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Massage Today
December, 2008, Vol. 08, Issue 12

Six Ways to Ease the Pain of an Economic Still Point

By John Upledger, DO, OMM

In CranioSacral Therapy, we work with a technique called a still point. This occurs when a therapist delicately restricts the natural rhythmic motion of the craniosacral system in order to cause a momentary pause in the cerebrospinal fluid flowing around the brain and spinal cord.

When the therapist subsequently releases the tissues and the cerebrospinal fluid begins to flow again, it gently flushes the membranes, causing them to stretch ever so slightly to help release tissue restrictions. The results can have a therapeutic effect on the central nervous system and the entire body. 

In much the same way, it seems to me that we are now experiencing an economic still point: not a halt, but certainly a pause in the growth of the economy. This will undoubtedly lead to much-needed self-correction. Numerous experts have declared that the nation will emerge from the current credit crunch with a far sounder financial system. Yet the pause can still feel like pressure to us - and more than a nickel's worth at that.

Here are six tips you can use to ease the pain of an economic still point and come out the other side even better for the experience:

  1. Remember that the economy, just like the body, runs on its own cycles and rhythms. Whenever there is an ebb, it will always be followed with a flow. TheKybalion, a book published in 1912, sets forth a series of philosophical principles that originated in ancient Egypt and Greece. One principle that always struck a chord with me is the principle of rhythm: "Everything flows out and in; everything has its tides; all things rise and fall; the pendulum swing manifests in everything; the measure of the swing to the right is the measure of the swing to the left; rhythm compensates."

    Just as this principle reflects the natural back-and-forth motion of everything that exists, the principle of polarity posits that the two ends of the pole that the pendulum is swinging between are essentially the same thing, separated only by degrees. If one end of the pole is cold, the other end is hot. If one end is lack, the other is abundance. When you understand that, you can then begin to see that you can always improve your situation, even if it's one degree at a time. Despite everything going on in the economy right now, opportunity is all around us. We may remember reading about the bread lines of the Great Depression and the migration of the Dust Bowl years. Yet while all this was happening, other people were flourishing. More people became millionaires during the Great Depression than any other period in history. Instead of lack, these people saw opportunity and moved forward with their lives.

    As long as humans occupy the Earth, we are all going to experience the natural rhythms of the economy. But it remains up to us whether we give into the doom and gloom or choose instead to strap on our seat belts and ride it out with a positive outlook. For my part, I'm strapping that seat belt across my chest and doing my best to enjoy the ride, remembering that without a doubt, "This too shall pass.

  2. Fall back on your own normal rhythms. At times like this, it's especially vital to maintain the daily routines that nourish you - body, mind and soul. Make sure you carve out time to meditate, exercise, eat right and stay hydrated. You need to preserve your inner and outer strength to stay centered, grounded and transparent to any stress that comes your way. When you're strong at the core, stress can move through you without getting lodged in the tissues.

  3. Be thankful that you work in health care - a sector that traditionally experiences less of a slowdown than others. A recent article in the Miami Herald said, "Today and for the foreseeable future, the key word for a successful career is health care. ... Americans get sick in good times and bad." What makes hands-on practitioners especially valuable is that they facilitate the relief of symptoms and conditions at their source. This is particularly important for clients who don't want to continue paying conventional doctors and pharmacies again and again.

  4. Turn off the talking heads. You know what happens to your nervous system when you internalize fear. You end up getting caught up in a biochemical feedback loop that
    continues to foster more stress. Fear is exactly what mainstream media is brokering these days. In tough times like these, one of the first things that you can do is grab your remote control and click off the TV. Toss out those newspapers and magazines while you're at it. Instead, become a patron of Web sites like for a daily dose of good news.

  5. Use this time to advance your training. I firmly believe that something good comes out of every experience. Make this momentary slowdown work for you by deepening your skills and your ability to help more people. Take advanced classes and become an expert at whatever modality you practice.

  6. Reconnect with your heart and reach out to others. No matter how nervous you may feel, I guarantee that someone right around the corner is having a tougher time. Tap into the natural compassion that brought you to health care in the first place. Cultivate a grateful heart and then share that with others. That's when you'll be serving your community - and humanity - in the best possible way.

Click here for previous articles by John Upledger, DO, OMM.


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