Massage is about lengthening tight fascia and muscles. But how we stand and move also determines how our muscles lengthen or shorten into set patterns over time. This is why massage is only one part of healing and wholeness.
Believe it or not, how we walk is an important piece of the healing puzzle. It’s why I spend time really opening your feet and calves so that you can walk correctly, which is something most of us have never learned. We just stood up and started walking, and everyone cheered. But if you really want the full benefit of a massage, you’ll also want to practice good posture and walking patterns so that your body can release its old painful patterns and create new healthy ones.
I am allergic to mosquito bites, so I need a good insect repellant, but I hate pesticides of any kind. Pesticides are the only known cause of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, which killed my mother. So I don’t like to wear insect repellant with any pesticides like DEET in it.
What to do? I mix my own essential oil insect repellant, which I found to be very effective, and much better smelling than store bought bug sprays.
Here's what you'll need:
Put 5-10 drops each of as many of the following oils as you have in a 2-ounce dark glass spray bottle:
geranium lemongrass rosemary basil
lavender catnip bergamot vetiver
arborvitae patchouli cypress melaleuca
eucalyptus clary sage cedar wood citronella
peppermint thyme litsea lemon eucalyptus
You can also add any of the following that also have some repellant properties, but these are second-tier:
lemon clove birch
cinnamon douglas fir ylang ylang
The more oils you use, the stronger your repellant will be. You must put these in a glass container because the essential oils are strong enough to break down plastic, and it needs to be dark (brown or cobalt blue) to keep the sunlight from breaking down the oils.
Because essential oils alone can irritate the skin, you need to add a little carrier oil to the mixture. Add about 10-20 drops of a light oil, such as fractionated coconut, almond, or avocado oil, to the bottle. The lighter this oil, the better, so that it won’t clog the sprayer. I use fractionated coconut oil, but I have that on hand.
In addition, you may want to add 5 drops of glycerin.
Fill the rest of the bottle with witch hazel. This will thin the spray, keep the sprayer clear, and distribute the oils evenly on the skin. About half of your mixture should be witch hazel.
Shake well before use, and reapply frequently.
Caution: citrus oils can make your skin more sensitive to light. And some of these oils are not pet-friendly.
So go mix up your own repellant, and enjoy the great outdoors.
If you'd like to purchase your own high-quality essential oils at wholesale cost, let me know and I can help you become a doTerra member to purchase these at cost.
Massage therapy is priestly in its ministrations. As I prepare for a massage, I methodically set the table, turn on its heater, warm the stones, heat the towels, choose appropriate essential oils, and light candles with prayer for our work together. I’m often struck by how similar my massage preparations are to readying a space for worship.
No one has a normal body. Normal is a construct based on what's most frequently found among a myriad of variations. Yet too often, medical professionals expect us to conform to what they learn is normal. I don’t want to bad-mouth doctors; they heal us. But their education is based on a heuristic norm, a standard that can be taught. Massage therapists are also licensed by the Ohio Medical Board who learn anatomy like medical doctors. We have the anatomical charts that indicate where all the muscles are. Except--when you get your hands on people, you find that no one is exactly like the person in the anatomy charts.
Teresa Eisenlohr is a Christian theologian, Presbyterian pastor, and licensed massage therapist. And, no, that's not the start of a joke.