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Blissful Body Blog

By Stephanie Bish

Live More Fully by Being Present

Remember roll call in grade school; your name was called and you answered 'present'.  Well, there is more to being present than filling a chair!  I'm sure you have had times when you are present physically, but not emotionally, mentally, or spiritually.  

To be fully present is to be engaged in life with all these aspects of yourself.  If you are ruminating on the past or worrying about the future, you are not present.  Being present is the only way to be happy.  If you are in the past or future, you are not in the here and now.  The only reality we have is here and now.  Each moment of 'now' is all we have.  So if you are not 'here', you cannot be happy and live your life fully.

Some ways you can be present:

  • meditation takes you to a place of peace and trains your mind to be still
  • nature has a magical calming effect, quieting the mind 
  • holding or watching a sleeping infant or small child
  • eating mindfully, savoring each taste and smell
  • a slow, hot bath where you leave the world outside the door, light a candle, play your favorite music, and come fully into your body as you wash and soak

Massage is a great way to bring yourself into the present!  When you receive massage, you step out of your usual space, which is full of triggers for worry and anxiety. You step into an environment that supports relaxation, stillness and serenity.  In this space, you can remind your body what it feels like to really relax.  You can empty your mind of everything except the feel of the massage on your head, neck, back, feet.  You gradually allow the tension to fall away.  You feel yourself being in the now.  You are reminded  that this is the natural state of being.  And you carry that feeling with you out the door and into your life.

Let me know if I can help you become more present.  Give me a call and we can set up a massage for you.  You will especially benefit from regular massage.


About the author: Stephanie Bish owns 'Blissful Body by Stephanie' in Ely, MN; also serving Babbitt, Virginia, Tower, and the Arrowhead Region.   As a Massage Therapist,  Structural Integrator, and Reiki Master Teacher, she enjoys guiding people on their path to well-being.

 You can check out her website at www.elymassage.com.  Call 218-235-1732, or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to set an appointment. 

 If you would like to use this article in your publication, you may if you use it in its entirety, including the author information.

 

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Happy Feet- Relieve your painful feet

If you suffer from painful feet, you are not alone.  75% of Americans will have foot pain some time in their lives.  The pain can be annoying, or sometimes debilitating.  Since our whole body depends on our feet as our foundation, pain can travel to all parts of your body after starting in the feet.

Common causes of foot pain are:

  • Overuse, such as standing for long hours at a job
  • Poor fitting shoes ('cute' is not a good reason to wear shoes that damage our feet)
  • Injury
  • Medical conditions, such as Diabetes
  • Structural defects
As in all health related subjects, prevention is your best cure.  Pay attention to your feet. When they hurt, make some common sense changes in your life.  Wear shoes that have no, or little heel, and plenty of room for your toes.  You want your shoes to provide an environment as close to nature as possible, and in nature, the foot is on the ground with plenty of wiggle room.  Also, it is wise to allow the foot articulate (move freely) as you walk and run.  This keeps the many joints of the foot mobile and that is good.  That means binding the foot up tightly is not usually the best prevention.  Also, in nature our feet would have uneven surfaces to navigate, our world is full of paved surfaces.  Try getting off the path occasionally.
If you haven't done it before, Google 'bones of the foot' images and take a look at the amazing bones of your feet.  Now imagine your weight on those bones.  There are plenty of opportunities for injury there, with the small bones, and many joints.  As we move, our weight comes down on those joints and causes stress- every time you step.
Some easy things to do for sore feet at home:
  • Soak them in Epsom salts
  • Trade foot massages with a family member
  • Roll your feet over a golf ball to relieve stress
  • Keep the callouses filed down 
  • Soften skin by using lotions- overnight under socks if they are really dry
I have studied Foot Reflexology extensively.  It is a method of massaging the feet in such a way that balance and healing is 'reflected' to the whole body.  It is especially great for balancing the endocrine system, which regulates all the metabolic functions of our body, like thyroid and hormones.  
Besides the good Reflexology does the rest of your body, it really helps your feet feel better and relieves pain.  The 30-45 minutes of very precise and thorough massage, especially if done on a weekly basis, addresses serious issues, relieves tension, and relaxes muscles.  The foot is able to move properly and function healthily.  Foot reflexology can be a stand alone service, or can be incorporated into massage or bodywork.
Give me a call and set up a session of Foot Reflexology- you will be glad you did- and your feet will be very happy! 

