Looking into part 3 of this series... the "M" can be looked at from a few different perspectives.
This is an area that is often overlooked in the health conversation, however, our mind has a huge impact on our health. Our body doesn’t know the difference between a negative body thought and physical trauma. From a neurological perspective – they run on the same pathway. Instead of thinking you are having a bad hair day, you might as well smack yourself and go on with your day. Do you remember the commercial that had a stick figure man walking under the cloud and they said… “depression hurts”? Well, truly – it does, or at the very least, it can. There are neurotransmitters released with negative thoughts that create a response in the body leading to hypersensitivity to touch, joint achiness and more. Just as a negative thought can have a negative body response, a positive thought can create a positive body response. The brain doesn't recognize the difference between something in reality vs. something vividly imagined. Athletes use this technique as part of their training - especially dancers and gymnasts.
Positive Mental Attitude (or PMA) is recommended for maintenance and progress in health. Be a "glass half full" person. Look for the silver lining, what you are grateful for, what you enjoyed or loved about a situation, especially while in it. If it was all over negative and you can't seem to find the positive, what did you learn from it?
Meditation: Another "M" that fits with the aspect of promoting positive mental health and overlaps with last week's topic of rest and relaxation. There are so many forms of meditation... walking and movement meditations, quieting the mind, guided visualizations, focusing on a word or a thought, writing out an affirmation, gratitudes, or desires. The possiblities with meditation are only limited by your imagination. The 2nd Monday of every month, we host a guided meditation from 7pm - 8:30. Join us to experience some of these different techniques.
An alternative option in the acronym is massage. There are many amazing health benefits to massage. Besides the relaxation element, massage can mobilize tissue, lymph and blood. There are many different styles of massage to accomplish goals that you can discuss with your therapist. There is Swedish, deep tissue, pin and stretch work, trigger point therapy, effleurage, petrissage, active release technique (ART), lymphatic drainage, myofascial release, thai yoga massage, intra-aural work and so much more. We have 3 gifted and unique massage practitioners on staff to help meet your needs in this regard.
You can also do self massage or partnered massage. There are many resources to find techniques for self massage and partner massage. If you want some tips on this, ask us!
Come back next Monday for Part 4 of our series - ARMED for health.