Nourishment through Self Care
We hear this term “self-care” frequently, and most people agree that it’s important to nourish our bodies with some form of it. However, putting it into practice is a struggle and challenge that many people experience, as we are often a nurturer of others – and not so much of ourselves. We commonly perceive self-care as being “selfish” because we are putting ourselves first instead of tending to the million and one things that need to be accomplished! So how do we change that perception within our minds?
I often refer to the announcement that they make on the plane before takeoff. “If there is a sudden loss of air pressure and the oxygen masks deploy – make sure you fasten the mask to YOURSELF FIRST – so you are able to help those around you.” The same reasoning applies to self-care. Maintaining the stamina to take care of everyone else is difficult unless you’ve taken care of yourself!
In a world where every moment is expected to be filled with some type of activity, whether it be your job, the laundry, cleaning, shopping, outside activities and taking care of your loved ones – we often lose sight of the need to nourish our own body and mind – until or unless we start to “break”. I encourage you not to get to the breaking point, and make self-care a priority for the sake of your health! Allow yourself to acknowledge those aches, pains, and mental stressors and find the two minutes it takes to make an appointment for some self-care. Whether that be massage, acupuncture, chiropractic, or simply an hour long, uninterrupted soak in the tub! And even if you are just taking that hour-long soak, be sure to mark it on the calendar. It is far too easy to ignore the “at home” self-care unless we make it an appointment with ourselves!
Part of my self-care routine is to get a massage regularly – and this practice started before I decided to obtain my massage license. Massage is not just about pain management/relief and relaxation - although those are very valid and important benefits! It also stimulates our circulatory, digestive, lymphatic, and parasympathetic systems. It facilitates flushing out any nasty toxins that have taken up residence in our bodies and induces the relaxation response. One of the wonderful side benefits after a massage is a full night of restful sleep! I often marvel at the reactions of clients when I ask them how they slept the night of their massage – and their genuine surprise at how well and deeply they slept! It’s so important to make that connection between your body, emotions and mind and release those stressors and triggers that may be causing dis-ease. Drifting off to a peaceful place while the massage encourages those vital physiological systems into working properly, and easing any muscular discomfort, can truly nudge your body into finding the balance it strives for. Consider the benefits of taking one hour to let go of your busy life and soothe the physical aches that we often ignore as we charge through our day. Be willing to give yourself the same quality of care and kindness that you so freely give to everyone else.
Part of my job as a massage therapist is to educate and change the perception that massage is a “luxury”. We need to nourish ourselves, not just with food and water, but with those things that help our systems to work optimally and in balance with each other. Massage can play an important role in your healthcare regimen if you recognize and appreciate it’s benefits for both your body and mental health.
As we move into the new year and set some new goals for change - I challenge you to make yourself a priority and schedule time for that mind/body connection. Put it on your calendar in INK. Make it as important as that business meeting, or doctor/dentist appointment. Allow yourself to be “selfish” and “fasten the oxygen mask to YOURSELF FIRST”.
Written by Denise Chomiczewski, LMT
Denise is a practicing massage therapist at King Health Associates
Read more about Denise at https://kinghealthassoc.com/providers