About the author: Stephanie Bish owns 'Blissful Body by Stephanie' in Ely, MN; also serving Babbitt, Virginia, Tower, and the Arrowhead Region.   As a Massage Therapist,  Structural Integrator, and Reiki Master Teacher, she enjoys guiding people on their path to well-being.

 You can check out her website at www.elymassage.com.  Call 218-235-1732, or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to set an appointment. 

 If you would like to use this article in your publication, you may if you use it in its entirety, including the author information.

 

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Stress- Learn to Live in the 'Eye of the Storm'

Today's pace of life is fast.  There are higher demands on your energy, time, and money than ever.  You feel the pressure from work, family, financial obligations, cultural expectations, and nagging little inconveniences of life.  

Even in Ely, MN, the end of the road, location of the most beautiful wilderness scenery in the world (I might be a little biased...) there can be stress and the negative effects it brings.  We are expected to be on top of the latest locally and globally, to be tuned in and available 24/7.   

Stress does a number on our health.  In small doses, it is actually healthy to experience stress! But most people today live in a storm of anxiety and stress.  That stress, if left unmanaged, can lead to many problems:

  • The Immune System can be weakened, making you more susceptible to illness
  • The Heart - high blood pressure, abnormal heartbeat, blood clots,  hardening of the arteries, heart attack and heart failure are all increased with stress 
  • Your Muscles can be tense, leading to headaches, neck, shoulder, and back pain.
  • Your Stomach and Digestion can be affected - many stomach and digestion problems, like ulcers, are made worse by stress
  • The Reproductive System can be affected by stress, leading to infertility, impotence, pregnancy difficulties, and menstrual issues
  • Your Lungs can be affected by stress by increasing asthma.
  • Your Skin - stress can cause eczema and psoriasis to flare.
  • Your Emotions and Mood can be affected by stress, causing strain in relationships.
Everyone experiences stress, but stress is highly subjective, in other words, each person has a unique stress profile.  What might be extremely stressful to one person may not affect another.  
In order to reduce the effects of stress, it is helpful to reduce or eliminate stressful events and situations when possible.  For stressors that cannot be eliminated, it is helpful to change your attitude about it.  For instance; a rainy day that ruins your plans could cause you stress, or you could decide to find a silver lining in that cloud, and choose to use the day for a special book you have wanted to read.  
Establishing a stress reduction routine , as well as taking time every day to 'disconnect', can help.  We won't be able to eliminate stress, but can learn to live in the 'eye of the storm'. When a storm is raging, it often has a calm, quiet center.  You can learn to live there.
  • Spend time in nature.
  • Slow down and be still- 5 or 10 minutes of unplugging your mind and body from the busy-ness around you can really reduce stress.
  • Cut back on technology - experiment with less computer, TV, and phone.  You might really like it.  If you can't do it every day, choose a day a week that is your tech-fast day.
  • Receive massage and bodywork.  Regular massage and bodywork are proven to reduce stress and its effects.  
Life isn't a sprint, it is a marathon.  In order to be in it for the long haul, you need to address the issues that most affect your health and well-being.  Learn to live in the 'eye of the storm' and you will create a better life.  I'd love to be part of that plan.  Give me a call today and start your stress reduction routine.

About the author: Stephanie Bish owns 'Blissful Body by Stephanie' in Ely, MN; also serving Babbitt, Virginia, Tower, and the Arrowhead Region.   As a Massage Therapist,  Structural Integrator, and Reiki Master Teacher, she enjoys guiding people on their path to well-being.

 You can check out her website at www.elymassage.com.  Call 218-235-1732, or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to set an appointment. 

 If you would like to use this article in your publication, you may if you use it in its entirety, including the author information.

 

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My story of pain and relief

Pain can consume you.  If you have pain, you know it's true.  I personally have a lot of experience with pain, and have found some things that really help.

I was born with an upside down kidney, which means it did not drain properly.  That led to infections, and lots of pain.  As a small child, I assumed everyone had pain, because it was an everyday occurrence for me.  So I didn't say much about it.  I also had repeating ear infections, resulting in one ear drum rupturing.  

My family raised and trained horses, which I started assisting with at age 8.  Though we were using a training system that was gentle and gradual, accidents still happened.  One of those accidents at age 10 landed me in the hospital for a week with a concussion, and neck and spine compression.  The good thing is that while there, the doctors found the upside down kidney and scheduled corrective surgery.

