• To keep the body in good health is a duty, otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.

    - Buddha
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Healing Lies In Relationship

Ease Pain With That Which Holds The Universe Together

Healing relies on a true synergism of physical, psychological and spiritual harmony within the individual. And this synergism, or lack thereof, comes from relationship.

But within our relationship to what? or to whom?

As I write this I wonder how many of us share a complete understanding of the meaning of the word relationship?

Jiddhu Krishnamurti says, “the meaning of the word (relationship) is to be related, actually to be related, to be in contact, to have empathy, sympathy, a sensitivity that understands each other completely, not partially.”

Krishnamurti’s simple explanation strongly emphasizes relating, contacting, understanding each other completely. In essence he describes sympathy and intimacy with one another. He describes communion, does he not? Communion means to have an intimate communication, a sharing of emotions.

In an older post titled Eros Heals, I wrote on an element of healing that is often overlooked: It is to approach an individual with eros for the landscape of their pain. According to Thomas Moore, “This is not eros as sex but eros in its true origin, which is relatedness.”

Prior to the Greek use of the word, eros referred to the coherence that holds the entire Universe together. I can’t give an in-depth explanation on the coherence, or fabric, that holds the entire Universe together; it’s beyond my basic scope. I can conceptualize, however, from a Naturalistic perspective that that which holds the Universe together is participating in its continuation.

For the Greeks, eros was much more than cosmic glue as it inspired a highly spiritual form of Love that united our bodies with our souls. Yes, the Greeks were wonderfully amorous with their intimations on the merging of body and soul. Their description reveals our purity and offers a complete understanding of the responsibility we have for every action on our planet.

Approach Your Client or Patient With Eros

Real Love, as eros is experiencing our oneness in the expression of our mutual origin. Approaching your client or patient with eros, with oneness in expression, is altruistic and highly intimate, it yields a complete understanding that relates to the individual’s pain. In mind-body-spirit healing this unravels the deeper wound of our shared separation.

Healing is primal: It is vital to address psychophysically and neurochemically the mechanism of distress but this is a part of a larger process: If the primal is not acknowledged then this approach risks becoming mere escape from pain, thus strengthening the pain by habitualizing the escape. For many, escape becomes ritualized within routine creating a desperate loop inviting a new pain within a new illness.

Spirit completes the process: Not what a reductionist may think of as neurospiritual, but purity in spirit because it is subjective: It is to help someone accept and honor their pain and fears as a wounded part that needs to bond intimately, to belong, to share, and to receive that which holds the Universe together.

The principle element: Vulnerability: Healers must learn to express the consistency of eros for one another effortlessly. One does not intellectualize nor even need to differentiate Love from fleeting emotions. However, one does guide the individual in sharing the truth of their pain. You’ll recall that the word communion means to have an intimate communication, a sharing of emotions.

This open sharing may or may not be expressed through spoken words. Words represent our beliefs but mean little if they do not carry our truth. My favorite Martha Graham quote is, “The body says what words cannot.” Herein, sharing through tears, gestures, tension, a sigh, cries, an embrace and trembling communicates the truth of the individual’s pain. However, the sharing that I refer to is even subtler, elusive to the senses and is intuited through our attunement to the other person; a true navel-to-navel connection.

I can only describe the experience of my shared calling to be in service: To hold the emotional sensitivities of the individual’s pain within eros’ more coherent emotional expression, fueling the person’s reverence for their whole body, their wounded parts; allowing the unraveling to begin…

So in seeking healing, look within relationship. In relationship, relating comes from our oneness. In our oneness, Love comes into being. And within Love, one’s suffering is eased by that which holds the Universe together. Thus complete healing lies within relationship.

They do not love that do not show their love. -William Shakespeare

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Give Up Being Safe

Safety Is An Illusion



Today’s post is somewhat different than my usual ramblings on Shiatsu and Mind-Body-Spirit healing because it includes an oath that I wrote a month or so ago. The oath honors the tradition of Hara as it has been cultivated in the Eastern healing and martial arts.

