It's been a long time since I've written here but I'm glad to say I'm back! Honestly I haven't known what I wanted to say or share. Not that I haven't been inspired, I have, but my experiences have been on a more personal level and didn't seem suitable to put here. However, earlier today I had a brief conversation with someone I want to share with you now. First off the person's comments did not come from a place of malice or judgement, but true non-understanding; and it got me thinking how their view is probably more widely held than the opposite. They started off by saying, "I've never had a massage in my life, I've always thought it was all hype. Does it really actually help people?" My jaw practically hit the floor. Does massage actually help people? But I had to step back. They literally have never come across a situation where they felt like therapeutic contact of any variety would benefit them. Now, after having lived almost 8 years in Boulder and 3 in Denver, and having the friends that I do I find this line of thinking unconscionable, but then my friends and where I live definitely do not represent the whole. We barely represent anything outside of our bubble. So I took my time before answering this question. And not because I didn't have a quick response, but because I didn't want to leave them with more questions than my answer could satisfy. I wanted to give them the kind of answer that could shift their internal thoughts and change their perspective, allow space for more critical thinking in areas they wouldn’t have considered otherwise.
Taking care of the body in how we eat, sleep, and exercise is deeply rooted in how the body is able to move. The heart is a muscle, the diaphragm muscle and the muscles between each of the ribs help move the chest so that the lungs can expand; cells breathe and literally never stop moving, and then of course there are the muscles around the bones that allow physical movement through space. Not moving or being able to move well affects energy flow and from that a series of negative effects can occur. All types of massage and acupuncture help people move, and stay moving. Movement of the body is as vital to life and living as is receiving oxygen. The only time when our bodies are truly at complete rest and stop moving is when we die. So yea, it helps. And it's necessary.
Their response? “That was an extremely good answer.”
Of course it was! Twenty years ago physical therapy is where massage therapy is now; viewed as an unnecessary luxury that has no “proven” benefit; an idea developed by cult hippies who believe Western doctors are Satan incarnate (ok, maybe a slight exaggeration). Most of my massage therapist colleagues have experienced more than once having to defend their careers, what they have chosen to do with their lives, and a lot of that comes from most people not having the awareness to put two and two together; the two pieces being their bodies and the relevance of taking care of it. Our society has a a disconnection epidemic. We take better care of our MacBooks and Dyson vacuum cleaners than the vessels that carry and protect our vital organs. Many still want to believe that it's normal to take pills to repress the side effects of other pills that repress side effects of other pills taken to treat a disease in the body. Disease. that's an interesting word...dis-ease.
Ease - the absence of rigidity
Or, the presence of fluidity, the allowance of movement, the ability to move freely. Dis-ease, therefore, literally translates to the prevention of movement, the presence of rigidity and eventual causation of illness within the body.
Movement people. Keep moving. By any means necessary.