Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Massage for Balance

A friend so kindly informed me that the foot massage at the beginning of class was lame.  Being strong in the purpose of what I do and why I do it, I was able to appreciate his honesty without giving his head a whack.  (Hmmm… missed opportunity?)  I understand where he and probably many others are coming from.  You step on the mat to move and maybe to sweat.  Others may step onto the mat for meditation.  So why are we massaging our feet?

Like yoga, massage relieves stress and brings balance.  I mean really… are you going to turn down a massage?  Probably not… it feels good.  We often experience our bodies as putty afterwards, because of how these areas correspond to the organs, skeleton and emotions.  Acupressure and Reflexology would say that you can access your entire body in your hands, feet and ears.

This foot reflexology chart shows correlation of the various areas of your foot to your organs.  We can take this a step further by connecting the organs to the bones in yourspine with this image.    By rubbing the ball of your left foot you increase circulation in your heart and lungs.  This is circulation of blood, energy and lymph.  Your thoracic spine also benefits since your heart directly corresponds to T2 and T3 to your lungs.  Many of us carry tension in this part of our upper back a massage to the foot will help to reduce that tension and increase the feeling of wellness and vitality. 

As if that wasn’t good enough, the emotions find balance with massage as well.  By stimulating energy to our lungs, we are able to reduce feelings of grief, sadness, anguish and cloudy thinking.  Energy to our hearts helps to resolve issues of love (self or others), excessive talking and security (financial, home, etc.).

You don’t need to have the charts and tables memorized to receive the many benefits of massage.  Simply share the love with your feet and hands.  Massage yourself or a friend.  You may apply pressure with your thumbs our self massage ball. 

My Holistic Approach to Yoga and Wellness encompasses balance - the balance of chemical, structure and emotions as well as mind, body, and spirit.  So yeah, I think a massage enhances our time together on the mat.  In fact,  your physical balance will be strengthened… give it a try.  Do Tree Pose observing the subtleties then massage your feet… a good deep massage.  Then do Tree Pose again.  Notice any differences?  Don’t stop with Tree Pose try another strong balance pose.

My suggestion to you... have a seat and rub your feet!

BTW--I have a hand and feet reflexology chart in my wallet for convenience.  I'm happy to chat more next time we meet.