Listen to your body when it whispers, and you won’t have to hear it scream. Such a powerful message, yet how many of us are able to quiet our minds, and bodies long enough to hear the vital messages our bodies are sending every day? As a massage therapist I frequently hear “wow I feel so much better, I had no idea my ___________ was so tight,“ you fill in the blank. The client may have come in knowing about the tightness, or pain in their shoulders, yet had no idea the hips were screaming for attention. Stress & anxiety, we hold them in our bodies and our minds, and nobody will argue that we all live stressful lives. The to-do list that goes on forever, the pressure to perform, the increased amounts of what has been termed “hurry sickness” a mix of anxiety and the continual feelings of urgency. These stressors affect both mind and body because as we have learned is, what affects the body affects the mind and what affects the mind affects the body.
Most of us have a good idea of what a healthy life style is as it pertains to caring solely for our physical bodies. Eat healthy foods, drink water, get 10,000 steps, 8 hours of sleep, we all know… yet despite our generally healthy lifestyle habits many of us experience so much anxiety and stress that even with our dedication to a healthy lifestyle, the anxiety and stress prevent us from paying attention to the cues our bodies are sending us. We are missing the subtle, and sometimes, not so subtle nudges and winks telling us how our own stress and anxiety plays out in our mind and affects our physical body.
We miss that tiny pressure in the back of our skull until it is a full blow migraine forcing us to our beds for hours and even days, we don’t notice that twinge in our shoulder until we wake up one morning and can’t move our necks without intense pain. We ignore the mental pressures that are building up until we have a melt down. Maybe yelling at our kids, our loved ones or co-workers, or even our pets and finding ourselves wondering why and regretting how we reacted. We all have a list and we all have a story.
Awareness that there is a mind/body connection is not new, every day we can google more and more reports about the importance of this connection to our health and wellbeing. The understanding and science of this connection is becoming very clear. Until approximately 300 years ago virtually every system of medicine through out the world considered the mind and the body when treating a patient. However, during the 17th century the western world started to see the mind and body as separate parts of a human being. While this western view has had numerous benefits, it has not left much room for the study and practice of the connection between our thoughts and our physical experiences. Often ignoring the potential ability of the body to heal itself. Thankfully in the 20th century an interest has grown in the study of the mind/body connection and the research is overwhelmingly pointing to the importance of the Mind/body connection.
Integrative psychiatrist James Lake MD at Stanford University writes that “extensive research has confirmed the medical and mental benefits of meditation, mindfulness training, yoga and other mind-body practices”
“The brain and peripheral nervous system, the endocrine and immune systems, and indeed all the organs of the body and all the emotional responses we have, share a common chemical language and are constantly communication with one another” Dr. James Gordon ( founder of the Center of mind-body medicine)
Mind/body connection is a practice. A muscle if you will that we strengthen each and every time we allow ourselves time to practice mindfulness. These practices such as yoga and meditation can bring us to the space where we can find our self coming home. Where our breathing slows our body let’s go and our minds become quiet. This opens the door for us to hear what our wonderful, marvelous, amazing body wants to say. Your body is incredible, let’s all take some time to listen to the whispers.
We at Spa Eir believe that making this mind/body connection is one of the most important things you can do for your health and wellbeing. We strive to bring you the most effective, simple and joyful ways to get you there. To get you home because “there is no place like home”
Blessings, Spa Eir