When I have 3 conversations in a short space of time coming back to one pivotal comment I take notice of what the universe is putting in my path, and last week it was wellness. It popped up in various places, one most surprised me was a social prescriber in the NHS and another when talking with the HR department at Cheltenham Borough Homes, they are so forward thinking about their staff's mental wellbeing, so this has led me together to blog on this; your wellness with Shiatsu.
It may for some still be a word that isn't fully explained, what is my wellness? Is it my body? My health? My mental wellbeing? The answer yes, yes, and yes! Then you can add to that your spiritual health and your purpose in life. Your wellbeing is what makes you feel great and prevents you from getting physical health issues or eroding your mental health bit by bit. It's a movement towards lowering stress in your life. Everyone has stress in their life, but others cope with it in different ways. I'm not going to say cope better or handle well, because I see people who have taken on board more and more stress and one day there is the straw that broke the camels back scenario. If you're taking on board more and more stress and not dealing with it mentally / emotionally your body will step in and put a stop to it.
The aim of wellness
Being mindful of yourself, your energy, your limits and your wants is also known as self care, self worth, self value. Knowing what brings you a feeling of inner peace; these are all of tools in your kit for your wellness for life.
Then there are the physical activities or treatments/therapies that you can do. A lot of these will make you feel good at the time, leave you afterwards feeling chilled. Then the next life hiccup happens and all that goodness is parked until the next time you're able to do something that makes you feel great again.
So practising wellness can be done in between events because it can be a thought process, it can be called upon every day. Wellness is very much about prevention of ill health but also promotion of good health. It's not just about doing enough to keep one at bay, but to help you thriving and feel happier with each passing day.
Everyday when you plan what you have to achieve, do you also add in something for your wellness?
You may do it without realising, you may have a bike ride, a swim or jog planned for after work. Maybe an hour to read a book or do yoga or meditation? They are all pursuits of wellness because you're looking forward to doing them and you know they make you feel good.
You may have just read the above paragraph and scoffed with: I wish! If only I had the time!
If you don't think you have the time to incorporate something into your life for your own health and wellness you won't. Your time is yours to manage, even with all of the responsibilities around you, your time is in your hands.
I remember writing an email to a potential client that said she didn't have time to have therapy. I wrote back to her about time, and thought: all I can do is explain this to her, I may never hear from her again, but I would not be doing her a service if I didn't challenge it. She came back to me and booked in.
Sometimes we just need someone to reflect back to us about time; and some self compassion.
Wisdom leads to wellness
Wisdom is also something we should gain with age :)
When we're younger and full of energy we race around using it up without a second thought; I know this, because I was the same! As your energy ebbs with aging and if you're still not listening (that was me too) you really take a hit at some point. I was a shiatsu practitioner , I've done the chinese medicine theory of all this and still didn't appreciate how my wellness was declining. We can all wake up to wellness and become curious about what we want from our own life to make it that little bit better.
Becoming wiser is a natural progression with aging, in the east they very much tune into wisdom with age, and we should take a leaf out of their book. You can't expect to be running around in your 40s and 50s like you did in your 30s. If you view your health in comparison and you want to run further or lifet heavier weights as you get older you are setting yourself up for unrealistic expectations. Professional athletes know when they're going into a decline, they've passed peak performance, of they can feel it in their bodies; they make the wise decision to rest. If you're still pushing your body physically just reflect on what level you are pushing it too, and why you feel the need to do it?
For mental health, pushing yourself into situations that increase your stress levels is not beneficial, and once you take on board that stress, it does cause a very real physical change in your body. Stress triggers the stress hormone cortisol and to do it's job ( to destress you) , it requires a lot of nutrition. If you haven't got enough nutrients for it to use, it'll leech them from parts of your body like your joints, your gut and your brain health. If there still isn't enough nutrition it can't do it's job and you remain with stress in your body, and then you add more stress; a catch 22 situation that doesn't resolve itself; it requires help from you.
Wising up to this, and looking at how you can promote your own wellness is the path back to improving your health for now and for the future.
We have a finite amount of energy to spend every day before coming exhausted. Mindfulness helps you use your energy wisely, spending it on situations, people and causes that bring you the most joy, meaning and peace. Thich Nhat Hanh, Zen master
Where to start? It can start with a list, or the thought: what makes me truly happy? And how can incorporate that daily? Or you can look for a life coach, a mentor, or a shiatsu practitioner, someone that can help you define what is your wellness; to then include in your every day life.
That's the key, finding something that can be included everyday. A little bit of something good everyday adds up and isn't a hurdle to overcome.
That doesn't mean you have to go out and jog 7 days a week, you can have many tools in your wellness kit.
Practising gratitude, that is something that can bring you peace and happiness. If you can switch your thinking from a glass half empty to half full you're on a better path for your health and wellness.
How closely linked are happiness and wellness?
You can't have one without the other, and one will lead to the other too. If you're fundamentally happy you're probably pretty healthy. If you're happy with a lot of health issues it would indicate you're avoiding a lot of emotional stuff and that will take its toll. To be genuinely happy is to have strong immunity too and very little ill health.
If you start pracitising wellness and start making changes to help you then you'll start to feel happier too. A well body physically creates a happier brain! A well gut produces the chemicals your brain needs to function in a positive way.
There is more and more movement towards integrative health, especially in the States, and in countries like India and Japan looking back to their traditional medicine methods - like Ayruveda. These are all holistic ways of aiding health, helping resolve physical symptoms with understanding the emotional cause, or helping lift your mental health with doing physical wellbeing pursuits.
Holistic means treating or supporting mind and body together, and this is what wellness is. It's not punishing your body to calm your mind. Or pursuing something to take your thoughts away from how you are feeling. It's about addressing the imbalances that exist and being curious about what will resolve this dis-ease; to bring you back to peace.
When you mind is at peace, your body will have far fewer symptoms.
Daily relaxation is vital to health of mind, body, and spirit. If you cannot find time to shut down and unwind throughout the day, it could mean that you need to re-examine how you approach life – and see if there isn’t a bit more room for positive and fun personal time.
Your wellness with Shiatsu
Shiatsu is like the peak of an iceberg, the knowledge that it sits upon is vast. In a shiatsu your body will soak up the treatment, feeling itself let go of tensions you didn't even know were present, and calming your mind unlike any other time in the month. You may come in feeling like you're scattered or pinned to the ceiling but you will leave with your feet firmly grounded, and your inner peace restored.
I find myself having the best conversations with my clients, about life, about situations and how they can handle things better so that they can feel more in control, understand others better and in doing so practise their wellness daily.
My shiatsu training saved me!
I went along thinking I was learning a very indepth acupressure therapy but what I learnt was a major toolkit for dealing with life, whether at home or at work. It made me understand, it helped me get wiser about so many things, including my health and it made me so much more curious about humanity and how we co-exist.
I'm not suggesting you start shiatsu training, but I am suggesting that if you're curious about how to lead a healthier and happier life then book a shiatsu, and let me take you on a fantastic journey.
Read about treatment options with Andrea at Shiatsu Bodyworks Cheltenham here.