I used to sit at the edge of the ocean to find my rhythm. When planning my annual vacations, it was the water that called me--not so much to be in it, but to be by it. Maternal and soothing, the comings and goings of the tide was my "reset" button--you know, the one that allows you to deal calmly again with the world. Along came twins, and my exotic vacations were replaced with ventures closer to home. Being in a land-locked state, sitting by the ocean was no longer an option. How was I going to hit my reset button now? The answer was right in front of me--massage.
My friend Ellie and I were driving to the beach when she asked me to pull over. She was experiencing sharp pain in her chest. We stayed quiet as she put her hand to her heart and focused on her breathing. The pain eased and then stopped within a few minutes. I suggested going to the emergency room, but Ellie insisted she was OK. Earlier that day, Ellie had shared the details of a daughter in crisis, a relationship that was bringing up unresolved issues, and her mother’s mental illness and steep decline in a nursing facility.
Journalist Loolwa Khazzoom traveled recently to San Diego to speak with David Simon, MD—co-founder, CEO, and medical director of the Chopra Center for Wellbeing—about the concepts in his book, Free to Love, Free to Heal (Chopra Center Press, 2009). In it, Simon addresses the connection between emotions and physical health. In this conversation, Simon shares his thoughts about how individuals can utilize the power of the mind-body connection to empower themselves and transform our health-care system.
While estheticians focus mainly on improving the physical appearance of women and men, the profession cultivates an inner beauty in people as well. Monique Raymond of Santa Clarita, California, has spent her forty-year career not only helping others accentuate their outer looks, but taking care of the inner worlds of clients who especially need courage and self-esteem. She believes taking time to pamper the body benefits mental, emotional, and spiritual health, as well as the physical body.