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Spring ahead

The sun is lingering longer in the evening, the rays are imparting a bit more warmth, and the dawns are earlier and bursting with brightness. Yes, nature is building toward a bounteous spring, and one’s energy quickens at the thought.

If, like me, you spent January and February buffeted by the cold and burdened by the lack of desire to exercise, springtime brings, as in so many other areas in life, a chance for renewal, for rededication, for rebuilding the body and reinvigorating the spirit as well.

Massage can be an important part of such a program. It improves circulation after a winter of hibernation. It decreases post-workout soreness. It breaks up muscular knots and soothes everyday tension.

Whether you schedule a weekly, biweekly or monthly session, you’ll find that massage is a vital part of your workout plan as you blossom, like the buds on the trees and the flowers, with the vitality of the return of spring.

Why I love this profession

Recently, I had a session with a new client, a woman in her mid-30s, who has a stressful job and told of tight neck, shoulders and back. I did some stretches and deep massage work on those areas and then helped her further with CranioSacral Therapy, She arose from the table relaxed, thankful and ready to sleep.

I love helping people relax. I love sharing the healing Heartful Touch and the profoundly relaxing and rejuvenating CranioSacral Therapy. I enjoy interacting one-on-one with a client, getting a sense of who he is, what her life is like, and how I can help. Each session is different; each session is gratifying. To all my clients, I bow and say, “Thank you.”

Change your thoughts, change your life

Eliminate negative thoughts for seven days. Sound easy? daunting? impossible? Theologian/philosopher Emmet Fox promises that going from victim to victor will ripple throughout your life in ways you cannot begin to imagine.

States Ed Rocks in his “Balanced Living” newsletter story about Fox’s course of action, “You have to watch what you say and watch what you think and eliminate all self-limiting pronouncements,” such as “I can’t” and “But.” Such thoughts may enter your consciousness, but you must release them and not linger on them. If you linger on any negative thought within the seven days, you have to go off the seven-day course for a couple of days and then start again. Rocks says “It may take take three, four, five or six false starts to get this done.”

Fox promises, “This discipline will be so strenuous that you could not maintain it consciously for much more than a week. A week will be enough, because by that time the habit of positive thinking will begin to be established. Some extraordinary changes for the better will have come into your life, encouraging you enormously, and then the future will take care of itself.”

Try it, and let me know how it works out.

Fox’s booklet “The 7 DayMental Diet” is available for $5 by e-mailing edrocks@ev1.net.

Stretch of the month

Advanced Truck Rotation, from “Active Isolated Stretching” by Aaron Mattes.

Muscles stretched: Cervical, thoracic and lumbar rotators.

Method: Sit on floor or table with one leg straight. Flex the opposite knee 90 degrees and cross foot over and rest calf on the far side of straight knee. Place opposite side elbow on outside of flexed knee. Rest opposite hand behind back. Turn head and trunk as far as possible from midline, contracting opposite side cervical thoracic and lumbar rotators and assist with elbow pressure against knee.

Breathe out as you do the stretch and hold stretch for two seconds (“One one-thousand, two one-thousand”). Release and return face forward, breathing in as you do so. Repeat for 8-10 repetitions. Perform exercise on opposite side.

For more information, or to order “Active Isolated Stretching,” log onto www.stretchingusa.com.

Recipe of the month

When I was a child, my candy of choice while going to the movies was Raisinettes, chocolate-covered raisins. As an adult, I avoid sugar and chocolate, but I found a way to re-create that sweet taste of childhood.

At the local Whole Foods supermarket, I purchase Maranatha Organic Raw Almond Butter (very pricey at $12.49 a jar, but, for protein, purity and taste, it can’t be beat) and Organic Raisins (any brand). I place some raisins in a bowl, spoon some almond butter on top, and eat. Ah, nirvana — sweet, creamy and, if I use my imagination, even chocolatey. Yum.

Until next time, be well.

Dennis Sprick
The Heartful Touch
Massage and CranioSacral Therapy