By Agusta Perkins, LMT at Four Pillars
Everybody loves the feeling we get from massage. The feeling of being loose, moving better, improved elasticity and relaxation. The effects of massage on muscles and fascia (connective tissue) can be profound. But, what about the effects of massage on our emotional bodies?
The American Institute of Stress recently declared in Time Magazine that stress related disorders make up 80-90 percent of the ailments that bring people to family physicians. The United Nations has referred to stress as the “20th Century Disease”. The body can sometimes store and accumulate these stresses from our daily lives within our muscles, fascia and our body as a whole. Energy from past experiences can be suppressed in the body and can create tension that affects the function of every system in the body. One can unconsciously accumulate a lifetime of stress. All of these negative emotions can manifest in the body and break down the immune system. Emotional tension is not good for the body. It can create Dis-ease.
In the book Foundation Theory, Dr. Paul Goodwin explains how, by measuring electrical impulses along neural pathways, repressed emotions show up as blockages along the pathways with the nervous system. Many massage therapists run into these blockages as well. While working on certain problem areas in a client’s body, the client may experience an emotional release or a wave of old emotions. Releasing that physical blockage can help release the emotional blockage as well.
Massage manipulates the tissue where these emotions may be biochemically stored, often allowing them to resurface into consciousness. Letting these emotions come and allowing them to pass on their own can be very freeing. Communicate to your massage therapist what your needs may be, whether continuing the session or stopping to “hold space” for you. Taking slow, deep breaths is also a good idea if experiencing an emotional release but don’t hold back. If emotions are allowed to flow freely without interruption, they will naturally dissipate and most often one will enter a calm, open, and peaceful state. Emotional release happens when the body is ready and if one allows themself to go with it, the experience can make profound changes in the physical and emotional body going forward.
Memories maybe come up during a massage and tears may flow. That is the body releasing and relaxing. These releases may be a surprise for you, but if you go with your emotions and trust your surrounding of support, the experience can be a healing benefit.
Agusta Perkins, LMT uses Neuromuscular, deep tissue, Swedish and stretching techniques in her massage. She also offers the ancient Hawaiian Healing Massage that incorporates long flowing strokes that invite total relaxation. Her massage services are available at Four Pillars.
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