Massage for healing

Massage can be a powerful healing tool. It doesn't require going to a trained professional, although they are wonderful! You can do simple massages at home for yourself or your loved one. 

A little story about massage. My parents had newborn lambs a few years ago, and we went with my children to see them. There was one baby lamb that was not doing well with breathing, my parents thought it wouldn't live very long. They had brought this lamb into the house, in a small tub with straw bedding. At the time, I was recovering from a miscarriage and I was moved by the struggling lamb. I wanted so much for it to live, as I had wanted the baby inside of me to live. I used massage I had learned in a short class, on the lamb, massaging its spine. Instead of massaging the feet and hands like you would for a person, I massaged the soft pads under the lamb's hooves. I asked my husband to come and bring peppermint oil, which he did, and we put it on the lamb as we massaged its back and 4 legs. The baby lamb's breathing grew stronger and more regular, and it stood up and began bleating, a welcome sign it was feeling better. I left the peppermint oil with my parents and they used that a couple more times, and the lamb grew stronger for several weeks. Unfortunately, it had other problems that it eventually died of. I share this story because massage is a useful healing tool, and everything I did could have easily been done by anyone else. Maybe that experience was something I would need later, to help me with my children, to help me know that massage was helpful. Later, one of my children needed several surgeries, and foot massages became a regular part of her care. Other times foot massage has been helpful is for migraines, colds, tummy aches and allergic reactions. You can apply essential oils, but they are optional. You really only need your hands. 

You carry some of the Creator's light, love and medicine within you- and in your hands! Start with a loving, calm intention to help, acknowledging God as the true Healer and Giver of all good things. Intention and gratitude are important ingredients.

"Every part of the body is a reflection of the whole," is an important truth shared by Dr. Kyle Christensen. Whether through foot or hand massage (reflexology), or the study of the eyes (iridology), or spinal column, or head massage,  the parts of the body are a reflection of each other. When you help one part of the body relax through massage, you are improving the energy flow to the entire body.

When you give a massage, you are communicating with your hands. Your hands convey the messages: You matter. Your needs are important. You are worthy of being cared for. Even feet are worthy of attention and love. Massage is something you can do for a family member who is sick, or is simply tired or needing to relax. It can be part of self-care. 

When my kids did homeschool, we learned about Elizabeth Kenny, a nurse in Australia. Elizabeth was training to be a nurse when a family that lived in the bush country asked Elizabeth to help their child that contracted infantile paralysis, paralysis resulting from polio illness. She traveled to their home in the dark and in a storm, not having any idea of how to help their child. The thoughts to use warm compresses, massage and passive movement came to her mind. With time and her help, the child fully recovered. Elizabeth didn't know that the medical protocol at the time was to keep the child from moving by securing the arms and legs to boards or casting them. News of Elizabeth's success spread, and other families requested her help. Over many years, Elizabeth helped thousands of children affected with paralysis from polio recover full movement, teaching her techniques to many health providers. At the time her methods went against the established protocol for polio, but the effects of massages, warm compresses and passive movement were effective in reversing the paralysis many children suffered with polio. Interestingly, when I went to nursing school, I never heard Elizabeth's name or learned about her, although we learned about polio and the importance of vaccines. The healing effects of massage were briefly mentioned in a separate unrelated lesson. Perhaps Elizabeth Kenny was left out of nursing education because what she did as a nurse challenged the accepted medical treatment of polio in her day. With her persistent efforts to continue helping children despite widespread criticism, her methods of treatment became the standard. It helped me not be afraid to try simple methods, they can be very effective. 

You don't need to be in great need to benefit from a massage, they can be part of self-care or preventive care. 

Giving yourself a foot massage is a relaxing way to start or end the day, especially after a warm shower or bath. You can use lotion, oil, or nothing other than your hands. I like using lotion because then my feet are also moisturized. My  Cayenne n' Coffee Lotion feels great on achy, tired feet. The Elderflower Rose Petal Balm is also wonderful for massaging and moisturizing face, hands and feet. If the foot massage is for yourself, express gratitude for how your feet have carried you as you perform the massage.  If the massage is for someone else, think of how thankful you are for this person as you massage their feet, and of God's love for them. 

Different parts of the foot correspond with parts of the body. The big toes correspond with the head. The inside arch of the foot corresponds to the spine. If you can picture in your mind the outline of a body overlaid on the feet, you will get most of the pressure points right. 

When you massage feet, start with the top part of the feet, this is the part that corresponds with the lymph system. It's important to stimulate the lymph system before massaging the rest of the feet. If you haven't heard of lymph before, it is a clear fluid that surrounds all of your cells and tissues. It bathes and cleans the cells and tissues. The lymph collects in nodes about the size of a small pea, lymph nodes are found throughout your body. The lymph nodes job is to clean, they contain white blood cells that destroy bacteria, viruses and toxins. It is good to activate the lymph or lymphatic system at the beginning of the massage. You will be stimulating the release of toxins as you massage, so you want the lymph system cleared, activated, and ready to handle them. If there are parts of the foot that are sensitive, or feel as if there is graininess under the skin, massage them until the sensitivity and grainy feeling has been massaged out.

A face massage is a great way to start or end the day, it is rejuvenating and refreshing and a nice way to apply moisturizer to your face. Start with massaging your neck and shoulders area to get the lymph system moving. Then move to your face. Express thankfulness for your eyes, nose, ears, mouth as you massage. If there are areas around your sinuses or anywhere else that feel sore, massage them until the soreness has gone away. There are little holes in the bones around your sinuses, above and below your eye socket, and by the ears. These can be places where drainage is blocked and there is soreness. Massaging them helps improve sinus drainage. I have used face massage with my children when they've had ear infections, it really helps decrease congestion. 

Give massage a try! You can do it! You carry a portion of the Creator's light, love and medicine within you! Start with acknowledging the Creator as the source of all healing, bring a calm feeling of gratitude and love for the person you will massage. You don't need anything but your hands to start, but oil or lotion are a nice addition. 


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