Both massage and acupuncture are terrific for removing blockages, stimulating energy flow (chi), and creating better circulation. Plus, they help you take it down a notch.
Acupuncture—inserting very thin needles into particular points in the skin—can alleviate conditions such as headache, irritable bowel syndrome, constipation, asthma, and chronic pain. Feeling blue? Acupuncture produces a shift in the neuropeptides that control your mood. In my book, a dose of happiness and calm are well worth a little poke. But if the idea of needles makes you too queasy, try acupressure or shiatsu massage instead.
Wait. Did someone say massage? The very word calms me down. Massages are often viewed as luxury splurges. Let’s change that. Your body is an instrument that must be tuned. Hands-on healing should be part of regular life maintenance. Massage gives you energy, boosts your immune system, helps your circulation, and improves the quality and quantity of your sleep. Best of all, it releases stored emotions that create issues in your tissues. There are many different types of massage that can produce lasting beneficial effects. I’ll take a good deep tissue massage any day! A few massage techniques you may not be as familiar with are craniosacral, lymphatic drainage, and Reiki.
Craniosacral Therapy (CST)
CST restores harmony to your central nervous system through subtle pressure to the spine and cranial bones. Trained practitioners gently manipulate the cerebrospinal fluid. The peaceful and restorative massage helps with stress, migraines, and neck pain. You may be surprised at how vivid your dreams become after a treatment. Craniosacral therapy helps me reboot my creativity when my writing tank starts running on empty.
Lymphati C Drainage Massage
You can never do too much for your lovely lymph system. Lymph massage uses light, sweeping strokes that gently move the “waters” (lymphatic fluid) toward a network of drainage points, capillaries and larger vessels studded with filters called nodes. Patients with edema may benefit greatly from lymphatic massage.
Don’t be surprised if your urine smells stinky after the treatments, or if you need to whizzle more than usual. Excess fluids and toxins are simply finding their way out of your system. Drink plenty of purified water. Another great tip for keeping the fluids flowing is to avoid wearing tight-fitting bras, underpants, or hose when possible. Of course, there will be times when you feel like being a vamp or a girlie girl, so the snug and sexy stuff is okay. When you’re off duty, though, let your body flow in comfy, loose cotton.
One of the reasons I love Reiki is because I can do it to myself. Kinky! Just kidding. In Japanese, Reiki literally means “universal life force energy.” When your life force is low, Reiki practitioners believe that you are more likely to get sick. If it’s high, you’re more capable of being happy and healthy. This gentle yet potent form of healing helps free energetic blockages. To understand how it works, try this: Rub your hands together vigorously for about thirty seconds. Now slowly separate your hands until they’re about 2 inches apart. Feel the heat? Your hands tingle as electric impulses shoot from your palms. That’s life force!
Take that energy and apply it to any neglected area in your body. You can touch it directly or let your charged hands hover about an inch or so above the pain, sadness, or dis-ease. Close your eyes and breathe deeply. Send love and release negativity. I do this when my heart aches or when I want to channel extra healing energy to my liver. Reiki is simple to learn (see reiki.com). You can give yourself or someone you love a Reiki treatment; likewise, they can give one to you.
Reprinted from Crazy Sexy Diet by Kris Karr, © 2011. Published by Skirt!, an imprint of The Globe Pequot Press, Guilford, CT.