Thursday, May 03, 2007

Mantra Magic

During a massage session recently, my client described two words that kept coming to her. They repeated, almost like a chant inside her head. I asked her more about these words and she said that they were guiding words, powerful words, and words that also calmed her. I encouraged her to follow these words and to feel what they had to tell her. She left the session following her inner wisdom. And I was left with a bit of curiosity about the power of words to heal.

A few days after this session, I was reading a brief article in the Massage Therapy Journal called "Om for Your Mental Home," an encouraging piece about the power of mantras to ease stress and anxiety. Reading this article was a lovely synchronicity. I imagined my client repeating her two words during times of unease and uncertainty. Yes, this could be helpful, I thought.

According to the MTJ article, a 2006 U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs study revealed that teaching veterans to use mantras on a daily basis resulted in "[about] half of the participants [reporting] that the mantra habit eased emotional difficulties and about a quarter reported it was useful in reducing traffic and job-related stress."

While in traffic the other day, I found myself repeating "let go, let go, let go." My tension decreased considerably. It was as if the mantra was a handle for me grasp to ground me. Later, when I finished a distressing phone call, I found my stomach in knots. "Let go" came to me and I followed the wave of the words. And, last night when I was experiencing a bit of writer's block, I let my mantra words wash over me, soothing my inner critic.

What might your mantra words be? Perhaps like my client, they will choose you when you least expect it. I encourage you to listen for them and then embrace them; hopefully you will find that this technique "pushes your mental reset button," allowing you to calm your mind, body, and soul in times of need.

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