A Life Worth Binge Watching

S2 E9 The Butterfly Garden

As part of my quest to redefine my life, I have determined that I need to do better at taking care of myself both emotionally and physically. This week, I discovered an amazing technique that is going to help me immensely with this goal.  Let me tell you about my experience.  

First let me frame this up by saying that I am already sold on the idea that in order to have good health, it takes more than diet, exercise and overall fitness. It’s equally important to listen to what your body needs emotionally, spiritually and mentally. 

For today, let’s just try to open our minds and consider that all these things can be linked.

I have always been intrigued by the mind and the power it can have over our lives.  Just think about how much our feelings and mental state can dictate what kind of day we have, how we feel physically, and how we see ourselves and the world around us.  We are truly imprisoned by our thoughts and emotions in so many ways.  When I am stressed at work, my muscles get tighter, I am cranky and get easily overwhelmed.  When I feel unaccepted or unappreciated by others in my life, it reflects in my attitude and determines my mood. Oftentimes my stress or emotions can actually affect me physically and manifest as an upset stomach, migraine, muscle stiffness and insomnia.  Studies have shown that stress can actually cause many illnesses including heart attacks, chronic pain and even cancer.  

So what can we do?  Well there are many ways to alleviate stress including massage, exercise, meditation or breathing techniques, as well as a slew of anxiety prescriptions and herbal remedies.  I think that all of these have their place and you have to see what works best for you.  The key is to consciously put effort into relieving your stress which also requires looking into what is causing the stress.  

I have always found deep tissue massage to be a great technique to relieve my stress as far as alleviating muscle pain and tightness.  I drive a lot, so it helps me to get the knots out of my shoulders which in turn, can sometimes help my migraines and body pain.  Sometimes it just isn’t enough, so I have been seeking other techniques that might bring additional comfort and healing. This week I was lucky to have found a place in Flagler Beach that offered a treatment called Craniosacral therapy.   It is a procedure where the therapist uses a very light touch in order to sort of “tell” the body how to heal itself.  Don’t stop reading, I know it sounds a bit strange, but hear me out.  I will be the first to say that I was a bit skeptical going in, but I decided to have an open mind and really try to get the most out of the experience.  

Ok, so try to visualize with me for the next few minutes. 

It is best to wear comfortable clothes as this treatment is done fully clothed, without shoes.  You lie on a massage table face up, eyes closed, holding a quartz crystal in each hand.  First you take a deep breath to let out as much stress as you can.  The room has fragrant incense burning that smells like an Indian temple.  It is hard to describe, but think of a scent that completely puts you in a trance-like state.  In the background there is the sound of music playing, a mix between the sounds of nature and serene spa music.  That night, I also had the sound of thunder rumbling in the distance as a bonus.  

Are you relaxed yet? 

I definitely was, and I don’t relax easily.  I think the therapist started at my feet, and was literally just grasping my ankles ever so slightly as I was thinking to myself, how is this going to help?  After a few minutes, I could feel my body become less tense and my mind started to quiet down.  The next thing you know, I felt as if I was floating.  I started to imagine myself floating in this tranquil body of water, surrounded by plush trees, flowers and a waterfall.  There were beautiful butterflies flying around me with colors of blue, green and yellow. 

I remember at some point that Scott, my therapist, had moved and was putting the lightest pressure on the back of my neck and head.  At this point I absolutely felt no tension in my neck or shoulders.  The entire technique lasted for about 70 minutes.  I have to say, I really enjoyed it. If I was rich I would hire him to do this every day.  Although it was not a massage, I felt as if I had one because I was so relaxed.  Scott explained that this type of therapy has so many benefits for mind/body healing.  Many people who suffer from PTSD get this treatment and even some NFL players have benefited from it for their concussions.  Ricky Williams, a former Miami Dolphins player, swears by it. Ricky has an interview on YouTube about it if you want to check it out.  

As I was leaving, I glanced over and on the chair in the waiting room was a pillow in the shape of a butterfly!  Coincidence?  Probably not. I am definitely going to try craniosacral therapy again.  I can honestly say that I felt better this week.  I was less bothered by situations, I had no migraines, and I just felt a deeper sense of peace.

EastWest Wellness and Metaphysical has quite a few other services I plan on trying as well such as Thai Reflexology, Reiki, CBD Massage, Ionic Foot Detox and RaindropTherapy.  I am going to be the most de-stressed person you ever met!  If you want more information, give Scott a call and let him know I sent you.  I’m sure you will be glad you did!

Melodye Lewis is a Friday columnist for Flagler News Weekly giving you something to talk about over lunch. Follow @ALifeWorthBingeWatching on Facebook. #ALifeWorthBingeWatching

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