Published in Eumundi Green Issue 175

I generally manage my physical and emotional stress levels quite well but my family has been building a house all year (insert copious amounts of rain here) and between that and what seemed like an eternal school holiday, I was feeling a bit tight and tense, so I thought I’d ‘treat myself’ to a bit of therapy.

I have been practising yoga weekly with Jodie Mudgway for the majority of this year and always come away from her sessions feeling warm and stretchy. I had hears other people in class talk about her Zen Thai Shiatsu massage/healing sessions so I thought I’d try for myself.

During the treatment I felt a sensation I have often experienced during the course of a yoga session and one which, up until now, I have only really been able to describe as ‘good pain’. In the nurturing environment Jodie has created however, it suddenly seemed wrong to refer to this sensation as pain – good, bad or otherwise. It was a signal from my body (that up until that point I have been trying hard to ignore) telling me that the coping mechanisms I was using were really not serving me well and I just was not ‘letting go’ enough in life.

As busy people with jobs, businesses or families, many of us don’t make time for ourselves. And if we do, we tend to refer to these experiences as I have done above, as some kind of treat.

The word treat really has a lot to answer for because if keeping yourself healthy and mobile is a treat, then what is normal? If normal means being tired, crank and in pain, then I sure don’t want to be ‘normal’!

So, lying on the mat of that positive, supportive space, I made a choice; a choice not to have ‘treats’ but ‘treatments’ and to have them when the need arose, not when I thought I deserved them or could fit them in. I also made the choice to use language that supported this. I would no longer feel ‘good pain’ but be aware of the sensations of stretching or pressure to take away the negative connotations and emotions that really only served to make my muscles tighter and my mind quietly aggravated.