Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Are you in touch with your body?

When was the last time you called your body and had a chat?  How do you handle pain when it arises?  I am not only talking about physical pain, but mental and emotional pain too.  Do you deal with it when it arises, or do you stuff it down thinking that ignoring it will make it go away?  Well, I have news for you.  Ignoring it does NOT make it go away.  If anything, it grows like a tumor.  The less in touch you are with your body, the less likely you are to notice until the pain becomes debilitating. 

Did you know that once muscle becomes tight enough for you to feel physical pain, that the injury has been there for months or years?  That's right!  It takes a long time for muscle to become tight enough to impinge the nerves if the problem is repetitive stress.  Repetitive stress is both repetitive motions and repetitive posture.  This can include the way that you sleep.  I have had many clients come see me last minute because they slept wrong and had pain from the night before.  When I work on them, it becomes obvious to me that the problem is long term and chronic and they were not aware of it.  I can tell how old an injury is by how tight the muscles are.  If they feel like concrete to me, we have some major work to do.  Some things you can do for yourself can include, but not limited to: yoga, water aerobics, walking, hiking, strength training and cardiovascular exercise.  I don't recommend anything high impact since our joints will pay the price for it later on.

If you are having a hard time getting rid of pain no matter what you do to work it out, think back to how you felt emotionally when the problem first happened.  We often think that we had gotten over something a long time ago and they be embedded in our cellular memory.  Some things you can do for yourself can include, but are not limited to: emotional freedom technique, guided meditations and energy work like reiki.

I have noticed for myself, as well as clients, that taking care of myself through meditation, exercise, eating right and receiving regualr body work, that I am very in touch with my body to the point of knowing immediately when something is wrong.  Since I always book my next body work session after being worked on, before leaving, I never have to stress out about anything that I am unable to work out on myself because I know that I already have my next session pre booked.

If you start to feel worse as a result of self care, there are two possibilities.  One possibility could be that you may have picked an exercise that is making the problem worse, or you could be doing it with an improper posture or doing too much too soon.  Another possibility that is rarely acknowledged, is that you are becoming more in touch with your body.  Once you get out of pain you have had for years, you'll notice it immediately as soon as it starts to come back.  Problems that are years old do not go away over night.  Have patience and nurture your soul by doing something that makes your heart sing.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

When Pain Becomes Chronic

There are many different reason why pain can become chronic.  I am going to talk about chronic pain from the point of view of stored emotions and energy work.  I find that clients who are open to energy work, in addition to massage, seem to have some pretty profound results.  From an energy work perspective, we can have stored emotions from a long time ago from events that we think we may have forgotten about. 

From the Traditional Chinese Medicine point of view, here is a simple break down of how emotions affect different organs of our body:  Some emotions associated with the heart and small intestine can include hate, cruelty and impatience.  Liver, eyes and gallbladder can include anger, frustration, jealousy and envy.  Kidney, ears and bladder can include fear.  Spleen, stomach and pancreas can include worry, anxiety and mistrust.  Lungs, skin and large intestine can include sadness and depression.  As you can see, these emotions are not independent of each since we usually experience more than one of them simultaneously.  Therefore, it would make sense that the organs do not work independently of each other and actually depend on each other.

Chakras are energy centers located in our body.  The root chakra is located at the base of the spine and can represent safety and security.  The sacral chakra is located on the lower navel and can represent sexuality and creativity.  The solar plexus chakra in located in the solar plexus and can represent power and self esteem.  The heart chakra is located at the center of the chest and can represent love and emotions.  The throat chakra is located at the throat and can represent our voice.  The third eye chakra in located between the brows and represents intuition.  The crown chakra is located at the crown of the head and represents our connection to the divine.  Our chakras also represent emotions and the organs.

I like to include the discussion of emotions when discussing pain because this is what has worked for me.  Massage helped, but reiki and craniosacral therapy took things deeper to the source of pain and helped get rid of it for good instead of helping.  Reiki helps on an energetic level with the chakras and emotions.  Craniosacral therapy is a form of manual therapy and is light and gentle enough to take the tissues back to the source of pain to help release the memory associated with the pain.

There are self help things you can do from home in between your body work sessions.  My favorite authors for both books and guided meditation CDs are Louise Hay and Doreen Virtue.  There are also books out about emotional freedom technique or EFT for short that teach you how to tap on acupuncture points for the purpose of working out fears, phobias, pain, etc.