Thursday, September 25, 2008

My Neck Hurts - What Can I Do To Make My Neck and Shoulders Feel Better?

My neck hurts today. So many things have been expected of me. So many things I expect of myself. Some things have been accomplished on schedule or even ahead of time. Yet so many of my goals remain elusive, out in the future, work that remains to be accomplished.

And so, my neck hurts. Who or what is a pain in my neck? My neck may be bothered by some people not giving me exactly what I want - today. But my neck really hurts. So, I believe it is not so much what other people are doing or not doing. I think my neck is telling me to give myself some space, some time, some relaxation. I think my neck needs some breathing room, some space to move around, some new flexibility to allow my mind to capture different views and alternate perspectives on my current life concerns.

So now, how can I help my neck to feel better? One way is to put a nice warm, moist heating pad on my neck and shoulders and sit quietly with my eyes closed for awhile. But I do not really have time for that right now.

So, I can stretch my neck in different directions
* circling around 360 degrees
* tilting my right ear toward my right shoulder and then my left ear toward my left shoulder
* turning my head as far as I can to the right and then turning it all the way to the left

I can use my own hands or a hand held vibrator to stimulate and ultimately relax the muscles in my neck and shoulders.

I can take some pain killing medication or have a few glasses of wine or other alcoholic drinks - I might not feel better but then I might not care anymore.

Or, I can elicit the assistance of someone else, preferably a licensed massage therapist or other type of bodywork therapist (e.g., shiatsu, polarity, craniosacral, Reiki, neuromuscular, Trager, Alexander Technique, Feldenkrais). That person can use their hands and their knowledge to soften the knots and release the tension in my neck and shoulder muscles.

And, if I really want to feel better, I can seek out a somatic body psychotherapist (e.g., Rubenfeld Synergy, Core Energetics, Rosen Method, Hakomi) to not only assist me to relax the tight muscles in my body but to also help me understand, at a deeper level, what is the emotional component that is causing me to not be able to let go.

The final option, the one I will probably do for now, is to briefly close my eyes and imagine someone else performing their healing magical touch while in my mind I allow the muscles in my neck and shoulders to simply let down, let go and relax.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Oh My Aching Body!

How is your body feeling today?

Are you feeling relaxed or generally tense? Have you spent the last few minutes or hours focused on something, anything, without even thinking about your body - or - are you continually reminded about one or more body parts that seems to call out to you.

Did you know that your body actually speaks its own language?

Think about any part of your body that is hurting right now or has hurt you in the past.
* Your lower back? Do you feel unsupported, afraid of your future, "backed" into a corner?
* Your neck? Is someone making your life difficult, being a "pain in the neck?"
* Your shoulders? Are you "shouldering" too many responsiblities, trying to hold up....?
* Your knees? Are you ready to get out of some place you've been for awhile?
* Your eyes? Is there something in your life/relationships you do not want to see or accept?
* Your ears? Is there something you do not want to hear or understand?

Sometimes an ache or pain is just that - an ache or a pain.

Sometimes the cause of pain is an injury, a careless movement, a postural imbalance, an infectious or hereditary disease. But more often than most of us realize, an ache, a pain, and even a severe illness can be our body's way of telling us to pay attention to something or someone in our life. Or, the message may be to pay attention to our thoughts, our emotions, or something our senses are sensing that we are not acknowledging.

Medicine can temporarily alleviate the pain without removing the symptom. Receiving body therapy treatments, such as massage, acupressure, acupuncture or even Reiki, may temporarily relieve your physical symptoms. If you have even a sneaking suspicion that your current aches and pains are your body's reponse to your fear, anger, hurt, or confusion, then check out another option - somatic body psychotherapy.

Have you heard of Rubenfeld Synergy? Go to or contact me at

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Sometimes Love Hurts

Sometimes love hurts. Even in the most ideal relationships, moments arise when pain and sadness seem to be everywhere. At times it may feel as if there is no way out, no solution, no possible ending to all the pain.

Those are the moments when we need a new perspective, a different outlook, a broadened analysis of our situation, feelings and possible actions. There is always a solution, always an ending to the pain, always a way out. However, the resolution of the problem situation may not be immediate. Sometimes we have to wallow in the pain for awhile before we gain the clarity and the support we need to pull ourself out of the muck.

