A Massage Therapist’s Guide To: Loving Your Body

By |2018-01-08T23:54:55+00:00March 4th, 2015|Uncategorized|

13 Ways to Lead a Lifestyle in Alignment With Health:

1. Build a Team of Holistic Health Providers & Other Allies
There is no denying that we are bombarded with a plentitude of poor influences on our health everyday. Go to any gas station, corner store, movie theater, or entertainment establishment and you are left with hardly any choices but to offend your body.

Yet, if you are one who doesn’t want to take their health for granted, then finding every way you can, to surround yourself with positive influences on your health is a necessary step. It really does require saturating yourself with opportunities for healthier choices, to counter balance the impact of living life on planet Earth in 2015. So what is one to do?

If you will, take a moment, to take inventory of where you are leaking your energy or exposing yourself to unnecessary toxins.

Are their any establishments that you would benefit from discontinuing to frequent, that are wreaking havoc on your health? You know what I am talking about! If so, where can you go instead that will support you in your health efforts?

What can you do about it, now? It takes continuously taking action steps and becoming more conscious about these things today. Don’t wait until you are “broken” to try and reverse the damage. Prevention is a mind-set and what you choose today will affect you every additional year of your life. But don’t just build teams. Utilize them!

Holistic Health Teams May Include: Massage Therapist, Acupuncturist, Energy Workers, Yoga Instructors, Naturopaths, Practitioners of Functional Medicine, Medicine People, Shamanic Practitioners, Spiritual Communities, Counselors, Life Coaches, Gardeners, and the like.

2. Concern Yourself With Exactly What You Are Putting On, In and Around Your Body.

Pause for a moment and take notice about…

  • the mentality of those whom you surround yourself with most of the time?
  • where you do your shopping most of the time?
  • how much ‘real’ food do you eat normally?
  • the products you regularly drink, inhale or rub on your skin?

Seriously. Assess your environment. How many toxins are you exposing yourself to every day, day after day? It’s true that some toxins are unavoidable, because the use these chemicals are so widely used and accepted in our civilization. Our drinking water, our conventional body-care products, building materials, fuels, paints, the stuff they pawn off as food, and industrial/ agricultural waste, are all a way of life these days.

But SOME you can at least control in your home and work environment. Which in turn supports the entire planet, because we flush that stuff down our drains and absorb it to our body through our lungs, skin, and digestive tracts. Now add up how many years you have been exposed to these agents?

Are there any toxins that you can immediately stop exposing yourself to today? Are there some that could be replaced with an all-natural alternative?

Start reading the labels on these common household items and decide if you think it you should be using them:
Body Care (Shampoos, Deodorant, Soaps, Lotions, Lip balms, Make-Ups, Toothpastes)
Cleaning Agents / Disinfectants
Laundry Detergent
Candles, Room Sprays, and Other Fragrant Products

Here is a great resource for starting to learn more about some of the ingredients commonly found in household items: 

Basically, know what you are exposing yourself to. Understand what is on the labels of the products that you buy. Educate yourself about all things healthy, then choose consciously. Also, you may re-evaluate how much time you are spending with certain people, who may not be a positive influence on you and your health. Do you already know people who are naturally positive influences? Can you hang out with them more?

3. Get to Know and Understand Basic Human Physiology and Nutrition.

This really ought to be basic knowledge taught in schools. Like knowing how to read and do basic math. It is the only body you will have in this life and it does require some basic ‘know-how’ if you want to enjoy quality of life for years to come.

Learn about things that your body needs and how to listen to it’s messages. It really is quite simple and yet our culture doesn’t cultivate an understanding of our own nature. Not in an embodied way, that is. Nope! Rather we are taught to resist pain at all cost! Pain is the enemy.

If you want to maintain health, well then, its up to you and you will have to go out of our way to obtain it. Preventative thinking is a mindset that is counter-culture. And one really ought not wait until it’s “broken” to fix it.

What you choose today will affect you in every additional year of your life. Ask any wise elder who is enjoying good health. They will heed you warning to not wait to care for the body. Start today! Because this goes beyond wrinkles and grey hairs, it’s the quality of your life.

4. Make Sure You Have Your Medicine Cabinet Prepared for Anything.

One of the biggest mistakes people make, that often leads them to reverting back to man made molecules…when what they really desire is to approach healing naturally…is NOT being prepared before illness or injury strikes. The remedy? Plan ahead and have your medicine cabinet stocked with items for cold/flu, pain, digestive aid and skin-care. Then you leave yourself with options to work with.

Need help with this? Ask me for resources and/or a list of my favorite products. I love to share!

5. Begin Each Day Hydrated.

Hydration is the difference between a grape and a raisin. Many common ailments would be entirely eliminated with proper hydration. Chronic dehydration is the underlying problems for many issues concerning our health. This makes sense, because we are mostly water ourselves.

