Imagine the irony. I have just spent ten glorious days on vacation in Cabo San Lucas with my husband and two dear friends. We have enjoyed the beauty of nature at “land’s end,” the tip of the Baja peninsula, with the Sea of Cortez on one side and the Pacific Ocean on the other.
Morning sunrises; boat rides to visit the sea lions; marveling at El Arco, the signature rock formation that creates an arch joining these two massive bodies of water; walks along the beach, even witnessing a baby sea turtle as he makes his way with steadfast determination to the ocean! The restaurants, art galleries, and marina, always alive with entertainment. The delightful people of Mexico, quick with a smile and “Hola amiga!” “Welcome home!” as well as the enterprising and amusing line from the beach vendors, “Almost free!” The list of delights goes on and on…
Alas, the time has eventually come to say adios. On the way to the airport, we need to stop for gas. As my husband chats with the attendant, I happen to look across the parking lot to a row of shops, and notice a sign that makes my jaw drop and triggers the thought, “You have got to be kidding.” Then, I burst out laughing. It just strikes me as being hilarious–and a bit sad–to see that sign with its stark message amidst the beauty of nature all around us.
The good news is we have a choice. Perhaps 10 days in Cabo isn’t in the cards for you right now, but it is possible to go on vacation every day by simply taking time out to tune in. Experiencing pain? Take a few breaths and consider asking, “What is my body trying to tell me?” Just notice what comes up without over-analyzing anything. Muscle tension? Take another few breaths and imagine the tension melting away. Tossing and turning at night? Breathe…and with each breath, bring to mind something that you are grateful for.
I often tell my Healing Touch clients that there are many tools in our healthcare toolbox, and certainly pharmaceutical drugs are an important tool. But, if our immediate first step is to turn to a pill to make our discomfort go away without considering the root cause, we simply push the discomfort deeper and deeper, missing an opportunity for true healing, and ignoring a minor problem that might one day become a major problem. And then, there’s the whole issue of side effects with pharmaceuticals.
Every Healing Touch session involves breathwork. At the beginning of the session, it helps to promote relaxation and receptivity to the flow of healing energy. Throughout the treatment, I encourage the use of the breath to facilitate the release of stuck energy associated with stress and pain. At the end of each session, when we discuss possible methods for self care, breathwork is a viable and effective choice.
Breathwork is one of the most common and easily available methods for managing stress and pain. We do it instinctively every time we take a deep breath when anticipating a challenge or give a sigh of relief when we find out that everything is going to be OK. It’s as if there is a build up of energy that finds a way to discharge with each exhale. I urge you to get in the habit of spending a few minutes with intentional focused breathwork every day. You can even do it in bed each morning and at the end of the day. This simple practice could make a huge difference in enhancing your health and vitality.
Does this approach seem to underestimate what you might be experiencing? For those who find themselves in the midst of the challenges of illness, injury, chronic pain, trauma, intractable anxiety, depression, and stressful circumstances, my heart goes out to you. I have listened to your stories. I know what you are going through. I also know that Healing Touch, along with focused breathwork, can help break the pattern.
Does it sound too easy to really work? I invite you to give it a try and let me know how it works for you. Pain killers? Muscle relaxers? Sleeping pills? These remedies can be tremendously helpful in the short run. But, my personal experience and my work in Healing Touch, as well as the countless case reports and studies that support the effectiveness of Healing Touch in stimulating the relaxation response, relieving pain, and promoting nourishing sleep, confirm that indeed,