Do You Get Massages?
Soon after we moved to Montpelier in October, I began working with new massage and bodywork practitioners for my own care. I’m in the long-term healing phase following a car accident in January 2011. I had a lateral whiplash in my mid-thoracic spine.
Our car insurance covered the exams, massage, craniosacral work, and expertise of two Rutland brothers both practicing chiropractic and physical therapy which all left me feeling and moving more freely. In a few weeks, the acute whiplash injury eased. But the injury wasn’t finished with me yet. Unlike bone, which efficiently heals from fractures, soft tissue injuries require time, patience, and reeducation.
These days, my injury gets my attention intermittently. It twangs when I stand leaning into one hip, reminding me to bring my body into a relaxed mountain pose, which is optimal for the muscles, joints, and origins of bodies whether or not they’re healing injuries. It pulls on my sacrum when I stand on one foot to pull on a boot.
Ongoing attention and care to sensations like these are among the basic responsibilities of inhabiting a body if we want it to feel good and work well. So is attending to the nervous system. The autonomic nervous system, divided into the sympathetic (fight-flight-freeze) and parasympathetic (rest-relax), responds to all the input it gets. All of it.
If stressors such as illness, injury, overwork, worries, and sleeplessness are the major inputs to the nervous system, one can hardly be surprised if it’s difficult to relax. The nervous system needs soothing inputs, too. Getting bodywork for general relaxation is a powerful way to reeducate and calm the nervous system and soothe specific tensions.
Receiving bodywork is part of the basic care and feeding of my human body. Chris and I invite you to include bodywork in your ongoing embodied life