Body's Wisdom and Sacred Touch
by Vanessa Uybarreta, Amityville, NY
Our bodies know what we need. Our mind tends to think otherwise, but we can get more in-sync with our intuitive bodily wisdom.
Think about it, have you ever noticed when you are in pain, your hands make their way to areas that need attention? Have you ever banged a body part and found yourself instinctively touch and rub that area? Can it be so simple? The answer is yes.
When I am listening to a client express where they are feeling pain, I’m always intrigued that their body language really shows me what they need. Maybe they have a hand touching their neck even though they are describing pain in other places. It is important to take in all the information from their words and body language.
Have you ever noticed a friend talking about a topic that irritates them, and they clench their jaw, tighten their shoulders, or place their hands on their forehead? These are clear signs of areas that are “holding on” to that issue or emotion. We can learn how to listen to this intuitive guidance by first tuning into our bodies on a moment- to-moment basis. What do you feel right now? How are you feeling? Soften into sensation and your current emotional state.
Our body grounds us in the present. By feeling our bodies in this world, our mind will naturally quiet down. This body focus is essentially a moment-to-moment meditation, a focal point. It also allows us to experience life more tangibly, not purely in our mental space. Lastly, it helps magnify our ability to listen to our intuitive guidance.
As we continue to become more comfortable and knowing of our own body’s wisdom, we can then extend it out to others through conscious touch. Touch is an essential part of our lives. From the moment we are born we crave touch. We are dependent on touch the way we are dependent on oxygen. Take a moment to think of all the ways touch is part of our lives: a warm hug of joy, comfort, or consolation; a gentle hand on a friend’s shoulder or back to show support or understanding; a sensual embrace with your partner. We use touch to express ourselves in the world.
So how can we consciously touch someone with love and attention? The essence of Myofascial Release therapy founded by John F. Barnes says, approach someone with awareness. Feel your own body, and then touch someone from that place of awareness. See if you can feel the presence of the person you are engaging with. Then “never force, never lead.” This essentially means, be conscious and respectful of their boundaries, and feel if they need light touch or a deeper embrace or even no touch at all. Be present with them. Listen and feel. We are all able to approach someone with awareness and presence.
These are a couple of the fundamental concepts of Myofascial Release. Each person’s body knows what it needs to feel better, to heal. How could I possibly, coming from my own mind, know what is best for someone else? Instead, I must meet each person as “new” every time with awareness, and listen to their body’s deeper wisdom. Touch is sacred and the body’s wisdom is infinite.
Vanessa Uybarreta is a Licensed Massage Therapist, Myofascial Release Therapist and a Yoga Instructor. Her practice is in Amityville, NY MindBodyBreathmt.com