Three Ways to Water My Foundation

water

My aunt told me about the importance of watering the foundation of her home, so that it would not crack in the dry heat of Texas.  It is time to take a look at what drains me vs what supports me and better regulate my nervous system.

Three Ways to Water My Foundation

Valuing My Time and Energy

There was a dear person in my life, whom I still adore, who, of no fault of their own, needs tons of validation from others.  This person is doing the best that they can until they know better and has helped me to grow in many ways.  I honor and love this one for the co-created time we shared, yet I am sending their star farther out in my sky until we are ready to orbit each other again in a way that is not draining.   I will now free myself from things and people who clutter and drain my life.  This is not self-centeredness, but self-preservation.

Finding Balance

Finding balance starts with being real with myself.  Some things I am great at and some things I am still developing.  To find balance I first have to admit to myself what is out of balance and embrace the void that is there.  Coming out of denial takes accountability.  I am building a supportive network around me.  Covering up dysfunction causes more of it and attracts people who are also covering up their own dysfunction. Covering up and hiding is a signal you are living in ‘fight or flight’ mode. Vulnerability connects us to the right people who live in a more balanced and relaxed way.  We need each other to see there are more balanced ways of being that we had not yet considered.  Basic human abilities can be grown if you did not get them from your parents, family or society.

Focus on What I am Capable of Doing

Some days I may only feel capable of watering the plants and that is ok.  I created that day for resting.  It is my responsibility for all I have created, and to manage my life, to think consciously, to decrease impulsivity, to regulate my nervous system and take care of my foundational issues.  The voice that sabotages me is the voice that tells me I am not capable (when I believe it).  Listening to negativity drains me.  Yet, this voice is an innocent, unhealed part of me that just wants to be fully heard and its potential recognized. I will listen in a new way (without agreeing with the negativity) to what this inner-child in me really needs to feel safe to come out of the shadows.

Massage can be a helpful tool to regulate your nervous system and spend some time deeply listening to yourself.  You may find you are feeling more confident and capable once you reach a relaxed state of being.

 

 

Sources:

Aunt Mary Wolaver

Personal Experience

The Habits of Stress Resilient People Seminar on 10/9/17 with Dennis A Marikis, Ph.D.

 

Disclaimer:  Massage is a tool to deal with stress and is not a substitute for professional medical treatment.

Invest in Yourself

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The Revolutionary Touch Therapy grand opening had been postponed in order for me to move in to my new home.  My calendar is now open for appointments starting in mid-October. Click here >>

After back-to-back days of loading and unloading; I, too, need a massage, a healthy home-cooked meal, a plane ticket to the Bahamas and my own personal assistant.  Moving is a great reminder to pace myself and not save too many tasks until the end.

My partner and I paid dearly in our bodies, emotions and had some rocky relationship moments.  Nothing brings out the inner ‘hissing cat’ in me like consecutive “ten hour” days of packing, moving and cleaning.  Especially, when my man is grunting and ‘ugh’ing’ while moving the heavier things.  A man slamming around furniture triggers a traumatized part of me.  Thankfully, we got wise and hired some helping hands in the end.  Money well spent.

Do you need to invest some money in self-care, too?  Massage time can set your world back on its feet again.

 

Sources: Personal Experience

 

 

 

 

 

When Being Touched is Stressful

 

touch

A mentor once asked me, “Carmen, do you like to be touched?”

The answer “No” bubbled up out of my mouth without even a single thought.  I was finally getting the opportunity to witness the truth of me and explore why this was so.

I had ‘mind-body’ anxiety surrounding being touched due to some past stressful events with resulting PTSD.  I felt unworthy of loving touch and would push it away.

I became a scapegoat for the sexual shame of the elders in my tribe. Rewind to about the age of five when I discovered that there was a part of my body that was off limits. I was sent to doctors and psychiatrists because of my elders projection of unworthiness and sexual shame onto me. Whatever we are unwilling to face in ourselves shows up in our field as judgment towards others who remind us that we have work to do on ourselves. This is how dysfunction gets passed down in families until one breaks the cycle for themselves. This is not a judgment of my elders, whom I love. My elders were also hurt by their society.

One of the doctors touched me inappropriately at a very young age and a psychiatrist would try to engage me in adult sex talk during our sessions. At that early stage in my life I did not know how to find the support that I needed. Understandably, I carried around a lot of shame around sex and attracted more experiences in my teen years that were trying to show me that I had been divided and conquered.

