The Pursuit of Happiness: Your Body-Mind
As human beings we need to be touched in healthy ways to be happy and healthy. It’s just the way we are! The healing touch of regular massage is one of the best ways to ease pain in the body. Not just the physical body, but also the mental, emotional and spiritual bodies. Pain anywhere is a signal that something is out of balance. In Western medicine pain is assumed to be purely physical, but this view is limiting and shallow because we are not just physical bodies. We are consciousness and intelligence in a physical form. Many times the physical pain is a manifestation of a mental, emotional or spiritual pain or imbalance. B.K.S. Iyengar, one of the modern world’s foremost experts on Yoga practice and medicine, has this to say on the subject:
Though tremendous advances have been made by science, medicine and psychology over many centuries, no-one can define a frontier between body and mind or between mind and soul. They cannot be separated. They are intermingled, interconnected, united. Where there is mind, there is body; where there is body, there is soul; where there is soul, there is mind.
–from The Tree of Yoga
Let’s look at low back pain. At first glance, the pain looks to be a symptom of poor posture. Upon further investigation, it appears that the person is slouching because they feel sluggish, unhappy and have a low sense of self-worth. Massage can relieve the immediate physical pain and enhance the mind-body connection at the same time. This is something that must be experienced to understand fully. A massage therapist’s touch in the right area can inform you of the source of your pain in a way that nothing else can. Knowledge is power; once you know what is going on you can begin to bring your Mind more fully into your Body. And with better mind-body communication, you can eradicate pain in your life. Naturally, a great side-effect of a strong mind-body connection is deciding to do things that make you happy.
Begin where you are, and have patience with yourself. Practice being happy. Do it every day.