fingers on WHY we are out of balance or out of sorts?
To be truly healthy, I believe, we have to nourish ourselves completely. By that, I mean we have to feed our Body, Mind and Spirit. We can have a healthy body, but what good does it do to be able to compete in a triathlon (or just take a walk with a loved one), if we are so completely focused on the stresses of the day and can’t shut our minds down to enjoy the laughter of the children at the park or the smile on the face of the person you love the most? Unless our soul is fed a wholesome diet of quiet and meditation, we start to fall out of balance spiritually. By this, I’m not saying you MUST go to church. I am, however saying that I believe it is imperative to feed your soul: church, fellowship with like thinkers, meditation, positive motivational books – whatever feeds your soul.
What’s this have to do with massage therapy you may be asking? Here it is in a nutshell… massage therapy incorporates all three sides of the equilateral triangle… Body, Mind, Spirit.
Massage has been found to treat physical ailments (duh, right?). Aches and pains that have almost come to be expected are physically worked out of the body. Blood flow is increased which allows the body to heal itself by flushing out toxins that have built up over time. Massage is used to treat sinus congestion to constipation, headaches, joint pain, back pain and on and on and on… by no means am I implying that massage should be used as the sole treatment for any physical ailment, but I firmly believe that massage can be used very efficiently in conjunction with medical care to bring about incredible physical results.
When the mind is not “right”, so often there are physical symptoms. Depression can physically hurt. Anyone that has lived with depression whether acute or chronic knows that the valleys are deep. Anxiety brings about headaches, muscle aches from holding our bodies tight, stomach aches from the abdominal and core muscles not being permitted to relax. Massage therapy assists the body in relaxing and relieving the physical pain that often accompanies depression, anxiety or just day to day stresses that leave us feeling like a rubber band that has been pulled as tightly as it can be before snapping. Again, by no means am I implying that a trained mental professional should be bypassed, but I am standing firm in my belief that as a team far more can be accomplished.
Finally, when our spirit is at peace, we can see the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel when we are struggling. All of us have struggles. All of us find ourselves feeling alone and maybe a little adrift on the sea of life, and we all need to take a little time now and then to regroup and reestablish our connection with whatever/ whoever our higher power is. During a massage session, you are permitted to reestablish that connection. You are given the key to open the doors that may seem closed and look within. Many of my clients take the hour or hour and a half that they are being worked on to just have “quiet time” and look within… not think about work or chores that need to be done. Our precious “to do” lists are ever present, and once you leave my oasis of solitude and relaxation and reenter the real world, you are free to start marking things off full force again, but for just a few minutes, it’s alright to connect with your divine just one on one.
It is my responsibility as a massage therapist to assist my clients in reaching their potential and find balance in this chaotic world. It is my duty to work as a team with you as my client to achieve the equilateral triangle that was mentioned earlier. Please feel free to give me a call, send me an email or set up an appointment through my website. I would love to discuss with you what we can achieve together and how I can be a partner in your well-being.