You might be wondering what Giving Up Being Safe has to do with the philosophy of Hara?

To have Hara translates into the ability to get things done; to not shy away from the difficult and to overcome setbacks. These are noble qualities that show strength of will. The challenge here is when one is operating purely on personal power in pursuit of a goal because it is common to force our will onto the environment and onto other people. It is so easy to fall under the spell of our attachment to an expectation, which then fosters the need to control others for our own assurance and safety. To avert this end requires personal standards for accountability combined with integrity.

However, one can access the will of the Spirit-Mind, which comes from an ego-free understanding and use of Hara. In this context Hara is a thought in action, manifest, and it is connected with all that is, as all things are a manifestation of the Tao. One realizes that the will of the Spirit-Mind integrates with the will of others to assure the best path for us. Herein there is no need to cling to safety, which is only an illusion.

In Shiatsu, we are taught how to use our Hara to access the total power of our whole body while giving a healing session. We are also taught that a person with a healthy Hara acknowledges that it is in facing challenges and trying new things that we develop self-esteem and confidence.

For me the greatest aspiration of a developed Hara is for a level of acuity where you are always calm and sensitive to the developments around you. Engagement at this level is when one can “see what cannot be seen,” and responds in accord with the Spirit-Mind to coming events.

I find it fascinating that the final element of training for indigenous healers and shamans in some parts of the world is to personally face death. This spiritual calling is survived by very few since the path is meant to challenge their faith and to compromise their integrity.

Initiates from some of the older traditions will be taken to a cave, temple or remote area where danger exists in the form of venomous cobras, scorpions or other deadly threats. Sitting still in meditation for an extended period while surrounded by imminent danger crawling, or, slithering over your defenseless body is not an easy test to pass.

Focus and compassion and the willingness to renounce safety are the qualities that keep these people alive and sane. Those who pass this deadly challenge become praised as mystics carrying with them the knowledge of death and rebirth and often return bringing to their tribes and communities new approaches to harmony and peace.

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I wrote the oath below after I meditated on renewing the emotional and spiritual energies associated with my navel and with my solar plexus. Both of which are anatomically housed within the physical Hara.

Perhaps you may feel inspired to awaken the will of your Spirit-Mind with this simple oath:

In honoring the fact that the world is not safe, I willingly give up my need for safety and assurance.

I have to let go of wanting everything known ahead of time in order to overcome criticism, misunderstanding, rejection, and the possibility of failure in my future.

While it is important for survival, I realize that there is no challenge to actualizing my dreams if everything I do is already removed from any real risk. It is okay for a child to cling to safety and security, powerlessly needing the world to be shaped for them. However integrity challenges me to mature, accept responsibility, and carve the shape of my future.

My personal power increases through meeting challenges and by resolving them with integrity. I am willing to take risks, be courageous, venture into the unknown, and release the familiar in order to expand upward and outward in my life’s story.

The Heart of Summer

Summer Is In Full Gear, So Let’s Take Advantage of What Chinese Medicine Has To Say About These Long Summer Days!

For me, six words come to mind when thinking of the invigorating and enlivening experiences of summertime, they are: The Sheer Joy Of Being Alive!

summer joy by Dmitry Kichenko.

I feel totally imbued with the human spirit on a long, hot summer day. The farmers market abounds with juicy fruits and delicious veggies amidst the perfume of brightly hued blossoms. Activity is effortless and life feels full, transformed and somehow complete.

Needless to say, there is no complaining here about the heat because it won’t be long before we reach the dynamic height of summer’s inspiration and settle into a cooler, calmer and more collected fall.

So what does this mean for you in terms of body, mind and spirit?

Chinese Medicine teaches us to observe ourselves as an expression of Nature’s observable elements, depending on the cycle of the season and changes in the environment.  Just as Nature goes through a process of change, the Nature inside of you also undergoes a transformation.

