“Only by recovering the body can we begin to heal the world itself, for as mind is to body, so culture is to planet. Healing the split between mind and body is a necessary step in the healing of us all. It heals our home, our foundation, and the base upon which all else is built.” (Anodea Judith – Eastern Body Western Mind)
Over the years I have noticed certain behaviour that enhances a massage before, during and after the treatment. I would like to share them with you, so you can make the most of your treatment.
Hydrate before and after massage. Time the hydration before, so you don’t need to go to the toilet during the massage. We are made up of approximately 75% water, hydrating encourages the flow of nutrients to the cells, metabolic waste to be eliminated and for our energetic being to prosper as well. It keeps us juicy and flowing.
Avoid eating a large meal just beforehand. Lying on a full stomach can be uncomfortable and not ideal for the digestive tract.
Drop the roles/masks/stories/lists to do. Allow the roles (mother,victim, son, office worker, “good person” etc….) to rest on the earth for the duration of the treatment. Any stories that are playing out in your mind can be left at the door to be collected when you leave…..if you like. You may even find if you leave your mind behind answers to questions you have been asking yourself could bubble up during your stillness on the table. This happens regularly. “When you become quiet, it just dawns on you.” (Thomas Edison)
Insights during massage. If something trickles down or bubbles up as an insight and you feel like sharing or expressing whatever it is, please feel free to do so – you are in sacred space and it is safe to do so. Toning (vocalizing) is also a great way of releasing energy – if you feel like sighing out or voicing something that just comes up for you, please feel free to do so. This can help release energy through the throat and neck and liberate constriction from further down the body.
Just breathe. As cliched as this sounds, it is powerful beyond measure. When encountering a little pressure or discomfort the breath can assist you in opening up these areas of contraction. With the breath also follows your consciousness, and with that your innate healing ability. Your emotions are too linked with the breath. We store our undigested and unexpressed emotions in our bodies (physical and subtle) and through our breath we can liberate them and liberate our bodymindsoul. These emotions were stored with good reason at the time (perhaps to keep us safe) but over time they can create dis-ease. It is freedom our being seeks. It is also interesting to note that “willing a release makes the contraction tighter because it does not yield to will, it yields to yielding”. (Emmanuel). Just breathing and surrendering is powerful. Inhale and open, exhale and soften.
Your body is perfect just the way it is. “The body itself is a screen to shield and partially reveal the light that is blazing inside your presence”. (Rumi) How do you “hold” your body? A great many people hold their bodies in a critical way; their shape, texture; etc. How do we engage with our body, is it one of fear and frustration? How you hold yourself is how you hold the world around you. If we engaged with our bodies in a more accepting, loving and patient way wouldn’t that be more nourishing and leave an opening for transformation and healing for ourselves and the planet? So when you are having a massage just relax into your perfect body and allow another to celebrate and nourish you. Drop worrying about areas that concern you. Try not to judge an area of pain and contraction as “bad” or any other limiting belief. Just observe and breathe. Become receptive and accepting during your massage, experience a glimpse of bodypeace. “At the heart of each of us, whatever our ‘imperfections’, there exists a silent pulse of perfect rhythm, which is absolutely individual and unique, and yet which connects us to everything else.” (George Leonard)
You know your body better than anyone else. If you feel that the pressure is too firm, let me know right away. If you feel very uncomfortable with a certain body part being touched or deeply worked on, let me know. At a deep level you will know what is right for you, trust that intuitive self.
If you are a meditator, a massage is a great opportunity to practice. If not a meditator yet, focus on your in breath and out breath and feel the breath lovingly travel through your body intelligently nourishing each and every cell. Riding along with your breath is your lifeforce, prana or chi. Like oxygen, this lifeforce is what sustains your being. Every time you inhale you are saying yes to being here and living and every time you exhale you are surrendering to the moment in all its perfection. Become a little like our dolphin friends, who unlike us, have to consciously breathe otherwise they perish. That means that they are present every moment of their life. We are totally over stimulated during our days and in our sleep we are processing the day’s events or other shadow elements. When do we have a chance to completely let our bodymindsoul rest?
Let me know if you are uncomfortable in any way. It may be that the music is unappealing; the temperature is too hot or cold; or the strokes or techniques are uncomfortable. I would rather know than keep you in an uncomfortable position. Advise me of any emotional or physical experiences that may be present when you first begin, during or after if it is a concern for you. Help me help you.
With the energy work that is involved in my treatments, sometimes you may feel different energetic occurrences. They may be akin to a natural high; deep relaxation (which we are not all that familiar with these days); an emotional release; sometimes images may come to you or memories from your past and sometimes fluttering’s/heat/other sensations within your body. Occasionally (only when you are ready) traumas that are hidden in shadow are brought to light – for healing. If you feel unsure about what is going on, please do not hesitate to contact me either by mobile or email. I have a network of professional wellness practitioners that can assist you, if need be.
Post treatment salt bath is a great way to allow yourself to integrate the work. You can use Epsom salts, baking soda and handful of each in a warm bath or table salt up to 1kg. Soak for about 15 minutes no longer otherwise it has a leaching effect on the body. Add some essential oils, lavender, patchouli or a mixed relaxation blend. You may even like to light a candle. Rinse in cool shower after bath. (Mahamassage has created organic herbal and extra strength magnesium sulphate bath soaks….please have a peek at the products tab.)
A little nap is ideal post massage if available to you. This allows further integration and relaxation.
Eat a small meal in the evening to maximize your energy for healing and integrating information from massage during your sleep, rather than your energy being diverted to digesting a large meal.
Grab an early night to encourage a greater response time for healing when you sleep. As most of our healing occurs when we sleep – it is great to make the most of this process especially after a massage. You may just naturally find yourself tucking into bed early.
Post massage soreness is possible. It feels like you have worked out at the gym, only I have worked the muscles and soft tissue for you in a different way. If this occurs drink plenty of water and take nice deep breaths into wherever you feel a little tender. This type of soreness usually lifts after a few days. If you are sore afterwards it generally indicates that these are places of chronic contraction. Very occasionally nausea may occur – this is when there is usually a high level of toxicity in the body – water and rest is required if this occurs to flush out the toxins.
Exercise after a massage. I have found that this differs in people, but personally after a massage I find taking it quietly exercise wise is good for me. After a couple of days when the treatment has settled I resume my usual exercise.
I have massage and energy medicine as treatments, let me know whether you would like more of one or the other. We are different each day – sometimes we may feel like a gentler massage with more energetic work and yet some days we may feel like a deep tissue massage. And some days we can be unsure, we can intuitively work from this place as well. Please let me know.
“Body exercise is incomplete if it focuses exclusively on muscle and is motivated by the ideal of a physique unspoiled by fat. What good is a lean body that can’t hear Thoreau’s owls or return a wave to Emerson’s wheat? The ensouled body is in communion with the body of this world and finds its health in that intimacy.” (Thomas Moore – Care of the Soul)