Balancing our Structure and Energy

Shortly after starting my Therapeutic Bodywork business, I experienced several unusual and unexplainable experiences with energy that were catalysts for leading me into working more with our energy systems, in addition to structure.

The first occurrence that got my attention was when I actually felt a sensation of movement, like a flowing stream under my fingers, and occasionally would feel a client’s cold hand become much warmer and softer right after touching it.

 Another dramatic event happened during my initial training for Zero Balancing® (ZB)—a hands-on system of mind-body therapy that balances body energy with body structure. I learned that by keeping my attention on my finger tips as I evaluated and treated my clients, it was possible to assess their balance of energy and structure. My fingers received clear information from my clients, like a transponder receiving radio signals. As soon as my attention was distracted from my fingertips, the transmission of information stopped.

 These experiences whet my appetite for energy healing,  subsequently led me to study ZB and become a certified practitioner. It’s a powerful body-mind therapy that engages both energy and body structure simultaneously, and uses skilled touch to address the relationship between the two.  ZB integrates Western biomedical understanding of the body with Eastern traditions of energy healing to create an innovative and effective bodywork system.♦  Clients experience deep relaxation, internal harmony, improved concentration, and enhanced overall feelings of wellness by clearing energy blocks in our bodies.

The Chakras--Centers of Subtle Energy and Awareness

The Chakras–Centers of Subtle Energy and Awareness

Treating Frozen Shoulder with Structural Technique

Treating Frozen Shoulder with Structural Technique

 Fritz Smith, an experienced osteopath, MD, and master acupuncturist, is the founder of ZB. True health is more than the absence of symptoms: it must include the capacity for contentment in life as it unfolds, Fritz Smith, MD♦

 In a ZB session, which lasts 30-45 minutes, the practitioner uses finger pressure and gentle traction on areas of tension in the bones, joints, and soft tissue to create points of balance around which the body can relax and reorganize. Restrictions in movement are released along with tension from stress. Improved concentration and sleep heightens feelings of connection, peace and happiness, and provides lasting relief from emotional distress, improving overall quality of life.

♦  Zero Balancing® Bridging the Mind and Body Through Touch

                     

A Balanced Life

I ran my last marathon in 1973 because I couldn’t continue denying that my compulsive running was the major contributor to my low back pain.

Boston Marathon 1973

Finish Line Boston Marathon 1973

Swimming laps for several months as an alternative aerobic activity, stroking back and forth in the pool for hours that seem like days, coming home smelling like a chlorine drudge, my hair tinted chlorine green, wasn’t the solution for replacing my running addiction.

She's got the physical part of a balanced life.

She’s got the physical part of a balanced life.

Next, I tried obsessive long distance cycling, averaging 3,000 miles a year for 4-5 years, riding several challenging week long rides every year through the mountain state parks, down the west coast, pedaling around Mt. Rainer and Crater Lake, and squeezing in as many regional century rides as I could.

 By now it should be apparent that I need help with balance. It’s always been a challenge to neutralize my compulsive and selfish disposition.

 The reading I’ve done about improving my equilibrium usually features the physical, mental, and spiritual areas of our lives. In a pursuit of a balanced life, I have found that wellness is much more than the integration of these three. I also need to consider how balanced I am socially, emotionally, and occupationally.

 In his book, From Confucius to Oz by Vernon Crawford, he sees the balance among three inner qualities, wisdom, benevolence, and courage—a trinity that we need if we are to ensure a wholesome balance in our lives. Why Confucius to Oz? Because proper exercise of Wisdom, Benevolence and Courage—the three Confucian virtues that the Scarecrow, the Tin Woodman, and the Cowardly Lion were seeking in The Wizard of Oz, can make you a more successful person in business and in life. The book has many practical exercises to help balance the three qualities.

 Today, I’m partially reformed physically, limiting my runs to ½ hour on grass, only a few shorter bike rides, and doing strength and conditioning workouts three times a week. It’s my new balanced program that’s working well for me now, and I’m satisfied with the results—keeping me strong enough to continue doing bodywork 3-4 days a week.

Applying a suboccipital sweep to enhance rotation of C1/C2.

Bridging the mind and body through touch with Zero Balancing

Finally, I’m learning the value of slowing down and quieting my mind for brief periods of time, doing nothing, turning off my thinking, practicing an attitude of gratitude—feeling thankful for my health, family, friends, my work, and also grateful for the awareness required to continue addressing all the other components of a balanced life, in addition to the physical part.

Practicing silence means making a commitment to take a certain amount of time to simply be. It means periodically withdrawing from the activity of speech—from such activities as watching TV, listening to the radio, or reading a book. If you stay with the experience, the internal dialogue begins to quieten, and soon the silence becomes profound. If you never give yourself the opportunity to experience silence, this creates turbulence in your internal dialogue.  Deepak Chopra

Gratitude, Laughter and Healing

Scientific studies have found that gratitude and laughter are powerful forces for improving our health, expanding our happiness, and creating loving relationships.

 Research by psychologists, Robert Emmons and Michael McCullough indicate that people who consciously focus on gratitude, experience greater physical health and emotional well-being—get sick less often, have more energy, sleep better, feel stronger, and have fewer symptoms of stress, than those who do not.

 Humor and laughter triggers healthy physical changes in or bodies, strengthens our immune system, boosts our energy, diminishes pain, and protects us from the damaging effects of stress. Your sense of humor is one of the most powerful tools you have to make certain that your daily mood and emotional state support good health.  Paul E. McGhee, Ph.D.

 Ancient philosophers and teachers from every spiritual tradition have taught us how to find more meaning and joy in our lives, and to achieve profound inner transformation by consciously focusing our minds on our blessings.

 Yoga Masters have been teaching for centuries that gratitude is a key component of a happy, balanced and healthy life. It’s difficult to realize that something as simple as expressing gratitude and humor—that costs nothing and takes very little time can have such a positive impact on our health. When I have an attitude of gratitude, I’m happy, often with an awareness that I have received an unearned gift, realizing that it’s also a powerful ingredient of healing

Bernie Siegel, surgeon and author of Love, Medicine & Miracles and Peace, Love, & Healing confirms my experiences working with my motivated clients when he says, when people are willing to make an effort to cure what’s incurable, I’ll work with them. What goes on in your head affects your body. It’s true, clients who believe they can get better, usually do.

It’s also easier to see the humorous side of life when I’m grateful, sometimes even in difficult situations. Humor stimulates laughter, affects our physiology, and is a powerful antidote to stress, pain, and conflict. A good laugh works faster and is more dependable than anything for bringing our minds and body back into balance. Steven M. Sultaoff, PhD claims laughter leads to health benefits such as stress reduction, bolstered immuno- globulin A—an antibody that fights upper respiratory disease, and also boosts killer T-cells—antibodies for fighting infection.

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Being grateful for all the good things we take for granted–our good health, family and friends, not taking ourselves so seriously, accepting life as it unfolds, and remembering that a healthy dose of gratitude, humor, and laughter, is the best medicine for making our lives much easier and happier.

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Do It Now

Stretching Forearm Flexor

Stretching Forearm Flexors

Lengthening SCM Muscle

Lengthening SCM Muscle

You don’t have to wait 59 years, like I did, to experience the power and healing qualities of Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork.

 It’s true. It wasn’t until I was 59 until I experienced my first therapeutic massage, a memorable life-changing one at the half way point of the MS 150 bike ride from Minneapolis to Duluth. My quadriceps (thigh muscles) were screaming for a rest when we reached the half way point, seventy-five miles, and overnight stop at Hinckley.

That afternoon, a volunteer massage therapist made a believer out of me, treating the fascia and muscles in my painful legs for twenty minutes, melting the pain away, with what seemed to me, a magical and unbelievable healing touch. The experience was the first of three that were catalysts for my choosing Massage & Bodywork as my second career.

The next day my ride to Duluth was completed with pain free legs, thanks to the massage therapist and the power of touch.

Fifty-nine years is a long time before reaching out for help, pretty typical for guys like me, procrastinating and minimizing our condition ad infinitum before considering the possibility of seeking help. It’s not until our pain or body dysfunction interferes with what we want or need to do, when we finally surrender and become receptive.

Women on the other hand are more inherently sensible than we are when it comes to personal wellness and responsibility for it, and usually seek help sooner than later.

During the past seventeen years practicing Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork, it’s been my good fortune to have seen the transforming benefits of my craft, eliminating pain and body dysfunctions, and seeing my clients subsequently living a more active lifestyle. I’m blessed with a career that gives me the opportunity to be of personal service that so dramatically affects quality of life.

Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork, one of many alternative therapies available, is the most effective conservative approach for helping most individuals become symptom free.  So, if you’ve never had the experience yet, don’t wait as long as I did. Do it now.