Massage & Bodywork

JANUARY | FEBRUARY 2019

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you have a trustworthy practice you can rely on to bring happiness, relief, joy? What is the simplest and most pleasurable action step you can take toward trusting yourself? Maybe you add the bonus feature of smiling to yourself, or affi rming, "I choose to be kind to me." PRACTICE MAKES PREDICTABLE At fi rst, the two of us would have to schedule self-care time. Now it is infused as an inherent part of our day. Just like trust, self-care is not an automatic event. It is earned with a track record of practice. Sometimes it's a solo thing and sometimes it's in the company of friends and family. Self-care doesn't have to be a big production or an organized event. It can be a walk around the block after work or as simple as three conscious breaths while waiting at a stop sign. EVERYDAY SELF-CARE We are constantly looking for ways we can include self-care in our lives, and ultimately have forged a self-care lifestyle. We ask ourselves, "How can self-care fi t into wherever we are, with whomever we are with, and with whatever it is we are doing?" Below are some of the regular ways we infuse self-care into our regular daily routines. We hope they provide inspiration for you to fi nd space where you might include your own signature self-care moves. Yo u r M & B i s w o r t h 2 C E s ! G o t o w w w. a b m p . c o m / c e t o l e a r n m o r e . 27 Brushing Your Teeth Self-Care Heath has a history of chronic ankle instability, so he practices one-legged squats while he's brushing his teeth. Then, when he's fl ossing, he adds some tai chi walk. It's a medical qigong move that builds strength and power from the ankles to low back. Meanwhile, Nicole offers herself gentle calf stretches to help wake up and get her body ready for the day. Driving or Riding Home Self-Care On the way home after sharing bodywork, you can often fi nd Heath with one hand under his hamstring, stretching his wrist fl exors and wrist extensors. If you'd like to try right now, orient your fi ngers lateral or posterior, and place your palm down (extensors) and then up (fl exors) under your leg for a minute or two on each side. Doing Dishes Self-Care In our kitchen, we have a couple sets of "foot wakers" and "foot savers," which are basically half-cut spheres we can stand on when cooking or doing dishes. This is especially benefi cial for releasing the plantar fascia and stimulating foot refl exology points. You could also use a tennis or golf ball or something similar, but be careful not to slip. INVEST IN SIMPLY CHOOSING Nelson Mandela said, "Change one thing and you change everything." Is there one self-care move you can add as you do the dishes, brush your teeth, or drive home from work? Imagine one simple, easy, and pleasurable self-care move you can offer yourself while watching TV, waiting on the pickup or drop-off line at school, between clients, or throughout your sessions. It's been our experience that you don't have to do big things to have big impact. One of our teachers said, "The simple is sacred," and we notice it is the simple things done regularly that have the longest lasting and most profound impact. Commitment is the initial step toward experiencing big impact, but success is more often the result of hundreds and even thousands of recommitments. Our strong recommendation is that when it inevitably becomes time to recommit, do so without self-criticism. That is, don't waste your energy on wondering "when will I learn," or "why do I keep doing this or forgetting that?" Negative reinforcement and punishment will not help you learn or grow, and you wind up wasting one of your most precious resources: your attention. Instead, invest i n simply choosing again. Yes, it's that easy. The secret formula to manifestation is to recommit without criticism. And with that being said, we commit to a New Year full of friendly, easy, and loving choices for ourselves, for you, and for all those we touch! Happy New Year! Heath and Nicole Reed are co-founders of Living Metta (living "loving kindness") and want everyone in the world to enjoy the experience of befriending their body. The Reeds lead workshops and retreats across the country and overseas, including Thailand and Mexico, and have been team-teaching touch and movement therapy for 16 years. In addition to live classes, the Reeds offer massage therapy and self- care videos, DVDs, and online trainings, which may be found at www.livingmetta.com. "Practicing Self-Care" Watch Heath and Nicole's video by scanning the QR code or go to this page in the digital edition to view it.

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