Massage as Medicine
It is such as great opportunity to be a bodyworker in society today! As mentioned in my previous blog regarding Craniosacral Therapy, we have come to understand the importance of not just physical healing but also emotional healing. We know more now than ever how stress and trauma effect the physical body and if we are able to address the root of the problem, we can possibly decrease the amount of pain and tension that manifest in our muscles. What’s even more important is how we can do that naturally.
I think of massage as medicine. With my studies and continued education in Oncology Massage one of our required texts was to read Medicine Hands, by Gayle McDonald. This book took me on a journey on how to properly treat massage clients that were in different stages of cancer care. It detailed the beauty and comfort massage provides in healing. Gayle couldn’t have chosen a better title for the book. This made me think about what else could be used as medicine so that we don’t have to suffer. For many of us there is medicine that we must take whether it be for high blood pressure or cholesterol, and we don’t have a choice in the matter. We can however make decisions in our health that can help support our immune system and help improve our mental focus. As with anything I don’t recommend stopping any medication without consulting a doctor first, however, here is a list of some things that I’ve learned myself and from my clients that have helped in the natural healing process and help to honor the body.
Ailment Natural Treatment
Insomnia Diffuse lavender or chamomile essential oils and decrease caffeine.
Sore Muscles Epsom salt bath or Epsom salt foot soak
Feeling Imbalanced Nature: Go for walks outside and most importantly connect with the earth. A nice thing to do before winter comes upon us is to designate an area in your yard where you can kick off your shoes and walk barefoot in the grass and soil. Also known as Earthing or Grounding, barefoot walking has shown to help reduce inflammation and improve overall wellness.
Anxiety Craniosacral Therapy is a light touch therapy that helps balance the movement of fluids surround the central nervous system that helps bring balance and well-being to the body. Swedish Massage is also a light touch therapy that uses slow gentle strokes to bring awareness to the body and helps promote rest and healing.
Personally, another one of my favorite things to do to heal my soul is reading. I love
the feel of an actual book in my hand and the smell of the binding and the paper pages. Reading
forces me to slow down and gives me the break I need from my phone. It helps me sleep, opens
my imagination and introduces me to new words. In my career I’ve been blessed to have had two
poets as clients. They both allowed me to read their beautiful works of art and one piece recently
spoke to my heart and I’d like to share it with all of you.
Medicine. Magic. Miracle.
When love lays her finger
on every limb: on the head
on the back of the head
on the hands and feet
on both shoulders.
Medicine Magic Miracle.
There are vessels
in every limb of the body.
The Heart speaks
at the beginning when Love
lays her finger on every limb
Medicine Magic and Miracle
Elizabeth Alberda is a local writer from Ann Arbor, MI that recently published a poetry book
called The Emerald Word. Her passionate heart and talent are truly expressed through her writing. I spoke with her several times on her journey in writing her book and I am so grateful to have seen it come to fruition.