Brent Jackson Lesson #2
My massage instructor, Brent always had something new to teach us. He was constantly giving us little nuggets of information and finding ways to leave an impression. Basically, he kept class interesting.
Much like Lesson 1 when Brent dropped the bomb on us about pain being the absence of space, Lesson 2 happened almost the same way. This time, he walked straight to the dry erase board and drew a pie chart. It looked like this:
To explain this, I will take you back a couple of weeks to my dentist appointment. I opted for the laughing gas just to make the experience more enjoyable. As I was lying there, having my gums hacked away at, I was thinking about a lot of different things. What I had to do after the dentist, how I needed to get a cab home since it was raining, how I should probably write some more, my job, my favorite people, the beach, happy thoughts, flowers, kittens--and then BAM! That cleaning tool went where it was not supposed to and immediately my body tensed up and all of those happy thoughts vanished. (I am sure you have experienced this, too.)
Here is what Brent explained to us:
On a normal day, when we are in good shape and everything is going well, 90% of our brain function is focused on the physical activity in our body. This includes pumping blood to our heart, sending signals to our limbs to move and to our mouths to speak, maintaining a proper body temperature, and so on and so forth. The remaining 10% of our brain function is focusing on higher thinking: memories, ideas, that stupid song that has been stuck in your head all day.
Now, when something happens to disrupt the body, the 90% turns to 91%, 92%....taking away from our mental function. Our bodies have the great ability to go in to survival mode, but when this happens, higher thinking takes a back seat until we are back in balance. It can go the other way, too. Think Stephen Hawking as the reverse of this: mental function high, physical function low.
Decreasing stress on the body frees up our brains to tend to what is going on in our minds. When we are relaxed and balanced we can find solutions to problems that we previously may have not been able to see. On the reverse, when are at peace mentally, we can focus on promoting our physical health. Health is about being in control of our mental and physical selves. It is all about the balance.