why we need massage and bodywork
“In order to survive in the high-stress world of high-tech, we more than ever need the high-touch psycho-technologies and body-work methods that are the enduring legacy of spiritual practice and the human potential movement.”

from Thoughts on the Relationship between Technology and Spirituality.

According to Oriental medicine, dis-ease appears when the body loses it’s harmony with nature, because the alternating currents of energy between the patient and earth/nature are seen to be obstructed – hence wide spread inflammatory/auto-immune disorders and environmental destruction are inextricably linked.

If we consider the primary contributors to illness as:

  • anxiety, fear, anger and other negative emotions, contributing to mental dis-ease
  • excess work and stress contributing to physical illness
  • environmental pollution and the intake of artificial additives in food contributing to social illness and discord

then the aim of treatment might be the creation of a better world as a whole through the healing of the individual.

During effective meditation and/or bodywork, the conceptualisation of contrast, and the intuitive perception of life are increased. As a result, the body’s homeostasis is heightened. If that seems like an abstract concept on this page, that’s because of course it is, but the sensate feeling indicated is one of increased equilibrium – homeostasis. This is what feels so restorative.

Another element of Shiatsu and bodywork therapy is the effect touching the skin has on the midbrain, directly effecting the limbic system – the complex of nerves and networks in the midbrain concerned with instinct and mood, controlling the basic emotions (fear, pleasure, anger) and drives (hunger, sex, dominance, care of offspring.)

Through appropriate Shiatsu treatment, a client’s brainwaves change, as during meditation, from beta to alpha and sometimes delta. In this relaxed mental and physical condition, patients release their thoughts and, by the practitioner’s caring hands, can be expected to acquire a positive image of themselves, and others. This is win-win and a basis for healing.

It is therapeutically significant if a patient is freed from a held negative image. For example, those prone to stomach ailments live with the sustained subconscious image that something is wrong, making them constantly aware of the stomach, or the back, or knee, or wherever. Being overly conscious of one part of the body, because that part has sustained an injury, or is unhealthy for some reason, is an indication that one has lost contact with the holistic nature of the body. When people are aware of their whole body, they do not create negative images about themselves. This is why it feels so good to be in that consciousness. The body wants, by the foundation and definition of life and “life force” to heal itself. We just need to get out of the way. Remember what that feels like (take a moment… remember?) when you feel rebalanced and restored after a treatment, integrated, at ease and at peace with yourself and the world.

What’s more, the best way to relieve stress is to feel compassion and appreciation towards others. The patient who is appreciative of therapy heals more quickly. Appreciation restrains a patient’s pessimistic feelings and dis-ease and puts them at ease.

Regular treatment is thus an effective path to self care and healing and not to be underestimated as preventive medicine. That is my observation and my story and I am sticking to it!