North Shore Massage and Bodywork by Milica

Self Care Tips

Human RemodelingTM

              Restores Your Body, Refreshes Your Spirit

 
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Parts of the following information is what I say to all clients, and esp. those who ask about massage, bodywork and self care. An integral part of my practice is education and self awareness. If you would like to read some more and/or are looking for a specific information, please check the articles and the blog

How to Get Most Out of Massage

Proper_Posture

Pelvis_and_stretching on your own

Recommended_Health/Spirituality_Resources

Resources_in_Hawaii

 

How to Get Most Ouf of Massage

For most people, the most effective bodywork is a kind that stretches joints and connective tissue, and "remodels" i.e. remolds the body. These are the kinds of bodywork I tried personally and highly recommend: thai massage, rolfing, shiatsu with stretching (e.g. ohashiatsu), some forms of orthopedic massage (e.g. Waslaski, Hendrickson). For some issues, like autism, craniosacral therapy will be the best. For some issues, like fibromalgia, hot stones will be the best. Read more about different techniques here. 
 
*However* the name of the bodywork does not matter, in many cases. What matters is the knowledge and the integrity of the practitioner. For example, I have been healed from some major injuries by a reasonably inexpensive Swedish massage therapist with 25 yrs of experience, and I have gone to a rolfer who had no idea what they were doing and I even paid them $90for that - once. 

So: when you find a massage therapist or bodyworker, ask before you go for their training, experience, and what kinds of things they do. Explain your problem and ask them if they have worked with similar issues. For example, I have gone to a lomi practitioner who can set dislocated shoulders.

There are many causes for tight areas in the body. Body works in a circular fashion where everything influences everything.
Healing the pain requires that the root cause has to be determined and addressed.

Very often, it is rather simple to remedy problems that have baffled us for years. It can be just tight connective tissue! Good HumanRemodelingTM massage will help with that. It gives you a good jump start, and then you need to do daily maintenance. See below.

Proper Posture

Proper posture is about having a naturally poised body. Not the forced military "yes sir!" "stand straight!" posture; but one that looks graceful and at ease. Think of a hula dancer, belly dancer, martial artists, or ballroom dancers. That is good posture.

Esther Gokhale has an excellent class and book 8 Steps to Healthy Back  that teaches about proper movement in daily life: how to sit, stand, walk, lie down and bend properly. Her work is based on anthropology and how more ancienent cultures keep their bodies in good condition. If you were wondering why Africans or Brazilians or Indians have such gorgeous healthy bodies in spite of heavy physical labor - Ester's work is your answer. Classes are all over the world, and the book is on Amazon. Her classes are to be taken only once and then practiced throughout the day.

Also, check out her stretch cushion for driving in a car or sitting. It works great.

In order to get yourself to a point where you *can* stretch, you might want to first release muscle knots. Massage is helpful, yoga is helpful, and also: Read Trigger point self manual book and get a back buddy, thera cane, or a lomi stick. They sell all kinds of massage and bodywork tools on Amazon.com.

Even better is small styrophorm rollers. Get them at a massage supply store or online.

For more in-depth remodeling work, it is also necessary to do some kind of yoga or stretching, daily. That can be whatever you like to do. Conditions: it has to make you lose your breath and sweat (i.e. cardio); and it has to wiggle your pelvis and the entire spine. See below.

 

Pelvis and Stretching on your own

Existing knots and tight areas have to be ironed out and stretched. Then keep them away by active stretching. The main thing to be worked on is the pelvis. It needs to become flexible and moving freely. Then the shoulders and neck will automatically adjust. 

The very basic tips for maintenance are spelled out in the article on the basic pelvis care. It contains the link to the infamous highly effective pelvic tilt, etc.

The basic tips for emergency sprains, injuries, breaks, and other ways to get into pain are spelled out in the article on sprains, breaks and other pains.

Do you want bad or good news first? Stretching is a must. And, it is fun! So you get two things done at once - getting healthy and having fun. Also, it can be a great social occasion, for example if you take a yoga class and make friends with your classmates. 

The best stretching exercises are the ancient ones: tai chi, qi gong, kung fu, belly dance, hula, African dance, yoga, and swimming. Go to a competent yoga class, or swim every day, and you will notice a difference. 

There are even some new-fangled exercies that work great. Check out youtube videos on Brain Gym. It works beautifully. And - it is mostly West African dance, minus the pelvic work and minus the rigourous athletics.

Go to the great outdoors, to the wild, natural areas, breathe the fresh air and aid the circulation with oxygen, reconnect with the Earth to recharge your body's electrical system, get some sunlight to perk up the hormonal system, relax in the silence, ... Human are designed to exercise outdoors in fresh air. Yogis say that fresh air and sunlight are food for our cells. 

