Allowing the Body to Heal Itself
In 1994, sunflowers were used to clean up the soil and water contamination caused by the 1986 nuclear accident at Chernobyl. Within 24 hours the sunflowers had absorbed 95% of the radioactive pollutants in the ponds around the reactor. The sunflowers pulled the contaminants out so the soil and water could be healthy again.
Anma is used in much the same way. In the human body, there are four main causes of disease: radiation, chemical pollutants, diet, and stress. (Upcoming articles will highlight ways you can decrease your chances of disease and increase your overall well being). When the human body is diseased or at dis ease, well being and health is sacrificed. Anma, or any type of massage or nurturing of our health, allows the body to become healthy.
Anma is not healing. It is an access to optimal health and well being. I am not a healer nor do I heal. Let me explain that further. It is our own bodies which have the ability to heal. If, however, our body is not at ease, it’s ability to heal itself is compromised. For example, stress can cause inflammation of red blood cells. When this happens, they can clump together and mutate hindering their ability to operate properly. Reducing stress through massage helps your body restore it’s natural healthy state.
When our bodies work their way out of alignment, muscles and joints tighten. Nerves get “pinched” hindering their ability to communicate with each other. We get headaches, backaches, joint pains, experience a lack of focus and an overall decrease of our quality of life and how we experience the world. With Anma, you treat your body to a vacation from it’s stressors. You give your body an opportunity to restore itself to it’s natural healthy state.
When I was 6 years old, I remember crying in the middle of the night because of cramps in my legs. My mother would wake up and massage my legs until I could sleep again. Muscle and joint pain has been chronic for much of my life. In high school, I was 6’2″ my freshman year and was diagnosed with scoliosis. Were these pains and conditions a result of growing too fast? Could it have been due to my diet and exercise? Maybe it was that time I fell down a flight of concrete stairs when I was five.
As I grew older I began to see it was the culmination of things. I started to understand that we are a holistic being. There is no one thing to blame it on. It may not even be necessary to identify the root of a condition or pain. Simply by creating an environment in which the body can thrive, dis ease will disappear.
I was 15 when I discovered the magic of massage. I picked up my first book on shiatsu and was hooked. Here was a way I could begin to alleviate much of the pain I experienced on a daily basis. I could focus better in class, my ability to listen and pay attention improved, I wasn’t as irritable, and I experienced more joy in life because I wasn’t hampered by the pain. Life was finally good.
It wasn’t long after I had the thought, “What if everyone in the world could experience massage every day?!” I now think about, what the world would be like if everyone in the world received a massage once a day. What would like be like if everyone experienced the relief I was feeling? This is what lead me to the Japanese art of Anma and a lifetime passion.
It is my wish that I can pass some of this passion on to you and the whole world.