Last year I wrote an article about body awareness and how we walk through most of our lives not aware of our bodies and the signals it sends us. The article focused mainly on the physical aspects of body awareness and how massage therapy helps you increase body awareness.
Recently I came across a website describing a technique called “Focusing”. The basics of focusing is that you use awareness of your body and muscles to help you discover how your mental and emotional state of being is. Anger, stress, sadness, frustration and so on all build up and settles as tensions in our body. Personally frustration and stress makes me tighten my jaw, leaving me in pain when it’s really bad. Once you’ve discovered and acknowledged these tensions and their reasons, Focusing helps you release them physically and emotionally.
Focusing is no set method with a right or wrong. Most often a trainer is the best method to learn focusing, but they give Six Steps you can follow on their website, which gives us all a start at least. In brief the six steps are the following:
- Clearing a space
Relaxing and focusing inward on one part of your body. Notice how it reacts when you ask it “How do I feel about my life right now.” or a similar question. Acknowledge that feeling.
- Felt sense
Select one problem and focus on it, without going into it. Essentially you sense your body’s reactions.
Describe the feeling with a word or phrase that feels just right.
- ResonatingGo forth and back between the felt sense and the word you gave it, observe your body to find precisely where it fits.
- AskingAsk what it is about this whole problem that gives it that quality you described in your handle.
- ReceivingAccept and receive what comes with a friendly shift. Stay with it and be open-minded.
I recommend you read the website for a more in depth guidance.
If you use Focusing during a massage, you can actively bring the entire treatment to a new level, not only releasing physical tensions, but deal with all the emotional tensions in your life. You become in control of your emotional releases during the massage session.