Just Breathe Manual Therapy helps wellness-focused active adults feel more powerful & resilient by relieving pain and restoring harmony between their mind & body.
Hi <<First Name>>!
It sure feels like we’re turning a corner, here. We’ve made it through the time change, had our first few unseasonably warm days, and seen daffodils and tulips start to sprout.
The rejuvenation of spring comes with the possibilities of rebirth. I’d love an opportunity to help you discover those new possibilities for yourself.
The main portion of this month’s newsletter digs into the idea that bodywork is about more than just muscles. That realization is what turned me toward massage therapy as a craft and profession. I share the story of that realization and how it influences my work every day.
I want to make it a point to say that I stand with the Asian, Asian-American, and Pacific Islander community. The traditions that led to massage therapy as it exists today in America traces its roots to east Asia. So much of the underlying work that’s informing the new developments in the world of manual therapy? Also from Asia.
Just Breathe Manual Therapy acknowledges and affirms the inherent worth and dignity of all people.
I’ve only got THREE slots left for new client kickstarts in the month of April!
That’s three sessions of 1-on-1 work designed around understanding where you are, where you want to go, and getting the ball rolling on the trip.
Last, as you may or may not know, I donate 10% of Just Breathe Manual Therapy’s revenues to direct aid causes. I am currently working with GiveDirectly, and am donating to their COVID-19 US Response fund. I’ve chosen them in particular because studies show that the best outcomes and the most efficient charitable donations are in direct cash payments to people who need money. Organizations like GiveDirectly trust people to use money for what they need. Means-testing is inefficient and puts unhelpful barriers between people in need and relief. Consider supporting direct aid causes when you can.
If there’s anything you’d like to see in this newsletter, please let me know!
Bodywork is more than muscles.
Over the past several weeks, I’ve been putting out short videos about stress, fear, and uncertainty. The point I’ve been bringing into focus is that our mental state and our perception of the world will affect how our bodies move and can even make our experience of pain more intense. The connection between our mind and our body, when we understand it and start to use it, means that bodywork is about more than just muscles.
For me, this really came into focus while I was in massage school. At that point, my schedule was absolutely insane. Every day, I was coaching at the gym at six in the morning. Then I’d leave the gym and go to my day job where I had responsibility to lead multi-million dollar projects as well as mentor several team members. From the office, I’d high-tail it home to eat and change then head into Boston to go to class until ten at night, getting home around eleven only to turn around and do it again the next day. In the year that this was my schedule, I was receiving more bodywork than I ever had before, my body felt strong and vital the whole time, and I became a significantly better employee and manager.
In the workplace, I was able to make much better decisions, ask clearer and more useful questions, and tone down a tendency to be reactive. Part of that was the constraints I put on the time I’d be able to spend on projects and with my team. The part I didn’t expect was that by receiving so much bodywork, I was able to maintain my state of calm much more easily and when I did get rattled, I was able to return to that state of calm much more quickly. I felt more ease and less fear. I felt stress and uncertainty, yet those feelings didn’t overwhelm me. I had developed resilience in my nervous system.
I have an innate tendency towards anxiety. I foresee problems, bumps in the road, and even catastrophes that are extremely unlikely to happen. That tendency has really helped me in many respects. However, like all strengths, it can become a weakness when it gets out of control. By making bodywork part of my regular routine, I was able to maintain control. In February when I launched the three-session kickstart package and the monthly membership, I was aiming to create for you the same kind of experience that I had. By coming into my office on a regular basis, we’re able to build resilience in your nervous system.
Traditionally, people tend to receive bodywork in two circumstances – as a luxury or to treat an acute problem. Both of those are awesome reasons to go to a massage therapist or another type of bodyworker. My focus, however, is different. Just Breathe Manual Therapy is not a luxury, it’s a key part of helping you reach toward the life you want to live. Just Breathe Manual Therapy isn’t just here to work on an injury (though that’s usually step one for someone coming in, and I genuinely enjoy it), it’s here to help you develop the resilience so that the next injury just … doesn’t happen.
For some clients and practitioners the body is the only focus, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. For me, for my clients, and in my practice, the real work is done at the intersection of the mind and body. We always lead with the breath because it’s the most effective way for us to address the mind and body at the same time. Through the breath, the nervous system begins to calm down. When the nervous system calms down, we use the body as the language to speak to the mind. When the mind begins to find new places of safety available to the body, we can shift patterns of movement and patterns of thought. We open up possibilities in movement that may not have been available before. When there are more possibilities, our nervous system becomes less reactive because it perceives the environment as less threatening. When we perceive our environment as less threatening, we move better, we become more thoughtful partners and parents, and we become more effective professionals.
Only when we develop harmony between the mind and the body can we reach our fullest potential.
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