Massage and Meditation: Touch Changes Everything

Next weekend I’ll be teaching “Massage and Meditation” a CE workshop which has become a holiday and new year’s tradition at our school.

Whether we’ve been doing massage for just one year or twenty, we can always find ways to renew our appreciation for how profound, and sometimes how neglected, touches are in our lives.

Have you ever had meal and afterwards realized you couldn’t really remember tasting it?  How about touching?  How many times a day do you touch things or people and are unconscious as you do so?

The founder of Chair Massage, David Palmer, says, “Touch is the orphan sense in our culture.  It’s the one sense we’ve disowned most, and it’s time for us to reclaim it. It’s the first sense we have in the womb and likely the last sense we experience when we die. Yet, we live in a culture that numbs us from the neck down. When we reclaim that, it will be revolutionary. If we got all the touch we wanted (or needed), 75% of mental health problems would go away tomorrow,” he says. “It would change the individual, it would change their relationships, and it would change the institutions in which they live, work and play.”

Austin’s own world-famous architect, Charles Moore said, “No other sense deals as directly with the three-dimensional world.  No other sense carries with it the possibility of altering the environment in the process of perceiving it.”  No other sense changes the world as it feels it!

  • When we touch our friends, our partners, and our children.
  • When we hold a piece of fruit.
  • When we practice fundamental rites of daily self-care – washing, eating, and drinking.
  • When we touch someone older or ill, suffering from touch deprivation, that touch can change their whole world and everything  they’ve been believing.
  • Each time our feet touch the ground, their touch telling us so much about this terrain we walk upon.

What if this year we more deeply felt how extraordinary these everyday touches are?  Feel how they sustain us; how they are our most direct and sacred connection with the world.  Everyday touch changes our world; it is infinitely enriching, yet it doesn’t cost anything.

The blind French philosopher and revolutionary, Jacques Lusseyran said, “You can not help yourself from loving what you have really felt.”

If we want to add more love to our lives and to the world around us, then let us more consciously touch this year.  Let us take this “orphaned” sense and give it an even more beautiful home in our lives.