If you are in harmony with the fresh green shoots appearing in spring then you will feel reborn, bursting with springtime activity. And when the trees are full of mouthwatering fruits and the plants are blossoming around you, then you will feel the joys of abundance coupled with the passion of the creative spirit.

Hmmm, an abundance of energy, stamina and passion!? Yes, clearly this is why I Love summer!

In the Five Element Theory, summer is ruled by the Fire element and is expressed through growth, joy, spiritual awareness and Love.  This is the Yang-est time of the year, which translates into a surge of physical, mental and emotional activity.

To be in sync with the long days, I wake up as early as 6:00am and stay up until at least midnight (it’s actually 1:48am while I write this post). Don’t worry to balance the work and play, I schedule a midday nap. Without my regular siestas I would be totally exhausted before summer’s end.

Anatomically, the Fire element corresponds with the heart which pumps oxygen-rich blood throughout our bodies. Emotionally, we’ve been warming up, going out and connecting with others. The heat of summer flows into our deeper relationships while our bodies relax around a more open heart.

In the Elemental theory, the heart houses the Spirit, also called the Spirit-Mind. A harmonious Spirit-Mind can be felt as a heart-connection with others and, for many of us, as a spiritual connection with Nature. This is a time that ushers in sensitivity and expression with the true contentment only known by a unified heart and mind. I view summer as an opportunity to transform negative experiences into feelings of Love.

Love is an extraordinary thing; it arouses the realization that the self and others are one. Love inspires what I call altruistic intimacy and the knowledge that what you cause and affect are one. Experiencing your heart’s purity reveals the responsibility we have for every action that occurs on our planet because we are one. Love between two people is a holy sharing when each have experienced their own depths and see their mutual identity and mutual causality through the starry-eyed gaze of eros.

Ahh, it’s easy to get swept away reflecting on the Fire element and Love, but let’s look at our original query: What does the long, hot days of summer mean for you in terms of body, mind and spirit?

Simple answer. The heart-felt enjoyment of family, friendship, perhaps even summer Love, but more importantly the exalting experience of the sheer joy of being alive!

The Wisdom of Conflict

Do you avoid conflict? Does your throat tighten-up when facing confrontations or do you tolerate other people’s emotional outbursts in the name of ‘peace’?

If this sounds like you then read on, perhaps there is a way to turn conflict into your best opportunity…

It is only through the understanding of conflict that you can realize your best opportunity in life.

Let me explain. When facing a conflict your fight or flight response is signaled and most of us then start exposing our fears and vulnerabilities because you end up acting out your deeper issues.

Turning conflict into your best opportunity means to learn how to override your fight or flight response and to shine by expressing your virtues in that given moment.

It’s an opportunity to express the best part of yourself and if you will allow me to say… even express the highest part of yourself.

Conflict is both a verb and noun; an action and state. It describes a collision or disagreement, a fight, battle, or struggle, even a prolonged struggle within yourself. Certainly conflict is not something that most look forward to.

Seizing your best opportunity and learning how to override your fight or flight response requires the knowledge of the secret side of conflict. There is an unknown purpose to conflict that has only been shared in the major esoteric circles and I am sharing it with you today.

What I am about to share will sound controversial to most, which is why it has to be said:

Spiritual growth doesn’t come by seeking to avoid conflict. Spiritual growth is the act of consciously overcoming our basic will to survive.

Yes. You read this correctly—I wrote overcoming our basic will to survive.

Before you laugh at this notion of acting against our survival instincts, please let me clarify .

It is in the face of conflict that most make a choice for survival that is usually based on his or her first state of consciousness. However, if a choice is made that supersedes your first state of consciousness then you move forward in your psychological development and perhaps your spiritual growth, which can only be expressed or explained as an opening of your heart, or, as Love. Real Love.

Perhaps you’re wondering What is the first state of consciousness?

A decision or action from the first state of consciousness comes from personalities that we all developed to survive when we were completely dependent as children. I like to call these survival companions my survival-psyche.

