In my work with clients, I would be remiss to not educate about the brain-body connection. It is hard to talk about the mind and not acknowledge the important role that the body plays in helping to regulate the mind. When we are in turmoil in our heads, our bodies follow suit- whether we realize it or not. Think for a moment about the physical symptoms you may hear people describe when they feel anxious: a tight chest, queasy stomach, tight muscles, increased heart rate, sweating, clenched jaw. When hearing people talk about feeling depressed, we may hear about an increase or decrease in appetite, lethargy, sore muscles, headaches, etc. We don’t call feelings ‘feel-ings’ for no reason. We really do feel our emotions in our body, and an important first step is becoming aware of what this looks like for us. Mindfulness has gained so much popularity in recent years as research continues to show that when we pay attention and tune in with our bodies, we have a better chance of soothing our minds as well. Two practices that incorporate this mindfulness practice well, and can be a great conjunction with talk therapy include yoga and acupuncture.
Yoga is a practice that not only strengthens your body, but allows you the space to clear your mind of the ‘noise’ from the day, intentionally focus on your breath, and focus on how paying attention to our breath can impact our body, help us move more, and help us move differently. In a world where we are so distracted and can easily go the whole day in front of a screen, it has become more and more important to be aware of our bodies in real time. Yoga offers the gift of that space to be away from the things that distract us most. Below are some of my favorite yoga studios in and around Playa Vista:
Yoga Works: 12746 W Jefferson Blvd Suite 3120, Los Angeles, CA 90094
Sweat Yoga Playa Vista: 12105 E Waterfront Dr #105, Playa Vista, CA 90094
CorePower Yoga: 4371 Glencoe Ave, Marina Del Rey, CA 90292
Acupuncture, a form of alternative medicine, has been shown to lower stress hormones and moderate mood, leading to a decrease in anxiety and increase in happiness. Similar to yoga, this practice provides the space and dedicated time to silence the noise, intentionally relax, and focus on what it is you are wanting to release. Acupuncturists help to assess where you are needing focused attention on your body and use different techniques to address these areas, help release any built up energy or stress, and allow you the space to release that during sessions. Acupuncture can help release pain in your body that can be correlated with high stress, anxiety, or chronic pain that may be due to other mental illness.
As with any alternative practice, it is important to do your research and make sure the place and provider you are going to is credible, well-trained, and someone you can trust. These practices may not be right for everyone. I personally recommend Yo San University on Washington Blvd., as well as the one and only Natalie Jiaravonont, Licensed Acupuncturist, located in Playa Vista. For more information on acupuncture, the Yo San Clinic, and Natalie, visit the links below.
Yo San University: https://www.yosan.edu/
Natalie Jiaravonont: https://www.yinlotuswellness.com/bio.html