Massage is so much more than physical relief or the soothing of aches and pains. In fact, in my experience as a massage therapist of almost 30 years, I have found that massage can have a profound effect on supporting us to really surrender and drop any guards or protection we might be carrying.
There are layers of protection that we each hold in our body that rob us from the true intimacy we can share with everyone, including with ourselves.
Massage can support us to break down this protection we carry and as a result be more transparent with others, regardless of whether we are close to them or not. Intimacy, not just the physical kind, but our ability to be open with others doesn’t have to be saved for an intimate partner, family member or friend. It can be shared just as equally with anyone we meet, be it in our street, at work, shopping in the supermarket, just about anywhere. It simply requires a willingness to let go of our guards, our protections and let others in.
Massage can also support us to be more intimate and loving with ourselves, as the gateway to feeling this tenderness in the body is the opposite of being on guard. The massage breaks down the layers and there can be many.
We talk behind a shield a lot of the time; the defences are up and half the time we aren’t even aware of this. The body is hardened by these defences. We don’t realise how sensitive our body is. It picks up everything.
The knots we feel in areas of our body come from the tension of how we live. The protection forms a hardness in the body that gets built up over time. Massage supports us by breaking down the tension we carry, but the real healing comes from living in a way that doesn’t create the hardness and protection in the first place.
Being intimate and loving with ourselves is the first point to not presenting to others a body that is hard and shut down, and also allowing a quality of care and intimacy when we are with others.
Massage supports by allowing us to drop our guard, even if just for a moment, to feel our sensitivity, the beauty within. This is the meaning of true intimacy. When we feel this within ourselves, we realise that this beauty is the same within all of us, no one is more or less beautiful than another, regardless of our gender or outer appearance.
Developing a loving relationship with ourselves goes a long way to restoring true health and wellbeing for all of us.