Highlights from "Tool for the Moment"

by Miriam Futterman, O.T.R S.E.P

Today I would like to address 3 therapeutic modalities that we have with us at all times. 3 powerful tools for wellbeing that Hashem gave to us, and that we have available to us at all times.

The Breath, The power of Touch and Our thoughts.

THE BREATH: the breath is one of our most powerful tools. As long as we are here in this world, we have our breath with us at all times.

When ever we experience pain, whether it be on a mental, emotional or physical level our natural response is to inhale and hold our breath. This happens even if we see something that is frightening. It is important to note that this inhale, literally holds the pain in. What we need to do is the opposite. EXHALE. Using our mouth, lips pursed BREATHE OUT. Slowly. This allows the body and mind to release, open, let circulation flow. Prevents hyperventilation and the build up of anxiety. If at the moment, actively exhaling is difficult, just notice the breath, put the awareness there, even placing our hand on our tummy, we encourage the correct breathing and begin to calm the body and emotions down, and regulate our system.

For other people in need, you can place your hand on their tummy, or just direct them to notice their breath and exhale.

THE POWER OF TOUCH: “There is no substitute for the Human Touch”. We have one of the most powerful healing tools “at hand”, Yes, everyone’s hands are healing hands. Although touch in general is important, I am going to give you some specific areas to hold. If it is a time of emergency, and one does not remember these, just remember to touch ones self or the other where ever it is appropriate. Human Touch has a calming effect.

  1. To Relax Central Nervous System. To Ease Anxiety, Fear, and Calm ones self: place ones hands under the armpits. Right hand under left armpit and left hand under right armpit. Drop shoulders and exhale or just notice the breath.
  2. To Calm and Sooth ones self: Right hand on chest and Left hand on Belly area.
  3. To Close Wounds: Right hand on the area that is opened (can have a bandage under it) and left hand on top of the Right. Remember Right on wound. This can also be an internal wound.
  4. Holding the Fingers: Each finger is connected to mental, emotional states and to over 1000 physical areas of the body. Holding each finger separately will begin to balance 100’s of different functions of the body. You can also hold another persons fingers.

Below are a few examples for each finger:

  1. The pointer or index finger helps to balance Fear/anxiety. The back, teeth and same side arm and hand
  2. The Thumb: balances worries. Helps the head and digestion
  3. The middle finger: balances anger helps the eyes and general respiration
  4. The Ring finger: balances sadness/grief: helps the lungs, skin
  5. Little Finger: general stresses helps the heart and nerves.

OUR THOUGHTS AND AWARENESS: We are where our thoughts are. Each thought sends messages throughout our body and can quickly activate or calm ourselves down.

  1. In general, positive thoughts, especially thoughts of gratitude, balance the body, heart and circulation.
  2. Grounding: if in a fearful state, become aware of the surroundings. Sensing where the body is. For example; Feeling ones feet on the ground, or ones tush in the chair. Seeing; looking in another’s eyes, noticing and counting colors in the surrounding, or noticing certain objects.
  3. Listening to enjoyable music: music is known to be very therapeutic.
  4. Keeping a favorite pusuk in mind, a Tehillim, a song.
  5. Keep thoughts as to what one is actually doing in the moment. For example, washing the dishes, preparing food, walking on the street. Feel the sensations that go with the activities and keep oneself in the present moment to what is truly happening.

These Tools for wellbeing are helpful for us to use on a daily basis, not just for emergency situations. Yet, In general, ours lives can be quite stressful and we need to manage it so as to prevent piling up. No one would not say, that since they just had a dental cleaning, then they do not need to brush their teeth daily. This is the same with easing and releasing our daily stresses.

Miriam Futterman, licensed Occupational therapist, Jin Shin Jyutus and Somatic experiencing certified practioner for over 40yrs, works with the mind body relationship integrating the complimentary therapeutic modalities of Somatic Experiencing and ancient healing art of Jin Shin Jyutus in her private practice.

As an occupational therapist, Miriam has integrated complimentary healing modalities with her knowledge of traditional medical treatment. In 1974 she began working with trauma in hospitals and in 1979 began incorporating the ancient healing modality of Jin Shin Jyutsu and later in Israel became a somatic experiencing practitioner.