What actually happens by touch?
Sensitive touch by hands compels us to spontaneously to return to the feel of the present moment, because quite often our thoughts - a constant "thought carousel" are usually somewhere else. Of course, we are at all times in the here and now, but rarely do we notice or appreciate the reality of the present moment. Most often we do not. We are texting, chatting, watching TV, consuming all manner of sensory input, and thinking…..worrying, about the future. Tomorrow, next, week, next year. And alot of times these days we are doing two or more of these at once!
The brain is a future thinking machine; it is the one thing that separates us from all other animals. Man is the only being that can contemplate the future......and that is where the trouble lies. Because only in thinking about the future, do we find stress, and worry, and panic.
In both touching and being touched it happens that we bring ourselves very concretely back to the present moment.
In massage, we can focus on the internal. We notice first, how we are feeling, what is our mood, how is the temperature in the room on our skin? What about the sounds, the smells.......all sensory inputs about the present moment. This is how one begins to relax. Some people will talk about “emptying your mind” I hear that phrase a lot, and it is more difficult to do for the average person who is not experienced in meditation. So maybe one idea is not to empty the mind, but to push away the thoughts of the future or external, and replace them with thoughts of the present and or internal.
Our thoughts are almost always focused externally: "What should I do about this? and that. Then she said this, and then I answered that ... " "This person did this" So, rotates the carousel thoughts.
In Lomi Lomi, there is very much a giving and a taking between the person receiving the massage and the person giving it. It as both an exchange of energy, and it it is also and exchange of touch for the person giving. The body on the table gives feedback to the sensitive nerve endings in the fingers. For me it is like reading Braille, the way I try to read a body. So I am giving touch but I am also receiving. There are 2,500 nerve receptors per centimeter just on the fingertips! Maybe 20,000 per hand! As well there are over 7,000 nerve endings just in the feet? Is it any wonder why rubbing of the feet feels so good.
For you on the table, touch is a way to bring you into focus. Focus on where is the hand is now, how does it feel ? Where is it going? What is the pressure? does it float on your skin like a piece of paper upon the water? There is a rhythm and a fluidity. This is aided by the rhythm of the music, and as well by the aromas, sometimes of lemongrass, sometimes grapefruit. Try to notice. All of these sensory inputs are designed to put your thoughts into the present moment, so that there is not room for the thinking about the future. The massage experience is like giving that part of the brain a rest……sort of like when we sleep, except that in restless sleep too often our future thoughts can still invade, in the form of bad dreams.
So - what happens when we experience a Lomi massage and enter into touch? We feel and we give at the same time. We give warmth by the type of contact. Because we let ourselves go entirely to the experience we feel and e give a lot of love. We sense what is needed. How can it be that we, as the giver, have the ability to sense? How can it be that we arrogate to ourselves, we purport to know what the other person needs? Quite simple really. For we are not so different, we are human. Something in us already knows, if we allow ourselves to become attuned, we can feel what is actually needed.
Touch, I believe is as essential as water to life and to living. It is not something to be feared but to be acknowledge and enjoyed.
In Lomi, we touch as if we were the ones receiving – we are touching, but again also simultaneously receiving. We allow ourselves to feel empathy. Something in us knows what feels good and all the moves, all the techniques, all kinds of touch that we learn in Lomi training spring from this deep empathy. There is no script. The body is the script.
There is an apparent paradox. At school, or in the office we always learned that learning is a process in which we would have to add information. English Vocabulary for example: Clearly, we need to learn vocabulary - Add words to the brain. When learning Lomi massage something else happens. Although we first learn the basis of specific techniques and we learn to let our body loose and move smoothly, but the deeper we dive, the more we feel that it just comes out. Actually, it is a kind of "ex-learning" of the rigid patterns of movement. Then the body of the recipient in connection with our body can really become our script. That is why each Lomi experience is different.
And when it is concluded, the feeling is that of being back in balance. Imagine floating naked, in a river or sea of calm, warm clean water – peaceful, in balance. Happy, just because!
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A Really Good Massage Blog
I write about things that I myself need to be mindful of. ways in which I would like to improve. It is not from the perspective of preaching - but rather writing helps me work out what I myself need to do - we are all in this together.