SHIATSU MASSAGE EXCHANGE – JEFF DOCHERTY
We are living in a time where we can find ourselves lost in a whirlwind of activity, where stress and strain seem prevalent.
Massage is ideally placed to help bring us back to a more grounded and calm sense of ourselves.
My idea is to form a weekly drop in where people can learn about and explore Shiatsu Massage. An exchange over 1.5 hour sessions where people can enjoy receiving and giving.
A Shiatsu exchange can provide a time and place in our week where we are able to let go fully, regenerate and experience ourselves anew.
Frequent, long held emotional states effect our health.
The Telegraph (20.09.16) reported that scientists have studied 16,000 people over 15 years with the conclusion that they are now calling for Doctors to treat anxiety as a major physiological health risk.
Men who suffer from anxiety it seems are twice as likely to die from cancer.
Why Shiatsu Massage
Shiatsu is an ideal group practice, with two key advantages. Firstly the recipient keeps fully clothed and secondly there are no lubricating oils. In addition no special apparatus is needed, just a comfortable floor covering to relax on. Its easy.
Learning the techniques is straightforward too. After all our sense of massage is natural and instinctive and Shiatsu follows our innate sense; it is only an elaboration of ‘rub and press’, ‘push and grasp’, literal translations of traditional Chinese Massage forms.
The case for Massage
In most traditional cultures the role of Massage was considered a more fundamental part of health care.
In the Tang Dynasty of China (618-907 AD) it is recorded that there were 56 massage doctors in the imperial hospital – more than the total number of herbalists and acupuncturists.
The compassionate power of touch and its effectiveness has been largely forgotten in the development of modern medical techniques, an approach that can make us feel objectified, disassociated and disconnected from our bodies.
Being grounded in our bodies is essential, it is literally the felt sense of how we are.
It is becoming increasingly clear that it is not possible to separate the body from the mind or heart. Our experience of ourselves tells us these sensations, thoughts and feelings are an integrated whole.
Understanding how essential bodily sensation is takes us back to the very beginning of our lives.
As an embryo movement and by extension touch is our first contact with physical reality. Before we can hear or see, we feel by touch.
An embryo begins to move between 5 and 6 weeks.The embryo’s first movements are both spontaneous and reflexive. A light touch to the mouth causes the embryo to reflexively withdraw its head. At the same time as movement and touch begin the cerebral cortex and nerve cells in the spine begin to develop.
This is how fundamental, how far reaching touch is.
We experience the world through touch and we embed our felt sense into our nervous system, into patterns of memory, constructions of mind. We embody our personal world and experience.
Just as any form of abusive touch can be potentially damaging, forms of supportive touch can be immensely healing.This can help explain why body work can have such a profound effect not just on the physical body, but on deep psychological and emotional levels.
We have devalued its importance to our detriment.
We now know that therapeutic touch automatically triggers a coordinated response between the nervous and endocrine systems. These hormonal circulations have far reaching effects.
For example Oxytocin, commonly referred to ‘The Love Hormone’ has a well-established reputation in facilitating bonding, eliciting feelings of happiness, a sense of connection, trust, gratitude, enhancing our social functioning.Affairs of the heart.
It maybe an extraordinary complex and powerful hormone but it is released by the most natural of means- a hug will do it!
Oxytocin is released by touch, by Massage, and it is no suprise to find many oxytocin receptors secreted in the heart, where we feel the world.
So a Shiatsu Exchange can give us an opportunity to redress the balance of our rushed lives, calm the mind, soothe our nerves, release our tension. It can improve our sense of well-being and lighten the load. Shiatsu can change your felt sense and experience of yourself and that is quite a gift.
Starting on Fridays in January 2017. Register your interest with Reception on 01242 584140. Contact Jeff on 07970303694 to find out more.