The Complete Person
Every body is different. And every body reacts to things differently and adjusts in individual ways. The right balance is specific for each person.
Massage Has Therapeutic Benefits
Massage has physiological effects which can be both physically and mentally beneficial. Massage can be used for relaxation, managing stress, several types of pain including neck & shoulder pain, lower back pain, general muscle related tension from sports as well as helping symptoms such as headaches etc. In addition to physical conditions, massage also has positive psychological effects and helps reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression. The connection through massage can also have a reassuring psychological effect.
Massage stimulates the body’s para-sympathetic nervous system and the physiological responses are two-fold: Massage has been clinically proven to decrease levels of the stress hormone, cortisol. Whilst increasing the levels of mood enhancing and ‘feel good’ hormones; dopamine, serotonin & oxytocin.
In Eastern theory, “Form follows Qi”. This means if the movement of your Qi (body’s energy) is blocked or circulates poorly, say because of poor posture, long hours hunched over a computer or even from excessive emotions or stress, this can create pain & tension. Over longer periods of time it can even affect how you hold your body day-to-day. Massage improves the circulation of Qi in the body and helps in reducing tension.
Acupuncture & Acupressure Have Therapeutic Benefits
The entire body is connected and the meridian system in acupuncture facilitates the flow of Qi as well as connecting the external body with the internal organs. Acupuncture & Acupressure – including different components of traditional Chinese treatments (acupoints, cupping and warming/moxa) have the ability to have a positive effect on the body both physiologically and through our body’s energy (Qi), helping to relieve pain and improve our health.
Massaging along the meridians and using acupoints is incorporated into each massage.
East & West: A Half-Hippy Attitude
There is room for both an Eastern and Western approach to health, they don’t need to be mutually exclusive – it doesn’t need to be one over the other. In fact, they can often be used jointly & complimentarily. Some things can be best understood from an Eastern or traditional medicine perspective, while others from a Western medicine perspective. Neither system has all the answers and it can be useful to relate things from a western to an eastern perspective, and visa-versa. I consider a “half-hippy” attitude useful, being open to ideas, theories, different approaches to symptoms and treatments, but not blindly accepting or rejecting without question. Finding a reasonable balance and what makes sense.
Shu, Shoku, Do, So.
From Shiatsu’s 4 elements for good health
- Good Breathing (Shu)
- Good Food (Shoku)
- Good Movement (Do)
- Good Thoughts (So)
It’s not easy or always possible to juggle everything and achieve that perfect balance, but keeping these 4 elements in mind can help keep you on the right track.
To your body & be kind to yourself.