I just finished teaching a bodywork course I wrote years ago. We focus on soft tissue pain and symptoms, on the confusion it can cause, and on how frequently it’s misunderstood. This journey takes us to looking at our culture – how it both celebrates and ignores the physical body. Anything involving something sexual, something that could “sell,” or any dramatic pathologies can easily get a lot of attention. Focus on simple health care, awareness of the body, and ongoing maintenance of it are often not well understood, or are missed completely. If the focus is more on intensities we can experience in the physical body, what then happens to some of the so-called basics we can experience in life: musculoskeletal pain/dysfunction, pain and stress relief through touch, and maintenance of the physical form via soft tissue work?
Given the pace and pressure of contemporary life for so many, taking basic, balanced, solid care of the body can be frustrating. Here are some great challenges that if enjoyed can sometimes be more easily incorporated into daily life:
- foam roll the whole body every day and let the sensations take you further into your form; grounding and focusing you, both through discomfort and warm relief
- stretch even just a few minutes a day, targeting different areas if there’s not enough time and doing another set of areas the next day; breathe deeply and well and enjoy what you feel there – a lightening as muscles slowly elongate
- use various bodywork tools (tennis balls, lacrosse balls, muscle sticks, Thera Canes, etc.) to explore, acknowledge, and experience the body in a wordless array of sensations
- get bodywork on a regular basis as can – we spend so much time in our thoughts and minds, but just being in your body and feeling what is there, is like living in another world – an animal world where language is simply not enough to define or describe
Increased life quality can involve striving for balance, being present and aware, and staying as grounded as can. Coming from these stances, we’re better able to hear our body’s messages and care for it accordingly. We live in an animal form. Acknowledge, cherish, and care for it; we only get the one. It’s valuable, intelligent and as much a miracle as our brains. Do not forget to live in the huge world it presents.
Copyright © 2018 by Lara Stillo