Stress comes from a feeling of being overpowered by an experience such as war, rape or incest, it comes from negative thoughts about self and life, ideals we carry inside of who we think we should be (and not meeting those ideals), shortness of money, lack of security, feeling trapped in a relationship or a dead-end job, thinking we are being judged by others, ad infinitum. Basically, anything that would bring up resistance in us, or feelings of incompetence and an inability to change our situation, or feelings of rejection and being unworthy of love.

I was on edge when around people for so long and did not want them touching me intimately.  Not in a loving way, anyway.  I would not like to kiss during lovemaking with my partner.  I preferred positions where he could not see my face.  Sex and love had to be kept separate. I carried around so much anxiety about intimate touch because love had been removed from it.

Massage therapy can help with stress in many ways, such as decreasing our heart rate and bringing our bodies and minds into a more relaxed state of being.  Sadly, many people seem to think that massage therapy is a place they can go to for a ‘happy ending’ massage.  This is a perversion of what massage therapy is as a profession and can be a reason that the thought of massage therapy brings up stress in others. The word perversion means that something has been altered from its original course.  Massage therapy is a great way to care for yourself with appropriate touch.  My clients can expect a respectful, professional, nurturing, massage that follows all the rules set by the Virginia Board of Nursing.  I reserve the right to end any massage that makes me uncomfortable because I honor myself and the profession.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sources:

  1. Massage Therapy Can Heal Stress, American Massage Therapy Association, 2006
  2. Healing from PTSD, Trauma and Mind-Body Anxiety, Louise Hay, 2016

Disclaimer: Massage therapy is not to be a substitute for seeking mental or medical health care. It is a supportive role in overall well-being.

The Touch of Breath

Unless you are a surgeon, or you are able to have some of your internal organs massaged from the outside of the body during a visceral massage, to touch the inside of the body requires breathing.  When we consciously take over the automatic breathing process, by taking in full breaths, we can give the inside of our body a light massage and bring ourselves in to a more relaxed state of being.  As the diaphragm rises and falls with each breath, it massages the heart and the abdominal organs, aiding in digestive functions and moving along blood and lymphatic fluids.  It can also calm the nervous system and reduce stress, thereby supporting overall health, wellbeing and outlook on life.

Give it a try.  Take in a full breath to the count of five through your nostrils and then slowly release to the count of 10 through pursed lips.  Do this twice and then breath normally.  Repeat as needed.

 

The Language of Touch

leafTouch is a way of saying what cannot be said with words, and the response to touch is a way of listening to your body and honoring its messages.  It will tell you if you have been pushing too hard, and remind you when you need to rest and give attention to yourself.

Many of us experienced the flip-side of loving touch and may feel an aversion to being touched.  In abusive relationships it is easy to see that the abuser is unable to resolve their deep inner conflicts and wounds, so they express their angry feelings, disappointments, rejections, feelings of unworthiness, and so on, with punching fists and slapping hands.  Projecting their own sense of unworthiness onto others rather than taking responsibility for themselves.

Abuse is a cycle that can be passed on from generation to generation.  I have to wonder if these ones were ever held closely as a child with unconditional love, or were their voices shut down?  Were they told that something was wrong with them (when they were really just being authentic), and were they spanked or hit by their caretakers for not meeting unrealistic expectations of perfection?  Were they “made to feel like” an embarrassment to their parents?  Never good enough.  Was touch a negative experience for them and do they recoil from it because they did not experience the healing powers of gentleness and tenderness?

Loving touch can be a key to help you unlock your big, beautiful heart that got shut down when you were just a wee child. Over time, you may find you start communicating more from an open heart, owning feelings and not blaming them on others, becoming the loving parent to yourself that you wish you’d had as a child, awakening to see more and more beauty within and around you.

Massage is not a “be all, end all” cure, but it is a self-care tool that can connect you to your own “body wisdom” and to bring you into a more relaxed state where the chattering mind is no longer running things and it takes on more of a servant role to you.  Plus, massage can help activate the rest and digest functions in the body.  When I am getting a good massage my stomach will usually start to bubble and gurgle.  Ahhhh!

The vagus nerve (nerve X) functions to bring us into the parasympathetic “relaxed” state. This nerve starts at the base of the skull and extends down the spine, innervating vital organs.  I can help you with deep breath-work and muscle activities that will aid in bringing you back into your relaxed ‘state of being’ where you are more in a parasympathetic state of flow than in a sympathetic state of fight-or-flight.  You will eventually be able to drop in to this relaxed state more and more on your own.

It will take some dedication and practice to love yourself unconditionally, but you will begin to feel lighter and lighter and you will start to enjoy giving yourself these new and beautiful experiences. The loving touch you have been craving is really your own. Please get in touch with me and I will help you get in touch with you.