WHAT THE HANDS TELL ME – The Art of Massage #1

touching the lyre “A Symphony must be like the world – it must contain everything”. – Gustav Mahler

Mahler, the great composer, in his Symphony #3 gave titles to the various movements:

·  “What the Flowers in the Meadow Tell Me”

·  “What the Animals in the Forest Tell Me”

·  “What Man Tells Me”

·  “What the Angels Tell Me”

·  “What Love Tells Me”

When we perform our science-based art of massage, we must hear what our client tells us.

Each person’s life is symphony of themes and variations – so many voices, movements, dreams and reflections.

  • What the bones tell us – through their eons-long evolution of form and function – about how we relate to gravity, how we reach up to heaven.
  • What the muscles tell us in their interface with the nerves, the capacity for efficient, beautiful, purposeful, life-sustaining movement.
  • What the systems of the body have to tell us – about how water and air is our essence, and how it’s directed rhythmically as nourishment throughout our being.
  • What our emotions tell us about times in the jungle and in the plains, about what we love, hate, desire, care about.
  • What our mind tells us about the virtues and challenges of self-reflection.  How to consciously dream and how to fulfill dreams through the coordination of thought, feeling and action.

Deep down the themes are common.  We have this common miraculous substrate – the “same” bones, muscles, tissues, etc.  When we help the person remember this archetypal layer of themselves – how they share in the wisdom of millions of years of evolution and bodymind creation – they feel reconnected to the nourishment flowing through this tree of life that we are all a part of.

Then there is the sense of what just this one client here tells me – his or her story – how life’s stresses, successes, and surprises have accumulated into just this body of strength and weakness, just this heart’s hopes and despairs, just this mind’s answers, questions, and confusions.

What themes is this person living out?  What variations provide the counterpoints within their living polyphony?  How can we help harmonize these melodies of being so that person can fully hear themselves again?

What the client tells us, what our hands tell them; these constitute the profound on-going story of the role of touch throughout human evolution – What Touch Tells Us.  What does touch tell you?