• 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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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

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Zen and The Way of The Motorcycle

Life’s Turning Points Require the Balance of Yin and Yang. That is the Balance of Heart and Head.

Imagine yourself on a motorcycle racing at the breakneck speed of 200 mph and out of nowhere an abrupt left turn appears on the racetrack called LIFE.

Adrenaline is coursing throughout your body; your attention, reflexes and instincts are functioning at optimum performance levels. The task requires a Zen mind: stay in the moment, navigate the turn to avoid losing balance thus avoiding injury, failure and death.

Physiologically this is often how the crucial turning points feel in our hurried and hectic lives. In the world of motorcycling, maintaining momentum along your path at the accelerated speed, just as in our modern lives, requires a skillful adjustment– the balance of two complementary forces to avoid falling over. In Nature this is known as the balance of Yin and Yang.

As the moto-racer you carefully adjust your weight to one side leaning away from inertia’s pull while counter steering the handles to create stability. My partner once explained this counter-instinctive phenomena; he is a skilled motorcyclist and while taking a sharp left turn at a high speed he will lean his body to the left but turns the handles toward the right to maintain stability.

A snapshot of any racer going around a sharp curve at that speed appears unstable when extracted from basic quantities like speed, distance and weight. If the racer puts all his energy and focus into leaning into the turn and ignores the importance of steering away to maintain equilibrium then he would loose control and end up being thrown off course. To lessen injury the racer must let go of the bike, relax into inertia and pray that there are no trees or large rocks in the way. By then it is all in the hands of destiny.

You may want to consider modeling a moto-racer’s precision when navigating a turning point or major decision in your business affairs or personal life. Before reacting learn to embrace any obstacle or major decision with your heart, but to avoid being thrown off course, or worse, being harmed, be sure to steer with your intellect.

The word embrace actually means to press to the bosom; to hug. On the racetrack the rider must lean into the abrupt turn practically hugging the asphalt. And in life when you genuinely accept what has been thrown your way you can choose to embrace it, to press it into your chest, and hold it with the arms of compassion.

When you embrace an obstacle or an uncomfortable moment in your life then you are accepting your present circumstance. This is different than concluding, “this shouldn’t be happening to me,” “they are out to get me” or defensively blaming the situation on someone else’s lack of competence. Those statements and attitudes deny the truth that you find yourself in.

Don’t misunderstand me. Yes, you’re expressing the emotions that you are feeling in that moment, however your emotions are in denial because you’re caught up in feeling that it is not fair or you are blaming yourself or others.

By embracing the circumstance then you allow different emotions to surface that will need to be expressed. Sure, it will still feel like you’re walking across a tightrope without a net or speeding out of control but your new attitude about the situation will help you skillfully navigate to the other side while tapping into the best parts of your intellect. The secret here is in your attitude.

This Wouldn’t Have Happened If So-And-So Did Her Job Right…

If you’re not leaning into the circumstance with an open heart and embracing all the parts then you’re caught up in the past or future. Perhaps you’re thinking that this wouldn’t have happened if so-and-so did her job better or if you went to such-and-such school… These feelings create specific attitudes and those attitudes will dictate how you view the situation and the choices that you make.

It takes courage to accept the present moment. It takes a strong heart to embrace the circumstance with compassion and accept that it is supposed to be there otherwise it wouldn’t have been on your racetrack.

Embrace It All, Now You’re Ready To Be Steered To Action!

Western society has advanced by marrying the thinking mind with action; therefore reward is bestowed on those who can analyze a situation and swiftly make impersonal judgment. The problem is that most make personal judgments that lead only to personal gain without considering the harm that this may cause others.

Incredible progress has come from this, but in light of the financial catastrophe of the last two years and many other similar offenses, so has greed and corruption and with that there is no Heart.

Balance your Head with your Heart and vice versa. This is what it means to be born of this planet. Even if you’re speeding toward your destiny at 200 mph you can skillfully create a world in which you do little harm to those around you and to the ground you walk upon. You can create wealth and cultivate personal peace.

Restoring Balance To The Body And The Mind

Life Energy Instinctively Strives For Balance

In Shiatsu terminology, pressure points that feel painful to the touch are considered too full of Ki-energy, bodily fluids and toxins; the excess is causing a blockage in the muscle, in the meridian channel and in the pressure point.

Shizuto Masunaga, founder of Zen Shiatsu, referred to fullness of energy as a Jitsu, whereas a deficiency resulting in relative ‘lifelessness’ is known as a Kyo.

