To lose confidence in one’s body is to lose confidence in oneself.
I was reminded of the words by French philosopher, Simone de Beauvoir recently with the tragic death of Karabo Mokoena, allegedly at the hands of her ex-boyfriend.
As a massage student, and for many years after receiving state registration, I volunteered at the Helderberg Crisis Centre where I massaged adults who had been raped or had experienced sexual assault or abuse as children.
The aim was not only to help clients relax but also to introduce them to positive touch as a component of their healing process but massage also helped them regain confidence in their own bodies and encouraged self-compassion.
How does positive touch such as massage therapy help salvage abused people’s self-confidence and nurture compassion for the self? We will take a closer look at the topic in a future post.
But let's first establish what we mean by self-compassion.
Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.
- Leo Buscaglia
Each year in May, Mother's Day makes her entrance swathed in frills and flounces – flowers, chocolates, perfume and body products wrapped in all hues of soft pink and purple.
And every year, your mom or granny accepts her gift with gratitude and grace.
But what if this year, you touched her heart with the gift of touch? What if you gave her a voucher for a massage?
A recent statement by a prominent, local politician that stress is a white man’ disease, caused some uproar in my country.
“I don’t get stressed," he declared. “Stress is a white man’s disease and that is why a term such as stress does not exist in the Zulu language."
Overhere, where race is a very sensitive topic, most of the reactions to his statement centred around that aspect.
But also relevant I thought, is the common mistake of mixing up terminology related to:
And this is where, I think, the politician got it wrong (although there was probably much more to the statement than a lack of physiology knowledge).
Make no mistake, this is not the first time I have heard people confusing the two concepts ... whether the word appears in their dictionaries or not.
So what is the difference between responding to stress and being stressed out?
Every year since 20 March 2012, the world has been commemorating International Day of Happiness.
20 March also happens to be my best friend Lynette’s birthday, an event the two of us have celebrated since 1968!
And I can tell you with no doubt in my mind that our friendship has greatly contributed to my own happiness ever since that day during our first year at school, when she allowed me to use her peacock blue and mauve crayons for my drawing.
But what is this thing, happiness, really? And how is happiness related to health and wellness?
According to the holistic healing philosophy we are made up of body, mind and soul or spirit.
The soul is our essence. It is the part of us that lives on after death.
How then, does this viewpoint fit in with the definition of holism where the combination of the parts is greater than the individual units?
The benefits of massage during and after pregnancy have been well documented. But there is one that I think needs to be emphasised - the way it boosts your body image.
The many ways in which ones body changes during pregnancy can be at the same time intriguing and overwhelming, even scary.
Despite the romantic image of pregnancy in the media and in advertising, these drastic shape shifts and the weight gain may affect our self-esteem and body image.
So, if you are pregnant but it feels like you are living in a stranger’s body, consider a massage treatment.
Besides helping you maintain a healthy body image, massage can support a mother-to-be and her baby in so many ways.
Here are 10 reasons to book a pre-natal massage.
We really have no excuse.
Thanks to our high standard of living we have moved beyond basic survival needs. We have the Internet that puts all the information about health and wellness at our finger tips.We have clever apps on our electronic devices to support our good intentions.
And we can employ people like massage therapists and personal trainers and dieticians to support our efforts.
Yet something still prevents us from putting intenstions and desires for healthy living into practice.
Very often that something is the way we think and the way we talk about health and wellness.
In this, my last post for 2016, I can’t help looking back and reviewing the year that has been.
And as things stand, it has been a year in which I expanded my reach but had my roots disturbed.
It has been a year in which much was gained but so much more was lost.
Many a trip continues long after movement in time and space have ceased.
So says author, John Steinbeck.
But no-one wants the memory of their road trip to manifest as aches and pains from sitting to long in the car or bus or taxi.
Here is some advice to avoid discomfort after a long road trip:
I was going to post something on sunburn today but this morning I woke up to a gentle rain outside and I changed my mind.
In the winter rainfall region of the Western Cape, in December and in a time when we have severe water restrictions, rain is the ultimate gift for the dry and windswept garden.
So rather than writing about sunburn, I decided to celebrate the miracle of water instead.
I thought I would share some facts about the role of water in our body-brain-minds.
Body-mind or mind-body? If you are struggling with physical and mental pain and feel that the dominant health paradigm’s dualistic approach to mind and body seems inadequate to explain anything, I want to talk to you. Join me under the tree in my garden for a cup of rooibos tea and let’s talk massage and SomaSense!