Everyone will experience grief in their lifetime, it's how you choose to deal with it that can define you.
Recently I lost my best buddy of 17.5 years and while I thought I would be prepared because of how her body had declined over the last 3-5 months, the reality is it hit me really hard.
Pepper and I had been pretty much inseparable her entire life. So, when I woke up the day after she passed, I was a wreck. I’d happily spent so much of my time tending to the needs of my little friend. It was the least I could do for the blind loyalty and love she’d given me over the years.
I was beside myself. I didn’t know what to do with myself or how to fill my time. I miss everything about her. It is still very fresh, but the days directly after were not only emotionally taxing, but physically painful.
I’d never experienced a loss of this magnitude and didn’t know how to handle it. I still don’t really and I am figuring it out as I move through my days.
How does grief connect to massage?
I have always felt that through experience one gains empathy. Empathy is a strong tool we can use to connect with others on a deeper level. I have excelled with my massage career because I can be empathetic to others' pain. Helping them ease the symptoms they are experiencing through touch and facilitate healing.
Massage is a powerful tool when working through grief. Instead of only focusing on “fixing” a physical problem, a massage therapist can focus on deep relaxation.
Loss affects several aspects of our lives. Grief elicits a stress response that can lead to a disruption of sleep, a change in eating and immune system suppression. Not to mention leading to headaches, tension pent up in our jaws, neck, shoulders and chest. Massage allows our bodies to shift from a stress response and to reconnect to a more neutral space that promotes relaxation and lowers cortisol levels.
Grief and herbalism, natural companions.
We also have green allies around that can help support the healing of our hearts and ease the hurt.
Rose is one of my go to plants when looking to help find balance and open the heart. When combined with other herbs such as Holy Basil (which is connected to the throat and heart chakra) it aids in self expression. Mix in Chamomile that promotes relaxation and we can begin to heal and feel supported from the inside.
Grief is physically uncomfortable and painful. I remember as I cried on that Tuesday morning actually saying “ouch”. It felt as though my heart was actually breaking. The herbs mentioned above, and many others, have organ affinities that help support our healing. They won’t “fix” you, but they will help you to see there can be strength found in grieving. The magic lies in setting your intention and energy in a way that can be supported by our green allies. When you do this, you can learn to understand joy and happiness on a deeper level and move through the stages of grief a little easier.
We have an herbal Ayurvedic tea at The PG, Joyful Heart, that contains Rose flower, Holy Basil, Chamomile, Hibiscus and other herbs. It isn’t only good for times of sadness, it can be brewed everyday and sipped throughout the day to facilitate loving kindness, happiness and joy.
If you need a cup or an entire bag, give me a call or shoot me a DM. We got you.