What are some tips to help support your Immune, Nervous and Myofascial systems right now?
I invite you to notice whats swirling through your mind throughout the day. When we replay a stressful event in the past or rehearse/ plan/ worry about something in the future, our nervous systems stimulate a hormonal cascade that make our bodies feel like we are undergoing that same stress in the present! So how can we be kind to ourselves and give our systems some much needed medicine? ~ If you notice your brain on the ‘hampster wheel’ vigilantly ruminating or stressing…
- Pause and take at least 3 conscious breaths (many ways to do so, but I recommend to focus on feeling your belly and ribs slowly expand and deflate through several cycles)
- Acknowledge your thought loop without self judgement and then choose to redirect your mind >>Try uploading a positive experience you can remember, or look around your environment (wow, nature is so beautiful). Stay with this good feeling or gratitude for several minutes.
- For this to make long lasting change it takes practice to develop this muscle of Pausing. What better time to practice then now! Our present really can be a gift.
2) Do you have fear about receiving a hug or handshake from a neighbor or friend? Of course we likely all do.
Touch is a crucial part of human connection and is a basic need that can support our bodies in thriving. Yet, within a few weeks time, our brains have quickly wired us to keep distance for fear of contagion and it’s quickly become the new norm. We are picking up a trait to step away vs towards those we care about to protect ourselves or others. It is a concern of mine, that this simple precaution may take much longer to unlearn than it has to initially implement. And the precautions for social distancing are predicted to last many more months. Our brains hardwire cautionary experiences (negativity bias) to keep us safe, much more readily than positive experiences. It may take extra practice to calm our nervous systems to embrace an embrace! And our nervous systems and digestive systems (gut reactions) directly effect our immune systems. So visualizing and remembering what a a good hug feels like is also good for your health. So what can we do Now to relax your fear of contact (while still practicing social distancing?)
- Take a few moments several times a day and visualize yourself gathering with your friends, exchanging hugs, giving a high five, patting someone on the back (all without hesitation).
- Remember what positive touch feels like in your body and actually pull up that feeling in your mind. Then practice that remembrance when you are with those you care for (while keeping your physical distance.)
- It’s important to not think of our community members (and the germs they may be carrying) as potential ‘enemies’
- Practice the muscle of compassion and care for ourselves and others and trust there will be a time when we will gather again and reach out to connect.
3) And in the mean time, to help your body ease tension…
pull out that foam roller, tennis ball in a sock, and massage cane for a good date a few times per week. Gently sink into trigger points for over 30+sec. Pace yourself and remember to breathe:)
4) The self-care practice of Oiling:
I highly recommend daily applying a couple tablespoons of oil to your whole body. No fancy massage training needed. This self-care ritual has so many benefits and its a great way to be present with your body. This can be done before or just out of the shower or before bed (aim to give yourself 10 min to let it absorb before dressing or slipping under the covers.) Use any good quality oil (thats not rancid) like coconut, olive (grab some from your kitchen), jojoba, avocado, sesame…Find out what your body and skin like. I love Green Heart Herbal as a local source of handmade wildcrafted pain salves and lotions. Dont forget your feet, ears and nostrils:)So what are the benefits of Body Oiling?
- Our skin is our largest organ and is key to our immune system as well as our ability to detox. So towel dry well to exfoliate and then feed your skin with nourishing oil.
- Oiling is relaxing and calmative to the nervous system. Envision lipids coating your nerves. This is especially true moving through windy spring into a dry summer.
- Applying oil is good for your circulation and lymphatic system (making your strokes towards your heart is even better)
- Can help relieve stiffness in your joints and improve quality of sleep
- Gives you the opportunity to ‘check-in’ with your body and be present with all parts of you. What do you notice, any messages being shared with you? Please note that if judgements arise, let them settle. Aim to be compassionate and caring during this practice and you’ll be ’touched’ by how grateful you can be for your body that does so much for you!
- Adding essential oils into a carrier oil can bring in many other healing properties, just be mindful of which oils can cause photosensitivity (increasing sun burn) while out in the sun.