Everyone knows that massage feels great. Have you ever noticed that some people have a natural gift of touch, whether they've had massage training or not? Perhaps you received an informal backrub one day from a friend, and you noticed not only its effect on the muscles in your neck, shoulders, and back, but also how their energy and touch seemed to relax you to the core of your being. It's like music: some musicians play all the right notes but it still doesn't grab you, and others make music that touches the deepest part of your soul. It is important to pay attention to the massage touch and the musical touch that affects you deep within, for therein lies the secret healing power of massage.
Most people think that massage is all about the muscles. In massage school, we study human anatomy, bones and muscles, organs, from sacroiliac to gluteus maximus. We learn all the right strokes and perfect our technique. There are dozens of styles of massage.
The most common traditional Western style is often called "Swedish" and treats all of the major muscle groups to long gliding strokes and kneading with warm hands in contact with the skin. Doing so eventually induces a relaxation response which, in turn, reduces stress. Part of what happens can be described on a technical level: increased blood and lymph circulation, release of endorphins and enkephalins, release of muscle spasms, increased joint mobility. Beyond the physical benefits, most people report mental and emotional benefits as well, and therein lies the secret healing power of massage.
The secret is fairly simple, yet it is in the realm of the unseen world. It rests on the principle that we are spiritual beings, and that in order to experience wholeness, we must unite the spiritual with the physical. The most profound healing energy comes from the heart. Through touch with integrity, massage is the physical conduit for the powerful healing energy of the heart.
The secret healing power of massage is the healing energy of the heart. Depth and effectiveness in massage is achieved not only by working deep into the muscles and connective tissue of the physical body, but by complementing this with an intention to cradle the soul with loving energy from the heart.
Touch is a basic human need, and few of us get enough of it.