It’s all in your head - seriously
Ever try to walk, drive, or multitask right after having a great massage? Most people find tasks that require body/mind coordination difficult in the period that follows a massage. In addition to being relaxed, most people report feeling a “high” or slight euphoric feeling. A massage high.– an extreme sense of well being, relaxation, and pleasure is very often the result of having a good or great massage experience.
So why does massage feel so darn good? What is it about the physical action of touch in massage that triggers these feel good messages in the brain ? The secret lies in the brain.
Douglas Nelson, a neuromuscular therapist and founder of Precision Neuromuscular Therapy Seminars says this about the science behind the mind/massage/body connection:
“For many decades, the prevailing wisdom was that emotions are experienced in the mind and, as a result, those powerful emotions then affect our body. For example, when someone offends us, we have the emotional experience of anger. Shortly thereafter, we experience physical symptoms of anger, such as increased muscle tension, constricted breathing, and an increased heart rate. On the other hand, powerful positive emotions like joy and happiness also have corresponding physical effects. Our emotions and thoughts have physical consequences. As it turns out, however, the new scientific understanding reveals that these mind-body experiences are at least bi-directional, if not completely the other way around. The emerging science is providing some really good evidence that the physical sensation can lead to the emotion, instead of only the emotion manifesting as a physical experience. Your mind is always trying to make sense of what the body experiences. The brain needs a reason for what it experiences; we interpret meaning so we know how to respond appropriately. As an example, let’s imagine you have an increased respiration and pulse rate. Are you excited or are you fearful? When you think about it, the physical experiences of excitement and fear are almost identical. The mind must decide which emotion it is based on the context of the experience. The experience of physical ease is then interpreted by the brain as being a sign of emotional ease. Relaxation of the body is also relaxation of the mind, as evidenced by the fact that the same class of drugs (benzodiazepines) given as muscle relaxants is also used in the treatment of anxiety disorders. Furthermore, when you return to work with that emotional framework, it changes what you notice around you as well. Little annoyances don’t seem as disturbing. Since attention is selective, your peaceful and positive emotional state predisposes you to notice lots of little blessings that you previously might have overlooked. This process becomes very self-reinforcing.”
The brain/body connection
In addition to the brain synthesizing experience into physical reactions (and visa-versa), the brain also releases hormones that create physical responses to both stress and relaxation. According to the MAYO clinic, “When you encounter a perceived threat — a large dog barks at you during your morning walk, for instance — your hypothalamus, a tiny region at the base of your brain, sets off an alarm system in your body. Through a combination of nerve and hormonal signals, this system prompts your adrenal glands, located atop your kidneys, to release a surge of hormones, including adrenaline and cortisol. This complex natural alarm system also communicates with regions of your brain that control mood, motivation and fear.”
Conversely, studies have shown that relaxing situations and activities such as massage stimulate the “feel good” hormones of Oxytocin, while reducing the “stress enhancing” hormone adrenocorticotropin, promoting a feeling of well being, relaxation and pleasure.
Why Interrupting stress hormone cycles is important
According to MAYO clinic, interrupting the body’s stress responses could save your life.
The body’s stress-response system is usually self-limiting. Once a perceived threat has passed, hormone levels return to normal. As adrenaline and cortisol levels drop, your heart rate and blood pressure return to baseline levels, and other systems resume their regular activities.
But when stressors are always present and you constantly feel under attack, that fight-or-flight reaction stays turned on. And everyday stressors include commute driving, work related stress, bad diet and lack of exercise.
It is a paradox of modern living that the "fight or flight" stresses of daily life like being eaten by a tiger are gone, yet we are living more stressed than ever due to the abundance of modern replacements of stress triggers, mail, bills, cell phones, email, over scheduling, etc.
Not only are there more stressors, but they are now more often "always on" and were not designed to be!
The long-term activation of the stress-response system — and the subsequent overexposure to cortisol and other stress hormones — can disrupt almost all your body’s processes. This puts you at increased risk of numerous health problems, including:
You feel great leaving your massage therapists studio. You want to keep this feeling for as long as possible, realizing the stresses of life will creep back in soon. How can you reap the most benefit from your massage sessions? Practice these “self care” and the benefits of your last massage will last a little longer:
Don't get right back on your phone
Some of my first time clients, after having the most wonderful massage experience jump off the table and get right back on their phones. I try, nicely, to discourage that activity because it starts to immediately undo the positive effects of the massage. Take time to absorb the experience, notice how you feel, turn on some music, let it soak in....then gradually return to your routine.
