Ayurvedic Massage – An Ode to the Human Body Man’s strongest desire is to live a healthy, happy and inspired life. Of these three, health is primary because without it one cannot feel happy or inspired. Food provides us with the proper nutrients; exercise and massage supply the proper circulation. It also helps our bodies grow and renew. In India, massages are given from the time of birth. Babies are regularly massaged with oil, even when they cry. A mother knows that massage will enhance circulation in her infant, who, although continually moving, is unable to perform exercises of any kind. Children are massaged regularly each day until the age of three. Then the routine changes and massage is given once or twice a week, until the child reaches six years of age. At this point, the child is old enough to give and exchange massages with others. In India, temple sculptures, calendars, and illustrated spiritual books often depict Vishnu, the lord of preservation, reclining on a serpent and receiving a foot massage from his consort Lakshmi. This image suggests that massage is a favorite pastime even of Lord Vishnu. Ceremonial massages are also practiced in India. Massage before marriage is given for 40 days. For the groom, the massage can provide an increase in virility and psychic strength. Because the massage is done with natural herbs and oils, it makes the bride more fragrant and beautiful. Another traditionally compulsory massage is the one given daily to the new mother during the 40 days following birth. Traditionally, this is the time for a woman’s complete body purification, after which she can return to performing her daily worship or household chores. The most popular massage brought here from India is Abhyanga – very often paired with Shirodhara. Abhyanga – in Sanskrit, the language of the Vedas, abhy means “to rub” and anga refers to the limbs – although we prefer the
more poetic translation, “touched by loving hands.” Abhyanga is, therefore, the classic full-body massage of Ayurveda. Warmed oils are selected to bring the subtle energies of the body into balance and applied thoroughly to the skin over the entire body in a series of classic repetitive strokes. Shirodhara (shiro means head, and dhara means threadlike steam) is the application of a thin stream of oil on the third eye. The marma point is located in the middle of the forehead and is known as sthapani, meaning “what gives support or holds firm.” It is associated with the sixth chakra, prana, mind, senses and the pituitary. The purpose of the treatment is to center the mind and body, increase relaxation and inner peace, and to settle vata disorders such as anxiety and insomnia. In Ayurveda, massage is oil. If the body is rubbed dry, the friction created generates heat and pain, which aggravates the element of vata (wind). Massage oils are a nutrient for the skin and strengthen the nerve fibers that are connected to the hair follicles. The small amount of massage oils remaining on the skin afterwards, and after the shower or bath that follows, provides resistance to environmental temperatures and pressures. Application of massage oils to the navel before going to sleep cures dryness of the whole body. When massage oils are applied at the junction of spine and skull, they calm the entire nervous system, strengthen memory and improve eyesight. Consider Ayuveric massage as a gift for bride and groom, new mom and everyone who needs tender loving care. Don’t forget yourself! Contributed by Anna Pamula, owner of Renu Day Spa, 617 Central, Deerfield. For more info, call 847-940-9727 or visit renudayspa.com.
Seven Healthy Habits to Implement Today Do you strive to be healthier? I know I do. However, no one is perfect when it comes to self-care. By adopting a few simple habits, you can improve your health dramatically. It’s not about dieting to lose weight; it’s about eating right to be healthy. It’s not about killing yourself at the gym every day; it’s about moving more and exercising to be healthy. Every person is different, so respect your body, listen to it and give it what it really wants. Don’t wait for the “perfect” time to start. The time is now! Tomorrow might never come, yesterday is over and today is all you have. Be realistic in expectations to avoid disappointment or feelings of failure. Research shows that changing or creating a habit takes 30 days – 90 days to make it stick. Choose to be an active participant in your decision to live healthier, reviewing what you’re currently doing with a focus on what is working. Pick a new healthy habit that will complement a current one, so that the change you are adapting won’t seem like such a huge undertaking. Also, write out a plan and schedule it in your calendar. By having a solid plan in place with new habits that correlate to other already successful habits, you will be set up
for success. Here are seven healthy habits to consider implementing. Clean up your eating. Avoid fad diets and/ or “diet” food. Cut out soda and diet soda, and avoid saturated fats, opting for healthier monounsaturated fats like olive or vegetable oils. Eat real, unprocessed foods as much as possible. As Michael Pollan says, “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.” Hydrate. Water composes 75 percent of your brain and muscles. It regulates your body temperature, helps your body absorb nutrients, aids in converting food into energy, eliminates waste and more. Practice balance to prevent or lessen falls. Try balancing on one foot when brushing your teeth, or putting on your socks/ pants while standing up. Also, practice getting in and out of chairs without using your arms/ hands. A strong core is primary to better balance. Floss. Flossing prevents gum disease and may also prevent heart disease. According to the American Academy of Periodontology, people with periodontal disease are almost twice as likely to have coronary artery disease (also called heart disease). CONTINUED ON PAGE 14
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A Guidepost on Life’s Trail The winding path that represents the journey of our lives is fraught with emotional and physical challenges at every turn. Along the way, many of us have had the experience of having had some type of injury or condition that has brought us to the doorway of a rehabilitation center with expectations of complete recovery. If the physical aspect of our injury is the sole focus of the therapy, we will often find that we are not able to fully return to being ourselves. Other factors, environmental and emotional, also have a significant impact on our physical well-being. No matter how much and how good the rehabilitation, unless these factors are addressed in the therapy approach, we will not benefit as greatly as we might have, otherwise. At LifeWave Institute, we will guide you toward a complete healing approach to wellness and rehabilitation. Holistic Rehabilitaion: Beyond the Norm LifeWave Institute’s holistic rehabilitation approach to wellness and recovery, uses a combination of chiropractic care, warm-water aquatic therapy, massage therapy, and land-based therapy, while integrating mind-body practices like Tai Chi, Qi Gong and acupuncture, into a treatment plan specifically designed to best address the particular needs of a patient. Incorporating relaxation techniques into the recovery process is often vital to allow patients to learn to best cope with stress and pain, without resorting to overuse of pharmaceutical products that often add an additional obstacle to full recovery. LifeWave Institute offers something simple and effective, often producing life-changing results. The Vision The Medical Director of LifeWave Institute, LLC is Dr. Andrew Serlin, a chiropractic physician with certifications in acupuncture, Tai Chi, Qi Gong, aquatic rehab, Aquastretch, Aquatic Pilates and Ai Chi. Dr. Serlin has had extensive history personally using the holistic techniques featured at LifeWave Institute after having had multiple knee surgeries since 17 years old, as well as multiple traumatic injuries as a result of motor vehicles and participation in sports. Dr. Serlin has developed LifeWave Institute’s unique services in response to his personal and professional vision of effective recovery and life-long wellness. Programs • Warm-water Aquatic Therapy, featuring the area’s only under-water treadmill • Land-based, resistance therapy • Tai Chi/Qi Gong • Acupuncture • Kinesio-taping • Massage Therapy
Located: 3113 Dundee Road Northbrook, IL Phone: 224-723-5693 Website: www.lifewaveinstitute.com