From the Editor: Fall 2018
Jon Kabat-Zin popularized mindfulness in the West during the 1970s and defined it as: paying attention on purpose, to something in the present, non-judgmentally. In other words, to be deeply aware of ourselves and our surroundings.
By Jannen Belbeck
I suppose that means the term “holistic mindfulness” is a little redundant – after all, a holistic lifestyle encompasses your mind, body and soul, so being mindful obviously fits right in. I’d like to point out that mindfulness doesn’t necessarily mean taking part in mediation, though. (Or even yoga.)
Some find they are most mindful when colouring, doing crossword puzzles, picture puzzles, or simply just reading. Some find themselves at peace and clear their minds most when moving – maybe that’s going for a three kilometre run every morning, like my neighbour. Besides relaxing during my massage therapy treatments, my mindful moments also involve moving (albeit slower), and that’s walking. Most days I’ll walk for at least 60 minutes. When living in Toronto, it was 90 plus minutes of daily walking (despite living directly on the Bloor-Danforth subway line and a straight shot to work). But I never feel as clear-headed as I do when I take the time to live in the moment. And research is increasingly backing this up.
For example, in their review of empirical studies, Keng et al (Clinical Psychology Review, August 2011) found that “mindfulness is positively associated with psychological health, and that training in mindfulness may bring about positive psychological effects. These effects ranged from increased subjective well-being, reduced psychological symptoms and emotional reactivity, to improved regulation of behaviour.”
While putting this Fall issue together, I realized that a lot of things in our lives require awareness. Take our cover story for example (page 12). We showcase how RMTs can do their part to take care of the environment, both at home and in the office. We can also be mindful specifically to ourselves as massage therapists. Colin Fenton shows this by taking us through a refresher on the “power of assessment” (page 20), while I took a turn at dealing with a concerning topic – but ultimately the advice given was very empowering. (Page 14.) Being mindful of your role as a massage therapist and establishing yourself as a therapuetic health-care professional gives you power, and I think that’s something you should never forget.
Hope there are some happy Autumn days ahead for you,