Mindfulness - be in the present moment
Many of these suggestions are another way of talking about mindfulness, and being in the present moment. Use the time both on the massage and immediately thereafter to simply "be" Don't be thinking about what you have to do tomorrow, or in an hour, or what you did yesterday. Just be.....listen to your own body, appreciate the moment you are in.
Continue to relax your mind and body
If at all possible, don’t jump right into your routine. If you have to drive, maybe pu on some relaxing or feel good music. Or, if you can, read a book, take a hot bath, or do something that promotes and extends the body’s relaxation responses and doesn’t trigger counterproductive stress responses.
Book another appointment before you leave
Making massage a routine part of your wellness regimen is one of the best things you can do. One of the easiest ways to do that is to re-book before you leave. And often there is a financial benefit, as many massage therapists offer a discount for clients who re-book before they leave, I do and clients appreciate it.
In summary, the massage high is a real phenomenon. It is a natural biological function. Enjoy it for as long as you can. And to take a line from shampoo bottles "wash, rinse, repeat", I would say "massage, savor, repeat".
Ever heard of mindful living? It’s become quite popular in recent years thanks to countless scientific research studies showing its benefits.
The truth is, mindfulness practice has been around for centuries thanks to spiritual teacher Gautama Buddha, who founded Buddhism.
The basis of mindfulness is being aware of what’s happening in the present moment without judging it or wishing it were different.
While the practice offers many benefits, you need to consistently keep at it to reap the rewards.
Below are 11 simple concepts about mindfulness that you may adopt into your daily life.
1) Your only reality is THIS MOMENT, right here, right now.
This famous quote from Buddha sums up this principle best: “Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.”
The past is an illusion. The future hasn’t arrived. The only thing that’s real is what’s happening right now.
2) A negative thought is harmless unless you believe it.
Thoughts come and go all the time. It’s natural. Suffering occurs when we attach ourselves to our thoughts. The reality is, our thoughts don’t really mean anything and they’re not who we are. When you take a step and observe your thoughts from a distance, you realize that if you’re observing them, then they can’t be you. Eckhart Tolle says it best:
“What a liberation to realize that the “voice in my head” is not who I am.
Who am I then? The one who sees that.”
3) You will not be punished for your anger, you will punished by it.
We all get angry from time to time, but acting on this anger rarely results in something positive. It’s easy to get angry, but true courage involves doing something productive about it. When you realize that the present moment is all we have, you’ll come to understand that life is too short to spend time being upset and angry.
As Lao Tzu said: “The best fighter is never angry.”
4) Inner peace is knowing how to belong to oneself, without external validation.
Many people are concerned about what other people think of them. But you don’t look to others to find yourself. You are who you are and what others think about you doesn’t make a difference to that. Osho provides some inspirational advice to not care what other people think of you:
“Nobody can say anything about you. Whatsoever people say is about themselves. But you become very shaky, because you are still clinging to a false center. That false center depends on others, so you are always looking to what people are saying about you. And you are always following other people, you are always trying to satisfy them. You are always trying to be respectable, you are always trying to decorate your ego. This is suicidal. Rather than being disturbed by what others say, you should start looking inside yourself...
Whenever you are self-conscious you are simply showing that you are not conscious of the self at all. You don’t know who you are. If you had known, then there would have been no problem— then you are not seeking opinions. Then you are not worried what others say about you— it is irrelevant!
Your very self-consciousness indicates that you have not come home yet.”
5) Everything is created twice, first in your mind and then in your life.
Our brains are powerful instruments and they create the world around us. And the truth is that you won’t act unless your brain knows what you’re doing. So have your plans and goals in place, and then take action.
“The future depends on what you do today.” – Mahatma Gandhi
6) We ourselves must walk the path.
Life comes with many challenges and adversities for everyone, but the one thing with have control over is how much effort and willpower we put into something. We can’t attach our happiness or success towards outside objects. It all lies within us.
