The last two weeks I’ve been writing about massage from an “Eat, Pray, Love” point of view. Today I want to cover the spiritual and mental aspect. By spiritual I don’t mean religious, but rather a way of thinking that searches for awareness, personal growth and development, becoming a better person and understanding one’s own role in life, sometimes including religious practices such as prayer, ceremony and rituals. One aim of spirituality is to achieve enlightened balance and happiness.
For the purpose of this article, anyone who’re interested in understanding themselves better, change and grow as a person are spiritual.
Massage can become a spiritual journey. Some massage forms in particular works with a body, mind, spirit approach, where the aim it to balance all three aspects. Some, like LaStone can include ceremonial and spiritual practices, while others like Shiatsu focuses on the energetic principles for balance.
Even “ordinary” massage can help you find clarity and understanding.
A massage brings about deep relaxation, which can be compared to a meditative state. By focusing on the touch and your breath, you are emptying the mind of thoughts, which is the first step in meditation. From there, inspiration can flow and give you insights and ideas. When the noise of daily life has been removed, there’s room for deeper thought and understanding.
I have experienced deep insights and bright flashes of inspiration while receiving a massage. Sometimes the idea bounces so much around in my head that I barely can lie still on the table and wait until the end.
By paying attention to how you react to touch, you can find clues to where emotional blockages might be stored. Sometimes a touch will make you laugh or cry, perhaps even without you knowing why. A trained therapist can help you identify the underlying emotions. The therapist then helps you work with these emotions and release them.
Depending on your beliefs and the skills of your therapist, spiritual practices can be included in the massage. Energy work, removing blocked “Qi-energy”, invoking deities and asking for the aid from the Universe
No matter if you seek a better understanding of yourself, want to address certain issues, or want to grow spiritually, massage can become a step in your path towards enlightenment. Don’t be afraid to ask your massage therapist about her beliefs, skills and methods. Know that no good therapist will ever enforce their own personal beliefs on you and they will always respect you if you say no.
What are your experiences? I’d love to hear what insights and inspirations you’ve had while receiving a massage. Did a massage give you spiritual enlightenment?