The best tip I can personally offer, is to start each morning with a large glass of purified water. Do not allow yourself any other liquids, until you have drunk a full glass (12-20 ounces). When you start your day hydrated, your body will quickly tell you later on in the day that it is thirsty, helping to prevent us from becoming chronically dehydrated. When ignored those signal turn from mild complaints to chronic illness (high blood pressure, acid reflux, migraines, muscles cramps, etc…)

As for the best advice I have heard, and the rule of thumb I follow on how much water to drink in a single day, is half your body weight in ounces per day. Or drink 8 ounces of water every hour. Water filled foods also count. If you want to read a great book about water and health, I recommend the book, Your Bodies Many Cries for Water by by Fereydoon Batmanghelidj, MD. He says “You aren’t sick, your thirsty.”

6. Assist Your Body with Regular Opportunities for Cleansing

Today, we are all exposed to more chemicals in one day, than our great grand parents were in their entire life span. More than our livers, kidneys, spleens, intestines, lungs, lymph nodes and skin can possibly handle. However, there are dozens of ways to encourage cleansing. Here are few ideas to get you started, that if implemented properly will foster flow and continuous cleansing.

  • Juice or blend fresh organic fruits and veggies (especially the deep leafy greens!) often
  • Consistently take high quality, whole-food based, nutritional supplements with an abundance of antioxidants, fats and minerals
  • Stretch, ground yourself, and connect with your breath, throughout each day
  • Breathe in fresh air and expose your self to sunshine (even if it’s cloudy) as often as possible.
  • Practice forgiveness and acknowledge gratitude daily (pray, meditate, keep a journal, do Ho’oponopono, or other spiritual practices)

7. Continue to grow and expand

Find suitable ways to do personal development work, so that you continue to expand. Because, as humans, we are either growing or dying. Whether it be attending workshops, hiring a coach/mentor to assist you in making personal breakthroughs, finding a spiritual community in which you feel a sense of belonging and resonance, or a daily journal…

Discover what inspires you and find ways to transform any self limiting beliefs, or thoughts that prevent you from healing and moving forward.

Do whatever it takes to live each day fulfilling your divine purpose. Because if you don’t, this is when you become more susceptible to disease, lethargy, complacency, lack of vitality, chronic pain, depression and auto/immune disease; and other signs of deterioration set in.

8. Connect to Nature As Often As Possible.

Hug trees. Care for plants. Play in the dirt. Garden. Communicate with animals. Having a relationship with nature further builds and extends our connection to our own bodies.

9. Be Aware of the Sensations In Your Body

Listen to your body, as well as you would your best friend. Be available to hear it’s messages, especially the subtle ones. Take pleasure in your senses and let each body part share it’s voice. Your body wants to be heard just as much as your mind does. I believe acknowledging your body, not taking it for granted, is like telling Creator thank you for its Creation.

10. Check in With Your Personal Beliefs Surrounding Pain.

To what extremes do you resist pain? How do you manage pain when you are experiencing it? Do you think the ways in which you handle pain are beneficial? If not, what can you do different? What other choices might you have?

11. Restorative Sleep & Dreaming

This is an entire discussion all in its self. The biggest point I’d like to make here is that making sure your are getting enough rest, especially enough restorative sleep, is crucial. It will effect you in your later years, if gone neglected. Restorative sleep is also known as phase IV sleep, or dreaming state (REM); and the time during rest when we do the most repair and re-building. Our bodies and our brains must have time to recover before we can maximize each new day.

12. Stretching and Self Massage

Another practice that can’t be over-emphasized, in whatever form it takes; is daily stretching and self-massage. Whether it be yoga or not, stretching will greatly prolong youthfulness and will create an unbreakable bond between your consciousness and your body. It is preventative medicine and embodied health at it’s core. Need I say more?

13. Bodywork

I believe that the pathway to aging gracefully lies in keeping the body strong yet supple. Proper hydration, daily stretching, conscious movement, eating fresh whole-foods, forgiveness-gratitude and bodywork, are all fantastic ways of achieving radiant health.

Often seen as a luxury, bodywork is really a necessity…though, it does make one feel pampered afterwards. It prevents injuries, can lessen the blow of any physical trauma incurred, and may very well decrease the likelihood of stress-related illnesses. As a form of rehabilitation, it helps speed up recovery time and contributes to more efficient healing. In it’s highest form, it is a great way to tell your most loyal companion that you honor it and that you appreciate all that it does for you.

Massage and bodywork have helped many people restore the quality of their lives so they can continue to do the activities they love and avoid any unnecessary medical interventions. It facilitates a level of bodily awareness that no other thing can. It amplifies the repair and healing work our cells must do continuously, to mend the wear and tear each day of living creates on the fabric of our being.

May this guide inspire you take better care of your body. In order for you to achieve a self-actualized life, you must have your health to back you up. Without it, you may never fully embody your greatness.

My calling is to help deepen the relationship we have with our own nature, by helping people re-establish an intimate relationship with their bodies, and with the foods and lifestyles that nourish them. In order to take your health to the peak levels, one must surround themselves with beneficial influences. May we be each other’s positive influence. Cheers to our WHOLENESS!

About the Author: