We are awesome. Not just me although I am! I mean our bodies are awesome. We have an innate ability to heal ourselves. A cut on our finger makes a scab for protection. A rise in our temperature kills viruses. Broken bones mend. In an amazing way, our bodies somehow know what to do.
Stress creates havoc within our bodies that can worsen into a vicious cycle. For example, stress may cause a headache, which, in turn, makes it hard to sleep. The lack of rest makes us tired. Fatigue prevents us from eating right or exercising, which causes more stress with more aches and pains.
Let’s start from the beginning. If stress causes a headache, the first thing we do is rub the area whether the headache is at the temples or the bridge of the nose. We do it automatically. Our bodies intuitively know what to do. We may then crave a cool washcloth or the heating pad.
From a science standpoint, we have four different types of nerve endings across the skin. Some detect heat and cold. Others detect pressure and pain. One type can override another. For instant, hot and cold packs or the Icy-Hot gels lessen pain just as finger pressure may override pain. Kids know that kissing the boo-boo actually works—the pressure over the pain.
Sometimes that helps. Sometimes that relief is temporary and we need a little extra help. Drugs help but usually have side effects that cause problems elsewhere. Doctors also recommend exercise or physical therapy. Many holistic modalities help break the stress cycle, so the body can heal naturally—like a reboot.
In Chinese acupuncture, the channels or meridians carry Qi (energy) throughout the body. Stress and pain can block energy causing other symptoms. The emptiness of energy in front of the blockage creates deficient symptoms like fatigue or depression while the buildup of energy behind the blockage creates excess symptoms like indigestion or insomnia. Acupuncture breaks it up and moves the Qi.
Stimulating reflexes on the hands and feet in Reflexology can help relieve stress and tension. Reiki helps replenish the positive energy. Massage over stimulates muscles which makes them relax. These modalities work on different levels—physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual—to create a healthy and balanced person.
Personally, I love reflexology or a good old fashion foot massage. Do you have a favorite? What works for you?