You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves. –Mary Oliver
Make yourself a priority. This is the message you will see when you visit our website, lulahealth.com, receive an email from us or take a look around our beautiful space.
Many people come to Chiropractic Care and Massage Therapy after ignoring their body’s whispers that something is wrong. The message had to get louder and louder, sometimes bringing the volume up to a scream or shout. This is nobody’s fault. We are busy, we are trying to save money, and the culture around us thinks it is pretty frou-frou to bother caring for a body that is feeling only a little bit off.
Luckily that perception is beginning to shift, especially in our health-conscious Portland. Chiropractic and Massage are about so much more than physical health. They are also about learning to tune into our bodies when they are whispering to us. They deepen mind-body connection which strengthens decision-making, intuition, and the capacity for joy.
Chiropractic and Massage strengthen self-compassion.
Like Mary Oliver says, we do not have to be good enough, rich enough, repentant enough or in enough need to deserve care. We only have to let our bodies love what they love. If your body loves compassionate touch and ease of movement, then it is not superfluous, self-indulgent, or morally suspect to receive body work. Body work is not a luxury; it should be part of your regular health maintenance.
“Touch comes before sight, before speech. It is the first language and the last, and it always tells the truth.” —Margaret Atwood
We have the right to be choosy with our practitioners. We have the right to high standards. When we make ourselves a priority and learn to listen to our bodies while they are whispering, we give ourselves more time to make better decisions about which practitioners we choose.
"It is the nervous system that tells the muscles to relax. So, saying … that we do soft tissue manipulation has some truth to it. But, even more therapeutically truthful is this: We engage in nervous system communication. We communicate with the nervous system via the skin, muscles and fascia."—David Lauterstein, LMT
Our nervous systems cannot relax with a practitioner we do not trust. If our nervous systems cannot relax, neither can our muscles. Unless we hit it off right away, this can often make the first treatment session with a new massage therapist, chiropractor, acupuncturist or doctor more of an interview or screening process than a thoroughly healing session. And if, by the time we see a health practitioner, our body is already yelling at us this can add another element of fear and frustration to an already painful situation.
"When we consistently give ourselves nurturance and understanding, we also come to feel worthy of care and acceptance. When we give ourselves empathy and support, we learn to trust that help is always at hand. When we wrap ourselves in the warm embrace of self-kindness, we feel safe and secure." —Kristin Neff
Once a safe and supportive therapeutic relationship is established with your provider, real healing can take place. By receiving care for our bodies we begin to trust that care and support are always available to us, we begin to feel safe in our bodies, and we raise the standards for how others treat us. Chiropractic Care and Massage Therapy are great vehicles for learning how to receive and give more love.
No matter how much effort is exhausted, the goal of acting in a heart-centered way does not occur on a regular basis when your nervous system is overstimulated.
"This is why unraveling the overstimulated nervous system in the most loving manner is the central theme of the new spiritual paradigm." —Matt Kahn
Most of us who seek health and healing do so in part to be more available to others in our lives. To care for others, to serve them, to love them, to make their lunches or drop them off at school or volunteer or give our friends better hugs. We want healthy bodies because we have big hearts and big dreams.
We deserve to have the relaxed nervous systems that allow us to love and serve others.