“No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path.” – Buddha
7) To strongly believe in something, and not live it, is dishonest.
Don’t bend to what “society” wants you to be. Don’t change who you are so other people will accept you. It’s important to be authentic and follow your heart. Characterize yourself by your actions and you will never be fooled by other people’s words.
“Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.” – Dr. Seuss
8) The right path and the easy path are rarely the same path.
You’ll eventually come to realize that struggle is what makes you grow, and it’s always worth it. While every step may be tough, it will lead you to where you want to go. Just because something seems difficult doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it. In fact, it’s all the more reason to chase your goals.
“Those who have failed to work toward the truth have missed the purpose of living.” – Buddha
9) If you want the benefits of something in life, you have to also want the costs.
So many people ask themselves questions like “what am I passionate about?” to find their purpose in life. However, a better question is “what is worth suffering for?” This will help you find what you truly want to do, and your life will be more fulfilling because of it.
Life will give you whatever experience is most helpful for the evolution of your consciousness. How do you know this is the experience you need? Because this is the experience you are having at the moment.” – Eckhart Tolle
10) Over-committing is the antithesis of living a peaceful, mindful life.
So many of us have a massive to-do lists filled with tasks that we couldn’t possibly finish in one day. We have to abandon the idea that there is honor in being busy. However, sometimes it can be more rewarding to focus on one task at a time and mindfully be absorbed by it. We also need time to rest and appreciate the beauty of life.
“You must learn to let go. Release the stress. You were never in control anyway.”
– Steve Maraboli
11) When you try to control too much, you enjoy too little.
As human beings, what is it that’s so alluring about control? We desire the certainty and comfort. The irony is that there is actually no such thing as control. We are never in control. Ever. The sooner we grasp this and learn to go with the flow a little more, the easier life will be.
“Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are.” – Chinese Proverb
excepted from "The Power of Ideas"
This post is dedicated to a friend and fellow therapist, Barbara Heard, who has had the passion and dedication and courage to lead the way to make or keep this work legal in her state, and other states, and to educate the public, therapists and public officials about why this work is important. First and foremost, what is full chest and breast massage? It is not sexual, in fact it is exactly the opposite,
When receiving full chest massage done with professional, neutral, totally non sexual touch one has the most amazing holistic experience of feeling their chest as an integrated part of their body. Full chest massage on men is very common but discouraged or assumed to be sexualized on women, in America mostly,
Massage of the anterior chest wall is effective treatment for injuries to the chest, shoulders and neck. Full chest massage with pressure applied to the muscles deep to the breast tissue with consistent firm flow over the rib cage helps both tone and relax the chest muscles as needed, just as happens when we massage the muscles on the posterior rib cage, or other parts of the body. The effect is to enliven the rib cage so that it gives better support to the shoulders and neck, which relieves tension and discomfort in these areas and assists in treating neck and shoulder injuries.
Massage of the anterior chest wall and breasts facilitates experiencing one's breasts as a normal and natural part of our bodies.
By encouraging easy breathing, releasing tension in the muscles and bones located in the chest, and encouraging healthy flow of blood and lymph, chest and breast massage can support overall physical wellness, as well as mental, emotional and spiritual well being. It is effective as part of treatment protocol for shoulder and neck injuries.
Massage of the anterior chest wall is effective treatment for injuries to the chest, shoulders and neck.
Full chest massage with pressure applied to the muscles deep to the breast tissue with consistent firm flow over the rib cage helps both tone and relax the chest muscles as needed, just as happens when we massage the muscles on the posterior rib cage, or other parts of the body. The effect is to enliven the rib cage so that it gives better support to the shoulders and neck, which relieves tension and discomfort in these areas and assists in treating neck and shoulder injuries.
Breast massage with a treatment focus
Breast massage can also effectively treat conditions such as scar tissue, lymphedema and other cancer related issues, recovery from mastectomy, recovery from breast reduction or breast augmentation procedures, problems with lactation, and swelling related to cycles.
