Just a few days ago, I had a revelation, thanks to one of my clients. She gave me the gift of “Ah-ha!” while I gave her the gift of “Ahhhhh!” I felt ultimate gratification and joy for my profession. I get to help others and continually take my knowledge and understanding of massage, bodywork, and the mind-body connection to higher levels. It is a beautiful gift that we give each other, the “client” and myself and I hope to share it with you one day. But first, I’d like to talk to you about how my consciousness was first touched by these gifts of touch.
I was ten when my family moved into the foothills. My father built a house and we had enough land to keep our horses with us as well. I recall watching my Dad shoe our horses and as he walked around the horse, he kept his hand on the horse’s hip. I asked why and my Father said that it helped the horse know where he was at, since he couldn’t see behind him. This way he could feel my Dad’s movement and the horse would not get frightened. At that moment, I realized that touch communicates, that it builds trust, and a sense of safety.
It wasn’t much long after that I got wise enough to start using the skills I had started to acquire to earn a little bit of money. My brother loved getting his back scratched and rubbed. He often got sunburns and I would keep his back well-hydrated for him with aloe or lotion. After becoming annoyed with his constant requests for these favors, and my lack of funds for the candy machine at school, I decided to charge him ten cents a minute for these services. Not long after, my sister caught wind and sure enough, I was giving her foot massages & exploring foot reflexology for TCBY or jewelry.
Back then, five minutes made me feel like I was a slave to my brother’s back. But in my boredom, my fingers got curious. I can faintly remember the moment: “You mean it hurts here? When I push like-” “Ow, yeah, right there!” My brother asserted, interrupting my question. “Hmm, interesting. I can feel it in here. Under your skin, your muscles feel really tight, hard, and lumpy in that spot.”
Many years later I started deepening my understanding of muscle tension through relationships in the body. I was fortunate to get my massage education from The Institute of Massage Therapy in New Jersey. The founder of my school received her education from a very prestigious institution in New York City- The Swedish Institute. She had horror stories of what the students had to endure to pass tests and the New York State licensing to practice massage therapy.
This of course, was a valuable benefit to me for she passed this knowledge on to us and our exploration of therapeutic massage included not only what certain conditions felt like in the body, but the relationship, the yin-yang of the body and how, when out of balance this creates pain.
Three main factors that I have now spoken of heavily influenced my epiphany: 1. Communication 2. Reading sensation in the body to uncover “the mystery.” 3. Relationships.
Granted, these are factors that influence cascading realizations ten times over, but what makes this particular epiphany so special is the first factor, communication. For communication in its most naked form is an exchange of information. When someone comes to see me for massage, I of speak with them to gain information first, but much more information is given to me when I am able to explore and “read” their body with my hands. I read the sensations which then lead me to the relationships, a cause and effect if you will between muscles, tendons, and ligaments. However, when someone comes to see me for bodywork, specifically Reiki, I explore the body’s communication as a sensation of flow. The closest association if this is your first time thinking of energy flow, is visualizing how water flows. Energy can flow through the body very rapidly, if one area is very “open” or another could flow very sluggish if there is stagnancy or as I often say, congestion.
Typically when I am sought out as a Reiki practitioner, I have some time to discuss the session with my client after to let them know what sensations or imagery I experienced during the session. During these times I rarely discuss overly contracted muscle patterns or give stretching or strengthening homework and this is because I have been paid to explore the body’s communication through the energetic language, not the physical. Even though, they do indeed go hand in hand.
What I found to be so imperative for this particular epiphany to occur is that my “client” (I use quotations because I am not 100% favorable of this word but do not have any other to use) asked me to do massage with her typical reiki session that day. Since we had less time than I would typically do a massage with reiki I offered a suggestion for the most simplistic yet effective massage techniques to be layered with reiki.
To speed the story along, I will just say this: It was as if I had two complete, fully functional brains that through the application of a “new language” they synergistically evolved into a new super-human double brain! Words cannot describe the awe that I had stumbled into. At the same time that this “super-human double brain” happened it was a no-brainer as well. For one, I was not seeking it out so it naturally lead itself to discovery, and the adage to take the “path of least resistance” comes to mind. I was using the least amount of force to receive the highest amount of gain. I accessed her deepest levels of tension and in no way was it painful for her nor did my body feel any sort of fatigue whatsoever!
This process could have felt rushed, in fact, it should have. She wanted massage to relieve serious muscle tension in her hips from a 3 hr mountain bike ride the day previous along with reiki for only an hour. Let me tell you this, releasing muscle tension in the hips and legs through massage can easily take an hour all by itself. Yet, we had the sensation of all the time in the world and she felt as if it was the most indulgent session she’d ever had with me, and possibly ever and I felt as if I did all she wanted, and more. She shared with me after the fact that she previously would visit a physical therapist to put a rib back into place and it was often a painful process yet I did it for her that day effortlessly (and without any knowledge on my part) and it did not hurt her one bit.
I am really excited about this experience because it inspires me to do so much more for my clients. It also does not have to take away from the massage experience that my clients have come to be accustomed to, in fact if anything, I believe it will make them feel as though their body had its own newfound epiphany.
If you are in the Boise area, I would love to share my new/old skills as a Reiki Massage Therapist with you. I would also love the opportunity to talk to you on a deeper level about Reiki and will be offering workshops in the near future. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 919-0391 to schedule. For the month of November, my 60 minute Epiphany Reiki Massage will only cost you $50, $10 off the regular price.
Thank you so much N for this experience, and for the last year of getting to know you, your body, and our infinitely wondrous world together. 🙂