a.k.a your February dose of Positive Energy Therapy
+ 2/25/19 Support Group Recap
Aside from our monthly “Emotional Garbage” exercise led by facilitator Amor, at February’s Support group discussion our guests shared some really great quotes during conversation. As a lover of words and a fan of “bars in real life” I can always appreciate that moment where words promote healing + collective connection.
Here are some of the goodies shared that evening:
“There is no higher honor in life than serving at someone’s birth and serving at someone’s death.”
“Be there but don’t stay there.”
“It happens for you, not to you.”
(quotes: familiar but unknown source)
We also explored “stress” through the eyes of simple self-soothing treatments.
Rhoda (our Holistic Health Advocate and Acupuncturist in training) shared the following with the group:
Remember “Qi”? The thing we talked about during our first support group:
the life force, our energy and vital substance that basically defines life in traditional Chinese medicine and philosophy.
When anyone undergoes physical or emotional trauma the Qi is either depleted or stagnant (not flowing smoothly) throughout your body.
Two major things we need to live a healthy and vibrant life is BALANCE (yin and yang) and an ABUNDANT FREE FLOWING QI
Being diagnosed with cancer damages you both physically AND emotionally.
And if you are a person who has a loved one who is fighting cancer then you are dealing with the emotional aspect of it (which in long term can manifest into physical pain and damage as well (we will work on not letting it get that far)
Tonight, I will address stress because it is so common in the era we live in.
Here are some tips:
First we need to understand that stress is not a symptom. We need to identify how stress affects us individually. For example, some people will get headaches when stressed while others might experience abdominal pain when stressed or emotionally strained. The key concept of holistic health is knowing that every person is different and healing is different for everyone.
1. The 4-7-8 (or Relaxing Breath) Exercise
Via Natural Health, Natural Medicine: The Complete Guide to Wellness and Self-Care for Optimum Health by Andrew Weil, M.D.
The 4-7-8 breathing exercise is utterly simple, takes almost no time, requires no equipment and can be done anywhere. Although you can do the exercise in any position, sit with your back straight while learning the exercise. Place the tip of your tongue against the ridge of tissue just behind your upper front teeth, and keep it there through the entire exercise. You will be exhaling through your mouth around your tongue; try pursing your lips slightly if this seems awkward.
· Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound.
· Close your mouth and inhale quietly through your nose to a mental count of four.
· Hold your breath for a count of seven.
· Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound to a count of eight.
· This is one breath. Now inhale again and repeat the cycle three more times for a total of four breaths.
Note that with this breathing technique, you always inhale quietly through your nose and exhale audibly through your mouth. The tip of your tongue stays in position the whole time. Exhalation takes twice as long as inhalation. The absolute time you spend on each phase is not important; the ratio of 4:7:8 is important. If you have trouble holding your breath, speed the exercise up but keep to the ratio of 4:7:8 for the three phases. With practice you can slow it all down and get used to inhaling and exhaling more and more deeply.
This breathing exercise is a natural tranquilizer for the nervous system. Unlike tranquilizing drugs, which are often effective when you first take them but then lose their power over time, this exercise is subtle when you first try it, but gains in power with repetition and practice. Do it at least twice a day. You cannot do it too frequently. Do not do more than four breaths at one time for the first month of practice. Later, if you wish, you can extend it to eight breaths. If you feel a little lightheaded when you first breathe this way, do not be concerned; it will pass.
Once you develop this technique by practicing it every day, it will be a very useful tool that you will always have with you. Use it whenever anything upsetting happens – before you react. Use it whenever you are aware of internal tension or stress. Use it to help you fall asleep. This exercise cannot be recommended too highly. Everyone can benefit from it.
“Practicing a regular, mindful breathing exercise can be calming and energizing and can even help with stress-related health problems ranging from panic attacks to digestive disorders.”
- Andrew Weil, M.D.
2. A Spiky Massage Ball
The spiky massage ball was first created in Denmark in an attempt to help depressed psychiatric patients find a way out of their mental states using a stimulating massage. It’s a fairly simple design, made from a very durable plastic that’s covered with spikes that have rounded ends. They come in a variety of sizes and are often used by massage therapists and physiotherapists for relieving muscle tightness. But they’re becoming increasingly popular for at home use too, allowing one to perform massages on themselves. The balls work by stimulating tissues that are directly beneath the skin. When used with calm, relaxed breathing, the spiky balls also help to relieve muscle tension.
As a group we practiced a really powerful 4-7-8 exercise that provided us with a sense of mental and physical relief. It was refreshing to practice something SO SIMPLE that required LITTLE TIME and promises REAL benefit. It gets hard out here for folks “affected by cancer”. Having techniques like these to restore our baseline energy easily becomes a life requirement!
See you next month!
As always we appreciate your presence.
Stay tuned via our newsletter & social media channels as we focus on collectively #healingthefeeling <3
Contributed by: Sukii