Massage, the Ultimate Mind Body Medicine

Massage, the Ultimate Mind Body Medicine

Massage, the ultimate mind body medicine isn’t just for the wealthy any more. . . and it isn’t a rare occasion when someone enjoys a massage.  Now-a-days, many people are taking regular trips for a massage to a spa, chiropractic office, alternative health centers, and even a hospital. Is this a sign that people are becoming proactive with their health?  Let’s hope so!

People of all ages are scheduling a massage on a regular basis because they have learned that it isn’t just a mental sensation that makes them feel better, but a very deep healing process. Something many of us don’t realize is that a massage also involves giving us a sense of being cared for, comfort, empowerment, and adds to the healing process by creating a deep connection with another human being, the massage therapist.  These are all so important for our over-all health.

          We have all heard that newborns need touching or they will die.  It seems that we humans never stop needing to be touched and a massage is the “ultimate touch.”

        Physical contact is more precious than ever in our world where so much of our interaction is virtual (Facebook, e-mails, and texts).

Most people don’t realize that our skin is our body’s largest organ, and when its sensory receptors are stimulated, the hormone oxytocin, the one that makes you feel good, is released. At the same time, cortisol, the stress hormone, is reduced.

We just don’t realize how stressed we are until we have relaxed enough to feel the difference.  That gives us a clue as to how deeply a massage can affect us. Since the skin is the largest “organ” in the body, it is amazing what benefits we experience when it is massaged or even when we are touched.

Massage is generally considered part of complementary and alternative medicine and is increasingly being offered along with standard treatment for a wide range of medical conditions and situations. Check the website, TwinPondsCenter.com, one of the largest complementary and alternative health centers in the country, to learn the many types of massages available.

It is the touch of massage that has become the ultimate mind-body medicine. If you’re into “preventative medicine,” this is a great avenue to take; however, once the body has gotten off balance, some studies have found massage to be helpful for:

  • Digestive disorders
  • Anxiety
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Headaches
  • Insomnia related to stress
  • Myofascial pain syndrome
  • Paresthesias and nerve pain
  • Soft tissue strains or injuries
  • Sports injuries
  • Temporomandibular joint pain
  • Happiness
  • Lowered blood pressure & heart rate
  • Boosted immune function
  • Relief from pain
  • Stress release  (cortisol hormone level drops)
  • Release of muscle tightness

Because there are many different types of massage for specific conditions or diseases, it is recommended that you talk with a few experienced practitioners to be confident the one you choose is the right one for you. 

Despite the fact that massage is called the Ultimate Mind Body Medicine, massage isn’t meant as a replacement for regular medical care.  Let your doctor know you’re trying massage and be sure to follow any standard treatment plans you have.

For more information and help in finding the right practitioner for you, please call 610-395-3355.

 

 

One Day at a Time with Meditation

By Greg Schweitzer, MBA

As I approach the anniversary of the day in 1974 that I embarked on this journey of meditation practice, I am gratified that I have stuck with it. What’s kept me going for these 39 years?

A big part of my perseverance was that I felt happier, more joyful and purposeful from the very beginning. There were still contrasts, some days were better than others, but there was a definite trend toward progress.

And there were, still are, times when I didn’t feel like sitting down to meditate because I had so much that I wanted to do. I realize that I’m not alone. Having taught meditation for the past 36 years, it seems the biggest challenge people face is making the time to sit down to do it.

Here’s a tip. When you are in a mood that says “I don’t want to do this now.” Do it anyway. My first teacher, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, told us that we need to learn to ignore or go beyond our moods and circumstances in order to maximize our success with meditation.

A mood will pass while the benefits of meditation last.

Last evening, a new client commented that she’s noticed that if she ignores her desire to skip a meditation and does it anyway, she’s always grateful that she meditated. In his classic, Think and Grow Rich, author Napoleon Hill said that successful people do what unsuccessful people will not do!

Here’s another tip. Take it one day at a time. You may be traveling or you may feel irritable and have no desire to do anything positive. Try to find a way to spend 5 – 10 minutes in meditation rather than blowing it off. Then later that day or the next day, do it again whether you want to or not.

Putting one foot in front of the other, in this simple way, the days turn into weeks, months and years. Before you know it, you’ll have a life built upon the foundation of a stable nervous system and a quiet, resilient mind. All are the natural outcomes of meditating, one day at a time.

The number of research studies on the positive effects of meditation practice is becoming increasingly abundant as reported in the mainstream media.

Here are a few of the benefits reported by our meditation clients:
• Deep healing and rejuvenating zest
• Release of stress and fatigue, more energy
• Lower blood pressure
• Relief from anxiety and depression
• Improved memory, creativity and focus
• Relief from headaches and pain
• Stronger immune system, less illness and better sleep
• Better moods and increased happiness
• Mental clarity and peace of mind
• Enhanced self-esteem and emotional stability

Greg Schweitzer, Director of Stress Reduction Resources and Effortless Meditation™ Instructor for more than 30 years