the process of making or becoming sound or healthy again.
"the gift of healing"
tending to heal; therapeutic.
"a healing experience"
alleviate, ease assuage, palliate, relive, help, lessen, mitigate, attenuate, allay
"time will heal the pain of grief"
I’ve been thinking about healing quite a bit lately. Healing has come of age, but it also has received a bit of a bad reputation lately, especially on the massage boards. There are two basic camps; the medical/logical science based, show me proof minded therapists, and the energy is everywhere, woo woo, just because there isn’t proof that it works doesn’t mean it’s not true type. On that continuum I’ve swung wildly back and forth, to finally settle in the comfortable middle ground.
Being a massage therapist by trade, I’ve done my share of healing (so to speak) of my client’s surface concerns. By that I mean, they have neck pain, shoulder pain, wrist pain, etc., for which I will employ various massage techniques to help alleviate. I spent a lot of time over the last several years studying and practicing manual techniques in order to better help my clients with these front line concerns. What I’ve realized lately though is that I’ve been so busy with those things that I’ve gotten away from my fundamental nature and one of the reasons I wanted to become a massage therapist in the first place.
Growing up as a child of the late 60’s and having several mentors in the mysterious arts of intuition, divination and healing, I spent a lot of time researching and practicing various modalities of one might consider the occult. Yep, I charted my own astrological chart, read my Tarot cards, analyzed my own handwriting, palms, eyes, bumps on my head, psyche, you name it. I chanted, meditated, astral-projected (sort of) used pendulums, crystals, feng shui’d the heck out of my spaces, and read thousands of pop-psych, self-help and the latest healing guru’s books over the years.
Just going to massage school was in a way another very personal healing journey for me. Being an introvert by nature as well as having various self-esteem and body consciousness issues, the experience of being naked (literally and figuratively) and having others touch me in a loving, therapeutic and non-sexual way was transformative. I literally felt more comfortable in my own skin. I uncovered and released long held injuries and insults (physical and psychological) that were stuck in my tissues. I also realized how far I’d come, and how far I still had to go on the emotional and spiritual evolutionary trail.
Where is this all going you ask…I’m not sure really, but I know that in order to help heal others, as my name suggests, I need to activate a lot more of my innate and hard won healing nature. Does that mean that when you come for a session with me there will be sage burning, crazy music playing and I’ll be dancing around you waving turkey feathers and pendulums? Not unless you want or need that to happen…well maybe not even then, I’m an introvert remember, I keep my woo woo to myself mostly. Just like I don’t force your tissues, I won’t use the “force” either. I can’t or won’t give anyone anything they’re not ready to receive anyway.
What it does mean is that I will allow you to heal yourself; because that is the only way it will happen. It all comes from you, I’m just a facilitator. I’ll give you the time, the space and maybe a little woo to help give you some insight, a chance to explore and experience what you need to experience and learn from your front line concern and whatever is underneath.
See for the past few months, perhaps because I’ve also been working at a get em in, get em out chain style massage franchise, I’ve been focused on fixing those top line concerns as quickly as possible. I forgot that things don’t usually get fixed in a session or two or even three. Although I don’t rule out miracles happening! I forgot that there are usually layers and layers to uncover. Those underlying concerns. I forgot, that yes, clients want to feel better physically, but they also want to feel better emotionally, spiritually, or just plain feel something.
I also forgot what I really love and need to do. So if you come to me with a frozen shoulder, or an old injury that is acting up again, I will I use my knowledge of manual techniques to help, and if you'd like, I’ll help you look at what might be driving that particular issue. Heck I'll even throw in a free handwriting or natal chart analysis for you! Seriously though, most pain is a message; most pain isn’t about what you think it’s about at all. Most pain might respond to manual therapy for a short time, but if you don’t get to the deeper issue, uncover the layers, it will come back or return as something more. I also forgot that in helping you, I help myself as well. Healing isn’t something one person does to another and it isn’t something only the special people can do or have. It’s in all of us and we need to not be afraid to use it or accept it. Yes it might take time, it might be scary and painful in many ways, it might be wonderful and terrible and everything in-between but it will be worth it.