"You can blow out a candle, but you can not put out a fire".
- Peter Gabriel
So many clients that we work with at Studio Avani enter the studio not realizing the level of stress that their bodies are enduring. Many, request services to reduce pain, diminish emotional re-activeness, lower high blood pressure, improve immune dysfunctions, and improve digestive discomfort, and yet at the bottom of all of these symptoms lies stress, slowly accumulating, undetected, impacting every facet of life.
Our beautiful bodies are equipped with a neurological capacity to adapt to the stimuli of the environment. This adaptive strategy, known as habituation, is a wonderful evolutionary skill that supports our brains in filtering out data so that we, as humans, can live in this ever engaging world without becoming overwhelmed by the constant noise of the world around us.
However, while this brain skill serves as a filtering device, it, on the other hand, impacts our experience in a detrimental way by diminishing the experience of stress to such a level that we literally lose touch with stress. Stress becomes habituated, and soon becomes observed as the normative experience of life.
There is a scientific commentary that captures the habituation of stress in the story of the boiling frogs. If we take a frog and place a frog in boiling water, the ftog will immediately jump out. Yet, if we take a frog and place the ftog in tepid water in which we slowly bring the water to a boil, the frog's nervous system will slowly habituate to the increasing of heat and sadly boil to death. Yikes!
While this story, and scientific conversation about the silent impacts of stress on the body appear grim, there is hope. We do not have to wait for the boiling point to be reached before we respond to stress and its associated bodily influences. We can be proactive.
By slowing down the mind and, tuning back into life, we can learn to listen to the body at a subtle level supporting a disengagement from habituated stress before the boiling point is reached. Tools such as acupuncture, cranial sacral therapy, yoga, and meditation serve to help our awareness in waking up to the silent assassin.
If we return to the quote at the top of this blog, and embrace its imagery, let us consider this question. If a breath can blow out a candle, then what could a conscious breath do to the frame of the human mind and body?