Reclaiming an often lost natural connection to parts of the body
Informed Consent / Supporting public safety: You always have the right and the responsibility to direct any therapist not to massage any part of your body which you prefer to be avoided. The informed consent protocol designed by Barbara includes a full detailed explanation and written detailed consent. This is designed to support public safely by preventing incidents in which clients receive unwanted touch. It is not universal, as not all states allow for this work, but where it is legal, the protocol should be applauded and adopted. It removes shame, keeps the client in control and promulgates the idea that the human body is normal, in all shapes and sizes.
For more information on Barbara's work click here
For a European perspective click here
This article was written from and excerpts taken with permission from Barbara Heard
Emotional Healing Through Massage Therapy
Sometimes you have to be dangerously close to a problem to see and or effect the solution. In seeking a path, Clients who may have suffered from trauma or abuse benefit from some form or forms of emotional healing - it is not always easy and requires a certain bravery and trust. But the rewards are worth it. It can change your life. Many of these people are touch averse and their brain more frequently associates touch sensations as negative. Part of our nervous system has a "decider" switch of sorts, when your nerves are stimulated by a touch impulse, a "pre-signal" is sent and very quickly the brain has to decide if this is good touch or bad touch and respond accordingly. To illustrate how this works, think of your self and a frind you are starting to like, or a significant other and you are walking along in a park and your upper arms touch. How does it make you feel? Probably warm, probably wanting more? No imagine you are sitting on a bus or train and some undesirable person is next to you and they move so that their arm rubs up against yours. Now how would that make you feel? Creepy? would you pull away? But its the same sensation! Only in context is it good or bad. For touch averse people, their brain sends out the "bad" signal even when the touch is "good" until it gets re-trained.
In order to help the healing process one must retrain their brain to associate certain touch with positive, and over time the positive feeling push aside the negative ones and healing begins. We all need touch, it has been proven, And yet we are all in some small way becoming touch averse, even if we have not suffered a traumatic experience. We are living in more interconnected than ever with the internet yet at the same time we are more isolated than ever for the same reason, the internet. Moreover society has been making all forms of touch taboo. Things you might have seen in the 1950's as normal, a teacher and a student, a parent and another persons child are all more and more being assumed to be "inappropriate" Touch is becoming associated with fear, and this needs to change.
But back to trauma and emotional healing. Very often the people that need touch most experience it the least. The good news is that it does NOT have to be that way. Healing can happen, in everyone. But you need to start.
This is among the work of which I am most proud. If you are or know someone who has suffered and would like to regain control and begin or complete the healing process, please contact me or share my contact information with them. I say begin or "complete" because in most cases individuals in this situation will seek out therapy (verbal therapy) support groups (again mostly words) and never get around to the core which is touch itself.
The following post is a beautifully written poetic piece on the idea of bodywork for emotional healing. I share it with you here in its entirety for you to read and enjoy.
Persons seeking a path to heal might be justifiably nervous about what seeing a massage therapist like myself might entail. Rachael Scott, a colleague wrote this and I believe sums things up in a simplified, poetic, non-technical post.
What happens in a Bodywork Session? (trauma)
What happens in a Bodywork Session? *
Whether a single, jarring incident or hurt inflicted over time - trauma permeates every layer.
The pain is conscious and un(der)conscious.
It's physical, emotional and spiritual.
It's communal, familial.
Trauma creeps down our spines, makes a home in our bellies, connects wires to our brains where the machine replays the most terrifying moments of pain.
Over and over on a loop so we don't forget.
Trauma winds, spirals, clenches and creeps.
It drips into every cell, making its way into the past and future.
Now bodywork... that's here.
Here in between these four walls, you're safe.
You, me, this pain.
Just the three of us ready for a different kind of conversation.
I reach out my hand to find the place where it hurts.
You breathe in, tentatively at first, unsure but ready to listen.
The pressure feels pleasant.
A welcome reprieve.
You breathe deeply, discovering new places within yourself.
Through my offered touch you embark on a sensory journey.
The trauma and the pain show up as guides.
And we get to know them.
They don’t want to hurt you.
They say, “I have something to show you.”
We wander over and explore new sensations.
And it gets easier.
Then you say, “My body is my friend.”
Thank you Rachael Scott
See her original post here
"Flying" or "Ka'aleleau".
Curious as to where the fluidity and graceful motions of Lomi come from?
