I remember once when I was working a trade show, and was leaving my hotel room with my luggage. I closed the door to my room, turned the corner, and felt a sharp pain in my right knee. Fortunately, there was no one in the hall. I put my luggage down, and proceeded to massage and knead the area around my knee, for maybe 5 minutes at most. I got up, and my knee was like new!
Body Rolling is a form of body work that was developed by Yamuna Zake. It involves rolling on a special ball in a very specific way. I learned about it in 1998, and my life has never been the same. Using the ball has made it unnecessary to go to the chiropractor, and reduced my need for massage. I have attended all of the trainings available, and am a certified body rolling therapist/teacher.
Many people think that there is some magical or complicated technique required to give a massage. My experience is that anyone can learn how to use their hands in a way that will give pleasure and comfort to themselves and others.
The easiest way to learn is to sign up at a local massage school or community college for a massage basics class. If that is not possible, purchase a massage basics video. There are a few that we could recommend. Next would be a book. And lastly, just practice! On yourself is a good start, and then on a friend or lover. Just ask them to give you feedback. I’ve been giving massages for over 20 years, and I still ask my clients and friends for feedback. Everyone is different, so don’t take the feedback personally. You are just trying to find the pressure and kind of touch that that person prefers.
MASSAGE, CHIROPRACTIC & ACUPUNCTURE
These are 3 primary forms of Alternative Medicine. If I can’t fix the problem myself, they are my first line of help. They do cost a bit of money. In an ideal world, we would get some form of treatment on a regular basis. I’ve never forgotten the fact that Bob Hope got a massage every day! I often arrange to do trades with friends or colleagues.
Massage is good for you because our bodies love to be touched. And a good therapist can help remind the body to relax and let go of unnecessary tensions. In the past, massage was about getting the muscles worked on. The field of massage is expanding exponentially, and now there are forms of massage that work on the nervous system, the lymphatic system, the craniosacral system, and on. Start with what is available, and as you learn more, more opportunities will present themselves.
FREQUENCY IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN DURATION
This seems to be a basic principle; even if you were trying to learn a new instrument, the teacher would tell you that 4 sessions of 15 minutes is better than one 1 hour session. Notice how long it takes for your body to become painful. Then plan on getting a massage a bit earlier.
PROPER POSTURE/BODY MECHANICS
We live in a culture that is very mental and very sedentary. Sitting has become the dominant posture. It is also the worst possible position for the lower back, since all of the weight of the upper body is directed onto the lower back. As a result, lower back pain has become a big business.
My recommendation to you is that you try to move as much as possible. The human body was not built to stay in one position for a long time. The problem with long term sitting is that the muscles used to sit have to stay contracted for extremely long periods. If you moved around, got up, and stretched, your body would be much happier.
The next most important thing is to try and keep the natural curves of the spine in place. This requires that you keep the lower back arched, and the head aligned, as if you were a puppet, and there was a string coming out the top of your head.
Next, be careful when bending over, and when lifting objects. Use your legs for both; bend the knees rather than the torso. And keep boxes close to the body. Imagine yourself as a lever; the further away the object, the more weight imposed on the torso. AND TRY NOT TO TWIST!! Lifting and twisting is the perfect formula for pain.
As a Marriage and Family Counselor, I have seen the power of the mind cause pain and illness. It used to be called psychosomatic illness. Now we know that probably 90% of all illness is psychosomatic.
So, if you have back pain, ask yourself some questions:
How am I feeling?
Do I have any unfinished issues/conflicts with anyone in my life?
If my pain could speak, what would it say? Who would it say it to?
Metaphysically, lower back pain is considered to have to do with survival issues, i.e., money problems. Upper back pain is more about withheld resentment, and being overburdened.
Taking care of your emotional life will have profound results in terms of all therapist
evaluating pain in your body. Every experience you have ever had that has not been resolved is held in the muscles and organs of the body. If your Dad hit you when you were young, and you couldn’t strike back, that is all still sitting in your shoulders, waiting to be expressed.
I highly recommend taking advantage of the many counselors and therapist services available to us nowadays. Our parents weren’t so fortunate; they really didn’t have anyone to go to, other than maybe their priest or minister. Prevention keeps your back pain free!