The instinctive impulse is your survival impulse. Whether aggressive (like screaming or having a tantrum in public) or passive (like agreeing to something that you don’t want to do), these first impulses are ways that people have learned to deal with conflict to provide for and protect themselves. Childhood is when all of us learn how to tell a lie in order to avoid punishment or to act a certain way and to like certain things in order to be loved, to feel loved and protected by family, friends and the world at large.

This is why Good People Sometimes Do Bad or Downright Stupid Things because they are making choices from their survival-psyche that developed from when they were children.

Let’s say that you are in a conflict at this very moment. This shouldn’t be a stretch for most of us: You have experienced the conflictual nature of your thoughts and desires and their outcomes as you go about from day-to-day.

You have certainly experienced conflicts specifically with friends and family and randomly with strangers as you live your life.

Perhaps you had a morning squabble with your spouse. Or you’re afraid to tell your boss that their behavior is offensive. Or you want to end a friendship because your values do not align. Certainly the recession and the massive lay offs have been a huge catalyst for stress and creating more struggle and conflict.

There is no argument that conflict is inherent to the planet, it has always been observed in the natural world and is a long thread in the quilt of our history. Your choices and actions in the face of conflict are indications of:

1.  your issues

2.  your fears

3.  your vulnerabilities and

4.  also your virtues in that given moment.

For most people choices are really fearful reactions, rather than expressions from your heart. A fearful reaction will indicate your issues and fears. This can be anything from believing that you aren’t good enough, not having trust and faith in yourself to the fear of being suffocated by the needs of others.

Vulnerabilities are usually hidden behind an armor of thickened skin and it is in conflict and under stress that we get a glimpse of how sensitive someone may be about the shape of their bodies, their background or even the color of their skin.

However it is in a conflict that we can be empowered by our virtues and experience growth.

The instinct to survive is powerful. Conflict is a necessary program in all of creation that supports the continuance of the differing species. Male lions wrestle it out over territory and the right to mate with the pride. Even weeds have the instinct to survive by choking the roots of the plants around in order to have all the soil and sunshine to themselves.

Survival instincts have supported the progress of humanity without it I’m afraid we wouldn’t be here today. Without the will to live most of us wouldn’t make it past the first week of life.

However if left unchecked most people’s survival instinct will lead them down a dark path—the path of fear. 

For instance, let’s say while in a public restroom you find a travel bag with exactly $5,000 in cash and you have just been laid off from your job. It’s a miracle! A gift from the Universe—wow, the law of attraction must really be working. The impulse to take the cash and leave the bag supports your survival. Biologically you are making the best choice, right?!

But you hesitate because something doesn’t feel right. Internal conflict indicates that something is amiss; perhaps another choice would support a higher interest. If you attempt to return the bag and its contents then you are overcoming your first state of consciousness and putting your survival at risk because it can take months to find new employment and your cash flow is going to dwindle. Returning the bag to the owner is honest and liberates you from your survival-psyche but endangers your welfare – a dilemma since you know to respect your first state of consciousness as your biological protector.

However, by relating to the anonymous owner you acknowledge that if it were your money you would want it to be returned. So you choose to return the bag regardless of the assessment that the owner of the bag is well off and won’t miss the money.  You make a choice that appears to oppose your survival-psyche but it empowers your integrity and will open your heart to opportunities that you wouldn’t have been able to see otherwise.

Perhaps your divine nature to be conflictual should be understood as having two separate purposes:

First, as a valuable biological tool that keeps you alive in service of your genes and second, as a psycho-spiritual springboard to know yourself and evolve beyond your survival-psyche or dark survival companions.

Being in some sort of conflict is a normal life process. It is only through understanding that conflict has a dual purpose that you will have the experience of what the great mystics call integration. Becoming highly conscious during conflict is the healing elixir to your fears and traumas.

It is the dark survival companions from your pasts that ultimately expose the intimate weaknesses that allow you to negotiate your personal peace and world peace.

