If You Are Not Feeling It, Then You Are Not Feeling It - Chronicles From The Massage Table
Garnet Santicruz RMT
To be able to listen to the body, one must be present.
It’s not just a matter of knowing where parts are in the body but being able to acknowledge what must be treated first like a hierarchy of things. It’s been over a decade of working with bodies that needed to be soothed, relaxed, healed and put back together and I can honestly say that it is still challenging to know what method to apply to get to the solution.
There is an art to working one on one with people though massage therapy but the real connection happens when you feel what is really happening under the skin. In the beginning, my practice of massage was very technical and clinical. Every client was like taking my practical exam over and over again. Now a decade past, the technical and clinical overlaps intuition. Now I find myself closing my eyes when my mind is trying to take over. This method, borrowed from a blind man massaging in a local mall in the Philippines, enables me to really feel this medium called the body. It's like putting your hands in water, where air and water is separated through a very thin line. A lot can be said about thin lines in the body and one example is how pain and pleasure travels down the same neuropathway. I find that my eyes shut allows my other senses to be heightened or at least less noisy. The blind man from the Philippines was able to tell a lot about my body. Just by touching my neck and shoulders without any formal training in Anatomy or Neurology he was able to trace where my body was restricted. He also noticed that I was not breathing properly like I was stressed. Fast forward to now I would put myself in that exact situation by turning off a bias of judgement during treatment which are my eyes. It can be deceiving sometimes when we are always using our eyes to judge and as simple as quieting the mind my having less works for me. At this point I am able to follow the rhythm of the body like listening to a song with its many changes of sound. The body has a rhythm whether you say, ' I have two left feet' but still the body says 'I have rhythm just not on the dance floor.'
Understanding, that the body is rhythmical, like air going in and out of your lungs or the beats of your heart, timing is everything. To plug into the hardware is what it’s like to connect with someone’s body. Feeling and intuitiveness is of importance. The analysis of a disorganized body, which pain often presents itself, comes through a collaboration of the mind and what your connections (hands, arms, etc.) is giving you. The approach comes latter on what to do next. A plan on how to treat the body is a good start but the actual treating happens when total immersion occur and essentially you are able to feel every part of the body from head to toe.