So, what can you do when your world seems dark and bleek, the people closest to you seem to thrive on causing you pain, and you feel paralyzed and helpless to do anything to get yourself out? The answer is quite simple. Create the world you want in your mind. Imagine the way you want your life to be. Visualize people around you behaving the way you desire, treating you the way you want, showing you love the way you desire it.

Every single thing that has ever been created has started within the creator's mind - including the creation of our universe, if you believe in a higher power. Think about any brilliant human creation. Somebody used their imagination to visualize the final result before anything materialilzed. If they kept their imagination strong, their intention unyielding, and their mind focused only on the desired result, they could literally move mountains and walk on water.

Remember, when you are in the depths of your own darkness and feel there is no way out, use your amazing brain to create images of a different scenario. Let you future unfold according to your imagination. Let you present dilemmas slip away as you walk out into the sunshine, unscathed, free and alive.

Use your marvelous mind to answer the following question. In an ideal world, my life would be filled with people, places and activities that.... [fulfill my soul, fill my heart with joy, allow me to live my dream] You get to choose the ending. You get to choose what you imagine. Start imagining now - and don't stop until you have what you imagined - and then keep imagining more. Life is good. Use your imagination to help you experience just how good life can be.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Who Have You Touched Today?

It has been said that one hug a day keeps the doctor away. But we don't even need a full hug and we don't even need actual physical touch. Just a reassuring tap on the shoulder, a half smile of recognition from someone else, a fragrant odor that pierces our olfactory senses, the sight of something beautiful or someone we are happy to see - any positive stimulation of one of our five senses can keep us healthy.

In what ways have you touched someone else today?

* Have you offered someone a warm smile to uplift their day?
* Have you freely expressed something you appreciate about another person?
* Have you offfered someone a free gift?
* Have you provided your insight, wisdom and clarity to help someone else gain clarity?
* Have you given verbal and emotional support to someone who needed it?
* Have you hugged yourself, touched yourself, praised yourself, loved yourself today?

Tomorrow is another day. Whose life will you touch? To whom will your presence provide the gift they crave? Who will walk away from you feeling uplifted, accepted and appreciated? And, will you remember to touch yourself with words and thoughts, a smile, and a big warm hug?

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Love, Touch, Heal - An Introduction

Love is a precious gift, a healing potential, and often an elusive, sought after illusion. We can choose to love or we can allow love to choose us. We can carefully select the specific object of our love or we can love freely, openly, and with abandon. Who we love can make a huge difference if we are depending upon this one object of our desire to love us back in the exact way we require for our own sense of well being. To maintain our own sense of control and equilibrium, we can develop the strength of character and personal resolve to love deeply and fully even without receiving apparent love in return, knowing that there is abundant love for everyone. The current object of our desire may not be able to provide the love we want at this moment in time. If we remain silent inside, peaceful, accepting and loving of our self and others, love will come to us in due time - perhaps from another and unexpected source. Touch is a powerful interconnecting sense. We can touch the world and everyone in it with all of our senses. We can touch the world with our eyes by viewing the natural beauty of all animate and inanimate forms. We can touch the world with our ears by hearing all the wonderfully unique sounds of nature and life. We can touch the world with our nose by smelling the sweet scent of natural aromas that surround us everywhere. We can touch the world by tasting the exquisitely sensual foods that nature has provided for us. And we can touch the world with any and every part of our body, feeling the sensations that arise as we stimulate our nervous system or the energetic pathways that flow throughout and around our body. We can feel the energetic connections between our own mind, body and spirit and we can sense the connection we naturally have with everything and everyone in our world. Healing occurs at every moment and in every situation. We can assist our healing process by letting go into the unknown or we can block the healing flow through fear and rigid holding on. We heal as we allow the layers of deception and illusion drop away from our clouded vision. We heal as we begin to hear the sounds and view the sights of love, everywhere. We heal as we take the time to taste and smell and touch our environment, all the tastes, and scents and textures. How have you loved today? Who have you touched today? How have you healed today? I can help you heal.

Licensed and Nationally Certified Mental Health Counselor, Marriage and Family Therapist, Massage and Bodywork Therapist, Cert. Rubenfeld Synergist


How have you loved today?
Who have you touched today?
How have you healed today?

I can help you heal.

Dr. Erica Goodstone