Mindful Exercise and Bodywork supports the weak and softens the hard aspects of Body/Breath/Spirit.
Mindful massage/Bodywork creates space in the body; space that has been filled with waste product, and the nervous REFLEX of stress. Bodywork is a safe and effective way to purge, tone, and, regulate, the Meridians (where the nervous reflex ' memory pain' lives) .
Like exercise, massage can have varying degrees of mindfulness. When we talk about mindfulness, we say it's an "attentive self- awareness" integrating how the body feels physically, emotionally, and mentally.
Mindful exercise is breath centered while less mindful exercise is results based (how far, how fast, how much). Results based exercises pay less attention to the process and quality of awareness.
If we are looking for ways to reduce stress, mindful exercise and massage trains you to control your nervous system.
Let's take an example: You may have a high stress job, working long hours and you manage to squeeze in time to workout, runs several kilometers a day, and do adrenaline inducing hobbies like rock climbing.
What kind of training is your nervous system getting? It will be trained to be highly 'Fight or Flight' response. This response is natural but can lead to problems because the parasympathetic response (rest and digest) is subjugated and is unable to balance the sympathetic side. The parasympathetic nervous system regulates our 'Rest, Digest and Repair' and is vital to restoring our internal organs and every cell and function of our bodies.
Stress makes us lose our parasympathetic power. We can suffer from poor sleep, poor absorption of nutrients, shallow breathing, poor memory and concentration. This in turn effects the body, manifesting as chronic pain with acute flare ups. This is how stress becomes a killer in sympathetic dominant people.
Sympathetic dominant people are much more susceptible to heart failure, stroke, high blood pressure, low immune system function, reproductive and hormone irregularities. Most of these diseases are natural reactions to chronic stress held over time.
A Mindful massage treatment allows you and the therapist to be fully relaxed and aware. During the massage, you can often experience different kinds of sensations such as tension, numbness, tingling, heat, coolness, etc., undetectable in our conscious state. Just by being aware of this, it allows real change to appear in the tissues. In a bodywork treatment one can also deepen their meditation and enhance their body-scanning abilities.
In mindful massage and exercise, you learn to train the sympathetic/ parasympathetic nervous system response. After practice and perseverance, one experiences restful sleep, better digestion, increased range of motion, increased breath capacity, balanced blood pressure, increased concentration, and more..
Become Mindful and you will be able to cultivate right discrimination between the sympathetic and parasympathetic habits, leading to balance and awareness. Being aware is half the battle – now breathe !
Emerge. Balance. Thrive