Healing Philosophy

heart-hands-150x150 Healing Philosophy

Optimal Health is available to everyone.

Health and wellness are our most valuable assets.

The whole person should be treated – mind, body, and spirit.

A compassionate and respectful partnership between client and practitioner is essential.

The body has an innate capacity to heal.             vesalius-atlas-of-anatomy-150x150

Clients have the right to choose their own healing path.

Healing is always possible even if there is no cure.

 

Namaste,  Stacy

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The Hip in More Detail

Finally Hip pain Part 1 is posted!  Please take a look 🙂

Hip pain: Part II will be coming up next.  I’ll get into more details about the bodywork side of things as well as add some details to the rehab side of things.

If you have specific questions you would like answered, send them!

Thanks and stay cool!  Stacy

 

Life’s Little Surprises

Since my last post that I would get back to you about hip pain, I have been completely sidetracked.  Symptoms are divert, alter, and change. Digress, switch, and veer.   Deviate, shift, and redirect.  And yes, since I last wrote all these things happened.

The first Saturday in May started out innocently enough, like any other, but unfolded into the unexpected.  Mid-afternoon, my neighbor called to see if I could entice a kitten out from beneath her Toyota Tundra.   “Sure,” I said.  After all, how hard could it be to coax a tiny creature out of its hiding place?  An hour and a half later, I finally had the smallest, gray fur-ball, I have ever seen, extracted from its perfect spot on top of the snug fitting spare tire.

2013-lil-lion-009-smaller-150x150It was hard for me to believe that the pair of lungs that brought her to our attention came from this teeny creature.  All fur and protruding ribs, she clearly didn’t weigh a single pound.  And plenty scared, as she tried to adjust to her new surroundings.  But who wouldn’t be- the high pitched cries for help had been for her mother and clearly not for the nine pairs of human eyes that had shown up instead to lure her out of her safe haven.

024-email-sizeAwaken your capacity to be delighted.Everything is new and exciting to this kitten.   Every inch of her environment must be explored.  New noises stop her in her tracks.  Big brother’s tail is a complete preoccupation.  Just watching her find delight in nearly everything she does reminds me to view my everyday tasks a little differently.  In these crazy, busy days that encompass most of our time, remember to do something you truly enjoy doing each and every day.

Since life has a way of constantly bringing on the unexpected, here is what this itty-bitty thing made me ponder this month.

Active Release Techniques

I’m off for a 4 day workshop and will be back to write more about what this means to me as a body worker and to you as a client.

It’s been quite a journey just to get to this place and I know in the next few days I will have plenty of aha moments, and plenty of times when I’m not really sure what point they are trying to make. It’s all part of being back at the beginning.

Let’s Start with a Clean Slate

clean-slate-3 “How you do anything is how you do everything.” I, for one, can’t believe it is the end of January- already. Everywhere I go people are talking about their New Year’s resolutions. I have long stopped this practice, but still find it fascinating to listen to others participation. Personally, I like to look at each year as a clean slate. It is both frightening and liberating to me; a time with nothing specific planned and no big goals to master. It won’t last long as life has a way of giving me plenty of tasks to handle. However, during this time, I like to notice if any of my own bad habits have shifted over the past year.

As a body worker, I see many different personalities on my table, but the most trying is the driven client who, despite all the body’s careful warning signals, continues to disregard them and to push through any type of pain. He/she only knows the quest of pushing further and further. Not until their body completely fails or their nervous system literally freaks out, will they maybe see the harm of this cycle. I hope that the time spent on the table will bring awareness to this destructive path before they take their body over the edge. If I am not careful, this can be me.

This brings me to the yogic concept of samskara. It is defined as a pattern deeply ingrained in our subconscious that causes us to act out variations on the same theme again and again. Samskaras are our individual actions, ideas, or thoughts. Lumped together, they become all of our many patterns. These can be physical patterns of holding tension or postures that keep things in a constantly stretched position, as well as mental patterns harboring our fears, needs, and beliefs.

“How you do anything is how you do everything.” I have tried to find the source of this quote to no avail. But the gist of it is that your true nature will handle everything in your life in a pattern that you are not even aware of. It’s important to realize that our patterns are conscious choices to make. It’s up to us to choose them. If we aren’t aware of this, we are strengthening the old default muscle. Yes, we are creatures of habit, but it is important to see that we have a choice in our habits.

So how do we create healthier patterns? It doesn’t happen by accident, we have to call attention to it. The massage table is the perfect place to notice our habits. To start, I ask my clients to try using breathe instead of gripping, and a mental scan of the sensations they perceive as they receive the work. With only these two intentions, change is started just by their heightened awareness. These tools are then taken off the table, back to everyday life, where conscious choices can be made.

I know when my clients retain this awareness by the way that they communicate with me about their body. If they just want to hand it over to me for me to figure out, we won’t achieve the same results. If they can tell me a little bit about their pain’s behavior, together we are more successful. If they can give me insight about their body, I know they have taken the time to slow down and listen. This input they are learning to access is more valuable for their overall health than anything I can offer. This will serve to create healthier patterns.

Awareness is what helps us see our thoughts, behaviors and movements as patterns. It allows us to ask if these habits are working for us. Instead of wondering, ‘Why is this happening to me?’ Ask yourself, ‘What does this pattern have to tell me?’ And then you can act on it. On the table, I ask my clients to envision the change they are looking for. When we step out of our patterns, we can restore our bodies to more optimal health.

Are you open to the idea of a clean slate, to get out of the deep groove of a pattern made by year’s of endless repetitions? Remember it is your choice.

“These pains you feel are messengers. Listen to them.”― Rumi

So What are YOU Grateful For?

bittersweet-150x150It seemed appropriate, as we wrap up the month that houses Thanksgiving, to explore the idea of gratitude. My own holiday had the grace of easy airline travels and many bittersweet moments connecting with family.

‘Count your blessings’. This phrase is used as an invitation for each of us to contemplate all that we have going well, and all of the areas in which we are blessed, instead of focusing on the not so sunny things in our life today. It’s interesting to me because it is used in either the context when things are going really well or when things aren’t going well at all. The idea is to take note of things as they are right now. As things, both the good and the bad will shift again so make the most of any situation. counting-150x150

Keeping track of gratitude. Dr. Robert Emmons, UC Davis, and others in the field of psychology have found that gratitude lists and journals are actually good for our health. They reported that by writing a three-item gratitude list just once a week for three months, subjects reported feeling up to 35% healthier in mind and body. Folks in this study reported that they were more optimistic, more energetic and had fewer illnesses. These are things that I personally have great interest in. It seems like an almost too good to be true scenario, but really what do we have to lose here? So I’ve got my notebook and pen on the ready.

Here goes. For today, I am grateful for……………………

  • My wonderful story-telling friends that keep me writing and creating and connected to what is truly universal.
  • My clients who make me search deep within to bring out the best work that I can do.
  • My peeps who offer me unwavering support as I ebb and flow along my unique path.heart-hands-150x150

Gratitude, it is said, is the memory of the heart. Related studies have found other benefits as well, and the one that I wish for all of us, is better resilience during tough times. I know that during these times, if I remember how I saw things as a child, with wonder and awe, not fear and dread, I didn’t really notice the bumps in the road. They were just life. So during our most difficult times and darkest hours, it is essential that we look at things that make us smile. It’s not to say don’t feel the bitter, but remember to always find the sweet.

So what are YOU grateful for?

 

“We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude.” – Cynthia Ozickhow