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The best of you

The year 2020 and early 2021 brought many lessons to residents of the 209, as well as throughout the country. Forced to slow down and shut down, many learned through the COVID-19 pandemic to do more than be still, but be well. 

Self-care and services offering a little pampering proved to be just as important or more so, as the industry for many was put on hold.

As the owner of Natural Path Wellness Center in Ripon, Jennifer Komatsu shared just a handful of months into the pandemic the need for their services quickly became apparent. Reopening last June, she and her staff were available for clients that had doctor’s notes deeming their services “essential.”

Looking to an issue packed with many of the 209’s “Best of,” Komatsu offered insight as to how readers may care for themselves to also be the “Best of their personal self.”

“We build from the inside of our body to the outside. That’s where wellness for me comes from, from the inside,” Komatsu stated, sharing thoughts that massage is the gateway to wellness.

“Once people are comfortable with that then they might expand a little more,” she said. “People should feel they deserve it. They deserve to take care of themselves.”

Self-care practices such as daily meditation, frequent massage, facials, foot treatments and detoxes are just the start of helping one release stress, as well as negative energy which can fester in the body. 

“When we’re stressed and our level of stress gets out there, our words are not kind sometimes, our smiles not kind, our hugs are not kind,” the wellness specialist shared. “When we really take the time to do all of that, that’s when you feel health within the body and that’s where it begins.

“It’s festering in their organs, in their heart and in their soul,” Komatsu continued, when speaking of stress. 8

Energy work may also be helpful as it opens up the chakra to let the flow of energy re-calibrate. Once again re-building above, down, inside out. A practice which Komatsu shared most clients become open to after experiencing the multiple benefits of regular massage.

“All massage therapists are different and offer different benefits to a client,” she shared. “It’s important to be seen once a month and people learn that as they go. It’s important for people to relax and let go. Massage moves the lymphatic system, stimulating circulation, breaking up scar tissue. It allows us to be able to function better.”

Wellness experts as a whole believe connection is so important to the individuals’ overall health. Affecting everything from head to toe, including digestion and overall gut health. The belief being holding on to negative energy of living a life of high stress can have multiple effects on one’s overall health. 

“You have to find a balance in life,” she said. “Balance is being able to take care of you, so you can take care of everybody else and not burn your adrenals out.

“It’s so much more than just digestion,” Komatsu said of gut health. “We have a lot of people that are constipated and don’t know you’re supposed to eliminate more than once a day.”

This can and often does result in bloating, cortisol levels change and an unhealthy liver. Things that can change naturally with diet and supplements.

“You have to be ready on your wellness journey and everybody is in a different place on their wellness,” she said of achieving your best of. “It’s a lifestyle change. We feel like we’re selfish if we take care of ourselves. We don’t deserve to take care of ourselves or it’s not accepted, but that’s our number one thing. We could be so good if we just take care of ourselves. So much better and it’s just the ability to do that.”