A psychiatrist’s wellness puzzle


It is important to take the time to fit the pieces of your wellness puzzle into place.


My wellness puzzle consists of many pieces. These include prayer, family time, playing sports, writing poetry, and massage therapy. I would like to focus briefly on the latter.

During my last massage, I started reflecting with my body prone on the restoration table. A variety of thoughts seeped through my head as my therapist used the strength of her hands to release tension in my mind, body, and spirit. The literature is full of evidence highlighting the benefits of massage. These include a decrease in the stress hormone cortisol and an increase in neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine, which regulate our mood.

I encourage all of us to find out which activity or therapy is beneficial and add it to our puzzle. We need to be aware that wellness is individualized. Assume balance in yourself and be healthy throughout life’s journey.

I pray that this poem will be restful and bring you peace.

Restoring hands

Calm music and

Oil you jour

an affirmative table

expected naked

Vulnerability and


Therapeutic touch

and holism in motion

Mind body soul

break out with Handel’s delight

Knot of disaster

Thinking liberates

Crescendo awakens Trapezius

a stabilizing force

Exhaled fear

lukewarm buttocks


invigorating oil

Thermostat reset

and tetanus

Cheeks surrendered

Depression exhaled

Cortisol filled brain

afraid but


strengthening hands

A welcome one

Dopamine burst

Exhaled trauma

Dr. Clark is an Outpatient Psychiatrist with Prisma Health-Upstate and Clinical Associate Professor at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine, Greenville. He was a member of the American Psychiatric Association’s Task Force to Combat Structural Racism Across Psychiatry and is currently editor of the Diversity and Inclusion section and a member of the Advisory Board for Psychiatric timesTM.

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