Finding the time to sit down and think about my profession as a specialized massage therapist and as a viniyoga yoga teacher and therapist sometimes brings me to a stand still. Writer's block is probably the proper description.
The more that I teach the more I begin to glance at the edges of understanding the complexities of the body electric. To begin to understand the many things that come together to produce problems in our bodies, be they trauma from a variety of sources, illness, lack of use or over use, improper use. All of these produce stress. Stress, we need it to survive, but as a steady daily diet causes mayhem in our body.
Did you know that pain causes you to be depressed or if you are depressed you may up your pain levels. No fair! Here we go again creating a vicious circle. And where do you turn to unravel the wicked web that we are blamed for creating. When pain is the primary focus of the mind, how do you change that? Sometimes the modern way doesn't always help. When you can't sleep, you will not improve as quickly as you have been lead to believe. Opps!
I realize that I may go against the grain when I stress : Less is more. For years, I'd plead for less pressure on my sore areas, and I'd get the response: Oh! That shouldn't hurt!
Well guess what it did hurt. I'd leave worse than when I started. So my personal experiences with pain did change my focus in massage and yoga. It took me about 2 years into my teacher training when I began to understand effortless movement. I couldn't always repeat the process but I had experienced that Ah Ha moment. It was from that point on that my focus in mastery was effortless movement. From there, I began to notice a change in my chronic pain levels reducing.
Do you remember "bend and stretch,reach for the stars! There goes Mercury. Here comes Mars." In preschool,we just couldn't sit still.As our school life continued, we were asked to sit more and more. Today,we hear constant reports as to the health status of American both young and old being overweight and in pain. What are we to do? The cost of health care continues to rise and more folks just can't afford it.
After having both of my feet run over by a passing car, my left inner leg taking the full force of the revolving tire; I didn't realize what such an injury would do to me throughout my life. It was this injury process that sent me down this very interesting path. I found out that pushing hard to do a task didn't help. In fact, it increased my pain. If I sat for extended amounts of time, I could barely move ,let alone walk. Finding answers to help with my pain and health became a full time project.
The recovery process from this injury has been both an adventure and a far longer project than I could ever have imagined. Physical therapy was only the beginning. When I did not regain my strength or flexibility, I turned to what I knew best,massage and yoga. I found that I didn't know enough about massage. My introduction to neuromuscular massage therapy via visceral massage changed my life. Gentle focused touch can open the body, where restrictions have occurred. In fact, deep tissue work aggravated my problems, instead of improving them.
Yoga was one of my classes in massage school. I had also taken a Kundalini yoga class back in the 80's, so I felt comfortable with yoga to help with my healing process. Compared to other options, a home practice was cheap. Of course because I was so weak from my injury, I strained to do what I could. My healing process, really began to change when I found Gary Kraftsow as my teacher. Putting my various massage trainings together with Patanjali's Yoga Sutras and American Viniyoga Institute teachings, I gained a stronger constitution.
Yoga is not just exercise by the way. Massage is more than rubbing the body. We all need tools of empowerment.