Sports Massage Therapist Ben Pianese Recalls Road To Healing And Spiritual Journey
Sometimes, it takes a singular, unfortunate incident to create an extraordinary change in someone’s life. It may seem, at first, like that one terrible moment is just that: terrible. But life is rarely simple in its revelations. Because as events unfold, a voyage toward something meaningful is ignited, and life, as you know it, will never be the same — in a spectacularly good way.
A Simple Twist of Fate
This is somewhat similar to what Ben Pianese experienced. Ben, whose academic background is in Electrical Electronic Technician, is one of the most highly recognised experts in the field of massage therapy today. Sought after by some of the more illustrious personalities and celebrities in London, Ben has been a therapist for over 13 years, successfully treating clients who suffer from chronic pain, injuries, postural misalignment, and other conditions. He specialises in sports massage, Reiki, and Lymphatic Drainage, and is a qualified Emmett Technique practitioner.
But this wasn’t always the case for Ben. His life today was actually started off by an injury; ice skating, no less. Ben recounts how he was trying out different techniques on the ice —and this with an existing knee injury and low back pain. As he twisted and turned, the pain became unbearable and Ben found himself in an Italian hospital being diagnosed with lateral meniscus tear. With physiotherapy, and what Ben describes as faith in medical experts, his long journey to recovery began. And it was anything but easy.
A Life-changing Injury
Ben recalls the constant agony and discomfort he felt as he went back to work. He mentions, “The pain became worse and worse, and I had no option but to stop working for two years. The years spent nursing these injuries gave the mind a way to see things in a new perspective. A profound shift in consciousness gave way for a new perception of reality and the self.”
While Ben says he’s not in any way dismissing conventional medical practices, he simply discovered that the usual treatments did little to help him recover and heal from his damaged spinal vertebrae and irritated nervous system. Instead, alternative treatments such as acupuncture, shiatsu, sports massage, and Bowen therapy, to name a few, set him off on a path to recovery — healing, to be precise.
As Ben’s body began to heal, his mind began exploring other ways to resolve pain and it is at this juncture in his life that he gave birth to his destiny. He enrolled in several courses in massage as well as complementary therapies, including meditation classes. He sought higher knowledge to gain a deeper understanding of pain, recovery, and optimal healthcare. To this day, Ben endeavours to seek new techniques to consistently help people achieve better health. “The door was there to be opened,” Ben remarks, “and by transforming the negative to a positive, I was able to unlock the bolt and open the door to a whole new dimension. It all felt very natural and familiar, too … had I been there before? Anything is possible.”
Beyond Physical: Pain and Spiritual Healing
Ben’s journey into discovering relief from pain led him not just to physical healing, but to a more meaningful, fulfilling life that contributed to the improvement of the lives of other people as well. What he wanted at the start was to seek recovery from his own injuries. But in the process, he also discovered the knowledge, skills, willingness — a gift, basically — that allowed him to help others to be free from their physically and psychologically debilitating conditions, through massage therapy. Freedom from pain unlocked the key to what he called “a profound shift in consciousness” and “a new perception of reality and the self.”
At first, it may look too far-fetched to connect the “simple” matter of getting rid of back pain to a life-changing, life-affirming experience. It may seem like an over-reading to say that finding an effective treatment for a persistent headache is also the same as finding the cure for a lonely heart, or a broken spirit. Many people leading busy and practical lives may find it hard to link physical pain relief with concepts such as life transformation and spiritual breakthrough.
But as you stop and pause and look closer, the link becomes clearer and stronger. For one, there’s a rich body of resources to prove it. You’ll find medical data, specialist studies, surveys and anecdotal evidence revealing the mind-body-spirit connection. They all say that the body is composed of many parts but it is undoubtedly a single system, an entire organism.
Still, the best way to understand this is to experience it first-hand. As they say, experience is the best teacher — and so is pain. So listen to what your body is trying to tell you. When you’re suffering from pain, don’t ignore it or keep it “under control.” And the critical step: Make yourself responsible for your own pain and give yourself permission to spend time, effort and resources to seek a solution.
