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A new column exploring the therapeutic applications of the BodyMind



Though often assumed to be separate, body and mind have always been indivisible. Traditional cultures have long understood this. Chinese medicine recognized it 5,000 years ago. Even Western medicine now recognizes that our abdominal organs act as a second brain; but we’re talking about more than gut instincts, intuition or even every cell’s 24/7/365 communication with every other cell. We’re talking about not just the brain or nervous system, but the mind and how it’s everywhere.

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I stumbled upon the BodyMind world in 1987 after being rear-ended at 50 miles per hour. Acupressure relaxed my muscles enough to let the massage therapist massage, the chiropractor adjust and me Nordic ski race through that first winter. While the acupressurist held my points and reminded me to breathe, I’d get insights about and solutions to issues I’d been wrestling with. All that launched me on this life of crime, namely using my hands to find and liberate treasures like mechanical restrictions and afflictive emotions, beliefs and attitudes buried in my patients’ tissues. While these “treasures” have no intrinsic value, releasing them often lead my patients to health and vitality.

The subsequent 35 years have taught me how and why physical and emotional trauma lands in our tissues, why it’s so problematic, and how to safely release it and restore normalcy to the affected tissues. To summarize, without our awareness, our brain automatically parks in our tissues any physical, emotional or spiritual insult that exceeds our ability to process it in the moment. There, like a pirate radio station, it continuously communicates dis-ease to our central nervous system and every cell in our body. From the outset, this parked content is doing damage by reducing fluid and energy exchange and increasing friction and drag. When symptoms arise often years or decades later, we rarely connect them with the original insult. If we can, however, restoring vitality to the affected area is child’s play.

These restrictions are involved in many health challenges: developmental, digestive, biomechanical, cognitive, behavioral and cardiovascular issues; chronic pain; even allergies and other auto-immune challenges. The good news is that restrictions can be released, restoring normalcy to affected tissues, eliminating both the symptoms and their cause.

Thirty years ago, the miraculous stories of healing and recovery coming out of the alternative health world seemed too good to be true, even though they’ve been commonplace among traditional cultures and Western medicine for centuries. Medical research has removed some of the mystery. For example, neurologists and psychologists have shown how our thinking programs our brain and, in turn, affects our health. Our environment and experiences and how we react to them activate certain genes and turn off others. Therefore, many conditions formerly assumed to be genetic are not. Often, they are projected, taught, learned, taken on, etc.

Frequently, simply discovering a restriction or buried content effects a release. Failing that, gentle manual therapy or a few timely questions and the patient’s permission will do the trick. Since we can’t escape the BodyMind, working with it is one of the healthiest investments a person will ever make. Sit back, relax, and breathe. Our next column will focus on trauma, what it is, how it works and how we treat it.

For 35 years, Mike Macy, Licensed Massage Therapist, has helped patients experiencing pain and other health challenges. Author of the book “BodyWise,” Mike is an avid skate skier, bike rider and birder. Reach him at

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