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Guest Post by Iona Rainbow River, LMT

Many of us often find ourselves in a chronic state of stress, which is a state of  “fight/flight/freeze/fawn,” in these trying times. This is the autonomic nervous system’s sympathetic response. It is a useful, protective function of the brain to help keep us safe from immediate harm. However, we are not designed to be stuck in a chronic state of sympathetic response with stress hormones coursing through our systems. 

 

Receiving nurturing, attuned and calming bodywork commonly elicits a parasympathetic response, which is the “rest and digest” or “restore and repair” branch of the autonomic nervous system. This is the state our body needs to be in to heal and to prevent illness. You will likely receive these benefits from one bodywork session, and regular bodywork will help you learn to regulate your nervous system and will teach your body and mind to be in this state much more often. The result is better overall health and less potential for chronic illness by reducing stress hormones and increasing the feel good hormones. 

 

There are many self help tools to help you connect with and cultivate a sense of calm within to improve your health and maintain good health. For example, specific breathing exercises are beneficial and your massage therapist can help guide you through these during your session. Guided or self-paced  meditation is another great way to regulate your nervous system. Regular practice will allow your brain to be able to utilize these tools almost involuntarily. The tools will be at your ready during times of stress so that you can keep your nervous system response in check, and help it find balance again after a period of stress. 

 

Craniosacral therapy is a wonderful modality for balancing the nervous system. The therapist works at many places on the body, often focusing on the head and spine. It is a gentle form of bodywork that works deeply to restore balance. You may enter into a deep meditative state quickly and even fall into a light sleep as your body receives this important care. Therapists can add in a guided meditation to help you settle more quickly and to tune into your body, your inner wisdom.

Our massage therapists work with myofascial techniques, and you can book a session with them here.