As a consumer of massage, you already know there are wonderful benefits to receiving therapeutic touch. And you’ve likely tried one or two variations of massage or bodywork as you’ve meandered along this path of complementary healthcare. But did you know there are at least 250 kinds of therapies that are part of this growing massage and bodywork tradition? From acupressure to Zero Balancing, there are a multitude of lush, leaf-filled branches on this bodywork tree, making it a perfect spot under which to throw a blanket and sit a while.
Energy Medicine Overview
Massage therapy isn’t the only newcomer on the block when it comes to acknowledgement of complementary and alternative practices. Energy medicines can be equally as powerful, though they are often less understood and more difficult to convey to prospective clients because of their abstract concepts.
Existence is a song. Everything vibrates, from the smallest of molecules to the very universe itself. Where there is vibration, there is sound.
Sound has the power of creation. In the Bible, the world is created by way of sound: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” and, further, “And the Lord said, Let there be light: And there was light.” According to Hopi myth, the Spider Woman sang the song of creation over all the inanimate forms and brought them to life. In the ancient Mystery Schools of Egypt, Athens, and Rome, sound was understood to be the fundamental creative force of the universe.
The “unknowns” of energy medicine are the aspects that make it seem unusual, unique, and — unquantifiable. The very things that make the work profound are also the things that have kept much of the medical establishment at arm’s length on this side of the world. Now, as science is slowly proving out what energy practitioners have always known about their work, traditional medicine is gingerly extending its hand. Will it be welcomed?
To hold, press, or rub an area of the body that hurts is a natural response. We do it without thinking — for headaches, stomachaches, back pain, bumped knees, cramps — and such contact usually offers relief. Acupressure is a skillful way of relieving pain and disharmony through simple, intentional touch.
“The problem of healing involves the harmonious relationship
of man’s inner energies to those of the without.”
— Randolph Stone, osteopath, naturopath and chiropractor
Bioenergy, the assumed basis of what is now commonly called “healing,” is a complicated subject for many of us — and an even more complicated subject for research. In this evolving field of science, experts offer a variety of definitions, explanations and mechanisms for the process.
Life is an act of affirmation. Each day that we rise from our bed and engage in the moment-by-moment activities and choices that script our personal story, we are saying “yes” to life. Some do it unconsciously. Some do it with great relish and joy. Some do it consciously and with skill.
Emotions, of themselves, are not a problem. Everyone experiences a range of emotional feeling throughout their lives: Sadness, anger, joy, worry and so forth. They are a natural part of our embodied experience and a normal response to our environment. They are neither positive nor negative. They only become problematic when they are notably intense and excessive and, especially, when prolonged over a long period of time, without expression or acknowledgment. Everyone feels anger at times, but it is normally a strong, but short-lived, response to a direct and immediate stimulus.