Massage & Bodywork

SEPTEMBER | OCTOBER 2021

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best practices | SAVVY SELF-CARE else—we may find ourselves malnourished, feeling hungry and running on empty. In our quest to nourish ourselves with sumptuous support, we rely on props. Blankets, bolsters, blocks, yoga straps, therapy balls, and more give us the support we're craving. Using props is a great way to customize your own self-care, safely provide stability, and empower and grow your body wisdom. You don't need to spend a lot of money, and you likely have plenty of prop support lying around your home. Look for a firm pillow to substitute for a yoga bolster or block. Swap out a yoga strap with a long towel, belt, or necktie. Use a tennis or golf ball instead of therapy balls. What matters most is your openness to discover new ways to stretch, stabilize, strengthen, and open yourself to the support that's all around you. Power to the Props Nourish Yourself with Sumptuous Support By Heath and Nicole Reed What comes to mind when you think of support? Maybe images of people helping, caring, or assisting one another floats into your mind's eye. And in our experience, most of us caregivers naturally direct support outside of ourselves. And in our experience, most of us caregivers naturally direct support outside of ourselves. If this is true for you, we invite you to embrace a pattern interruption as you flip the script and redirect the flow of support to yourself with your breath, imagination, and some yummy prop-supported stretches. Sometimes the support we need is found outside ourselves, and sometimes we are the source. Enjoy a few breaths and moments for yourself as you consider these questions: • How would I like to receive support? • What would make life easier for me? • Who can I ask for help? • Is there any particular type of support that would most nourish me today? Getting curious and tuning into the unique requests and wants of our inner well-being generates a deep reservoir of self- awareness. From this space, we can more sensitively attune to and support ourselves as we generate support for others. Let's explore! PREVENT TROUBLE BEFORE IT ARISES It didn't take long in our bodywork careers before we discovered how essential it is to find ways to give back to ourselves in order to have the energy to give to others. There have been many occasions where we literally gave until it hurt. Our teacher in Thailand reminded us, "How can you feed someone else if your bowl is empty?" In other words, if we delay our self-care—or outsource it to someone CUSTOMIZE YOUR SELF-CARE WITH PROPS Personalize your practice to the specific shape, structure, and needs of your body so you can leverage the greatest impact and ease with the least amount of effort and resistance. Use props to help prevent injuries by maintaining good alignment while in a stretch. Props also support steadiness in areas of weakness and can enhance peace of mind or feelings of stability when exploring a new range of motion—especially in an area that is healing. For this first stretch, gather a long fabric, like a towel, yoga strap, exercise band, belt, or necktie as we open our shoulders. 16 m a s s a g e & b o d y wo r k s e p te m b e r/o c to b e r 2 0 2 1

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