Many people come to massage therapy with stress and pain and want to get away from their problems. “I just want to check out,” they say. This is understandable! However, the connection that we have with our body has everything to do with the state of our health.
You probably know that stress affects your body. The stomach ache that comes on when experiencing stress; the digestive upset or insomnia after a fight with a loved one. If we are paying attention, these symptoms let us know that something is amiss. Similary, when we are in love or excited about something, we feel light and happy; we glow. Our immune systems function better, pains go away. We have more energy.
According to Deepak Chopra, in his book, “Ageless Body, Timeless Mind,” we are actually creating a whole new body every moment, ALL THE TIME. We tell our bodies with every thought how it should behave and what energetic state we are creating. Our bodies then communicate to us through our thoughts, feelings, and symptoms. The more that we pay attention to thoughts, feelings and symptoms in our physical bodies, the more we can listen to our deeper needs. When we check in and pay attention to these expressions, the more control we can have over our health.
During Ensoflow Shiatsu sessions, I use Shiatsu and Massage Therapy techniques to address imbalances in the body. Improving Qi and blood flow with Massage Therapy techniques is effective at assisting the body’s healing processes. What is even more effective in my experience, is in helping people to check in. Checking in allows us to adopt a mind, body, and spirit perspective on healing. Taking the time to listen to what the body is really communicating allows us to hear more clearly what it needs. Consciously releasing negative thought patterns and emotions in the body, while inviting more supportive new ones changes the overall state of our health.
Breath and awareness are the key to becoming more present with our bodies. When working on an area of pain that feels particularly stuck, I might encourage a client to take a few breaths into the area and notice..”Does it have a shape? Color? Feeling?” From here, we might then ask, “Does it need to move, does it need support, is there anything that you feel that it might want to say?”
Ensoflow Shiatsu has at it’s root the faith in the power of nature to heal. There is no right or wrong answer, and most often the answers to these queries are not communicated to me. Since we are always influencing our vibration and our state of health, the importance lies in the relationship that we have with our body. As a practitioner, my job is only to help people to tune in and listen while facilitating Qi and blood flow.
Checking in benefits us in a number of ways. The more present we are with our bodies, the better our sense of connection with our whole self. Every muscle fiber and body cell responds to our conscious thoughts and feelings. And vice versa. We are not separate in any way from our bodies. Did you ever eat something off and then feel moody or depressed after? That’s connection. Or you tell yourself that you are going to “just do something scary” and once you do you feel amazing and free? That is also connection. By checking in, particularly in a safe and healing space, we allow our bodies to tell us how they really feel and what they need.
Fear can come up when we start to listen to the body. This sometimes makes people shy away from it. “What I don’t know won’t hurt me,” but truthfully, it will! Your body is an amazing organism that responds to your every thought and wants to help you achieve your goals. In fact, when you are ignoring it, it misses you. The idea that our health happens TO us is an old idea that keeps us fearful and allows another (doctors, medicines, insurance companies, etc.) to have power over us. Doctors and medicines can be helpers, AND checking in with our own bodies allows us to be allies to our body. Listening to deeper needs is one way to identify and release irritating symptoms. The symptom associations can vary and are often highly personal. After all, our bodies are uniquely US!
There is freedom that comes with checking in. Every symptom is our body trying to communicate something with us. The more that we pay attention, the more we will notice it’s patterns, and potentially, why they show up in the first place. Once we deal with the triggers, often the symptoms will go away.