The first time I received a harmonic hammock session, I had already experienced many types of massages. I had been studying different styles of bodywork and had received pleasurable sessions from Californian massage therapists, Thai massage, Shiatsu, Lomi-Lomi, AguaHara. It came with many massages consumed and enjoyed.
When the Harmonic Hammocks therapist started hammocking me for the first time, what happened right away was a complete break. The mind at peace. Total stillness. The soft body. Deep breathing.
Then, the loud snoring. The production of excess saliva that culminated in a lake in my mouth, combined with my muscle relaxation formed a river of saliva all the way to the floor. I rested like I had never rested in a massage before. Silence and total lightness.
This was the beginning of my relationship with the hammock. From there, I studied the courses that were available in Buenos Aires at this time, my chosen city; and together with Martin, another fellow student, and as good students, we started to practice daily. Each time finding such a deep rest. More snoring. More rest.
Little by little we started to offer Harmonic Hammock sessions to friends; we started to add a little hammock to our massage sessions. The result? Always a deep relaxation. Always grateful. Always pleasure. Until one day, after having received a session, a woman asked me if I could bring her father, living with the symptoms of Parkinsons disease. I had heard that Hamacados had good results with Parkinsons people, particularly being able to reduce tremors and generate more rest.
His father came the following week. The session brought unexpected challenges: due to body stiffness and tremors, he could not even get on the stretcher to receive, generating the need to adapt the technique to be able to apply it in a common chair. When he had arrived at my studio, his back was hunched, and his feet would not leave the floor; he advanced very slowly, always with the fear of falling and his eyes on the floor. When he left, his back was more stretched and his gaze was no longer on the floor, but rather, he was looking at my face. His feet were lifting more and he was walking faster. The positive change was striking. His eyes sparkled as he told me “I feel like a kid again” as he walked out of my study door.
Since then I have worked with many people seeking, for different reasons, how to be more comfortable. Sometimes because of muscle pain, sometimes because of joint pain, sometimes because of autoimmune diseases such as Parkinson’s and multiple sclerosis, sometimes just because of the fatigue of everyday life and the desire to take care of oneself. In all cases, the recipients of the sessions always find many benefits. First of all, deep rest.
For me, as a recipient of hamacados, some of the greatest benefits are the hardest to explain. It has to do with the inward process; increasing body awareness and proprioceptive registration. This is the process of feeling my own body. This usually brings about all kinds of “realizations”, or changes in meaning.
Only received a session yesterday. I became aware of the tension I had been holding on my back that was producing a slight pain in my lower back on the left side. After the session the pain was gone. I also became aware of the defensive state (sympathetic activation) that I had in general. Receiving the session I recorded how I was “battle ready”. That realization in the moment brought a thrill of sadness, and then great relief. Realizing this, it gave me a chance to loosen up and surrender to the quality of touch and care I was receiving on the massage table.
Since I started studying Hamacados, I have learned a lot. It taught me that sometimes less is more. He taught me that sometimes it’s better to soften up instead of going to the fight. He taught me how to listen better and how to be more present, both in the sessions and in my daily life.
I have been teaching Hamacados Armónicos® for 10 years now, and for me it continues to be a process of self-discovery, a special space of personal research about all of us who are together in the classroom; a space of sincerity, honesty and respect. Oh, and I’m forgetting something important… a space of great pleasure!
Would you like to learn harmonic hammocks? Roger Jackson will be giving a training in Madrid starting in September