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 (can anyone say environmental degradation and auto-immune disease on a global scale) because the alternating currents of energy between the patient and nature are seen to be obstructed.

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 (medical) treatment is the creation of a better world as a whole through the healing of the individual. Right?

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 potentially 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. Now this is a good thing…

It is also 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 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. And this is why it feels so good to get a session from someone who instinctively knows how to touch deeply! Remember what that feels like (take a moment… remember?) when you feel 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.

For these reasons, regular treatment is an effective path of self care and healing and not to be underestimated as preventive medicine.