Lomi practitioners practice a form of moving meditation called "Flying" or "Ka'aleleau". This is what it looks like. CLICK HERE
Ka'aleleau, the 'Flying', is a meditation inspired by the flight of the Iwa-Birds. It serves to bring our 'mana', our energy, so that we can find ourselves in our equilibrium and unfold completely free. Flying also forms the basis for the smoothness of our movements. When we transfer it into touch, it is felt as a wonderful flowing strokes.
To give to ourselves while we are fully tracking the state of connectedness with the 'Ohana', the family, everything surrounding us. We call it ALOHA, universal love. Enjoy the day!
What to expect during your Lomi Massage (updated May 2017)
This is a minor update of a prior post re posted here due to the number of inquiries about Lomi massage and what to expect. The original posts may be found here , here , and here
What is Lomi Lomi Massage ?
Massage is one of the oldest and most powerful forms of healing. Lomi Lomi is one of the most profound forms of massage. So, what makes it so special, what is it, how does it differ from other massage, how does it "work"?
I"m often asked what Lomi Lomi means. The meaning of the words Lomi Lomi in some sense have been lost to time, and are so misquoted on the internet it is hard to keep track!
Because the Hawaiian language was a spoken one, and not written, there are few references to Lomi, prior to the arrival of western missionaries. However for purposes of simplicity, lets just assume that in today's understanding Lomi Lomi might best be translated as "loving touch". But loving not in the sense of romantic love, but in the sense of Aloha. I will write more on Aloha and the history of the word in another post, but suffice to say that Lomi was commonly practiced in families, children on parents, parents on children, and for royalty. It was a part of healing and was also a part or relaxation. Repeating a word in Hawaiian merely emphasizes the meaning. More on this if you are interested.
However, today, what Lomi Lomi is is a unique healing massage derived from the ancient Polynesians and more specifically the master healers of Hawaii. True Lomi Lomi has other components of healing, such as knowledge of herbs and natural remedies, but again, this being today, the focus of this post is really to describe the bodywork experience and environment.
However, Lomi, for me, is more than a technique. It is a life style and a journey to know one's self on a deeper level
To understand the depth of Lomi Lomi massage, it helps to have an understanding of the Hawaiian philosophy called Huna, and how the philosophies of Huna relate to bodywork and healing.
A fundamental assumption of Huna is that everything seeks harmony and everything seeks love. So how does this relate to massage? Perhaps this can best be understood by taking the concept of "Loving Touch". The reason for this is that it works gently yet deeply into the muscles with continuous, flowing strokes, totally nurturing the body and, enabling the recipient to relax, give in and simply be. So while technique is a part of the massage , much of the work is done by intuition, and feeling, with the focus of the practitioner on the client being deep and complete, using loving hands and a loving heart.
This flowing with total energy, using the long continuous fluid strokes, combined with the very loving touch, relaxes the entire being, assisting in a letting go of old beliefs, patterns and behaviors.
The Hawaiians look at things in terms of energy flow, following the idea that an idea or belief can block energy flow as much as muscle tension can. Lomi Lomi helps release the blockages, Thus Lomi Lomi is not just a physical experience; it also facilitates healing on the mental, emotional and spiritual levels as well. The Hawaiians view all aspects of the body as one and believe that the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual are all part of the "whole" self - when healing is effected on one level, all levels are affected. This is balance. True balance.
So, what happens during a Lomi Lomi massage? How is it performed?
Every Lomi session begins with pule (Prayer) and intention. For me, a simple intention would be "Lomi begins when I wake up in the morning and go to bed at night. I ask myself, how can I contribute?" Alternatively or as well, the client may be asked to set their intention for any healing they would like to receive.
There is a stillness between the practitioner and client - often with the practitioners hands gently resting on the clients back. In this stillness the practitioner will quietly say a chant or prayer asking for whatever healing is needed to take place during the massage.
The practitioner then works very intuitively with the client. In this respect there is no set format or sequence for the massage and no two massages will ever be identical.
