We all recognize the unconscious reaction when, for example, we suffer a blow and immediately take our hands with the intention of soothing the pain. What moves behind this contact?
The skin is the most extensive organ of our body, it helps regulate our organism with the external environment and gives us the most sensitive of our senses, touch, forming a very precise communication system with our environment.
Like the other senses (olfactory memory, visual memory…) there is a tactile memory that stores, remembers and recognizes sensory experiences.
The skin is an organ that perceives and expresses, and in the same way that the body is transformed reflecting its emotional content -we see how chronic control in a person ends up stiffening his body- through contact with the skin of another person we can feel his stress, his relaxation, his tension, his confidence…
Thanks to our sensory awareness, massage can become a language -of contact- that allows us to -get in touch- with what the body holds, helping to release those «negative» impressions that were trapped in the form of muscle pain, joint blockage, feeling of heaviness, anguish… or nurturing the positive ones, since as sociable beings that we are, physical contact is part of our needs for well-being, so it is highly recommended to receive sessions of a good massage.
This is possible if there is a conscious, respectful and loving contact.
Californian Massage began its development focused on the sensitive part – on self-awareness – experimenting and adding different techniques and ways of touching, creating a non-verbal language – a means of communication and expression – through breathing and presence in the hands. In this way the masseur-therapist acts as a facilitator, as a guide, but it is the person who receives the massage who has to do the internal work. This massage is a way to explore each person, to bring awareness and to attend to self-perception.
Working on self-perception is the way back to feeling vital, at peace and in balance -which comes from being coherent in what I feel, think, say and do-; this path brings as a consequence the growth of a deep respect for yourself, which will lead you to face changes to go with the flow and let go of what you are struggling with.
Then the tension decreases, the one that supports your body, the one that hardens your muscles, the one that keeps your thoughts alert and your heart in a defensive position. All feelings of tension will diminish because in truth the tension is one and it is within you.
If you are in tension, the whole of you is in tension, and if you hold that form for any length of time it is as if it crystallizes and takes hold of you. You stop being free, you can no longer use the tension at the necessary moment, but you will do everything – you will live – from the tension.
When you feel the tension that your body stores, in the form of hardness, of involuntary control, of distrust – of the exhaustion that this implies and of how unsatisfactory it is – you will realize that you do not need to live in permanent tension, and that awareness alone will lead you to relaxation.
«Tension is hardness, relaxation is softness.
Tension is rigid, relaxation is flexible.
Tension distrusts, relaxation trusts.
Tension closes, relaxation opens.
Take it to the body…take it to the mind…take it to the heart.»
Although I have dedicated the article to the more subtle part of what we work with through massage, I must mention that as a holistic therapy, the focus remains attentive and open, knowing that matter, mind and emotions are united.
For this reason, during the training in Californian Massage, besides studying the technique – a wide and varied range of more than 70 manual contact techniques – personal growth is supported with different works of body awareness and meditation. In this way, the apprenticeship is open to those who desire professional training as well as to those who seek to live an experience of transformation and healing.
This is an increasingly popular massage known for its relaxation effects – as I wrote in the previous article – although its key contribution is that of increased body awareness, other benefits worth highlighting are:
- Relief in the treatment of chronic pain.
- Release of muscular blockages and contractures.
- Expansion of joint range of motion.
- Reorganization of the posture.
Calithai Massage Space (Madrid)
Maria Lucas Ruiz – Collaborator of Spazio Massages