by Catriona Murray
One thing which I have noticed in my short (3 year!) time as a student practitioner is how often we forget to breathe, or rather, that we forget to breathe fully and deeply.
As a child my father used always to say “take 3 deep breaths” before anything scary or intimidating … I always took that as a turn of phrase. Not so! For me, those 3 deep breaths have become one of the most important ways of centring and calming, whether I am about to give a lecture to the great and the good of Edinburgh, or am simply beset by negativity which I have no idea how to dispel – breathing in to the count of 8 (4 seconds), holding for a bit (another count of 8) and breathing out to the count of 8 – I never fail to be astounded by the power of such a simple action.
by Catriona Murray
It pays to pay attention to what you eat and also to how it feels to you. Wholewheat is good in many ways, but a delicate digestion may struggle to deal with the very wholeness of it!! Benefits may come from eating skin on apples, cucumbers and peaches, but if you are delicate in digesting there is no shame in peeling!
New “superfoods”, ingredients and diet suggestions emerge all the time, some of them may well be helpful to You. Staying mindful will hopefully help to “separate the wheat from the chaff”.
Let your body speak to you … and combine a physical therapy or treatment with an increased awareness in other parts of our life. That way you can ensure that any benefits from Shiatsu or other massage treatments extend throughout your life, leading to a greater all-round sense of well-being.
Ever notice how the things that we eat and drink can cause tension in your body?
Allow yourself to eat thoughtfully – turn off the music, dim the chatter. Simply focus on each mouthful. Taste it, chew it, feel the texture. How does it feel going down? Are my lips tingling? Does my nose feel a little stuffy or is a slight band of tension emerging across my forehead? These symptoms could mean you are sensitive to something you are eating.
Written by Bonnie Thomson. Introduction by Maria Shlumukova.
Originally published on the Edinburgh Shiatsu Clinic website in September 2013.
If you’re suffering from anxiety you may think “Oh, I am constantly aware! I wish I was less mindful of all the stuff I’m thinking about/ feeling! ” It’s a fair point, but the awareness you are experiencing may have a very narrow, critical focus.
Imagine you’re having your morning cup of tea or coffee. Have you thought about what you feel like having before making it? Noticed the steam rising from the cup? Appreciated the first sip? Or did you spend the entire time milling over just how tired you are, what aches and what “gifts” today is going to chuck at you?
Exercising mindfulness can help you be more engaged in your own life experiences and the rich world around you. It may also stop you from scolding yourself with that steaming tea!
Find out more on the Shiatsu Society website.
What is Shiatsu?
Shiatsu translates as ‘finger pressure’ and is based on traditional Japanese massage. Combining acupressure, massage, flowing movement and joint rotations helps to disperse tension, reduce pain, promote relaxation and healthy functioning of the body systems (circulation, breathing, digestion etc.). Shiatsu therapists are guided by their experience & knowledge of physiology and traditional Chinese medicine and apply pressure using fingers, thumbs, palms and elbows and combine it with other techniques.
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