The massage is given in fluid, rhythmic motion using the forearms as well as the hands. Some people have described this as feeling like gentle waves moving over the body. Another feature is that different parts of the body may be massaged at the same time, for example one arm or hand may be working on a shoulder and the other hand may be working on the opposite hip. This assists the recipient in totally relaxing as it is impossible or at least extremely difficult for the brain to focus on the two different areas at once. By not working on areas in isolation a deep sense of balance and harmony is achieved. The client on the table is not viewed as someone to be fixed, but a being to be returned to harmony and balance. It is important to remember that Lomi does not seek to "fix" any specific thing, but in working on the entire being, the idea is that any specific issue will have been addressed.
What to Expect -
Your Lomi experience will take place in a comforting, calm, clean well-heated space.
Hand blended aromatherapy oils, and a combination of music will allow you to be carried away by this wavelike massage.
It’s about being present and supportive and encouraging deep breath. There is generous use of warm oils. So dress and plan accordingly for when you leave.
A word about draping - Lomi draping is often shown on the internet as very minimal. It is true that for some of the strokes more of the body is exposed than in Swedish or Sports massage, however draping is always respectful, and in compliance with local rules. No part of the body is ever unnecessarily exposed and is not for titillating purposes but for access. For those who have questions or concerns about the draping, it can always be modified to satisfy the concerns of the client. Lomi can even be done fully clothed! It is a different experience to be sure but Lomi is about the touch, its about the connection, not the amount of exposure. You must have trust between the practitioner and the client to be able to fully "let go" and to allow for complete relaxation.
For those who feel only "deep" work is true massage, I simply offer that Lomi is less invasive but no less effective. Poetically described, "Lomi, in essence, is like floating on a raft in a peaceful lake. You are invited to deeply relax and release stress, to clear my mind and allow yourself to simply be in the moment."
For many who come and experience Lomi for the first time, they often describe it as "the best massage experience ever".
Lomi Lomi is a feast for the senses,
I invite you to try this unique experience for yourself and to make it a regular part of your life, not simply a one time luxury.
Healing Hands offers best massage rates for students in the Boston, at our Back Bay Location
Young Adults these days are under a lot of stress.
There are numerous benefits to massage for students - here are just some:
Top 5 Benefits Of Massage For Students
1. Lower Levels of Stress, help with Anxiety
According to the 2014 National College Health Assessment, students are really stressed out these days. Research has shown over and over that massage therapy is effective for stress relief. Massage therapy has been proven to boost levels of the "feel-good" hormone dopamine, while at the same time lowering levels of the "stress-hormone" cortisol.
2. Better Sleep
Massage therapy has been shown help relax the body and improve sleep. Massage therapy can help you get the sleep you need to stay focused on your studies.
3. Improved Focus
Students with ADHD can improve mood and classroom attention and focus with regular massage therapy. Headaches, especially tension headaches, frequently get in the way of study and sleep, with up to 30-50% of young people suffering from regular headaches. Get the relief you need to stay focused--massage has been shown to be effective against and to provide relief from from tension headaches.
4. Stay Active and Fit
"Freshman fifteen", anyone? All of that study and stress can lead to increased levels of cortisol, which can slow metabolism, trigger inflammation, and encourage accumulation of body fat, one of your body's natural reactions to stress.. In addition to giving a boost to your metabolism, massage can also help out with any stiffness or sore muscles. It is effective for pain management, faster recovery, and prevention of injuries, so that you can keep going. Massage therapy should be a part of your regular wellness regimen - even helping you to maintain peak fitness
5. Immune Boosting
In addition to lowering cortisol levels, and increasing our "feel-good" neurotransmitters, massage therapy also improves immune function by increasing our body’s natural "killer T cells” and lymphocytes, Student Dorms, housing lounges, classrooms are all close quarters and can be a breeding ground for germs and germ transmission. Give yourself a boost--research shows that even a single session of Swedish Massage has a measurable biologic impact.
For more details on our Student Discount Pricing for massage click here
While at a Lomi retreat this week, I was again reminded of this simple yet profound and beautiful story. It helps me when I am down, and maybe there is a time when it can help you too. So I share it here.....
The Bowl of Light
Since ancient times the Hawaiians believe and pass on this simple idea: Each child is born with a bowl of light. This bowl represents your true identity, a vessel of shining light. If you are taught to love and respect the light, then you will grow in strength and health and you can do anything – swim with the sharks, fly with the birds, know and understand all things.
