WE ARE JUST A BAG OF BONES · Parkinson's Resource Organization


Category: Newsworthy Notes

We are just a bag of bones, connected together by tendons, muscles and ligaments. We are literally a large puzzle, our pieces of muscle and tendons fitting with bones in just the right way. Have you ever spent your vacation doing jigsaw puzzles and tried to force the wrong piece into the space where you knew it just had to fit? Well, that is how our bodies are, in that, our puzzle pieces fit together quite nicely forming our perfect “puzzle package”. And our package contains our spirit, our intrinsic life-force energy, our “Qi” (Chi), our Being, our connection to Source. When we compel our puzzle pieces to sit, stand, or lay down for long and continued periods, our puzzle pieces just do not fit together correctly, and we feel “out of sync”. When we drive an hour to work and back, then sit or stand all day, then drive home, then stand to make dinner, and sit to eat, and then sit some more to watch TV, then lay down to sleep; and... then what? Do it all over again the next day, year after year.

What happens to your puzzle package? Your Qi gets stagnant and your spirit drags. Your once beautiful package with the nice ribbon and shiny wrapping paper is now torn, dull, and frazzled. Your lower back hurts, and the neck is always aching and tight, the shoulders are up in your ears, the hips give out, the knees whine, and the leg cramps at night just send you over the edge. You are cranky and sore and you medicate with either alcohol, drugs, and sedatives. Yuck! There are alternatives, and you always have choice! Why not spend the time that you watch TV doing yoga, or Qi Gong, or massage, or WATSU? And, what about Feldenkrais, transformational breath work, meditation, or belly dancing? Do yourself a favor and learn about these powerful holistic and alternative healing tools, and how engaging in one or more techniques will keep your Qi (Chi) enlivened, your chakras clear and balanced, and help to free you from the aches and pains of your beautiful body package.

I remember when my grandmother was in a retirement home in Brentwood about twenty-five years ago. Back then, they did not do yoga or Qi Gong in retirement homes. But my grandmother kept her Qi moving by walking, and she liked to walk at night and during the day to keep her “package” in good working order. The night staff did not like her walking around at night, so they would use tie downs to keep her in her bed. We questioned this strongly, and were told it was for her own good. We asked that this not be done, but we were ignored. Within a few weeks, my grandmother’s spirit and body health declined rapidly. After being ignored, we decided we had better take strong action. My mom, my sisters and I went to the retirement home one night around 11:00 pm to get my grandmother, and we literally “broke her out. We got her down to my mom’s house in La Quinta, California and within a month my grandma was walking again and laughing—she had the greatest laugh. She lived until she was eighty-nine years young and died at home in her sleep— peaceful and loving.

So, the moral is, keep your body—your puzzle, your package your spirit, your Chi—moving! Use those muscles and tendons, and keep the bones healthy by doing something that works the lymphatic, nervous, and circulation systems. Get off the couch and DANCE! The body is movement and the breath is Life. Live your life fully! There are so many fabulous healers in the world that it should be easy to find the right person to teach you Qi Gong, Watsu, yoga, massage, breathwork, meditation, Feldenkrais, or belly dancing. In the Coachella Valley you can check out the Desert Holistic Network to find practitioners for whatever you want to learn, or ask your friends and family.

Stay healthy by using the Holistic and Alternative Health approach. Qi Gong (China) and yoga (India) are meditative movement techniques. Qi Gong is the grandfather of Tai Chi, Aikido and other martial arts. Qi Gong is a practice of aligning breath, movement, and awareness for exercise, healing, and meditation. Yoga, with its many styles, and Qi Gong both embody the seven principles of movement; Breathe, Yield, Radiate (Extend), Center, Align, Support, and Engage. Yoga and Qi Gong are viewed as practices to cultivate and balance Qi (Chi). Both involve rhythmic breathing coordinated with fluid movement, a calm mindful state, and visualization of guiding Chi (Qi) through the body.

Transformational breath is a conscious redirection of the breathing pattern. The pattern can be reprogrammed and the breathing muscles retrained. Western researchers have discovered that mental and emotional states can be altered by altering the breath pattern. We can consciously change our chemistry, outlook, and attitude by changing the depth, rhythm and rate of our breathing. The use of the breath to improve health, emotional state, and mental clarity is a skill everyone could benefit from learning. Massage is not a luxury, it is a necessity. Not only is massage great for seniors, it is beneficial for all ages; children, adults and babies. And, definitely for pregnancy; as I know, my niece did yoga and massage throughout her pregnancy, and her baby is healthy and has the most delightful disposition.

For seniors, the greatest benefit from massage is in their circulation. Massage improves circulation, relaxes muscles, aids digestion, and by stimulating the lymphatic system, speeds the elimination of waste products. The feeling of well-being cannot be matched by drugs. Watsu® (Aquatic Therapy) is therapy in a 95° warm pool or jacuzzi, and combines most all bodywork; e.g., Thai massage, Shiatsu massage, Myofascial Release, Reflexology, Cranio-Sacral, Trager Psychophysical Integration, etc. In water, the spine moves freely as the body is without gravity, enhancing the benefits of applied bodywork. The relaxation of tension in the spine and musculature improves tone and functioning of the body and organs.

Aquatic Therapy relieves acute pain, enhances blood and lymphatic flow, increases range of motion, activates neuro-pathways for healing, and decompresses the spine and joints; inducing relaxation, and improving sleep and energy. Watsu® (Aquatic Therapy) relieves chronic pain due to arthritis, fibromyalgia, sciatica, back pain, stroke, PTSD, neurological issues (stroke, cerebral palsy, Parkinson’s disease, MS), and surgical stress. As Oprah says, “…What I know for sure is that every day brings a chance for you to draw in a breath, kick off your shoes, and step out and dance.”

So what is stopping you? Don’t be a drone, be creative and give your life flavor. Get out there, get those puzzle pieces fitting together nicely, and wrap up your package with pretty paper and a ribbon of love. Love yourself and give yourself the gift of learning something new to take care of your spirit and your body. Einstein said, “You can never solve a problem on the level on which it was created.” Stop sitting and move it, and that will solve your problem.

“…Our bodies are tender, loving embodied souls, who serve us in most every way, carry us everywhere, and most often with astonishing precision and immaculate timing, inside and out.” — Unknown

Take Care of “DEM BONES”… Blessings.

Kim L. Hartz, LMT, Certified WABA Watsu® Instructor has just joined the PRO WELLNESS VILLAGE where you can see her biography, video and contact information under the category of Movement Therapies.

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Updated: August 16, 2017