Receiving a relaxing massage is one of my favourite treats and I had the pleasure of treating myself for a couple of relaxing massages over the holiday season. A friend had recommended a massage therapist to me named Sandra who works out of a massage therapy clinic in Victoria. I had seen her a couple of times throughout the year and always enjoyed her deeply relaxing massages. When I told her that I wanted to treat myself to massages over the holiday season, she told me that she practiced part-time out of her home and was open on some days during the holiday season. As it turned out she lives a few blocks away from my home. I was excited about the prospect of walking to and from my massage treatments and looking forward to receiving my special holiday massages.

As I walked towards Sandra’s home for my first treatment during the holiday season, I was filled with joyful anticipation. Sandra showed me the massage room and asked me to get changed. Her two cats had snuck into the room with us. I greeted them and Sandra said the cats could stay inside the treatment room during my massage, if I would like it. She mentioned that many of her patients enjoy the cats’ company as they usually curl up on her patients’ legs and feet while she massages their backs. I responded with a resounding YES. Sandra let me get changed while my two new friends curled up on the massage table. What followed was a very relaxing massage with two purring four legged cats resting on my legs. I thoroughly enjoyed the massage and was able to relax even more deeply in the company of the two cats.

This experience reminded me just how beneficial and soothing the relaxed energy of cats is for our human nervous system. There is a reason why one of my favourite Mini-Retreat’s is the cat-walk. THis Mini-Retreat is inspired by the way cats settle on people's laps. The cat walks carefully, feeling out the terrain, pushing her paws down in a rhythmic motion until she feels settled enought to lie down and doze off with a contented purr.

Enjoy the grounded and relaxed feeling that comes from taking the cat-walk Mini-Retreat:

  • Stand up and close your eyes.
  • Push one foot into the ground, feeling the weight of your body above it. Then slowly shift your weight to the other leg. Alternate back and forth for a few minutes.
  • While you continue shifting your weight back and forth, imagine looking down through the soles of your feet, connecting with the ground even more.
  • Enjoy this relaxed, grounded feeling and take it with you into your next task.
  • Author's Bio: 

    Julia James, CPCC, PCC, M.Sc. is a multi-lingual certified life coach, award-winning author and international speaker. She helps busy professionals around the world achieve balance in their lives through individual life coaching and workshops. Author of the book, The Mini-Retreat Solution and the audio CD series, Guided Mini-Retreats for Busy People, she provides tools to manage stress effectively and to relax and re-energize quickly. Julia has been featured on Joy TV, CBC News, as well as in The Globe & Mail, Glow Magazine, BC Business Magazine and The Vancouver Observer.