When asked about their massage, most of my clients like to describe coloured lights that danced through them or the feeling of deep relaxation after the treatment, when left to enjoy a few moments of peace. However it is when I use the Meditation Massage techniques that the something extraordinary truly begins…..One client, totally sceptical, was so amazed by the simplicity and the results that he exclaimed “What is this? Magic!?” No it is not magic, it’s simply “letting go”.
Both Mediation and Massage have been found to have profoundly therapeutic effects. A recent study at Yale Research Centre in Connecticut, USA tested the effects of Massage, Meditation and a combination of the two on fifty eight late stage AIDS patients. They were looking to improve the quality of life, and set specific tests assessing the synergy of meditation and massage. The results discovered that the combined Massage and Meditation therapy had a significantly favourable influence on overall and spiritual quality of life, relative to standard care or either massage or meditation alone.
With this in mind and with the understanding that it is hard for some people to relax and ‘let go’ into a massage, I have developed my own form of Meditation Massage. Meditation Massage combines my two loves, Bodywork and Meditation, and begins using simple breathing techniques to bring the client into a space where meditation and relaxation can take place.
Once in that relaxed state I can feel for any lumps of tension and scan the body for any misalignment due to rigid muscles. Sometimes this tension is due to exercise, and this is easy to massage out, but when no amount of teasing, tweaking and kneading will shift the tension, that is when I know I am dealing with Body Armouring. So what is that and how does it get there?
The human mind tends to hold onto negative past events, as if they were some kind of vaccination against a repeat of that experience, and often we put negative thoughts into their relevant places in the body. For example, irritation and frustration, as emotional baggage, often gets dumped into the Urinary system, which left unchecked can then result in cystitis or kidney infections. Hence a frustrated person will say that they are p****ed off, they are literally!
A lot of clients come to me with back pain in the area behind the heart which is where the body/mind often dumps past emotional pain. The body puts tension into the muscle behind the heart to protect and “armour” it. It is not a good idea to use conventional massage on Body Armouring as the body isn’t ready to release the issue: it wants to remain armoured to protect the body.
Without release, this tension can lead to anything from breathing difficulties, even asthma to irritable bowel syndrome and high blood pressure, as rigid muscles affect the nerves governing these vital organs. During a Meditation Massage session I get the client into a space where they can let go of this past hurt, without talking or counselling. It is a totally personal and internal method.
It’s not magic, it’s simply “letting go”
During a treatment, when I reach any points of ‘armouring’ within the body, I point out the tension and then explain what it may be there to protect. I then talk the client through a seemingly simple visualisation and breathing technique, whilst feeling for changes within the muscle structure. Each area of Body Armouring takes about five to ten minutes to release. There may be one or several points within one body that needs releasing, and subsequent treatments are usually required to unlock further areas.
The massage finishes with a short Guided Meditation focused on relaxing the body and bringing peace to the mind.
Sarah Yapp BA (Hons) ITEC MCThA
Sarah Yapp Therapies