Blue Hand MassageFeatured
I like the word holistic, although recognize that many people object to its holiness; indeed, I know some practitioners who insist in spelling the word holistic. To my mind, the significance of the word whole in this context is that I not only work with the whole client (You) but also I bring the whole of myself to the massage situation. Massage in essence is about sensitive communication through the medium of touch. At the moment of placing my hand on a client’s body, a range of physiological responses can occur, affecting the skin, the sensory nerve receptors, the muscle tissue, the circulation of blood and lymph, the ease of movement of joints, the digestion and so on. My skill as a holistic massage therapist, varying the depth, speed and intention involved in the touch, helps to determine which response occurs.
Yet there is great deal more than this. Our emotions are body felt sensations. Consider when you have experienced familiar feelings such as anger, fear, shame and joy. Each of these is fundamentally a physical response and experience as result of the situation you were in. When I touch your body, I am literally in touch with your Hands holding head feelings. Also, our bodies embody our conscious and unconscious belief systems about ourselves. If you believe yourself to be a confident, outgoing person, you will carry yourself in a certain way, your muscles will develop particular patterns of tension and relaxation and you will present a particular appearance to others. If you believe yourself to be insignificant and unimportant, the posture and muscle patterning will appear very different. Whatever your self-belief, when as a holistic massage therapist I touch you, I am literally touching your view of yourself and the feelings that help to maintain that view. Of course, that view is likely to be the product of all you have experienced to date – so that when I touch you, I am in touch not only with who you are now but also with all of your personal history to that moment.
In that moment of touch, not only are all your physical and emotional responses present, but so are mine. I cannot help but bring to the massage situation my physical symptoms, my feelings and experiences and my personal history. As a holistic massage therapist, my professionalism means that I will take care of myself elsewhere, but also that I may draw on my own history as appropriate in order to assist your individual process. It means that I may develop an expertise in working with particular clients because their experiences and needs relate to my own. So the range of possible responses in a particular session is enormous, bringing together the rich complexity of who you are, who I am and how we connect through the medium of touch.
As human being, we are physical entities. Part of the deal of the human condition is that each of us has a body! Yet we have a culture and generations of conditioning that try to marginalize the body, teaching us to be ashamed of its size, shape and functions. Many of us are not properly embodied. We have been taught by families, advertising media, partners and our own inner critics that our bodies are not good enough. The role of the holistic massage therapist is both radical yet simple, namely enabling people to live fully in their bodies. That’s it! My work in essence is as simple yet profound as helping others to celebrate their physicality.