Parkinson’s. Fibromyalgia. Chronic fatigue. Gastrointestinal issues. Cancer. Seizures. Do you know what all of these things have in common? Unknown root causes. They are called idiopathic diseases by definition. & looking at this definition of the word Idiopathic, I can see the Greek word “Idio” means (one’s own, personal) and the Greek word “pathia” or “pathic” means (feeling, suffering). This was a clear sign, mixed in with my experience in life, to finally write this article.
Who I Am & What I Do
First and foremost I’m an energy force that realizes it’s inside of a body. Not The other way around. But in society, I’m a licensed massage therapist and have been for over 11 years now. & I’m only 30 years old. I know. It’s been a long time and I’m still very young. I’m blessed to say that not only have I given over 11,000 massages in Orlando alone but through this time of experiencing how to heal people physically, I’ve also healed quite a few by simply communicating transparently and holding space for someone to feel safe in and have a chance to finally wind-down. (Which we could all use nowadays) & also being an experiment, I do the very same thing for myself. I’ve come across quite a few personal discoveries and patterns that I believe need to be shed a light on or at least talked about more with people we communicate with daily. Especially people within my age bracket who are obsessed with productivity and ambition. The first discovery I’ve come across is the lack of awareness we ALL have towards the backside of our body.
“The Backside Of My Body?”
Yes & I know what you’re thinking… “Okay, big deal?” The thing is, it’s a MAJOR deal. Think about it… We are 3-dimensional beings in the physical plane. That means we should be able to have the same type of sensor, the sensitivity of feeling, and overall awareness of every part of our lovely meat suit in a 360-degree radius. (Look up the Vitruvian Man in 3D by Leonardo Divinci to get a visual idea!) HOWEVER, we don’t have that innate awareness & this is due to my theory that it’s simply because every single thing we interact with, is right in FRONT of us. The people we see, the cars we drive, the phones we hold, the screens we see. Everything we interact with is in front or peripheral view. It’s as if we sense everything only through our vision. But we have 5 senses! Now imagine only giving attention to what’s in front of you for years and years! You’re gonna end up seeing someone like me once a week to help you with the chronic pain in your body simply because the awareness of your body and what lies within is completely ignored! But this is also a BIG reason why massages and just touching some people’s backs in general, can bring a huge relief to their sense of well-being. What ends up happening through time is poor posture, chronic pain, lack of strength, injury and just an overall disconnect with our bodies and what it needs can bring us to a point of not wanting to deal with it all.
“So wtf do we do to subdue this, Alexis? Cuz I can’t look behind me nor can I touch my back!” You’re right. However, through my research and even following some of my clients’ success, I’ve found a few things that can help bring awareness to the backside of your body and the best part of this particular thing is… It’s free. 🙂
“Cool, dude. Where do I start?”
You start by entering within. Stillness. Time. Body Scanning. DEEP & SLOW breathing. (Huge emphasis on the deep and slow) & of course the classic, Strength/Range of Motion exercises. ALL of this can help you to get started on a path towards some relief and even give you more benefits than you thought possible for yourself. You can start by simply closing your eyes. Sitting still for just 3 minutes with your back straight. While breathing DEEP and SLOW. & your exhale (breath outwards) should be able to be heard and be LONGER than your inhale. Now while doing all of this, try to consciously & visually scan the backside of your body from top to bottom (from the back of your skull, alllllllllllll the way down to your tailbone) TAKE. YOUR. TIME. No one’s rushing you to do this. Now, without judging WHAT you feel, just ask yourself.. “what sensation do I feel?” answer yourself slowly. & “Where do I feel that sensation?” Answer yourself slowly. & continue to keep your awareness right there. Just by doing this, you’re making nerves that don’t normally fire off in your body OR some that may even fire off too regularly, some type of acknowledgment and a chance for you to adjust them if necessary. “Adjust? How can I adjust my nerves?” Focused breathing and accepting what comes up in that region, is how you adjust. Truly accepting. Don’t get me wrong, I understand how hard it is to accept pain. It’s not easy and why would it be when all we’ve ever known as a society is to run away from pain. Alleviate it, quickly. Immediate gratification is better than patient gratification and we all know this from the immense amount of pain medicine that’s prescribed to America. (1 out of 10 Americans uses a prescription painkiller) But it’s acceptance, the breath, and patience that will help you not only live with the pain you have but ultimately feel it fade through time.
To get answers, we need questions
Doing this consistently sets off another major factor in this longevity theory and that is self-actualization & hard inquiry. Once the awareness is done physically, you start to wonder if some of it is intertwined with a mental and emotional aspect too. Plus we ALL know by now, that the body keeps score from the very words & book of Bessel Van Der Klok. (Great read btw, highly recommended). I know this from the very work I do with massage therapy. Releasing tension from a knot in someone’s back that has been there for years, can trigger an emotional reaction within that person. It’s happened many, many times on my table & all you can do at that moment is give that very emotion a safe space, time, acknowledgment, and exploration. This is how you “let it go” or “let it out” because now you’re bringing what’s inward, outward. You can see it now. Slow down enough, & you’ll see how you have a choice to transmute it.
By giving it that acknowledgment & eventually asking those hard self-inquiry questions as to “where did this come from?” “Why do I still hold on to it?” “What triggers it?” Etc. Getting to these questions can open up an entire universe within ourselves that we had no idea even existed because of our innate need to only sense what our eyes see! (Or what we want NOT to see or feel. Especially the exiled things within us) But it’s part of our survival! Disassociation from what’s going on inside, helps us get work done or helps the day go by faster and can even just help us move or trot along in life lightly, however, there will always be a disconnect & unfortunately, our body pays a HUGE price in holding on to that exiled part of us that we disassociate from for so long. Gastrointestinal issues, migraines, hypertension, sleep problems, literally you name it and I can almost guarantee part of it has to do with something that’s not being acknowledged in your life.
At the end of the day
The sum of this is that we need to realize where the actual ROOT of a lot of our pain comes from. & I genuinely believe it comes from the pain we hold within. The parts of ourselves that never got a chance to emotionally or mentally heal, end up translating through our bodies. However, I truly believe the keys to life and overall healing for longevity are mixing and incorporating mental health tools and resources like therapy, journaling along with breath work, stillness, silence, and of course physical care like getting bodywork done i.e; massages, acupuncture, chiropractor work. There is also the part of exercising and lastly eating the proper nutrients that are optimal for our health. But it all starts with knowing where we lie mentally and emotionally first because that begins the journey of entering within. That is where the seed of living life begins and after a while, we start to realize, that WE are IT. Now, go get acquainted with yourself inside AND out so you can start living the joyous life you deserve.
Resources: “The Body Keeps Score” by Bessell Van Der Klok, MD https://g.co/kgs/d5kw1s
“The Genie Within” by Harry W Carpenter https://g.co/kgs/fpFvgr
My own experience as a licensed massage therapist in multiple facilities including but not limited to chiropractic offices, independent contracting, spas and medical rehab centers.