Self care has been the buzz recently, though it is certainly no fad. Creating beautiful habits that are geared toward care of our body, mind and spirit are deeply important to our overall lives and wellbeing. When we use awareness, we engage in the capacity to live life fully, with presence and conscious creation. We fuel our body rather than demolish it, engage our mind to it’s fullest potential, and our spirit can find deep nurturance.
For ultimate wellness, good self-stewardship is truly essential. The aim of self care is to find a balance that creates a completely unique and personal harmony. We all have our own ways of approaching life, with our own unique priorities, aspirations and feelings about what it is to live life fully. Your life is yours to live the way you wish to and if your body is suffering, it’s nearly impossible to live a vibrant full life.
A vital component to our body care is empowering ourselves with information about what is going on with it on a foundational level. Our body is the vehicle by which our dreams are made into reality and our creativity is shared with the world. When we check in on and understand what is going on with our body, we stand to not only live long healthy lives but thrive! Prevention and awareness are key elements. That is where beautiful technology comes in. A way to look into the body in a painless and harmless way, to gain insight, formulate a way forward or track the progress of your ever-increasing vibrant health. A way to gain understanding and information to potentially stop diseases in its tracks, before it ever can take hold.
Thermography, also called digital infrared thermal imaging, uses a state of the art infrared camera to measure the temperatures of the skin’s surface. It is a non-invasive test, contact free, adjunctive screening tool that involves no radiation. It is a safe screening tool for pregnant women. This is especially important because 3% of all breast cancers are diagnosed during pregnancy. Scans can be performed as much as needed and also for children. No one is ever too young to start learning about taking charge of their wellbeing. Thermography uses the same idea as taking your temperature with a thermometer. It shows an increase in temperature, indicating a physiological process is taking place. Increased blood flow, patterning of the veins, lymphatic drainage can also all be clues about the state of the body, enabling you and your health care practitioners to work in tandem to make necessary changes. Inflammatory processes in the body produce heat, alerting us to possible health conditions that may be detrimental. Many neurological pathologies present with a significant lack of heat which can be seen on the imaging as well. While it is true that so far, there are no screening tools to date that are 100% effective in all cases, when we combine technologies and all information at our disposal, we can create a more cohesive plan of action. Armed with information, we can work with our bodies to solve the mysteries, bring about healing and live lives of vibrant health. Our bodies are always giving us information, all we need to do is listen. We all know what is good for us and what we need to do, but whether we choose to act, whether we do have success comes down to two key things: habits and consistently regulating ourselves.
Habits require a very small amount of energy compared to the energy of decision making. Any behavior can be made into a habit and reduce the amount of brain energy it takes to complete the task allocating more of your mental space to creative inspiration! They say that 40% of what we do in the day is actually habit anyway, so you already know how to do this! Thermography is best done as an annual appointment and I encourage my clients to put it on their calendar. One client made it a habit by scheduling her next appointment as a birthday gift to herself every year! A beautiful example of self care!
On average it takes about 66 days to create a new daily habit. Making a habit requires a rewiring of your brain. That’s where the desire, self-regulation and consistency come into play. Change happens readily when you capitalize on your individual strengths and abilities, creating your own customized routines. It is good to know yourself during these moments because you will be setting yourself up for success working with your own aptitudes. Know yourself. Generally, if you are a late night person, a 5 am fitness wake up call may not be the right way to instill a new routine. Chances are, if you get your workout in late in the day, you’ll be more apt to make it a habit, right? Are you a person who craves certainty over surprise? An opener or a closer? A night owl or an early bird? All are fabulous, so do what makes you happy! This is what it’s all about.
It’s important to remember that these self care habits don’t have to be time consuming. Think of them as “self care moments” maybe a 20 to 30-minute nap. You may like to do a meditative practice, write in a journal, talk a short walk. Even the enjoyment of your favorite drink or eating a piece of rich chocolate is a soothing self care ritual. Just taking a quick power nap can reduce your risk of coronary mortality by 37%. Dotting your days with self care recharges you as you go, reducing burn out and keeping you feeling your best. Aromatherapy creates a mini spa moment in your life. Scent is the strongest sense attached to memory and if you have positive associations with the aroma, it can instantly lift your spirits. What we can learn from the Danes is to weave these simple pleasures into our days, creating a seamless flow. It is truly an art form.
Hygge a Danish word, pronounced, “Hue-guh” is a beautiful word that has many meanings in the English language. It describes the art of creating a moment. It is the feeling you have when consciously living in the enjoyment of what you’ve created. In essence, it is enjoying the simplicity of a joyful moment using your favorite handmade mug to drink your morning coffee, the coziness of lighting a scented candle, a delightful meal with family and friends. With long winters of dark, cold days in Denmark, the people mark their days with simple enjoyments and create moments that chase away the cold and enliven the spirit. The word coffee thus becomes a verb.
The path to change can be a challenging one. Habits of the positive variety can take a long time to form, but, certainly, all betterment of the self is one of the most worthwhile pursuits we can immerse ourselves in. Finding pure joy from small rituals takes the arduousness from tasks. With a little thought and intention, “self care moments” make living life a seamless, creative art form. Wellness is ever in flux, evolving and changing. A personalized, flexible approach to wellness is going to get you where you want to go. Our choices do affect the present, we can mold our future, and we are ever evolving! As the years continue we become the best versions of ourselves, whatever we consciously construct ourselves to be. As we form positive habits to support ourselves fully, we create every opportunity to thrive in every dimension of ourselves.
Caitlin Wells is a Licensed Massage Therapist in Cincinnati, Ohio with close to a decade of experience. In her bodywork practice, she is passionate about helping clients maintain and find their highest levels of wellness and vibrancy. She brings this mindset to her practice of medical thermography. Caitlin works in partnership with Breast Thermography International and is certified as a Thermographic Technician through PACT, a professional association that maintains the highest standards in the industry. It is a sincere hope that this technology can be used to enhance understanding and save lives. She supports and empowers people to embrace the practices of radical self-care and self-love, encouraging them to take a proactive approach to health and overall wellness. Prevention is key!