Fully realizing a dark survival companion that shapes your emotions in conflict reveals your inherent weaknesses. Peace is Love and respect for your inherent weaknesses.

In the world of Nature everything is made up of opposites. We have night to balance the day. We seek heat when it gets too cold. Summer is for play while winter gives us rest. Nature loves to create in the name of opposition—opposition is conflict–but in the natural world opposition is often understood as being complementary. Whether you see the opposition or the complementary forces there is always two sides to a coin.

Lets look at conflict as having two sides…

Conflict could be understood as a biological program in Nature that exists to not only ensure humanity’s survival but also to steer humanity’s development and spiritual growth.

Spiritual growth is the act of being enlarged with wisdom, to put it another way, to be at peace according to the true process of the divine within you.

Take a moment to consider how your darker survival companions are inhibiting habits that supported you in the first phase of your development but now oppose your personal and spiritual growth.

How do my survival instincts oppose my growth? By either being concerned with only:

1.  your own well-being

2.  by feeling sorry for yourself for what seems unfair

3.  by selling your integrity and your vision for comfort and security, or

4.  by suspecting that you aren’t good enough to accomplish anything on your own.

Many more than these four formidable oppositions exist to prevent the empowerment of your whole self.

It is very isolating to be concerned with only your own well-being and incredibly exhausting to those around you. This is living your life through the eyes of a two year old but we see it in tv dramas, with our friends and neighbors and even in politics today. Whereas feeling sorry for yourself for what seems unfair is completely draining, it depresses your whole body, it depresses your immune system, it depresses your loved ones and you are barely engaging in life because you act as if you’re a victim.

Then there are those that will sell their integrity and dreams for comfort and security. Often you don’t even know that you’re doing it until it is too late and by then you’ve compromised yourself to such a degree that your heart has to completely shut down. This sometimes happens when we don’t feel that we are good enough to accomplish anything on our own.

So I will ask you: Is there a better way to encourage your spiritual progress than to make transcendent choices in the face of conflict? To make a choice that overcomes your first state of consciousness? To make choices that overcome fear?

The basis of the conclusion that conflict has a dual purpose, first, for survival and second, to usurp the agenda of your survival-psyche sounds contradictory. In the most linear way it is true that conflict’s dual purpose appears to be in opposition with one another.

Let’s re-cap with this one thought: Integration does not come when you seek it by avoiding conflict.

In the words of the late Indian mystic Krishnamurti:

It is only through the understanding of conflict that there is integration. A complete unification of your whole being in all that you do, in all that you say, in all that you think.

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(Please do not use any part of this post without written permission.)

Understanding The Messages of Your Body

It is a common joke that the body’s messages, in the form of physical aches and anxieties, are often ignored, or go unnoticed, by the average man.

Can you imagine having to learn to operate based on feedback from your body if the dialogue between the mind and the body was muted? Why was the sound turned off? Probably to enable more risk-taking, hunting behavior.

Early man’s survival depended on fearless action in the face of danger, on the courage to explore unknown territories and on the willingness to fight to the death and to protect his community.

Traditionally, masculine mindfulness relied on quickly understanding details and organizing strategy, for action to occur, in spite of physical pain or an internal alarm. It arises from overriding the body’s various alarms and turning on the intellect for planning and action.

The modern caveman, male or female, created football games and reality TV shows like Man vs. Wild. It’s all about actively taking extreme risks. Perhaps you know someone modeling their business accomplishments after real life conquerors like Genghis Khan? This is masculine consciousness at its best, and it has become the predominant intelligence-model for the developed world.

However masculine consciousness, in its development, was successful because it was supported by a complementary survival intelligence to deal with being corralled by the forces of Nature, which includes natural disasters, the changing of the seasons, creating shelter, finding food and recovering from injury and disease.

The forces of Nature gave rise to the development of this other survival intelligence; feminine consciousness, which relied on information felt in the body to prevent, protect and to heal individuals in her care for the survival of her community. Basically, instead of the volume being muted between the mind and body the sound was turned way, way up.