And have some good fun

How can you make it happen all at once? Go African or hula dancing or "power yoga" or some martial arts outdoors. (Well, when the outdoors is friendly enough. If it is not, bundle up and go walking. Bring a friend along.) In one swoop, you get your community participation, your health, your stretching, aerobic exercise, spiritual activity, and you are in Mother Nature, breathing fresh air and enjoying yourself. Halelujah! Your cells say THANK YOU! 

Yoga is very effective.

Kundalini yoga is my favorite kind of yoga, because it works fast! It uses breathing and movement, as well as chanting, to produce a great workout on many levels. Check out his kundalini yoga web site. Notice how the model has perfect skin, no blemishes, and very nice glow. Yes, that's what you get when you practice kundalini yoga. Ravi Singh has great books and DVDs and youtube clips.  Check out the youtube clips: AM-PM yoga  Navel power yoga 

Bikram's yoga is wonderful too. It melts everything that was tight. Caveat: make sure to drink a lot of water, it's hot in there.

Hatha yoga is "stretch and hold for a long time" slow type of yoga. They say it was designed for the aristocracy, because they did not have to work and thus had plenty of time to perfect holding one pose for hours. Kundalini yoga was the working class yoga, designed to get results quickly and help you feel better "before you get kids off to school and yourself to work". Also, it is amazingly dynamic, the movements and the breathing are quite a workout.

I am not familiar with Pilates. I was told it is quite good and that the benefits outnumber the problems it creates. It could be a great thing. However, I am leery of anything "new and phenomenal". Often it is just a fad. Maybe not this time. The idea of "strengthening the core" is an old idea and a very good idea - yoga.

 

Finally, how do you make it all happen? How does it fit into your lifestyle? It can fit only if you make the time for it. Simplifying lifestyle so that we have enough time to enjoy life is the key. Get rid of all unnecessary stuff. In terms of energetics, and "feng shui" science of how energy flow in the environment affects our health, all clutter in our external lives also becomes stagnation and clutter in our own bodies and psyche. By living in accord with laws of Nature and living respectfully and healthfully, we help heal the planet. The link above shows how our stuff ruins the environment, which eventually ruins our bodies and psyche.

 

Recommended Health/Spirituality Resources 

Many of these resources are listed under favorite links.

I am a big fan of aromatherapy and natural products for personal care and house cleaning. That stuff works! I use it every day. Young Living has THE BEST aromatherapy essential oils, wonderful skin care, and some really useful supplements, like BLM for joints and connective tissue repair. They are the best oils on the planet. I checked! I did blind testing on my clients. They had to tell me which oils smelled, felt, tasted the best, and Young Living always wins, by far. Those oils are not cheap, but they are worth every penny, they are clinical grade and they WORK. Order your aromatherapy essential oils from them for sure. I also use their skin care and it's about the only thing that works for my skin. Also, check out their wolfberries and the wolfberry juice. Yum!

Young Living web site has lots of good tips and pointers. Follow Young Living 4-step program for good health: replace chemical products with natural ones in your lifestyle, cleanse your body, nourish it, and attend to specific problems. Read up on it on the above web site.

Anything from Hanna Kroeger. She has wonderful books with simple home remedies, using food as medicine. Her cleansing and detox remedies are outstanding.

Joy Gardener has a good book, "Heal Thyself" that has some simple remedies for simple problems. Elton Haas has a bit more detailed explanation in 'Staying Healthy with the Seasons."


Ohashi Institute is a great shiatsu and bodywork school. Ohashi has some marvelous books (esp. the latest, Ohashi's Bodywork) and videos, and a lot of great classes. Check the list of their branch schools and graduates for someone in your area.

And of course, nothing is complete without Hafiz and Rumi , sufi poets from medieval times. Hafiz is totally rambunctious and will make you laugh. Rumi is rather polite in many poems and then you get hold of his other poems (e.g. Mathnavi) and wow. Mary Oliver has great poems Wild Geese and The Journey. Let's not forget Rabindrat Tagore. And Derek Wolcott. And whoever wrote "When I am old, I shall wear purple." And Oriyah Mountain Elder. Another great teacher is Hazrat Inayat Khan. He is definitely polished. And of course Thich Nat Han. And of course ... so many !!! Thich Nat Han has great music too. Good flute music is also from Carlos Nakai and the tibetan flutist Nawak Twakchong, if I spelled it right :)

Anti Career web site, by
Rick Jarow, is about the "alchemy of abundance." Rick has been a long time student of Hilda, who studied in India and then taught in NYC. Rick does wonderful astrological consultations - and also makes mistakes in them, so never take anything as gospel.

