BLOG, INFORMATION AND RESOURCES
Resources, discussions and information produced by Charlotte Lattin - Level 5 Sports, Remedial and Holistic Massage and Soft Tissue Therapist, Movement Coach, Psychologist, Runner, Swimmer, Yoga practitioner, Lover of Outdoors, Mum to 4 children, Owner of a crazy dog (and a couple of other dogs) and fascinated by all things to do with how our bodies and minds work...
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So, mindfulness, something that is frequently heard about in the media at the moment...what is it and what has it got to do with massage?
Mindfulness is a form of meditation (active or passive) where you are aware of what goes on in the mind...this still sounds complex to me and, if your brain is anything like mine, sounds busy and stressful! In reality it isn't (well, actually it can be but that's another thing we'll come to) but instead is a tool to change the way we work with thoughts in the brain.
Mindfulness meditation can help with a range of different disorders or issues such as anxiety, depression, insomnia and OCD but can be used by anyone to just improve the way we view our thoughts. It can help us to get on better with others - be that strangers, children, relationships etc. - but also to get on better with ourselves and to view thoughts as things that are happening rather than what we are (and becoming consumed by them. There are several apps and web-based programs that can help you to learn mindfulness (it does involve lots of trying to start with!) and you can of course read books about it. Yoga (not just the pose-based aspects of this that we often consider to be 'yoga') devotes a lot of time and teaching to mindfulness and breathing too - and think how calm many long-term yogis are. If you're interested give it a try, and you might learn to be more present in the moment. If you want some tips on apps to try do ask.
So what has this got to do with massage?
1) Having a massage is focusing on one time and place - you can't go anywhere and you have given yourself the time to be present with yourself!
2) Touch can help you to be present and in the moment
3) The therapist should also be mentally present and focusing on you - this can be very grounding
4) Breathing and heart rate slowing down as the result of massage can also help to slow the thoughts and make mindfulness easier
If you have had a massage and felt the slowing of the mind and a sense of ease when you leave the treatment room then you have perhaps started to understand what practising mindfulness can lead to more often in life - if not, then book in for a holistic massage.
As a disclaimer I would suggest that this might not be the case for a sports massage, which can be very different!
Next week I'll be telling you about some exciting new training I will be starting later this year and next - keep an eye out for this as it may be asking for guinea pig requests from you for some of these so if any tickle your fancy you'd better be in touch!