Were you ever taught that if your body hurt, you must have a physical injury? Or perhaps, because there was no evidence, you were making it up? Were you ever taught that if you were angry or sad or irritable that something was wrong in your mind? Perhaps you were told you needed to control your emotions better or just “get over it”?
Over the last decade, one of my favorite scientists, Candace Pert, has proven what traditional cultures have known all along; your emotions AND your nervous system are the messengers between your body and mind. By influencing one, you influence the other; many physical issues stem from your inner conflicts and many mental challenges stem from your physical imbalances. It’s as if our thinking has been backwards ever since we left our tribes and traditions for a modern way of life.
When I was a young woman in high school, every morning I would wake up anxious, tense and very moody; sick to my stomach and tired. I thought I was crazy and a lot of other people did too. My erratic mood swings made it hard to get close to people and I never understood how I could KNOW I was sane, yet feel so insane.Why I KNEW I was sick when there was nothing seriously wrong with me.
These emotional symptoms lasted, on and off, until age 30, when I had one of those unexpected and fated connections that made me feel SO GOOD that when I woke up in the morning, I was cheerful, happy to be alive, wide awake and oddly hungry. This temporary break from my emotional and physical distress lasted about 3 months. But it started me on a lifelong path to discover, “what are my underlying causes of depression, anxiety and stress?” and “what influences my joy and fulfillment?”
The answer wasn’t as simple as “stop being so sensitive” or “you need a thicker skin”. It also wasn’t as simple as “just take this pill”. Your emotions are influenced by many, many layers of physical choices, beliefs and unwitting actions. To feel better, Rumi suggests you “polish the mirror”. Taking off one layer of imbalance at a time, gradually finding physical harmony and emotional contentment.
Listening to your body is the most accurate predictor of your state of mind and vice versa. When you’re dehydrated, do you feel tired and irritable? When you don’t eat enough fiber, do you feel anxious in the mornings? When your shoulder hurts, you might be on emotional alert. When your knees hurt, you may be feeling pressure to achieve. When my butt hurts, I’ve been sitting too long, too narrow minded on my task at hand to get up and do something different for awhile.
Louise Hay came out with a book connecting physical ailments to specific beliefs. You can read it as a general guide to what belief may be influencing your physical issues. It’s a good place to start, and, your body is so much more intricate and personalized than a handbook can address. To discover what’s driving your emotional and physical distress, you need to pay close attention to yourself, your habits and your thoughts. There is no magic book or pill to uncover why you feel the way you do…only a best guess based on someone else’s experiences. The medical doctor couldn’t identify my emotional conflict and the mental health professional couldn’t recognize my physical imbalances. And yet, one directly influenced the other, if it wasn’t usually the direct cause.
The path to self-discovery and change requires first and foremost, self-awareness. You need to feel what’s going on, then pay attention to see what effects it. By taking the time to listen, feel and experimenting, you can learn how to manage most of your physical and emotional issues without too many pills or self-help books. When you start to carry beliefs you’re more in tune with, your body feels better. When you make choices in tune with your body, your mind feels better. You know that you’re generally healthy when you’re sincerely happy with both your internal and external circumstances.
Shiatsu is a form of massage that addresses both your symptoms and the cause of your discomfort: your body, mind and emotions. And your back, shoulders, hamstrings and feet feel better too. It uses time-tested Asian Medicine with contemporary science to help you feel better right now, interrupt your disruptive patterns and help you discover and change your imbalances, bringing you back to harmony. Great for stress, life changes, rheumatoid arthritis, end of life, fibromyalgia, athletic performance, too little activity/movement, inspiration and jumpstarting the next phase of your life.