Think about the last time you had a really bad, depressing, painful day and decided to go for a good massage. Under a skilled and compassionate therapist, you’ll eventually feel the effect in your muscles, joints, bones, blood. At the same time, your emotions mellow out, the noisy thoughts in your head quiet down, and you feel a lift in your spirits. Your body received the healing energy of touch, extending the positive impact to your mental, emotional and overall psychological well-being as well.
Using the right techniques, therapies, procedures and products to get rid of pain is just one part of the solution. The best pain relief experts and therapists know that. Real freedom from physical discomfort, aches, exhaustion and tension is only possible if you also work on spiritual healing as well. And to do that, you actually have to be a little brave and daring, because you need to believe and live by some principles that are not as mainstream or trendy today: kindness, gratitude, compassion and appreciation, for yourself. When you hold on to these, it becomes easier to commit and be consistent to do things that are good for your body: eating well, being active and seeking the help of doctors, therapists and healers. Eventually, as you get stronger and healthier, you become more equipped to be of service to others as well. Ben’s life is a testament to this.
If you still believe that connecting pain relief and spiritual healing is a little “far out,” you may be right. To address pain within a spiritual perspective is in its very essence a leap of faith — a jump that understands that someone will be there to catch you, care for you and provide you a hand to heal your body and create a healthy, happy life.
How Our Emotions Play A Major Role In The Healing Process
We often like to think that the body and mind operate independently from each other, that they are two separate systems. But take the time to think back on times when you’ve distinctly experienced some form of connection between the two. Many a young boy’s stomach has fluttered with butterflies at the sight of a lovely young girl, ribbons in her hair, passing by on a bicycle. Maybe you remember how the looming deadline of a potentially career-launching report put you through a rollercoaster ride of headaches and sleeplessness for weeks on end, and the relaxing strokes of massage helped soothe you enough to gain better focus and confidence. Or maybe you’ve discovered that time spent with beloved family members always made you forget that you ever liked alcoholic beverages or cigarettes in the first place.
Tuning into your feelings
Health specialists and scientists have done research on how a person’s emotional well-being, and even mental health issues, have a great impact on his overall health and can even be considered health issues on their own. Harvard School of Public Health associate professor of society, human development, and health, Laura Kubzansky, once shared in a talk that there have been studies suggesting that positive emotions can be beneficial to a person’s health — the theory being that such good emotions act as a buffer for stress. If you maintain a positive outlook and an optimistic mind-set, for example, you can be less likely to smoke or drink alcohol, and more likely to exercise and enjoy improved quality of sleep.
Generally, positive emotions have been found to curb stress, anxiety, and depression. Psychosocial factors such as worrying about family problems or work-related issues, for instance, are associated with a substantial risk of heart attack — pointing to negative emotions as having a relevant correlation with a person’s health. A Time Magazine special by Michael D. Lemonick entitled “Health: The Biology of Joy” also noted that happiness and being hopeful and content “appear to reduce the risk or limit the severity of cardiovascular disease, pulmonary disease, diabetes, hypertension, colds and upper-respiratory infections.” Depression, on the other hand, which he names “the extreme opposite of happiness,” is known to have the ability to “worsen heart disease, diabetes and a host of other illnesses.”
Taking charge of your well-being
Of course, diseases and health conditions are very real and medicine is constantly evolving to deliver effective cures, but this knowledge that there is indeed a relationship between body and mind points to the fact that a person has the opportunity to steer his own life toward a path of greater well-being.
Looking at the bright side. Finding happiness and optimism in all kinds of situations. Servicing the body through restorative, beneficial massage therapy. Acknowledging frequencies that help you look at healing in a different way. By being in sync with emotions, spirituality, and consciousness, you gain greater control over your well-being — and discover an instinctive path to truly improved health.
Ben Pianese of Massaggi practices massages in Marylebone, London. He developed the Emmett Sports Massage, a precise technique that re-set specific point of recognition to balance and enhance the body sports performance.
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