by Bodywork Massage therapist Sue Lancaster
“There is more wisdom in your body that in your deepest philosophy” - Friedrich Nietzsche
Our bodies hold the key to our very existence. In fact, without our bodies, we wouldn’t actually be here, in this formation, in this life. Irrespective of faith, belief or philosophy, in the here and now, without a body, we would not be here. And yet, we are guilty of neglecting our bodies and what they are telling us. Whether we are indolent and barely move, or we are bashing them into bits with a ‘no pain no gain’ approach, we have the propensity to not listen to our bodies, what the messages are, and importantly, how we can do something about it.
Connecting to our bodies is wonderful. There are many ways we can do this, and it is up to you to find the way, or ways, that work for you. One amazing body nurture approach you can use is regular bodywork massage therapy. It is phenomenal.
You’ll feel better
You are aching, and quite literally feel like you’re carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders. They feel tight and make the most disconcerting sounds when you try and free up some of this unwanted tightness. It’s like someone has taken a clamp-like vice, and turned it as tight as it can go. And you just want it to ease up, to loosen it, feel freer, softer and more flexible. Tightness or congestion can appear virtually anywhere in our bodies. Somatic (of the body) expression is how our bodies tell us what is going on, and often there lies some deeper meaning and truth behind it.
There are many reasons why people store up tension in their bodies. For example, you will likely have a particular behaviour that comes out of the box when you’re feeling overworked. This could as simply be down to how you hold yourself when you’re working at a computer. Couple this with tiredness and the knock on effect this has on posture and it all contributes to the overall recipe for tension, tightness, congestion.
Having therapeutic bodywork, whether remedial in nature or a more relaxing aromatherapy or hot stones massage, gets rid of a boatload of tightness and discomfort. Plus, you will have an hour focusing on just you. Afterwards, you will feel fabulous and pleased you invested that time and opportunity to heal yourself.
Reconnecting to your body
You will be very aware of how your body feels, how it responds to the bodywork therapeutic touch, and will notice the areas that are tight and congested. Conversely, you will also be aware of the areas that are soft and pliable. Regular bodywork will allow you to build up a knowledge and pattern of how your body responds and behaves in responding to the challenges and opportunities of life. You’ll notice trigger warning signs sooner and will have a wonderful therapeutic means of healing at your finger tips.
So, you feel stiff, uncomfortable and need to release some of that somatic tension. Bodywork puts the means, the method and the application at your disposal. It’s one thing to know you need to do something about it - the real impact happens when you own it and do something about it.
Investing in you
Bodywork may not provide you with a magic wand to wave away all your stresses or clear up your physical discomfort in its entirety, but it can reduce the discomfort, and with regular bodywork, you can manage the discomfort well, and provide a much deserved sense of relief and reduction in pain, aches and tenderness.
It’s simple: regular bodywork gives physical relief. It also gives you time to do, well, nothing. When was the last time you gave yourself a whole hour to just do nothing? Literally, nothing. Just be yourself. It’s beyond words just how fantastically wonderful this is.
Sue Lancaster is a massage therapist and meditation teacher based at Napiers Clinic in Edinburgh. She has a degree in Medical Anthropology and years of experience practicing massage bodywork therapy. Sue works at Napiers Clinic every Tuesday and alternate Saturdays.