After moving my studio up back up to my home, I’ve been diving deep into healing touch. In my home studio under the wise conifers I don’t have the noise distractions that I did in my downtown space and the quiet has been taking me deeper into my work. I’ve been reflecting on how, in one session, I’m able to hold my attention in many different ways and sometimes it feels like I’m shape shifting. I felt inspired to write about it and I’m sure there are therapists out there that will relate to the expansive presence that healing touch can invoke. If you are a practitioner, please feel welcome to share some of your own experiences.
In a single session, recipients of healing touch are slowly transitioned from a state of tension or overwhelm from all of the stimuli coming at them daily into a more relaxed and open state. Massage or healing touch helps integrate the external and internal realities and the physical and emotional body. Through this process, they may experience WOW moment(s). If you’re a recipient of healing touch please feel free to share stories of any Aha moments you’ve had in a session.
I’m honored to hold this space and I wanted to share a little about what the experience is like on my end. I’m honestly not sure that shape-shift is the right way to put it exactly but I’m using the word ‘Shape’ to describe the different facets of myself that can come through during a session. I stay open in a way that invites each of these shapes to become and it’s in the becoming that I feel whole. I’ve somehow managed to put into words some of what makes up the whole of me as a practitioner. I hope you enjoy and I’m eager to hear your own experiences as a giver or receiver of healing touch.
Shape: The Bodyworker
There’s the obvious bodyworker part of me that’s been trained and that loves anatomy. I will step up a massage session, offering active pin and stretch methods, traction and compression, ventral and abdominal unwinding, acupressure, etc. The practical tools that I’ve gathered over the years helps the recipient release postural restrictions that cause tension, open their range of motion and as a result the muscles that have been overworking get to take a break and often this relieves symptoms of pain or tension.
Shape: The Weaver
This is the part of me that opens to see the web of life in my client. I open my perspective to see beyond the point(s) of pain to the web of life within which the pain is wrapped. This helps me navigate where and how to make more space for my client to move freely.
Shape: The Healer
There’s the healer who understands that human touch and nurturing can be a reminder (for those of us who spend most of our time in our heads) where exactly our toes are. I incorporate long delicious effleurage strokes with a healing oil from the feet to the head and back down again. This anointing reminds us that receiving touch is about coming home to ourselves from head to toe.
Shape: The One Who is Healing
There’s the healer who is also healing herself. Healing her body, her heart, her mind. The one who knows what it’s like to live in a body that has it’s own challenges. Because I know physical pain, heartbreak and grief, I know how to listen and stay in rapport, not offer Pollyanna solutions but stay present. Before a session, I sit quietly and acknowledge the places in my body and spirit where my own healing is happening. This brings me into a grounded, honest rapport with myself so I can be more present with my client and it builds an energetic foundation of trust. Rapport and trust are the first steps to an effective healing session.
Shape: The Priestess, Shaman
When intuition guides me, I might conjure healing in unconventional ways. I might place the Tibetan bowls on my clients body and play them. I know what to do and trust my gut. I respond when I’m guided to place a specific stone in a clients hand who needs it or when to bring out my fan to cleanse the body with sage and when to place a drop of ceremonial water on their forehead. Intuitive healing is a celebration of the present moment because it’s not planned. Those spontaneous moments have a special life force to them. That aliveness shifts stagnant energy.
Shape: The Navigator
Sometimes my client has a lot they are working on and it isn’t just physical. Because I was a student of NLP and have tools to draw on, I might help navigate an unwinding of emotions or behavioral patterns trapped in the body. We might find out who was the youngest version of themselves that felt the emotion. We might take the emotion out of the body and dialogue with it, see its shape, ask its name, find out what it wants. This somatic healing process, coming from a non threatening presence allows the emotion to take on new resources and let go of ways that feel stuck or no longer serving.
Shape: The Spirit
There is the spiritual warrior that refuses to be limited by the human body. The one that sees/feels that I’m part of an ALL that is immeasurable which makes me a spiritual being, walking the earth through life in a human body. I like quantum physics theories, even if its all just hearsay and ever changing. I believe that for every finite form there is an infinite amount of spaciousness within. I might offer a guided meditation so my client can tap into this sensation of spaciousness within the body where the closed eyelids that normally shut the world out become windows gazing into the infinite spaciousness within. Moments like this can release the self imposed shackles that the mind constructs within what appears to be confines of the human body. In a meditative state of mind where spaciousness and freedom become the reality, physical freedom follows.
Shape: The Invisible One
There is the part of me that knows that my client is ultimately their best healer and I am merely a conduit for the healing. This one gets invisible, steps aside, quiets down and allows. Holding the cranium, I ‘suspend’ my client in the ‘field’ while emptying my mind and arriving to the oneness of ALL (some might name it God or Holy Spirit, Great Spirit, etc.) The field is pure spaciousness where there are no obstacles. It’s where the deepest listening occurs and when I’m here in this field, I find it a most potent time to put out an invitation or prayer for healing.
A few shapes to the whole of me.