Women Are Environmentally Reactive

According to Mona Lisa Schulz, MD, women have neurocircuitry from deserted primitive brain pathways that function solely to connect us to changes in our immediate environment.

Just think how useful it is to know a blizzard is on its way, to know that rubbing a particular plant on your skin will repel mosquitoes or to know when to warn against the outcome of an extreme risk.

Leading neuroscientists agree that women have evolved with the stronger neurochemical connection to the cycles of our planet.  As a woman, I can experientially say that we do not become the cycles; we simply are the cycles. Perhaps you too can feel this physical attunement that is our connection to the planetary body?

As a vibrational healer, it is important for me to celebrate my ancestor’s ancient role in the survival of her community. This great-great grandmother from our past could comprehend specific instances in which her physical body’s pleasures and/or depressions were actually non-verbal dialogues with her environment. It would be like the translation of a sound, or, vibration heard from a tree, a plant or even the earth. However you’re translating this vibration through your body and allowing your body to interpret instead of analyzing and rationalizing it.

Your Body Is Your Subconscious Mind

In the words of renowned neuroscientist Candace Pert, PhD, “Your body is your subconscious mind.” Perhaps this statement also explains how the mysterious subconscious can know before an event has occurred, because our ancestral neruocircuitry is earthly Wi-Fi. We all know, first-hand, that the state of our bodies conditions our psyche. So imagine how some of what you’re feeling in your body as moods is actually guidance that is meant to alert you to either a problem within your own body or in the body of those around you, including the earth’s body.

Ideally you want to be able to receive information from either masculine or feminine processes according to any perceived stress. A long time has elapsed since man was living in caves, and to navigate modern stress you want to be skilled in both the masculine and the feminine mind allowing yourself to benefit from their balanced partnership.

Are you wondering how this balanced partnership between the masculine and the feminine mind works within you?  The best answer is to actively develop a conscious awareness of and an understanding of the messages from your body.

The first step is to recognize your body as a type of intelligence. Intelligence is not limited to thoughtful analysis, logic and critical thinking even though this is what is emphasized by our society. Intelligence is also body-kinesthetic, which is the natural sense of how your body should act and react in a demanding physical situation where there is no time for thinking. Demanding circumstances were at the forefront of our evolution. I believe that body-kinesthetic intelligence is the foundation for all human intelligence just like the roots that anchor and nourish the branches of a tree. And yet this foundational intelligence is dismissed and rarely utilized except for athletics, dance, bodywork or physical therapy.

Are you thinking of your favorite sport or pro-athlete right now? Then you’re on the right track. But this intelligence is not limited to the Olympics or the above vocations. I can only describe my experience, that for me, the core of being body smart is the ability to read my internal and external environment through feeling sensations in my body — just as through reading the words in this post you can read subtle movements inside your body. These subtle movements have correspondences to your internal organs, other people and the larger world because you are inextricably linked, neurochemically and cellularly, to your immediate environment.

Body sensations are incredibly accurate and reliable, but modern people are mostly disembodied by the time they are in the third grade. Conventional education focuses on developing one form of intelligence, analytical thinking, and ignores the nourishing intelligence that was used for millennia, your whole body.

Developing the ability to intellectually understand the messages of our bodies is the second step in how the masculine and feminine mind works in tandem. Dr. Schulz also points out that neuroanatomical mapping shows us that the atypical wiring of the brain of our female ancestors processed an adaptive unconscious; women today have very different brain functions than that of their great-great-grandmothers but the original pathways are still in place allowing us to awaken the ability to interpret, or, intuit what we feel as reliable information.

An expanded consciousness allows for information from your subconscious to filter into your mind’s intellect affirming that there are no separations in the mind-body, only two of many ways to experience your intelligence. I believe that it is every human being’s birthright to utilize the knowledge in our ancestral neural network as the pure expression of intuitive knowledge.

Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart… Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside, awakens. – Carl Jung

Eros Heals

bigstockphoto_Chakra_Fire_441198It is easy to understand how physical and energetic blockages can occur anywhere in the body as a result of injury, infection, disease, abuse and unexpressed or overly expressed emotions.

Removing the blockage is the obvious first step in restoring balance to the human system. An open system with freely moving energy offers everyone the best chance for healing.

An important and often overlooked second-step comes from the world of spiritual healing:

 It is to revere the landscape of the physical body with eros.

This is not eros as sex but eros in its true origin, which is relatedness.

According to author Thomas Moore, the original Greek use of eros referred to the coherence that holds the entire universe together. It is in the thoughtful expression of eros that a highly spiritual form of Love has the potential to heal.

The key to encourage healing is to establish a connection that relates, not sympathetically, but through eros. For many this connection begins the unraveling of the original cause, or source of the block, and activates a greater facilitation of the bodies’ intuitions and impulses.

Plato once wrote that the aspect of eros, “is a coming to life in beauty in relation to both body and soul.” If a person truly loves him or herself then they will not feel ‘weakness’ during illness. This is to say that you do not lose your connection with source.

A revered body will intuitively listen to itself, understand its authentic needs and act accordingly.

If you revere your entire body, and not judge its passions and appetites, then you will be equipped in navigating your own healing.

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Love the animals, love the plants, love everything. If you love everything, you will perceive the divine mystery in things. Once you perceive it, you will begin to comprehend it better every day. And you will come at last to love the whole world with an all-embracing love. – Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Suggested Reading: Thomas Moore’s The Soul of Sex: Cultivating Life as an Act of Love

 

“Un-Train” The Back Pain Cycle-Part 2

Healing Back Pain begins with a Two-Prong Approach that Targets the Pain both Mechanically and Mindfully.

Today’s blog post will cover the mechanical…

Healing back pain mechanically begins with eliminating the contributing physical problem and ineffective postural habit.

You and your family depend on a daily sequence of repetitive activities that you do all of the time.

Such as crossing the same leg when you sit, carrying your laptop over the same shoulder and even your daily commute to work which, if your drive, focuses movement mainly along your right leg and into your foot.

Eventually anything done the same way over a period of time will unbalance your postural muscles by throwing your body off center and leading to muscular compensation, physical tension and then to back pain.

You may not be able to determine which habits are having the most damaging effect. A postural assessment with a professional will help you see your blind spots.

A good place to start is with your sleeping position and the bags or cases that you carry daily. You can try sleeping on your other side, on your back or with a different pillow and begin carrying items on the opposite shoulder or with the other hand.

This allows you to exercise the weakened postural muscles while doing your normal activities, each time you do an activity in reverse you will be strengthening the weaker muscle group for the activity.

In as little as two weeks, this subtle change will create more balance within your body and you will feel less tension. You will also benefit by becoming more conscious, or mindful, of your postural habits. This will lead to greater self-awareness in all of your daily activities.

Pay attention to the little things. Like how you walk up or down the stairs and which foot you take your first step on. Do you lean your body forward feeling weight on the top of your legs? If so, then try using the back of your legs and buttocks with each step.

An imbalanced postural habit is often a muscular compensation that is relying on your strengths to protect your weaknesses. The problem is the weakness is not being challenged to get stronger and you feel ‘normal’ with the physical distortion caused by the muscular compensation.

A major area of concern for most people today is sitting at their desk in front of the computer and talking on the phone. You should be aware of:

  • putting the phone to the same ear with every conversation
  • hunching over in front of the computer and
  • using only the same muscles over and over.

Just by looking at the way someone is sitting and working at their desk you can predict the problems that will result from their imbalances.

Beginning to understand and work with your body from the perspective of the cause of your pain cycle is the first step to relieving pain and changing patterns of movement in your muscles, nervous system and meridian channels.  The second step is working with and changing your emotional habits that prevent you from fully recovering.