The Sacred Art of Touch
Recently I finish my training qualification in Holistic Massage with Clare Spink, Empowered Feminine. My experience was incredible and I am so excited to share more about what I have learned and experienced, and to start offering massage myself.
I couldn't recommend Clare enough, who is an incredible sister, goddess and space holder, with a gift for this work. As an energy healer and yoga teacher, I was looking for a course that would teach me, not just about techniques and muscles, but also about holistic approaches to massage that include the emotions and energy. I got just that and feel as though I was initiated into a sacred collective of wisdom holders that practice the art of massage and touch. From what I understand, massage is at least 4000 years old, with evidence showing up in the ancient cultures of India, China and Egypt. Massage in these contexts have always been used therapeutically to aid with helping achy muscles and also rebalancing the mind and body axis.
If you've ever heard of the saying, 'issues in the tissues' (there's also a book), then you'll be familiar with the concept that often we can hold a lot of our stress and emotions within the tissues of our physical body. Very often, we can find that pain in the body is a redirection of emotional or psychological pain. A personal story: about 10 years ago, I suffered from severe back pain and tried almost everything for 3 years with only temporary relief. Then I read a book that completely changed my approach. The doctor who wrote it, had a theory that sometimes psychological stress and pain is harder for us to manage, so the brain secretes and stores this in the body. This fools us into identifying with the physical symptoms, so that we do not address the root cause. This is all unconscious and the brain does this ultimately to protect us. As soon as I changed my approach, my symptoms changed and I haven't suffered from back pain since then. I relay this, simply to highlight the connection between the mental and physical, and the practices that can help us observe and strengthen that connection.
Yoga is such a practice and I believe it was my initial introduction into understanding the relationship between body, mind and spirit experientially. My own practice of ashtanga, before the pandemic at least, is heavily focussed around hands-on adjustments. As I often tell anyone who will listen, physical touch is my number one love language, so it has not escaped me that I would be drawn to this particular lineage. What was always clear to me, in receipt and in giving hands-on adjustments as a teacher, is that there is also an energy exchange in touch that is not just a physical. Somehow, an energetic code is given that allows the body and person in receipt to really 'feel' into the body and the guidance of someone else hands. When you understand meridians and the way that energy flows around the body, you begin to understand that adjusting with the hands can help us align and attune more to a more optimal flow within our bodies.
I have always loved massage myself and have been lucky enough to receive some of the most exceptional experiences, not least with Clare! While in Thailand in 2019, I had a massage every other day for 3 weeks and came back a different woman. I ended up seeing the same masseuse for my whole time and believe that there was something about her knowing my body, knowing my stiffness, knowing my preferences, that allowed her to penetrate layers of deeply held 'stuff' in my body, At the beginning of my time there, I used to fall asleep during my massages and I believe that this was some kind of disassociation. As, when the body releases and lets go, the mind is sometimes unable to fully process. Nevertheless, the process happens and by the end of my time in Thailand, I remained cognisant throughout my massages and really believe that it's because I had managed to release so much.
So now, a full circle, I now get to offer this beautiful practice to you. Not only massage but Reiki infused, so that I can work consciously and simultaneously with the energetic and physical body. During my Reiki sessions I often pick up messages during a session, however, I have found massage is slightly different. It's less psychic and more obviously physical. Bringing both together can enhance the somatic experience and aid with bringing those two aspects of ourselves together. The psychical is our vehicle and the means through which we experience more subtle realms of being. It isn't either or, it is both and I'm so incredibly excited to offer and share this with you.
Find out more HERE
Thank you for reading.