Stress in our times
By Vivian Miles
In the 17 years I’ve been practicing shiatsu it seems stress is becoming the most common complaint that my patients present with. Stiff shoulders, arms, upper back and lower back issues can be a symptom of stress.
Does that sound familiar? It could be from a variety of causes:
- Marketing constantly bombarding us with advice of what we need to be happy
- A plethora of electronic devices to constantly overwhelm our senses
- Study, work and family pressures
While working in corporate massage I noted most clients had many knots in their shoulders and stiffness in their necks. I was surprised when on enquiry in many cases their work day could be up to 10 hours often working in front of a computer.
What was even more alarming, due to the pressure of their work and although management had approved a massage break some people were so anxious to get through their workload they continued working at their desk while being massaged.
Has this happened to you?
Research indicates that women are more inclined to be care givers, juggle work, studies and a family…it’s no wonder they are presenting with various symptoms like:
- Back aches
- Headaches or migraines
- Menstrual problems
I too have suffered with the above issues, trying to work, study and run a household. It started to affect my sleep with difficulties getting to sleep and then waking up in the night usually at 3 am. What a vicious cycle! Often I would wake up tired then have many coffees throughout the day just to keep awake! Does this sound like you?
So what can we do about this? I have found just clearing a space: making a sacred space….a place just for quiet time, where I can escape just for 30 minutes a day (even 10-15 minutes is beneficial).
There I ban :
• Family 🙂
• Electronic gadgets
• Work or thoughts about work
There I accept:
• Meditation eg. a meditation tape or App
• Oil diffuser/burner with a choice of relaxing oils eg. Lavendar, Ylang ylang, Lemon grass
In terms of sleep there are lots of remedies but my tried and proven trick which I learnt during my Zen shiatsu training was yoga postures for moving stuck QI. I get out of bed and do some gentle yoga exercises, does this sound crazy? Will it wreck any chance of sleep?
I start with…
Yogic Breathing or Pranayama
Just start with 5 minutes to begin…
Let your breath extend right down to approximately 2 cm lower than the navel. This is the Tantien point or Hara in Japanese, the center of our energy body or physical body. By breathing in this way you are balancing yourself, allowing your entire body to easily center itself around this focal region. All the stress in your body therefore can be released as your muscles consequently are released of their tension. This also relieves fatigue and depression.
- Sit down with your back straight or lie down on a mat on the floor
- Relax your body, empty your mind and stay aware of your breath
- Yoga breath is done with the following rhythm: 7 seconds inhalation, 1 retention, 7 exhalation
I like to do some yoga positions like Cat Cow and Small Intestine Sit up but talk to your yoga teacher or myself as to which poses would suit you.
*NOTE: Please consult your doctor if you have any medical concerns before doing any yoga exercises.
Lastly I recommend getting into a habit of having a treatment which helps the flow of QI in your body once per week. Shiatsu with me Vivian Miles or Acupuncture with Katika Funnel would be beneficial, preferably starting as a preventative but otherwise to deal with the issues that are presenting.
Call the clinic any day to book in for one of our stress busting treatments. And remember we also offer Naturopathy with Fin Mackenzie which can help with Herbal and Nutritional Support for stress management.
In addition we offer Psychology sessions with Nicola George which can help you get to the root of hard to shift stress, when you are unable to manage your stress or unconsciously sabotage best laid plans.
Just call the clinic on 02 99139781 or BOOK ONLINE HERE
Thank you for reading!
Viviana Miles – Zen Shiatsu
Dip.Ed. Sydney teachers college 1981
Dip.Homoeopathy, Australasian college of Natural therapies 1990
Dip.Zen Shiatsu 2001 Certificate Hatha yoga, Australian Yoga Masters &Therapist Assoc.2002.