Taking Care Of Your Mind, Body And Soul
Thinking positively, eating healthily and exercising regularly – which are at the core of the Feel+ programme – are all ways to help improve your general mental and physical wellbeing. There are also many alternative approaches that focus on helping you improving your mind, body or soul.
If you are interested in trying out the alternative approaches described here do be sure to consult a qualified practitioner, and always check with your doctor before undertaking any new programmes, including the Feel+ programme.
At the heart of the practice of some major religions, meditation can also be secular (yoga). It comprises of seeking inner peace, the emptiness (the void) of the mind, evanescence (intelligence of sensations) or simple relaxation. To perform, proponents of medication focus on an object, a concept or a phrase with no meaning, while breathing through the stomach, for the desired time, which can be anything from 20 minutes up to several days!
Shiatsu means ‘finger pressure’ in Japanese. This manual therapy uses vertical pressure on the entire body, seen as a network of ‘meridians’ referring to the organs and viscera where the vital energy circulates (acupuncture and osteopathy have a similar effect on the body). Preventive and curative, this therapy has joined the arsenal of massage techniques.
T’ai chi ch’uan, or tai chi as it is best known in the West, is a form of gentle gymnastics to set patterns. The movements are inspired by Chinese martial arts (the name means ‘shadow boxing’) and must be performed from ‘inside’. To perform, the whole body is used, gently and precisely.
Yoga is a great tool for relaxation, breathing and suppleness. This discipline, which has been practiced around the world for over 4,000 years, aims at unifying the physical, mental and spiritual aspects of the human being.
Breathing exercises are good for relaxation, digestion and recovery and they mobilise the whole body. Yoga can be practised at any age, but it is essential to be guided by a master of the discipline.
There are different schools of yoga, from the meditative to the more energetic. In this case, choose something in the middle; dynamic and gentle. You will learn to breathe through the stomach and to perform various relaxations and stretches; standing, sitting and lying down. Make no mistake about it: Yoga is challenging and it uses muscles that you probably did not even know or forgot existed!
Osteopathy is a manual therapy that aims to preserve or restore the mobility and function of the various systems of the body. During a consultation an osteopath may use active palpation, massage and joint mobilisation techniques. We tend to see an osteopath to treat our spine, but osteopathy is a holistic approach to the body (the cause is treated rather than the symptom) that may, as such, contribute to ‘restart’ the locked functions of the body.
Osteopathy can be very effective when it is practised properly but there are many unregulated practitioners. It is therefore important to carefully choose an osteopath by word-of-mouth recommendations or under the advice of your doctor; it is important to have complete confidence to be manipulated successfully.