Yoga and Acupuncture are as common as the mountains and trees in the Kootenays and it is so encouraging to see people taking an interest in their physical as well as energetic health. Chinese Medicine found its roots in traditional Indian Medicine, so it is no surprise that they both view the body as a complex physical and energetic system that depends upon the physical blood vessels to circulate nutrients as well as the energetic channels to circulate universal energy(chi or prana).
The physical practice of yoga originated as a way to open the energy channels in the body to encourage flow to prepare the body, mind and spirit for periods of meditation. This makes sense since balancing the body and stretching out any kinks in the system makes maintaining a sitting posture for an extended period much more comfortable. However many western yogis and yoginis use the asanas of yoga as a physical exercise and form of meditation in and of itself, so rather than preparing for meditation, we open our channels to encourage balance and flow in our everyday lives.
While acupuncture treatments also aim to clear blockages in the human energy system, it allows the body to be at rest while the needles are placed along the energy lines and in powerful energy centers to promote optimal health and well-being.
Shiatsu takes note from both Yoga and TCM. When giving a treatment I stretch your joints and limbs for you, opening and relaxing your muscles and channels. Once they are open and ready to receive massage I work along the meridian lines with focused pressure to energize or soothe blocked up or low flow areas. Shiatsu is much like a deep tissue massage and brings relief to sports injuries or chronic tension. Alternatively it can be given in a relaxing way. I often have clients fall asleep (and when it’s really good they snore and drool). Most commonly however, people find themselves in a meditative state and leave the treatment in a relaxed and positive frame of mind.
Shiatsu is quickly gaining recognition in the bodywork realm and I encourage everyone to try it.
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The Benefits Of Massage
What exactly are the benefits of receiving massage or bodywork treatments? Useful for all of the conditions listed below and more, massage can:
A Powerful Ally
There’s no denying the power of bodywork. Regardless of the adjectives we assign to it (pampering, rejuvenating, therapeutic) or the reasons we seek it out (a luxurious treat, stress relief, pain management), massage therapy can be a powerful ally in your healthcare regimen.
Experts estimate that upwards of ninety percent of disease is stress related. And perhaps nothing ages us faster, internally and externally, than high stress. While eliminating anxiety and pressure altogether in this fast-paced world may be idealistic, massage can, without a doubt, help manage stress. This translates into:
Furthermore, clients often report a sense of perspective and clarity after receiving a massage. The emotional balance bodywork provides can often be just as vital and valuable as the more tangible physical benefits.
In response to massage, specific physiological and chemical changes cascade throughout the body, with profound effects. Research shows that with massage:
Research continues to show the enormous benefits of touch—which range from treating chronic diseases, neurological disorders, and injuries, to alleviating the tensions of modern lifestyles. Consequently, the medical community is actively embracing bodywork, and massage is becoming an integral part of hospice care and neonatal intensive care units. Many hospitals are also incorporating on-site massage practitioners and even spas to treat postsurgery or pain patients as part of the recovery process.
Increase the Benefits with Frequent Visits
Getting a massage can do you a world of good. And getting massage frequently can do even more. This is the beauty of bodywork. Taking part in this form of regularly scheduled self-care can play a huge part in how healthy you’ll be and how youthful you’ll remain with each passing year. Budgeting time and money for bodywork at consistent intervals is truly an investment in your health. And remember: just because massage feels like a pampering treat doesn’t mean it is any less therapeutic. Consider massage appointments a necessary piece of your health and wellness plan, and work with your practitioner to establish a treatment schedule that best meets your needs.