“Relax” – from the Latin, “to open again”
“Calmness of mind does not mean you should stop your activity. Real calmness should be found in activity itself.” – Shunryu Suzuki-roshi
It’s interesting that when therapists talk about kinds of massage – sometimes “relaxation massage” is a mode that is spoken of condescendingly. “Oh, he only does relaxation massage.”
But when we look around our world, maybe relaxation is the most important thing. Maybe it is the biggest key to our health, both as individuals and as a society. Around and within us we can see the harsh and sometimes tragic consequences of not relaxing – internal tensions in body and mind, person-to-person violence, social unrest, and war.
Massage therapy is the only health modality whose content is explicitly relaxation. Perhaps this, more than our remedial effect on soft tissue injury, is the key to the growth and the demand for our work.
We live on this miraculous planet. The relaxed contemplation of and reverence for this incredible place should be something cultivated every single day. The appreciation and healthy, calm utilization of the incredible capacities of the human body, mind and spirit should be presented as our most important task.
We cannot move, think or feel in a balanced way without relaxation. This is a wisdom communicated directly to the bodymind through every massage. And if we therapists embody in ourselves the calmness in turn that we evoke in our clients, we become healthier and healthier through our work. That’s wisdom for you!
So let us use Relaxation Day as a way to re-elevate the power of relaxation and its all-encompassing relevance to individuals and ultimately the whole world. It ‘s not just a Day – it’s a way of life, without which we risk the very health of the planet.
In the Bible at the end of each day of creation, it says God contemplated what he had done and saw that it was good. And on the seventh day, it says God blessed that day particularly because on that the day he rested.
Always remember that it is rest that was most honored and most blessed then. And now. Now it is up to us. Massage helps tremendously by amplifying the capacity and the joy in relaxing and contemplating this miraculous world we live in. This is our greatest joy and our evolutionary responsibility as human beings and as practitioners of calmness in activity.