If, however, you judge your experiences of life as bad, become fearful, worried, ashamed, stressed, or resentful, each of these things represents a stone that is dropped into your bowl. Each time a stone is dropped into your bowl, it blocks some of the light. The stone and the light cannot hold the same space.
If you continue to drop stones into your bowl, it will eventually be full of stones, the light will go dark, and the bowl will become heavy, and burdensome. But the good news is that the light never goes out, it is just sometimes obscured by the stones.
If you become tired of your bowl being heavy and dark, and you also feeling like a stone, you can simply turn over the bowl and the stones fall out, and you your light will shine again! What a simple yet profound idea - that it is simply up to you at anytime to let go, dump the stones that weigh down and darken your bowl and start again with a perfect bowl of light. What a liberating and powerful idea.
In this Hawaiian story, the bowl of light represents our true essence: pure light, pure love. When we are conscious and respectful of this light, we are living in our highest state of freedom, our sovereignty.
The stones in the bowl represent the pain and suffering that we cause ourselves by resisting life instead of trusting it, and by not accepting others or ourselves as we are.
If we fill our bowl of light with stones, we lose connection with our essence and feel separate from the source of love and light. The reality is that all of our experiences, both painful and pleasurable, will always be part of who we are. It’s not possible to deny or eliminate them. What we can do is free ourselves of the stones at anytime and return the light to our bowl so that the memories of our wounds no longer affect us negatively.
You can apply the message from the Bowl of Light story to your own life - and if you like, even get a bowl, and some stones to remind you.. Try an experiment: Try to think about your own bowl right now. Is it full? half full? empty? Try then to think about turning your bowl, emptying the stones right now, and start and try today to live in the moment, and become conscious of your thoughts, feelings, and communication with your friends, family, coworkers, customers, and so forth. Try to keep your bowl empty of stones.
I love this simple story, with its powerful profound message. May your bowl of light shine always. Remember, its up to you..
Thai Herbal Compress Massage
Herbal healing has deep roots in Thai culture dating back to ancient times when it was a secret healing technique of Buddhist monks.
Ideal for relaxing aching muscles and soothing the effects of sporting injuries or other physical stress, a Thai herbal massage is a wonderful option for people who need a calming experience to induce blissful relaxation.
The aromatic and medicinal properties of the herbs and spices have a positive restorative, calming and soothing effect. It is ideal for alleviating pain, stiff, sore or pulled muscles and ligaments, chronic back aches, arthritis, migraines, stress and anxiety.
A beautiful way to unwind after a stressful few days or as a way to give yourself a well-deserved reward, Thai herbal massages have lots of lasting health benefits; it is believed that they calm the nerves and replenish your body’s natural energy.
The handmade herbal compress balls contain numerous healing herbs that are wonderfully aromatic when heated. This unique poltice is steamed and applied to the body, with oil, to help sooth and relax muscle tension and other aches and pains.
Many of the herbs used are anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, astringent and antioxidant. They are used to address sprains, bruises and sore muscles, cleanse and heal the skin by promoting cell growth, and aid upper respiratory ailments such as bronchitis, asthma, and the common cold.
The Traditional Herbs used are:
Camphor – is stimulating the brain, heart and circulation but relieves mental and emotional stress, anxiety and insomnia. When inhaled it is good for sinuses and respiration. Used in compresses it soothes sore muscles and arthritis, and treats nervous system disorders such as multiple sclerosis and fibromyalgia.
Cassamunar Ginger – soothing the muscle aches and pain. Natural emollient used by women to tone and soften their skin, and has been used (in Thailand) by generations to restore the womb after giving birth.
Eucalyptus – the aroma has an emotionally refreshing effect. While inhaling the steamed vapours or applying to the chest and throat are all effective treatments for colds, cough, congestion, asthma and other respiratory conditions. It is also antiseptic killing germs and speeding the healing of wounds and infections.
Galangal – used internally relieves many digestive ailments. It is strong antiseptic, toning the skin and treating skin diseases.
Ginger – powerful stimulant with heating effects on the body. Its oil boosts circulation, eases muscle stiffness and increases the potency of all herbs combined with it.
