Skilled massage therapy works on several levels. Not only does the range of physical sensation span from relaxing to firm and satisfying tactually the effects assist in reducing cortisol levels and relaxing the entire nervous and limbic systems allowing the immune system to function much more efficiently.
I have found in my massage therapy practice this seems to be the case most of the time. Many clients who initially seek problem-solving bodywork revile to me later of the emotional difficulties they face in daily living from challenges by work, health, family and a host of other issues.
Celebrated author Louise Hey has illustrated the phenomenon of muscles acting as living capacitors for unresolved human emotion in depth. This idea pervades traditional Chinese medicine as well. In massage training students are cautioned to take care when working on areas of the body that have the potential of being hotbeds of unresolved emotion, such as the abdominal and throat areas.
Several years ago two doctors, Alexander Loyd, a psychologist and Ben Johnson, a doctor of osteopathic medicine described in their book ‘The Healing Code’ how by making positive corrections at the spiritual level it is possible to create desired physical changes within the body. That is it is possible to enjoy cool clear river waters downstream by purifying the source of such waters. Pretty straight forward.
Although a trauma may have occurred to years ago and the physical end emotional pain may no longer be lively in that persons awareness it does not follow that all pain has resolved itself and is now gone. The body’s neurology keeps a record of all experiences that it has had. Something like a neurologic credit card balance. The principal will not just go away, it must be ‘paid’ down. Professional skilled massage therapy can help to forgive large portions of such an outstanding neurologic debt.
For example: A child witnesses her mother’s overreaction to finding an insect on the ground,, or expresses her fears about flying. Prior to this event the child had no meaning associated with either stimulus. Later the event is ‘forgotten’, swept under the limbic carpet as it were. Removed at least by the child’s conscious mind.
Years later when the child is an adult they just can’t seem to account for why they feel dread in the pit of their belly when encountering one of the afore mentioned stimuli or events.
Massage therapy can from time to time bring these old forgotten issues to the surface for conscious address by the client. This is due to how the limbic, nervous and immune systems are set up and the associations between them. To our conscious mind the event happened ‘a long time ago’. To our emotional mind the fear and anxiety of the event Is vividly relived right now, at the moment of reactivation be the stimulus. Why is it people that seem to have it all together suddenly change at slight provocation? In reality we are only as mature as our ‘emotional mind’ is. The field of Psychotherapy is based on this idea. This is a round about way of underlining the importance of keeping a calm mind and calm body. Skilled professional massage therapy can assist in this healing process for those who have difficulty calming their mind and body.