Every original culture on the planet earth has a system of "hands on" healing. In western cultures this is generally called massage. However, there are many named systems including reflexology, Swedish massage, connective tissue manipulation, trigger point therapy, zone therapy and polarity. As the movement toward alternatives to drugs and surgery progress massage will energy as one of our primary new, while actually ancient, therapeutic modalities. Hospitals, and even corporations, are hiring massage therapists to help with healing and to prevent the negative impacts of stress.
Massage can be self applied very effectively. Trigger points, points or areas of pain appear throughout the body when a person is unwell. Some of the points are directly in the area of the problem and others appear at a distance to the problem and are known as reflexes. A reflex is two separated areas that are in a relationship in the body. Rubbing and exerting pressure on these points has been found over the centuries, to have a positive effect on the healing process. While it is always the most fun to have this done for you by someone else, it is possible and very effective to do it for yourself. It can be done at any time of the day or night with no travel and no expense.
The success of self applied massage is variable. In some cases it is very subtle and the practitioner (that is you) may have to be patient over a period of time. However, in many cases the results are dramatic. One such case was a woman whose profession was music. She is a piano teacher with many talented students whose services were in great demand. She attended conferences, organized conferences, gave lectures and was a judge at competitions. Over a number of years she had an increasing problem with frequency of urination.
As the problem became more severe she began to experience terrible spasms of her bladder. She was forced to cut back on much of her professional life. She had to urinate 4-5 times during a piano lesson. She had to sit at the back of the conferences so she could make multiple bathrooms trips. The pain of the spasm began to keep her from traveling. Eventually she was forced to a minimal level of participation in many of her very favorite activities.
She was told that in addition to acupuncture, herbal formulas and some body therapy she would improve more quickly with the self applied health enhancement methods (SAHEM). She immediately and fervently began practicing breathing and relaxation techniques. She was told that if she found and rubbed the correct point in her ear that it could be of great benefit. One day upon her arrival at the Health Action clinic she announced, "Eureka, I found the point. When I rub the ear point the spasm and the pain scatter". With vigilant application of this and the other methods she is back to her original lifestyle. Of course, it is her original and beloved professional music activities plus the self applied health enhancement methods (SAHEM).
While there are many techniques of self massage, the preliminary approach is the application of pressure to the reflexes of the ears, hands and feet. These are called Microsystems. A Microsystems is an area of the body that is a small representation of the whole body. It has been found through thousands of years of experienced that the ears, hands and feet are such areas. Each part of the whole body has a reflex on the ear, on the hand and on the foot. The iris of the eye is also a Microsystems are linked through the brain and nervous system. When the whole body was just a few cells in size, during its first few hours of life, it carried within it the potential for a mature, full sized self. As growth occurred the extremities carried the imprint of the whole system with them, as nerves and other tissues, as they grew in size. As the organ systems grew they too carried their relationship of the Microsystems to all of the body's parts and functions. By stimulating the Microsystems one can stimulate the related body parts and organs.
This is a powerful healing tool. The greatest first impulse when there is pain and suffering is to reach out and touch in a helping way. This impulse was translated in the earliest humans into massage. The self application of this healing tool, as you might guess, is one of the most ancient, tried and true of the healing arts. There is not a good reason for why every person is not using this tool on a regular basis. The history of science has tended to carry us away from ourselves and to emphasize expensive technological solutions. We are now through that part of our history. There is every reason why every person should learn and use the methods of self-applied massage and share them.
Subsequent columns will provide specific instructions for the following Self-Massage practices: