Shenmen (stress, depression, mental illness)

Shenmen (Spirit Gate)

There are about a hundred points on the ear, including this integral part of any stress or mental illness treatment. It reflects the seat of mental health and is terrific for treating any kind of anxiety, depression, grief, or just a rough day. Give your buddy (or yourself!) an ear massage as a sure-fire way to calm things down. This article discusses a study that shows acupuncture is highly effective for depression, and Shenmen is an essential part of that protocol.

 

Shenmen, a lovely way to calm someone down. Try a gentle massage when your driver is experiencing road rage.

 

 

Press firmly for 10-20 seconds with a healing intention.

Ergonomic & Repetitive Stress Injuries

Good ergonomic posture at your desk is important. Even more important - take frequent breaks to walk and stretch.

Good ergonomic posture at your desk is important. Even more important – take frequent breaks to walk and stretch.

Repetitive stress injuries happen when you perform the same movement over and over for an extended period of time. Ergonomic problems are when your position or movement is counter to what your body does naturally. Common examples include carpal tunnel syndrome from using a computer, or a swimmer’s bad shoulder. Sitting itself can cause problems if you do it too much. To avoid injury:

1) Break up the repetitive nature of your motions. Get up and do a lap around the office (or house) every hour or so. Change your routine: Instead of typing on Tuesdays and filing on Wednesdays, do a little of each both days, so you aren’t making the same precise movements for hours. Can you switch to the other side or hand? Even small changes can make a difference. For example, my knitting friends who have trouble will opt for a different size needle (which affects hand position and motion) or even type of project. The more variety the better.

2) Double check your ergonomic situation. It may be helpful to get someone to take a picture of you while you’re working so you can see your own posture. If you use the phone, try a headset. Sitting at your computer, you should be looking straight ahead at the top third of the screen. If you are looking up or down, adjust either your seat height or the monitor. Your elbows should be resting at 90 degrees, and your wrists should be straight. Having them bent down or cocked back for the keyboard increases strain. Your knees should be at hip height or just above. If your chair is too tall, use a footrest. If you have a penny-pinching boss, you should know that OSHA can send out an ergonomic expert (free!) to suggest cheap/free fixes in your office.

When playing sports or working out, consult a coach or professional trainer to be sure you’re using good form. Learn the anatomy relating to your activity. In addition to preventing injury, your performance will improve! I used to be a bodybuilder and certified trainer, so feel free to ask me if you have any questions.

3) Stop as soon as symptoms start. Give your body a chance to heal. Ice and anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen may be helpful here, as will an anti-inflammatory diet. Likewise, get care early. A new problem is always easier to chase away than an entrenched one. Myofascial release will free up adhesions. Osteopathic medical massage can retrain your tight muscles, and acupuncture will reduce inflammation.  Rest. Stretch gently, and do any physical therapy exercises your healthcare professional recommends. Try to avoid that activity for a while.

Frequently re-examine your routine and ergonomics to identify any areas that need improvement. By nipping problems in the bud, you can prevent a long-term aggravation.

Holiday shopping, and a massage class

Ok, here it is, for the rest of December… Buy one gift certificate, get another for a new patient FREE!

Or, take a pack of 4 1-hr sessions that anyone can use – even you – for $260 ($300 value)! Packages of 5 half-hour sessions, usually $200, are $170 until the New Year!

OR – this is brilliant for couples – buy them space in my Easy Advanced Bodywork Class.

Saturday, Feb 9th, 10am-1pm, I’m holding another session of my intensive, 3 hr hands-on class on medical massage. The concepts are easy to understand, but you’ll get advanced results. Learn how to ease tight muscles and relax your loved ones with a gentle, intelligent touch. NO massage or anatomy experience required! I’ll show you how to use the neurological system into tricking muscles into behaving, and how to erase scar tissue.

This class is appropriate for every body, since I will show you how to tailor your work to your partner’s needs. Please note that you will be learning Osteopathic techniques, NOT traditional massage. Techniques include Trager, myofascial, exhaustion release, counterstrain, and percussion. Handouts will be provided. If the class goes smashingly well, we may have time for a 6th bonus technique. Bring a partner or come alone: We will practice on each other.

Limited to 8 people to ensure that I can provide lots of hands-on feedback and instruction: Your payment holds your spot. $60 per person. Reserve your space early if you want to come!