The Mind-Body Connection!

mind & body

There is no doubt of the mind-body connection. It has been embraced by the traditional medical model and of course in alternative medicine. Stress is connected to a vast majority of illness. I encourage the people that I work with in therapy to find methods of healing their body in addition to our therapy work together. Below are a few suggestions for mind-body healing!

AND – so many of you are depleted simple from stress of day to day living, care-taking of others and then not giving back to you. My suggestions are for you to manage your stress and give back to you. I wrote a blog about what being depleted can look like in marriage. It happens to all of us. 

I hope you find something helpful for you!

Water Therapy:Water

When I ask the question, “What do you do to nurture you”? The response is often, “I have no idea”. Nurturing you is so important and it is the best way to be in a healthy space to then care for others. There is nothing better than soaking in the tub. More important is soaking for healing. It has been said that water is healing because we started life in water in the womb. I have always loved the healing benefits of water. I have discovered that you can add additional health benefits to water such as soaking in magnesium bath flakes. Many of us are deficient in magnesium. Read here about the many benefits of magnesium. And you can check out my natural healing section for my recipe for magnesium oil!

Also wonderful for soaking in the tub is Dead Sea Bath Salts, and even better is that this is infused with lavender. Oh my….relaxing lavender!! Dead Sea Salts are minerals soaked in to your skin which is effective for various forms of arthritis.

If you don’t have time for a soaking bath, check out Dr. Bronner’s Lavender Pure-Castile Soap! I use this daily!! Pick up a bath sponge, so good for your skin!! You can pick it up at your grocery store or drugstore as well. And one more thing for your shower! I use Epsom Salt in the shower!! Simply take your Lavender Castile Soap and mix Epsom salt in your hand. This draws toxins out of the body, sedates the nervous system, reduces swelling, relaxes muscles, it is a natural emollient, exfoliator, and much more. Epsom salt Soothe aches, remove odors and softens rough skin. I love it!!

AND – if you want to really relax in the tub, check out this wonderful bath pillow! Put some relaxing music on and just breathe.

Aromatherapy:

aromatherapy

I love essential oils!!! I discovered essential oils for healing a few years ago and have been sold ever since. My first purchase (and many since!) is from Rocky Mountain Oils (formerly Native American Nutritionals). I did extensive research to find a quality company at reasonable pricing (not an easy combination to find!). I am so happy with this company. My requirements were that they had to be quality therapeutic grade, otherwise an oil is just a ‘nice smelling’ oil without therapeutic benefit. 

My first experience with oils was interesting. I purchased tranquility which I thought would benefit sleep. Both my husband and myself tried it one evening. We put a few drops on the bottom of our feet (the best place to apply oils) and we were up all night!!!! It was a shock for both of us. What was interesting is that I discovered that the oil can provide a calm energy which is exactly what both of us experienced. We were calm and restful but could not sleep (energy). So I was sold about oils. Because it did exactly what it was meant to do even thought I mistakenly thought it was for sleep. Now I use it daily before doing my morning yoga (check out my yoga section!)

If you want to read and learn more about essential oils, two my favorite books are: The Complete Book of Essential oils & Aromatherapy and Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit. If I were to choose one, it would be The Complete Book of Essential oils and Aromatherapy.

You can use oils in many, many different ways. One way is with a diffuser (I bought this for my son, he loves it!). The idea with oils is that they need to penetrate into your body. You can do this directly on your skin (always use a carrier oil such as almond oil) and/or you can diffuse your oils. I do both!!

I have used blends for my diffuser from here and here!

Keep checking back on this page, I’m putting together some of my favorite uses for oils! It’s almost ready to show you!

Journaling

Read here about the vast benefits of journaling. I find that when I journal, I can find clarity my thoughts and emotions. That is huge!! I enjoy both writing in my journal  (I love this one!) and I enjoy online journaling. There are times when my thoughts and emotions are running so high that typing is easier and faster. Check out this free and private online journaling!

Body Work

bodywork

We all know that massage is beneficial to our body. Yes, it is relaxing but it also breaks up the myofascial in our body. Originally I used a foam roller to break up myofascial in my body. However, it was a hard foam roller and therefore, painful. Since then I have discovered “The Melt Method” and all I can say is “oh my”!!! 🙂

I love the concept of gently easing muscle pain and breaking up myofascial as opposed to digging in. Now let me say though that of even the use of a soft foam roller  can still be mildly painful, however it does the trick. However, you can learn how to ease in to sore muscles without pain for The Melt Method. The first time I had my husband try this, he was stunned at how tight his body was and in need of breaking up the myofascial!!

I love the foam roller for every part of my body, but especially my back. I have instant relief in my back when I roll on the roller. I would encourage you to read the book to learn more about how to use the Melt Method. There may even be a few you-video’s that you can find!!

Additionally, the use of therapy balls is excellent for hands and feet. This is used in The Melt Method” as well. If you suffer from carpel tunnel, it is helpful. And many know of the benefits of reflexology, using therapy balls is a way to do this all on your own!! In addition to using these balls on my hands and feet, I use them against a wall of my back and shoulders!! Lovely!!!

If you are in physical pain, you are in emotional pain which is why the mind/body connection is so important. You can find relief from physical pain with the use of a foam roller and therapy balls.

Meditation

Woman doing yoga at sunset, lotus position, copy space

There are many different kinds of mediation. The trick is to find what is best for you. I enjoy guided meditations (below), and my husband enjoys sitting meditation. If you do seated or guided meditation, you will enjoy a Buckwheat Zafu and Zabuton Cushion! (My dog enjoys sleeping on this when it is not in use!) Some do not find a benefit from still meditation or sitting meditation (my clients tell me that they can’t sit still for too long!), therefore you may enjoy walking meditation.  I enjoy both guided meditation and walking meditation. Find what you enjoy. The benefits are well document in research! And check out apps for your phone, you will find plenty! I have a client who enjoys the iPhone meditation app “smiling mind”, check it out!!

And if you doing guided meditation or any meditation laying down – you need an eye pillow!!!! I can’t tell you the peaceful space I go to when I place an eye pillow over my eyes. I use it to go to sleep as well 🙂

Below is a guided mediation. I find it challenging to find one that I enjoy because it is difficult for me to find a ‘voice’ that I enjoy!! I do enjoy this one.

Keep checking back, I will continue to add more helpful information! The more I learn, I will share with you!!

Photo Credits:

Tim Geers@flickr.com

Belinda Robinson@flickr.com 

kanoktham-massage@flickr.com

Nick Kenrick@flickr.com

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