Because massage increases the fluid flow in the blood and lymphatic systems, massage shouldn't be used with people having phlebitis, thrombosis, high fevers, infectious diseases, some types of cancers, areas of hemorrhage or heavy tissue damage, and fractures and sprains less than 24 hours old.

If you fall into such a category, this exercise should be omitted.

Getting in touch with your own body can often bring you a better awareness of its difficulties.

Now take off your shoes and socks and stand up with your feet about a foot and a half apart.

Put your hands behind your back and hook your thumbs together, palms turned outward.

Now extend your arms away from your body as you arch your body back and look toward the ceiling.

Hold that posture for 6 - 12 seconds while breathing slowly.

Then bend forward toward your toes, but keeping your thumbs locked and your arms extended.

Hold that posture for 6 - 12 seconds while breathing slowly.

When we say, "twisted" or "bent out of shape," we reflect an association between abnormal body posture and emotional imbalance.

Oftentimes, a daily self-massage can relieve many of your postural difficulties, and hence bring you into better emotional balance too.

As an exercise, sit down and begin massaging your feet and toes.

Pay special attention to sore points in your feet as well as your hands, which correspond to internal areas, often organs, and acupressure these points for relief.

Work your way up the body to your face and scalp by gently kneading each muscle group.

Feel and get in touch with your bones, fat and sinew.

Let your fingertips explore and find tightened areas of tension, then relax them with massage.

All through this massage process, maintain steady, continuous, deep breathing to assist your body's relaxation.

By massaging yourself in this way, a cascade of healing body chemicals are sent into your bloodstream to benefit your entire structure.

You'll find that you can invigorate and renew yourself quite well with just a 5 minute self-massage each day.

You may determine or even prevent certain cysts or lumps with this daily practice as well.

Combine this tactile communication with a mental or verbal instruction to each massaged body part, and it will respond to whatever you have as an intention for it.

For instance, massaging your overweight midsection while you express assurance that you know your fatty cells will break up and slough away gives your midsection an "expectation directive.

" Make the definitive statement, "I want to be lighter.

" Stop trying to "lose" weight; then your subconscious doesn't have to help you "find" what it hears you lost.

Simply "release" the weight.

The same can be done for the relief of painful areas and muscle tension.

Muscle tenseness can keep your weight on the same way it can keep you in pain.

Knowing how to relax on the other hand, can help dissipate both.

Your body is a wonderful, complex, delicate, fascinating and responsive organic mechanism.

The more you get in touch with how you affect its operation in its many ways, the better able you will be in producing favorable changes to it.