Bodywork

The ultimate paradox is that, as a human being, we are far freer inside a well-oiled body “vehicle” than when we are when we floating outside of the body where our choices are limited by our own ungroundedness and inability to manifest what we most want to create, including ourselves. Though many people idolise the concept of being able to leave their flesh behind to join some sort of free-form dance party in the higher realms, there’s nothing like a lifetime of being painfully ungrounded to show you the benefits of having that well-functioning human vehicle to “get around in”. Being in recovery from a long-running health crisis demonstrates this to you more effectively than anything.

If you have existed more as spirit than as body then the rebalancing process, to merge one with the other, necessitates that you get to experience every inch of that body, as though from scratch; making it conscious, which can again seem paradoxical if the amount of pain you have been in for the longest time has seemed like you are constantly feeling that body, far more than most people ever seem to do. Yet experiencing pain is not the same as truly being present with your body and fully residing in it; as I have come to learn from direct experience. When the going gets tough, and it can get very tough indeed for the ungrounded person, we tend to flit out of the body as it suits us (knowing that we can), leading to a catch twenty-two scenario where the very grounding process we need the most is ever-more elusive. It’s as though we lack full commitment to our human selves…but (like in any marriage) we must have that commitment to be fully in there, meeting half-way, and not dashing off whenever things get challenging, in order for the relationship to work and to be sustainable. The importance of bodywork as a treatment, during this crystallisation process, is therefore paramount; probably as the most effective kind of treatment you could pursue. In fact, the very act of going to such a treatment signals to the body that you care and that you are invested in it.

Yet part of me has long dreaded hands-on treatment due to a track record of feeling worse, not better, afterwards. I was just so ungrounded, and there was just so much old karmic trauma stored-up in my body waiting to be processed by such a treatment (making the sweep of a less-experienced hand like a person wandering in a landmine; you never knew what might go off!) so I equally dreaded all the convolution of choosing the right therapist with the right bag of tricks to help me cope with this. This is what led me down the route of mostly having energetic treatments rather than actual hands-on body work…which served me well in dispensing with all that “old” karmic stuff and working more consciously with spirit. Yet what about my poor old body? There were times when I found myself just longing for some proper, grounded, physical touch, skillfully addressing parts of me that I can’t even get to, far more so than yet another hour of reiki or whatever latest-fad energy treatment I had lined up.

So yesterday, I went for a session of that very thing – two hours of massage – and it was fascinating to behold the difference in the way my body responded. Though it was with the very woman to whom I first turned nine years ago, who offers a broadly holistic bag of skills, including several energetic modalities, I was quite clear in our chat that what I needed right now was some tender loving attention for my physical body. I wanted to honour it on its terms and help it feel appreciated; certainly not the taken-for-granted or “lesser” half of this crystallisation process that is well underway. In my own mindset, I was here for the body…eager to help myself to be in that body more than ever…like the treatment was a bridge; the result of which was a very different reaction to any previous massage I have ever had.

I’ll admit, any of those previous massages that was “less than” or where the therapist clearly wanted to chat would leave me “in” the body throughout; yet not in a good way and it could feel like being at the dentist. However, by and large, with a good therapist (and the one I was seeing yesterday is one of the very best) I always used to float off during the treatment, almost as though knew I had left my body (with some relief) in the capable hands of someone who knew what to do with it far better than I; like handing a screaming baby back to its parent. Meanwhile, I would fly off and have all sorts of quantum experiences….only to land back in the body, at the end of the process, to find I was experiencing even more pain than before. Yes, I would be more limber, there would be that initial euphoria of everything being more aligned than it was etc, but once that brief honeymoon was over, my new sense of physicality would send all my alarm bells clanging and, what to most people would be a bit of post-massage aching or rebound stiffness would turn into days or even longer of hugely exacerbated chronic pain….along wth a load of emotional debris that came up to the surface like a toxic wave. My husband would step into the room afterI got home, his face a picture of trepidation, to find I had retreated into semi-muteness and fatigue in order to process whatever the treatment had stirred into full focus for me; and wouldn’t expect me not to return to myself for at least another few days.