Light on the Hill spiritual retreat center in Ithaca, NY is wonderful. They have guided and unguided retreats. However - eventually no retreat helps unless one starts living it. In my case, nothing happened until I moved to HI. Theory is not substitute for practice, studying is not a substitute for living.


Paramahansa Yogananda is one of my favorite saints. In fact, he is my guru. Having a guru is not as bad or good as it might sound. It simply means that you have to do a lot of homework every day, and that someone watches over you to make sure you did it. :) Check out his music and his famous "Autobiography of a yogi."

Roy Eugene Davis is Yogananda's disciple and one of my favorite teachers. His writing is so clear and concise, and carries a certain energy with it that it very healing. He provides simple exercises and life guides with excellent instructions. Once upon a time when I was ill and dying, I was reading his words with intent, and that made me start getting healthy.

Cealo is a buddhist monk who believes in Jesus. Cealo is still alive and I had the priviledge to meet him several times. He is awesome. Check out his full moon meditations and his CDs with music.

Gurdjieff is a teacher of working on oneself. Check out books In Search of Miraculous by P.D. Ouspensky, and music by De Hartman. Recommended book: Why can't we be good, by Jacob Needleman.

Tracker School is a school based on Native American teachings for wilderness survival, tracking, and everything else related to nature and people. The father of this school is Lipan Apache elder called Stalking Wolf and his clan. Classes are one week long and worth every penny, if you want to learn anything about Nature and/or Native lifestyle.

Earth-Heart founder is trained by Tracker School, and teaches classes and organizes Vision Quests. 100 person Quests are awesome. The founder married a yoga/healing practitioner, so together they make healing retreats too.

Wilderness Awareness School was also trained by Tracker school, as well as other Native elders. They are masters of teaching people about nature. Check out their Kamana home study naturalist class. Jon Young has intensive 9-month mentoring program called Wildlore that does wonders for people who take it.

Warrior School teaches really good martial arts. I trained with them in South West, on my way to Hawai'i. However, their latest web page makes me wonder what they have gone into since then, and maybe I would not recommend them anymore.

 

Resources in Hawaii

For any health issues, there are two best choices on O'ahu:

 1. Tak Wah Tong Chinese Herb Shop in Chinatown Cultural plaza, corner of Maunakea and Beretania streets, tel. (808) 537-4669. Their herb shop is on the ground floor, next to the stage. This is a family owned store, with family-passed knowledge of herbal medicine. The herbalist will interview you, take your pulse, and prescribe a personalized herbal mixture. They are really good and can heal anything from cold to cancer. The old herbalist passed away recently (he was in his 80s and working in the store until the end) and now it is his son and his wife (who seem to be in their 50s) who inherited the store. Unfortunately, their children are not interested and it is scary to think that we won't have this resource when the current herbalist retires. These herbalists are so effective that no Western doctor is necessary at all, except for major emergencies such as accidents.

  2. Lili Siou, Daoist master accupuncturist and herbalist, practicing in the temple in Niu valley.

Malama Na Pua healing center in Wailuku, Maui is led by a Hawai'ian herbal kahuna (i.e. expert) who also does stellar medical type bodywork.

Auntie Angeline's spa in Anahola, near Lehue, Kauai, is led by lomilomi kahuna Angeline, trained in Auntie Margaret lomi style. She does not practice anymore, but she lives close to the spa and her relatives supervise and massage. The spa does not specialize in fixing specific conditions, however, the environment is extremely transformative.

Kauai also has stellar Phillip Young (please google) who specializes in neural massage for medical conditions, and Lalita (please contact Auntie Angeline's spa for the contact) who specializes in internal organ massage and emotional releases from them.

For Inner Work and meditation, attend Gurdjieff group in Honolulu. It is not a new age fad and it works. If you want to transform, this is the venue. Another useful venue is Paramahansa Yogonanda's SRF service on Sunday mornings in Honolulu. It is not as "charged" as SRF California service, and in my personal opinion, requires some additional Work with a group like Gurdjieff group. 

For belly dance, definitely take classes with Willow Chang or Malia. They are world class.

For African drumming and dancing there are many options and we have a separate page for it. 

For hula, ... we do not know any halao personally, except the one in Waialua. Hula is very spiritual so please do find a teacher that you like. 

And last but not least, visit HumanRemodeling.com in person. Especially if you have neck problems, this is the place to stop by. At least, get a taste for what is possible by getting massage by Milica on Haleiwa Farmer's Market.

And, again, if you have any questions, contact Milica.

Aloha!

 

These are some sites where HumanRemodeling.com links are placed.

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