Remember the Body is Inherently Soft

The other day I did a session with a person who said she wanted to soften the way she reacted to life challenges. When things got challenging, she felt herself too inclined to harden, retreat or defend. This manifested physically in very frustrating levels of tension in the neck, shoulders and arms.

She asked, and we agreed, that the goal of the session would be “softening.”

It reminded me of beautiful short poem by author, psychotherapist and bodyworker, Elliot Greene which I then shared

Hands flow, tension goes.
And now is the time
For the soft way of being.

We appreciated that poem. Then, as I started to work, I had an uprising insight of what the great movement teacher, Feldenkrais called “the elusive obvious”. We talk about muscles and fascia as “soft tissues” – and massage is most often defined in laws as “soft tissue manipulation.”

Yet I had never really concentrated on the soft as part of that.

Muscles and fascia are basically meant to be soft and pliable. So when we move, their softness allows for full contractility and extensibility. A defining characteristic of these tissues is already their “softness”.

This informed my awareness during the whole session. Everywhere we worked I reminded myself to embody softness.

I noticed and supported through clear touch the inherent softness in her physical and energy body.

And each time I noticed myself hardening my own body or mind through effort or doubt, I reminded myself of the value of softness.

So from now on remember – soft tissue manipulation means acknowledging and supporting the inherent softness of body and mind.

Would you like to try your hand at massage therapy? Join us for our next free Intro to Massage class open to the public.