After a stressful week, all I could think about was my upcoming massage appointment which was this past Monday. Now, for me massage is one of the things I use for pain management often brought on by stress. Stress takes it’s toll on many of us, leaving some of us with sore backs, & tense shoulders, the list continues. My lower back had been in knots for several days and that tension was also wreaking havoc with my IBS and knee pain.
Upon my arrival at the massage therapy centre I was feeling emotionally worn out, tired, sad, lonely, etc. Once inside the room where the massage was to take place I told Amy ” I am feeling very emotional today so if I have a cry, don’t be surprised.” She immediately asked me ‘ if I wanted a hug?”. I said “Yes,please.”. We hugged and I know that hug was what I needed more than anything. I thought to myself Monday night after the massage, why didn’t I ask for a hug? Well I am going to ask whoever is around when I need a hug but now I know what I need.
What I did not realize is how good it feels to be pampered for 45 minutes under the gentle touch and care of my talented and kind hearted massage therapist Amy. I have only seen her twice for treatment but she truly listens to where I tell her my body hurts and offers suggestions to me that are extremely helpful..We also discuss things going on in my life that are causing me additional pain and hurt..I laid down on the massage table on top of a warm towel, the room smelled of flowers, the lighting minimal and the music peaceful and serene.
We undervalue the power of touch. When we are babies psychologists tell us that we require cuddling and attention from our Mother’s or we may develop abandonment issues later on during the preschool years. Those hugs and kisses were given freely and with much care behind them but as adults we do not often see the value a hug or a touch can bring to ourselves and the other person.
In life we have burdens that we must carry which Amy and I discussed at great length. Both of us recall from our university days – she in massage therapy, while I was pursuing a BA degree in psychology that psychological and physical stress combined with heavy responsibilities creates tension ( the burden we bear goes to our backs). It is also important to note that responsibilities involving our jobs, paying the bills, etc. are just as heavy as the obligations and expectations our loved ones and families have of us and the ones we want for ourselves.
Healing touch is not just limited to humans, our pets want us to hold them, carry them and hug them too. They radiate love … Trust me on this one if you are a dog owner don’t tell me rubbing their tummies does not make you feel just as good as they do, while you are doing it.
Many people can be reached with a hug, a stroke of their shoulder or holding their hand. No words are required when we see people in pain or feeling hurt… I dare you to stand up and hug someone and soothe a soul without saying a word..
My massage on Monday left me pain free, relaxed and full of energy but this was not a clinical massage. This was beyond that, it was two virtual strangers being human, I see your pain, I feel your pain, and I am going to lessen that pain with a hug.
If you would like to read more material on the topic of Healing Touch, please follow this link for some research findings at http://news.sciencemag.org/sciencenow/2012/02/massages-mystery-mechanism-unmas.html