This was 1966- a long time ago in surgery years!  Today, smaller scars are left because of the high-tech tools in use.  But then, it was cutting edge to do  plastic surgery on the kidney and save it rather than remove it.  I have a large spiral scar that goes from my left groin around my side to my right spine.  

Scar tissue tends to twist and shorten, leading to structural alignment issues and posture problems.  Those misalignments cause more problems.  It's kind of like the front-end alignment on your car.  If it is out of alignment, pretty soon you have a little uneven wear on the tires.  Then, the car might develop a shimmy or shake at certain speeds.  If you continue to drive the car without correcting the problem, the vibration will increase, possible affecting connections and bearings far from the original issue of a mis-aligned front end.

And like your car, your body will last longer and cause you less pain if you catch those mis-alignments at an early stage and do something about it.  But many of us just don't know that. Or we don't know what we could do about it.

After many years of pain, I am happy to say that I found relief.  I no longer have daily pain.  I don't think about pain all day any more.  I don't have to pop pain pills.

Massage and bodywork has really helped me.  Especially when I discovered Structural Integration.  The purpose of Structural Integration is to align the body.  It works systematically over the course of 10 sessions to address all parts of the body, remove tension, and create balance.  It balances front to back, left to right, top to bottom, and inside to outside.

This balance reduces strain, relieves pain, and creates freedom of movement!  I'm so grateful to have found it!  Now I offer this fantastic work in my own practice!  It is truly life changing.

If you are suffering from pain, consider Structural Integration.  Take a little time to read the information on my site.  If you have questions, email or call- I'd love to talk with you about it!


About the author: Stephanie Bish owns 'Blissful Body by Stephanie' in Ely, MN; also serving Babbitt, Virginia, Tower, and the Arrowhead Region.   As a Massage Therapist,  Structural Integrator, and Reiki Master Teacher, she enjoys guiding people on their path to well-being.

 You can check out her website at www.elymassage.com.  Call 218-235-1732, or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to set an appointment. 

 If you would like to use this article in your publication, you may if you use it in its entirety, including the author information.

 

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Schedule your maintenance.

One of the first things you learn when you own a car is how to maintain it.  You change the oil, check the fluids, check the tires, etcetera, or you hire someone to do it for you.  It doesn't take long into car ownership to find that out!  What would happen if you didn't heed this advice?  Maybe an engine needing repair, an accident caused by bad tires, or even having to buy a new vehicle.  Hopefully this lesson would not come at the cost of your health.

When your home was brand new, the foundation was sturdy, the walls straight, the windows and doors worked well, and the roof was worry-free.  But only 10 years into the life of a home and the maintenance cycle is in full swing.   The furnace needs to be checked, the hot water heater must be replaced every so often, and the exterior needs repairs and updates to keep the weather out.  If we ignore the needed maintenance, we pay.  

The thing is, we pay now or later.  We pay for the maintenance or we pay for the repair.   And it is invariably more inconvenient and expensive to wait until we are forced to do a repair or replacement, than keeping up with the maintenance.  

You need maintenance, too!  And just like your car and your home, if you wait until there is a big problem, it will take a big solution.  Here is a basic maintenance list for your body:

  • Stress management
  • Being present
  • Breathing
  • Finding your unique rhythm
  • Preventing injury
  • Nutrition and hydration
  • Movement and exercise
  • Sleep and rest
  • Play and laughter
  • Social connection and support
You only get one body, and only you decide how it will be maintained.   If you don't have your health, you will not have anything.  It really is easy to get lulled into thinking that something, well, everything is more important right now than maintaining your health.  But the daily small acts of maintenance will give you many rewards for many years.  Start today; do something, any one thing, to get the maintenance cycle started for your body. 
In the next blogs we'll be looking at some of these 10 ways to maintain your body.  If you have a moment, email me with your favorite ways to maintain your body.  

 

About the author: Stephanie Bish owns 'Blissful Body by Stephanie' in Ely, MN; also serving Babbitt, Virginia, Tower, and the Arrowhead Region.   As a Massage Therapist,  Structural Integrator, and Reiki Master Teacher, she enjoys guiding people on their path to well-being.

 You can check out her website at www.elymassage.com.  Call 218-235-1732, or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to set an appointment. 

 If you would like to use this article in your publication, you may if you use it in its entirety, including the author information.

 

 

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