By: Laurie Andrews CLSC, LMT
The other day I heard about yet another machine that has become popular in (supposedly) helping people with health issues like pain, inflammation and chronic disease complaints that create pain amd inflammation in the body. As I went to Google to research information, and the side effects, on this seemingly new electronic health hero, I had to wonder how long it will take for this fad to run its course - and, how many people will be hurt in the process.
I have had clients say, in a tired sometimes desperate voice, that they wish their body came with an instruction guide. And I have to agree. Though it's not really the instruction guide for the body that I wish we had all been born with, but a guide for understanding Nature and how it relates to us as humans.
It's a difficult thing for many to grasp, this ancient, wholistic premise that we are connected to Nature in such a deep way. It helps, though this too can be a bit mind-boggling, to understand the true workings of the Universe and that everything within it - including us, is energy. As humans we are life energy manifested into physical form and connected to all of Nature through the life giving energy we share.
Through many shared aspects of our being, our bodies harness many attributes of the Earth and the Universe. For instance, our bodies and the Earth are comprised of roughly the same amount of water - 70%. The human body also contains the same elements and minerals found in dirt, and the workings of the human brain is strikingly similar to that of the Universe. As we recognize these similarities we can certainly begin to thoroughly comprehend the old adage, "ashes to ahes" and "dust to dust."
We are not made like machines, as western medicine would like for us to believe. We are in fact ruled, influenced and sustained by the planet we live on. No more could we survive and thrive without the sun or water than we could without naturally grown food or the cycles of the moon. Our bodies are not separate from our environment nor is any one part separate from the whole of the body.
As a massage therapist for over 20 years, I have worked on thousands of bodies and probably a good majority of those with continued pain and problems from undergoing surgery - of any kind. Now, before I go any further, let me say that I recognize that surgery, machines amd breakthrough procedures have saved many, many lives - but that's not what I'm discussing here. What I am discussing is how the body reacts in a negative way to anything that is not like itself. Just like the processed, factory manufactured food we eat that creates disease and illness, anything artificial or "man made" will have some kind of negative affect on the well-bring of the body, and in some situations, the mind as well.
Is it no wonder that the field of Massage Therapy has sky-rocketed in the last 20 years? And that most main steam medical offices from private practice physicians to hospitals and physical therapy clinics, alternative practitioners like Chiropractors and any kind of resort, spa and many hair salons - all usually have a MT as part of their staff? The reason is pretty simple! Patients are finding real, lasting results and health benefits through touch modalities and hands-on-healing methods in a way that they are not experiencing through conventional means.
It is true that all things move in a circular cycle in life. The things of our long, long ago ancient ancestors are now coming back into favor. There was a time, between 75-100 years ago as the (post war) industrial age came about that anything done with the hands or by nature was deemed as old-fashioned, blue collar and of the lower class. Upper society was enamored with the new ways of doing things that included machinery and pharmaceutical drugs amd frowned upon anything labor intensive or using the hands.
We, as society, through this time has experienced the far too often shortcomings and side effects from industrial medicine and are now wanting, and asking for more natural, body honoring remedies for their ailments. And as we come out of the darker days of medicine - and as the baby boomer generation ages, society is looking for ways to prevent illness and to keep them more young and in good shape. They are now setting down the heavy weights and the hard-on-the-body exercise machines and instead finding real comfort, stress relief and a host of health benefits with an hour, or more, massage.
To many though, it sounds too simple and so time and again we see another new gadget pop onto the market with a clever scheme to heal the body. But alas, it never does exactly what it claims and many times leaves side effects lingering. There is a real reason why massage has been around since the beginning of mankind and why many ancient physicians, like Hippocrates spoke of it's healing affects - because it works. Thousands of studies have shown what loyal massage patients have already known - massage not only feels good and is useful in healing sore muscles but it also has a direct health benefit on every system of the body, helps keep the body well, muscles and skin toned and is useful in preventing ailments - with no harmful side effects.
For more information, or to schedule your massage, go to: www.coachingnwellness.com
or call: 804.916.9494
Information provided is educational in nature to assist you in becoming more aware of your own health and life needs and is not intended to take the place of medical care as warranted and is to be used at your own discretion.