Let’s be real. If you really know me, I’m actually a just a genetically lucky junk food junkie whose major means of fitness is not having a car (I walk everywhere) and carrying heavy books. A few months after purchasing a massage package as a gift for someone, I finally had a chance to experience Enhanced Movement, an independently owned boutique-style wellness center located in North Miami Beach, for a meditation class and massage session! I have a packed schedule because I am a physician assistant student but I have always been fascinated by Eastern practices.
Western medicine is intended to be preventative, curative, and focuses on the history of the present illness, diagnosis, and treatment whereas Eastern medicine offers a holistic and naturopathic approach to care for the individual; it considers aspects other than the physical disease symptoms. Incorporating both perspectives of medicine, many believe, is necessary for the best outcome to enhance your wellbeing. I never practiced meditation before, but the instructor helped me to focus on mindfulness of breathing. Of course, increased levels of carbon dioxide is what regulates breathing and initiates the drive for you to inspire air. When you aren’t breathing adequately or at all, increased carbon dioxide from inadequate respirations can lower your blood pH. Carbon dioxide is a metabolic waste product and holding your breath does not stop metabolic processes from occurring, this is why inadequate breathing can make you slightly more acidic. Imagine the outcome for those who are inactive smokers!
In addition, unfortunately for many people who have maintained an unhealthy lifestyle and eating for years, vasculature is stopped up as a result of hyperlipidemia, or “clogged arteries.” Being thin does not excuse anyone, including myself, from this condition! In severe or unstable cases, the arteries can become almost completely occluded or chunks of fatty cholesterol deposits can break off and float away in your blood stream, something known medically as an embolus. These emboli can get trapped in other parts of the body like your legs, lungs, or brain causing conditions like deep venous thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, and strokes–conditions that may be fatal! Your blood stream essentially becomes the Miami freeway during rush hour with multiple car pile ups if you have poor circulation.
It is a physician’s job to prevent this from happening through prescribing initial lifestyle modifications and medical therapies. Physicians also serve as surgical clot busters when performing invasive procedures. Moreover, from an Eastern medical perspective, it is a holistic therapist’s job to prevent this from happening by guiding lifestyle modifications.
With a hectic schedule, breathing itself is sometimes something I forget to do! I finished the meditation class feeling more relaxed and yes, at risk of sounding hippy-dippy, my acid base balance felt more at equilibrium while I was able to clear my mind of mental clutter. Something as simple as gravity and sitting in a weight dependent position all day in a chair can cause your blood to pool to your lower extremities and affect the overall pressure of your circulation. The goal is to circulate blood to all extremities of the body for adequate perfusion. I try to stay proactive and move as much as possible even though I am confined to a desk most days while I’m in school and I’m grateful that I had a chance to work on my body with Enhanced Movement.
After the meditation class, I began a massage therapy session. The massage therapist used several different techniques on me.
The fusion of techniques from my extended massage therapy session included:
1. Deep tissue massage designed to release deep muscular restrictions
2. Medical massage the clinical aspect of treatment.
3. Neuromuscular massage therapy techniques releasing muscle attachments and fascial restrictions.
4. Abhyanga massage an ancient Indian rhythmic massage technique that acts as a powerful recharger.
5. Ashiatsu massage
I started out as a tense, scared, shaking chihuahua but once the massage therapist applied pressure to release tension from my sacrum and magically worked the knots out of my back, the stress on my body dissipated. The Japanese ashiatsu massage (he worked on me with controlled weight while stepping on my back barefoot) did something to me. I think I was reborn after that point.
Since I’m constantly sitting in class and hips don’t lie, the massage therapist also offered some post-therapy pointers on how to stretch at home to relieve tension in my glutes and minimize stress on my body. I felt like I was unraveling in layers after the treatment and spent the rest of the evening reflecting and strolling on the beach, which is located just steps away from the boutique style facility. If you’re looking for passionate staff, unpretentious, affordable, and holistic care to enhance your wellbeing, I highly recommend Enhanced Movement!
The first class is free for Miami Beach residents and there is currently a $25.00 discount on your first service!
6948 Collins Ave.
Miami Beach, FL 33141
Source: Pathophysiology for the Health Professions (Barbara E. Gould)