I make my livelihood as a massage and shiatsu therapist helping provide people relief from the stresses and strains accumulated from the knocks and conflicts of daily living. You are being accosted from all directions and it can easily happen that your own path of self-care gets hijacked and put on a back burner. You find yourselves doing for others rather than doing for yourself.
Coming for massage is a first good step in giving yourself an important and necessary break. You come to me for help in addressing often the physical problems that result from repetitive strain injuries that are work related, the result of sports injuries and perhaps even more serious accidents. No symptom is just physical and when we are in pain, it can affect the emotions. It also works visa versa: our emotional health can affect our physical well-being.
When I opened Healing on the Danforth back in 2002, one of the goals of the business was: “to teach and recommend how appropriate self-care techniques including diet, exercise, stretches and other lifestyle changes can be part of an overall wellness program.” As much as it would help feed my ego if I could fix you with massage therapy, that’s perhaps not entirely realistic.
Although appropriate exercise can keep us in good working order, providing strength and elasticity to our gradually aging bodies, not enough attention is paid to the right diet.
There is still very little focus in medical school on the importance of nutrition. I even heard a top oncologist say to one of her patients that it doesn't really matter what you eat. Really? She was saying the patient’s case was hopeless. First, this kind of statement is disempowering and often wildly inaccurate. The food we eat and the nutrition we supply our bodies is a key element in returning to a state of wellbeing. Read Dr. David Servan-Schreiber’s best selling book entitled “Anticancer: A New Way of Life.” It’s a moving story of the doctor’s own inner and outer search for balance and is truly "holistic" because it discusses trauma, environment and lifestyle.
It doesn’t necessarily have to be about something as serious as cancer. However, someone will respond to the physical treatment of massage therapy, shiatsu, therapy, chiropractic or physiotherapy if they are adding the right fuel to their bodies and avoiding an inflammatory diet of white flour, sugar and other poor dietary choices that Dr. Schreiber talks about. You are going to have to read the ingredient labels in the food that you buy on what's inflammatory causing and what brings relief. More on that in a future blog.