This time, about a year after my body crystallisation got going in a much more directed way (courtesy of AuraTransformation), I was able to stay present throughout the entire treatment, in fact I wanted to be there to experience all the delicious sensations that were going through me as hot stones and oil were used on literally every part of my anatomy. I felt like I was being joined up and somehow redrawn anew, as though the strokes I was feeling were a paintbrush outlining a brand new kind of anatomy that was oddly minimalist in the sense it was devoid of all the old emotional-storage cubby-holes of the previous one. In any case, I didn’t need to over-think any of this; my mind was pleasantly in neutral and there was none of the old emotion release, those ancient stories of this and other lifetimes coming to the surface, since I have felt quite done with all that karmic baggage for some time now. Even the many learned responses that the body used to fall back on, like watching reruns of tedious old episodes of grief, weren’t playing this time. The only playlist running was my own and it was grounded fully in the present moment, where I was being tenderly lavished with physical attention.

I came out smiling, grounded and feeling much better for the experience…which continued all evening and (here I am) the next day where I find myself energised and chatty with all that have crossed my path. It was a sure sign that something was new when I got the urge to clean out and reorganise my fridge before I had even managed to put breakfast into my bowl; sudden early morning house-cleaning urges being a sure sign to me that I have turned a corner and am feeling the impulse to make positive changes (the outward reflecting the inner). As long as I don’t stagnate by sitting too long at the computer, I’m finding I feel great in my body today, having done my yoga, had an epsom salt bath and applied some Deep Blue to any sore bits; my walk is coming up next and (unlike is so typical the day after a treatment) I feel the urge for a longish one rather than something perfunctory and laboured. If I compare my reactions with those last summer, when I attempted a massage in June and was out of it in such an un-grounded, spaced-out state alternating with awful pain for the entire weekend that followed (which was very typical; like a plane bouncing on and off the concourse in an attempt to land), I see how I have come such a long way. A lot like my new reaction to a weekend in the city, subject of my last post, I am clocking up new responses…and new wisdom around them…faster than across all the previous of my decades; and it’s not about getting better at just being physical (which so many people demonstrate with apparent ease…) but about bringing the infinite spiritual perspective, with which I have longstanding communication, to bear within a physical context. Explaining fully what this feels like defies words…

Another clue is that the therapist didn’t have to waste the first part of the treatment calming down my overwrought nervous system from the journey there, which used to be very typical. Even though what should have been a straightforward 45 minute drive became much more convoluted due to a sudden road closure that sent me on a massive detour and made me pushed for time, I was able to drop into a calm state as soon as I had sat down and laughed it off. Once on the couch, three deep breaths and I was away; no need to tell me to relax this part or that part of me, I was a rag doll. In fact, my body was so much more responsive to my commands, as it is in general these days, which is a big part of the absolute joy and pure freedom of existing as spirit in a body; getting the best of both worlds, like an uber-skilled racing driver being handed the right car. Perhaps that particular analogy is pushing it a bit in my case (let’s not race before I can walk) and yet I can finally see the appeal of driving this body of mine, discovering what it is capable of, whereas it used to feel so half-hearted and very compromised. I‘m finding myself daydreaming about dancing classes and other new things which, whatever they turn out to be, the joy is that I am, at last, free to consider them whereas before they felt like they were off my capability list due to clumsiness, pain and fatigue.

So I think its safe to say hands-on bodywork is going to be high on my list of priorities from now on, more so than the kind of energy treatments which (face it) I can do for myself, being such a dab-hand..and often finding myself frustrated under the directive of people who aren’t quite on the same page as I am when it comes to working with spirit. It’s in the admission that its my body that needs my attention that I find myself coming into more balance; which is one to consider if this kind of ungroundedness has been your health pitfall too. The current trend is towards energy treatments, which is as it should be in order to rebalance a world that has been so physically focussed for so very long and yet, for some of us (and I speak only to them here), working with spirit has been our natural domain for just so very long that it is in the return to the body that we find ourselves coming home.

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