Kaffir Lime – the vapours are uplifting, treating respiratory ailments and oil on the skin acts as a cleansing astringent.
Lemongrass – soothing yet invigorating, clearing the head and uplifting the mind.
Turmeric – one of the key ingredients in healing, used internally for circulatory and digestive problems. It is also natural moisturizer and antiseptic popular for skin treatments.
The balls are individually made, stuffed and tied by hand. The combination of herbs I use in this massage is a secret family recipe, passed down from generation to generation, and I get them direct from Thailand.
They are only intended for single use, and at the conclusion of your bodywork you may take them home as a gift, and they have a lovely fragrance for your bath.
If you are looking to experience the best massage in Boston and want to try a thai herbal compress massage, go to our menu page.
If you are looking to experience the best massage on Martha's Vineyard, we have an award winning second location and would be delighted to see you there.
Don’t Hate Mondays, Hate Your Lifestyle. Or change your mindset.
There’s a saying that is sometimes attributed to Karl Marx or Slavoj Zizek——that tidily sums up the existential angst many people feel at the start of a traditional work week:
"You don’t hate Mondays. You hate capitalism."
There is that there’s nothing intrinsic to “Monday,” which is just a word we’ve invented to delineate every seventh day, that makes your average 9-5 worker miserable.
It is just a day like any other.
The despair comes may have something to do with your lifestyle and the common routines many of us share. This invests “Monday” with meaning—this is the day you return to your "routine". For many it is the cycle of repetitive, unsatisfying labor that fills you with loathing and anxiety. This is the thing you should should change.
“Monday” is just a label. Its just a word; a meaningless symbol— nothing more than a day of the week. You may as well get mad at a rock. Perhaps better then to evaluate how and what goes into your work / life balance and look for ways, if possible to make changes to your lifestyle.
Monday symbolizes the end of the weekend and the start of a new week. So it symbolizes the day when the fun stops, and the obligations begin. For most people it represents the beginning of the working week. It symbolizes something undesirable and unmotivating.
But, Do you really hate Mondays? No, you don’t. (If you do, you don't have to - remember, its in YOUR mind, you are in control).
Mondays can be truly wonderful days. Just because people think Mondays are bad days, it doesn’t necessarily have to mean that you have to irradiate pessimism at the beginning of the week.
So, there are two reasons why you might hate Mondays:
You’ve become a part of the global view that Mondays are bad days
You’re not living a life that would allow you to enjoy your Monday
How to Make Mondays Great, or at least Better?
In order to stop seeing Monday as a bad day, you need to fix your way of thinking. First and foremost, you have to start creating your own attitudes about your life, and the people who surround you. Look at your routine. What can you do different? Is it the overwhelming barrage of emails? Give it a time slot, answer them and move on. Are you over scheduled? Learn to start saying no to some things.
Change Your Mind About Mondays
While the rest of the world is convinced that Monday is a bad day, you can be different. It is a mindset really. Every individual is unique and has something to offer the world. Don’t be afraid of being different. You’re nothing else but what your brain thinks you are. When you succeed in creating a positive image of Mondays in your head, that day will become positive, and full of great opportunities in your eyes.
If it is a return to some tedious tasks, find a way to look at or find positive aspects. If there are a couple of specific things that really get you down find a way to change or eliminate those. Maybe one or 2 small things are affecting your mood about every other aspect of Mondays.
Someone once suggested plan a good meal or a treat for Monday dinner - that seems like a good little simple idea.
If its work related, find something rewarding to either start or complete on Mondays. Something that can bring you satisfaction.
Successful people tend to use every day for making agreements, opening new businesses, or enjoying life. Why should you restrict yourself by throwing out your Mondays? It doesn’t matter what day it is; you can start a business on Monday, Tuesday, Saturday or any other day of the week.
Don’t use days of the week as an excuse. Every day is a new chance for you to make changes, become a better person, don’t miss out on that. Time is our most valuable resource, so you have to spend it wisely.
Change Your Lifestyle.
I write about things that I myself need to be mindful of. Ways in which I would like to improve. It is not from the perspective of preaching - but rather writing helps me work out what I myself need to do - we are all in this together.