Aarti Shah on being a mindful McTimoney Chiropractor

image1As I write this I’m confined to my hotel room in Kuala Lumpa, Malaysia – I say “confined ” as earlier this morning I had the most dramatic fall on my hands and knees just narrowly avoiding my face outside the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpa. The Petronas Towers is a majestic building that tourists flock to for an amazing view of KL. Obviously I was not meant to be a tourist as I never made it inside the building. I was in total shock as to why I had landed on the pavement with tears streaming down my face and wondering if I had broken anything apart from my pride and ego. Kind passers by stopped to see if I was ok but all I wanted was the ground to open up and swallow me up inside as embarrassment set in. My husband, Mehul was in total disbelief too and deeply concerned about my welfare. We came back to our hotel and after assessing there were no broken bones decided that the best therapy for me was to rest.
“Each morning we are born again. What we do today is what matters the most” ~  Buddha. 
This accident happened 5 hours ago. Whilst resting I tried to work out in my mind as to what actually happened and was this simply an accident? I believe not. I have been severely jet lagged since arriving 2 days ago – to the point of not knowing the day or date and at times disorientated and confused. I have travelled the world extensively to all time zones but never have I felt this way before. I believe this was a big contributing factor to my fall today. However, this was not the only reason; I was also distracted and not mindful of being in the “present moment” or in the “here and now”. This is the biggest irony of all as for the last month I have been mediating on a daily basis. Such has been my dedication that even on my flight out here I was mediating at 39000 feet! Having said that and in all fairness today I had not meditated prior to the fall but I meditated after which really helped me with the pain in my knees and to calm me down as well as reassure my husband that all was well. And it’s this meditation that has inspired me to write my latest blog. So what is meditation?
“Even in the midst of disturbance, the stillness of the mind can offer sanctuary” ~ Stephen Richards
My understanding of meditation is that it’s a practice where one trains the mind for a focused period of time upon a sound, object, movement or the breath in an effort to increase awareness of the present moment, which hopefully will help to attain a better quality of life, improve relationships, allow intense feelings to be experienced without getting caught up in them, give insights into challenging situations, reduce stress and promote relaxation. There are many studies available on the benefits of meditation. I have been meditating focusing on the breath. In a matter of a month spending as little as 10 mins a day to an hour on some days has given me an inner peace, an acceptance of situations that cannot be changed, clarity on life’s problems and on occasion answers to them and in all sincerity I believe it is making me a better McTimoney Chiropractor. 
“Feelings come and go like clouds in a windy sky. Conscious breathing is my anchor.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh
I have been promoting the benefits to my clients as many are trying to find a way to a better life and improved health. Most interestingly, some of my long standing clients as well as family and friends have commented on something being “different” about me of late but they can’t place their finger on it – I wholeheartedly believe it’s the meditating. When I take a record card of clients on an initial consultation one of the things I ask them is about accident history. Countless times I have heard from clients that the accident occurred due to a lapse in concentration or not being focussed – in other words not being in the present moment. Would a practice of regular mediation help them in the future to possibly avoid these accidents? I believe so or at least help them in their recovery post trauma.Of course if I had been in the moment watching my step and being mindful instead of being jet lagged, distracted and lost in thought I am convinced I would have avoided my accident. There are no McTimoney Chiropractors in Malaysia so I will have to wait to get aligned on my return. However, I will continue to mediate whilst out here as no doubt it will help me recover faster.
Mindfulness is about falling awake rather than asleep.” ~ Shamash Alidina