How do they do it? Watching a lion prowling the savannah, or a red setter lolloping along Salisbury Crags, the motion is effortless, no muscle tensed or moved that is not required. True flow, and poetry in motion – the lion lazy, the setter efficient and unfettered.
Why is it that we find it so hard to retain this effortless grace and ease of movement?
It may well be that our thinking minds are the problem … stressful thoughts are echoed in the body in a grumpy, scrunched up face, hunched shoulders, a stoop, as we bow to the pressures of life events, hunch ourselves up to look a bit less imposing, or to push down emotions we’re not keen on feeling …
How to shake this off? A good place to start is with visualisation, beloved of athletes (as mentioned in our previous article). See yourself, feel yourself healthy. Set aside the image of a life-embattled you, and see yourself as the lion, the setter, the thoroughbred horse (or simply you, if the animal image is a bit much!), sleek, effortless, and every muscle moving as nature intended.
You may still have aches and pains aplenty, or life may feel a bit brutal right now, but starting with a positive image in your mind can really help (see ‘Heal Thyself’ from The New Scientist archive for just exactly how …).
Help your mind and body Simply taking the step to do something for yourself can be enough of a trigger for a feeling of increased well-being. Choose quality bodywork, such as Shiatsu and bring about permanent physical, mental and emotional changes. One of the best things about Shiatsu is that you are treated as a perfectly whole person, in the here and now, not as a “shadow of your former self” or a “collection of ailments”. I believe that Shiatsu provides the space, in which you can be yourself, encouraging the healthy flow of energy to return to your mind and body. In other words, healing.
Originally posted on the Edinburgh Shiatsu Clinic website in May 2014 as 'Animal Magic'.
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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