KYO & JITSU ARE LINKED IN A CONTINUAL CYCLE OF CAUSE & EFFECT

Kyo and Jitsu are linked in a continual cycle of cause and effect, in which the Kyo (emptiness) causes the Jitsu (activeness) in order to bring the body, the mind and the spirit back to natural balance.

A competent Shiatsu healer must determine whether a meridian or pressure point is Kyo (low energy) or Jitsu (high energy) by the response to the healer’s touch.

In a Shiatsu session, healing begins by balancing the Kyo and Jitsu in the whole being. Complete balancing also includes freeing up the blocked or stuck areas in the movement of our feelings.

Here is a basic illustration that I use with students and clients: Every time you feel hungry you are in need, or, lack what you need.

Hunger = Lacking What You Need = Kyo

Your experience is then one of Kyo and your response to this need is to take action, Jitsu, by satisfying your craving.

Eating = Action to Fill Need = Jitsu

You bite into a delicious apple and after the last bite you not only cease your activity but you no longer have an empty stomach.

This aspect of you is now in relative balance until you once again feel hunger, or the need to satisfy a craving. Kyo and Jitsu are always in this energetic relationship in which the Kyo causes the Jitsu.

In this theory, pain and suffering is caused by not nurturing our Kyo. Let’s continue with the basic illustration of satisfying your craving for food.

What if you are on a strict diet that doesn’t allow any fruit? You know that you are craving a sweet apple. However to satisfy your fad diet you reach for a hard boiled egg.

You might experience a moment of satiation but since your body clearly communicated that it had a need for something sweet soon you will experience your hunger again. And this time it will be more intense and you may begin to feel light headed.

If you take inappropriate action again (ignoring your ‘real’ need) then you are creating an imbalance that may lead to dis-harmony and eventually dis-ease.

Taking the appropriate action, with our food choices and with life’s bigger challenges, is easy if we understand the healing theory of Kyo and Jitsu.

Life energy strives for harmony within itself. Believe it or not, it actually takes effort or really unfortunate circumstances to overcome the harmony of the body and the mind. It is when we get sick that balance has been lost. All illnesses are an attempt to restore harmony to the Ki-energy balance in the body.

bigstockphoto_Yin_And_Yang_1818215There are times when the body and the mind doesn’t have the resources to get well without some assistance. A healer versed in Kyo and Jitsu can approach the body and meet the needs of the weakness, Kyo,  and if necessary, disperse or calm down the Jitsu.

In shiatsu, the practitioner will determine the most Kyo meridian channel and the most Jitsu meridian channel and focus on harmonizing the Ki-Energy by stimulating certain meridians and specific pressure points to encourage balance.

By moving some of the Ki-energy from the Jitsu meridian into the Kyo meridian or using your own internal Ki-energy, you can revitalize the Ki within the Kyo meridian, therefore fulfilling its need for more Ki.

“Un-Train” The Back Pain Cycle-Part 1

Why does a successful treatment or postural exercise program work for some back pain sufferers but not everyone?

For most, it’s due to the partnership between the Mind and the Body. Your mindset and your individual emotional landscape shows through your physical structure. 

"Un-Train" The Back Pain Cycle!

"Un-Train" The Back Pain Cycle!

The cause of the pain may be unknown, or perhaps you’re sure that an injury has left you with recurring pain. Regardless, the only useful knowledge that will make you pain free and get you functioning at a healthy level of activity is How Your Mind and Your Body Work Together.

Our bodies works well when our minds works well and vice versa. The body’s meridian channels (energy pathways) are a direct path to creating balance in everyone’s body and mind.

I use a simple formula with most people: Healing pain is 50% physical and 50% mental. Healing can be encouraged by balancing the flow of energy in the body’s meridian channels during a Shiatsu session to help “un-train” the back pain cycle.

Pain, whether acute or chronic, may be frightening and, in my experience, is very personal. Standard medicine cannot measure it like an infection or broken wrist. No x-ray or exam can tell how much it hurts. Pain is an unique experience and everyone will experience and express their pain in their own way.

It has been medically proven that the exact injury experienced by a group of people will affect the individuals in different ways, depending on things such as:

  • The ‘circumstance’ in which your pain first occurred and returns
  • Your outlook on the pain, such as “this shall pass” vs. “this pain is a death sentence”
  • Your emotions associated with the pain. Does is make you feel depressed or anxious? Do you feel optimistic and know that it isn’t serious?
  • Your cultural influences determine whether you are stoic in your response to pain or tend to be more dramatic in showing pain to others

It is important to approach your pain with a two-prong approach that targets your pain mechanically and mindfully