Have you heard of World Healing Day? We mark this meaningful day on the last Saturday of each March, which in 2023 falls on April 29th. World Healing Day has its origins in the former Tai Chi Day, in which Tai Chi practitioners took the occasion to encourage themselves and others to engage in activities that were healing for the body and the mind.
In more recent years, more holistic healing practices have joined in on Tai Chi Day – and World Healing Day was born. Today, World Healing Day encompasses other healing events like World Yoga Day, World Reiki Day, World Music Healing Day, and more. All of these celebrations have one thing in common – they honor mind-body practices that promote healing on every level.
True healing is not simply about recovering from surgery or overcoming past trauma. Healing can happen in every aspect of your life and well-being – physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, relational, and more – so you can emerge as your best self.
This World Healing Day, we at MINES & Associates would like to talk with all of you about how we can promote collective healing at the workplace and beyond. Here are 3 mind-body practices that you can use and encourage others to use.
Meditative movement practices, like Tai Chi, Qi Gong, and yoga, have been used for centuries to promote healing in communities across the world. Many people associate these practices with Eastern spirituality, and they do have their origins in certain Eastern philosophies like Taoism. But, at least in the West, these practices are used secularly today, and anyone of any religious background can benefit.
These meditative movement practices have one major thing in common – they focus on slow and focused movement. We know that aerobic activity is very important for our overall well-being. But these slow, meditative practices can also bring about healing in a different way and help us to reconnect with our bodies.
Clinical research studies have found that meditative movement practices can bring about a great deal of healing for both our bodies and our minds.
For example, research has found that Tai Chi and Qi Gong:
- Reduces pain and stiffness
- Reduces fall risk for older adults
- Can improve lung function and exercise capacity for people with COPD
- Reduces symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress
There has been extensive research conducted on the holistic health benefits of yoga, which include:
- Increased flexibility and balance
- Reduced pain, including back pain
- Decreased arthritis symptoms
- Greater chance of quitting smoking
- May relieve some menopausal symptoms
- Reduced symptoms of anxiety and stress
- May help with trauma healing and depression
You may want to consider hosting a meditative movement session for your employees or colleagues this World Healing Day. You could invite a certified instructor to come teach you the basics of whichever type of movement you choose as well as hold a discussion about the importance of moving our bodies in healing ways that feel good.
Another healing mind-body practice – and one that’s gained an immense amount of popularity in recent years – is mindfulness. There are a lot of myths surrounding mindfulness, but all it really is is the practice of intentionally sustaining non-judgmental awareness of each present moment.
The research-backed benefits of mindfulness include:
- Better management of depression and anxiety
- Lower blood pressure and improved heart health
- Helps people cope with pain
- Management of other mental health conditions including substance use disorder and PTSD
- Helping people make healthier life choices
Sitting meditation, or sitting and focusing on your breathing, is one common way to practice mindfulness. But it’s far from the only way! You can practice mindfulness at any moment. While you’re driving to work, simply pause and notice how you feel in every moment. Are your shoulders tense? What do you see, hear, and smell around you? What thoughts and emotions are coming up for you? What does your breath feel like coming in and out of your nose?
You can incorporate mindfulness into your workplace this World Healing Day in so many ways. For example, you could implement a “mindfulness bell” in which everyone is encouraged to stop what they’re doing and take 3 slow breaths in and out every time it rings. Or you could start staff meetings with a short mindfulness activity. The options are endless.
Music and art
You might be surprised to see that World Music Healing Day and World Art Day are included as commemorative events during World Healing Day. But it makes sense – art and music have long been used to promote healing. Since the beginning of time, human beings have sung and danced as a community to heal together.
And research backs this up. We now know that music and art can:
- Help reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression
- Reduce the intensity of chronic pain
- Improve overall quality of life (and reduce anxiety, depression, and pain) for people with cancer
- Improve sleep quality and decrease insomnia symptoms
- Reduce shortness of breath
- Improve functioning for people with depression
- Ease the effects of trauma
- Help people express their true selves
So how can you and your colleagues get together and benefit from the healing powers of art and music together? For those who are mortified by the thought of dancing and singing with their colleagues – don’t worry, there are other ways!
For example, you could have each employee contribute a meaningful song to a group healing playlist. You could engage people in a collaborative art project. When doing any of these activities, you can discuss the ways in which the arts have promoted healing for each of you.
Art and music tend to make people feel vulnerable, so encourage everyone to participate without compromising their emotional safety.
Healing can happen anywhere, including in the workplace. Don’t forget that MINES & Associates’ Employee Assistance Program is here to help you as well. Get in touch with us to learn more about your services.
To Your Wellbeing,
The MINES Team