Monthly Archives: May 2014

Beyond the Surface: The Deeper Healing Power of Massage and Conscious Touch

MassageCouple4Beyond the Surface: The Deeper Healing Power of Massage and Conscious Touch

Towards the beginning of my formal Massage Therapy training, one of the instructors made mention that in addition to learning how to be a massage therapist, that many students report feeling “changed” by the process. That giving and receiving that much nurturing touch on a regular basis over the course of 7 months created a healing and transformational effect.

To be clear, the massage training program I undertook in 1996 was focused on “therapeutic massage and neuromuscular therapy”. We were taught the foundations of Swedish massage for stress reduction and relaxation, along with an emphasis on clinical approaches to pain reduction and restored muscular functioning.

“How will this ‘change me’?”, I thought…

A Bit of History

6 Years prior to even a thought about Massage school, I had become quite fascinated with the concept of “Energy”. At that time, a roommate shared with me that he could see the “aura”, which is the energy field that surrounds the human body. Sparked by a deeper curiosity for “what was possible”, I began a ravenous self study of “all things metaphysical”: Psychic phenomenon, intuition, chakras, crystals, natural healing methods, and, above all, ENERGY as a means of healing.

I admit that, at the time, my entry into massage school had very little to do with interest in “pain reduction” or “massage”. I was a “closet energy healer”. I was interested in Energy healing, but I had never really met anyone who did it. I felt like an outcast, and was afraid that my “strange beliefs” would cause others to mock me. I thought “I can’t just tell people that it is possible to heal them with energy. They will think I am nuts.” I went to massage school because I thought it would be a “socially acceptable way” to touch people, so that I could further explore the possibilities and powers of energy healing.

How will this ‘change me’?

“How will this ‘change me’?”, I thought… How will someone pushing on my sore muscles and making the shoulders less tense “transform” me?

But it did. Through the course of that 7 months, without trying, I began to feel more focused and more joyful. I began to have greater clarity and motivation in my life.

My relationship to my body began to change. I became more interested in nurturing it through exercise and better food choices. The initial shyness of having my body “seen” and “judged” by others began to dissolve, and I found myself instead feeling that my body was “worthy” and “beautiful”. I became more comfortable “being me”.

I became more confident in life.

“HOW?” I began to wonder.

Certainly, it is fair to say that part of it was that I found something that I enjoyed and that I was good at. That explains some of it for sure. But it was also more than that.

Something was changing. Something was opening. And I had no clue what was coming.

A Reminder From the Universe

As I finished up massage school, I had developed an enthusiasm for massage. I imagined that I would “change the world” with neuromuscular therapy, and eradicate muscular pain patterns from everyone I touched.

It seemed promising. The fresh enthusiasm of a new direction. The positive feedback and support of clients and my teachers. I started out with a bang!

And then my client bookings went from 10 one week, to 5 the next week, and then to 2. And then nothing. I was baffled and confused.

And then I received a referral from a chiropractor that I barely knew. The new client was a young man who was having severe shoulder pain, and the chiropractor thought a neuromuscular approach would help. He was a good client. He was committed to getting better, and was willing to do whatever it would take.

I suggested a series of regular Neuromuscular therapy treatments. So he came once a week for 4 weeks. Each time I pulled out my greatest Neuromuscular methods, just as I was taught in school. Doing just what my instructors had praised me for being so effective using.

And after applying the “miracle pain relieving methods”, he would share his feedback: “Yeah, it feels a little better, but it still hurts a lot.”

Not the feedback I was hoping for.

It was then I became just desperate enough to “come out of the energy healer closet”.

I sheepishly began to explain “There is this energy healing stuff I have been playing with and teaching myself for the last 7 years, but I have never really used it on anyone. If you are open to this (read “if you don’t think I am crazy”), then I would be willing to offer you a complimentary session to see if that may help. I don’t even know if it will work or not…”

To my luck, he was already familiar with such concepts, and was open and willing to try it. He came for the session, and I did everything I had taught myself to do. From the outside perspective, I was just waving my hands around some, and putting my hands on him other times. But in my own inner experience I was shifting energy within his aura and in his body.

When we were done, I shyly asked him how he felt. And to my surprise and excitement, he told me that what I had just done with Energy alone had helped him more than all 4 of the previous Neuromuscular treatments combined. The pain was almost completely gone!

After he left, I felt excited. And I also remembered in that moment why I had gone to Massage School to begin with: I wanted to become an Energy Healer. And this experience forced me to reconnect to that deeper desire and re-sparked my quest to learn more about energy healing.

chakrasA New Understanding of Energy Evolves

Over the many years since, I have studied a broad range of Energy Healing methods, and experienced their power to transform and heal, and of course used them with my clients.

During that journey the “mystery” of the “strange impulse to go to massage school” and why it “transformed” me became apparent: There is no separation between “Energy” and “Body”. As a massage therapist, I am not just pushing on muscles and restoring muscular function. Yes, those things are happening. Those benefits exists. But I am also moving energy both as and within the body.

Tantra teaches that the body contains many energy channels and energy structures (chakras, nadis, marma points, etc), and they are being accessed on some level even during a “basic massage”. Stress and tensions in the body block the flow of energy. And sometimes the mental and emotional stresses that we are not wanting to feel get lodged in the muscles, causing the experience of stress, tension and pain in the body.

Massage helps to open the flow of those channels, releasing not only muscular tension, but potentially the emotional and mental tension that was the source. This benefit is potentially  there even if someone isn’t conscious of the energy.

But, by becoming conscious of the energy, the process can become even more effective and more intentional. All these years later, I still use massage as a healing method. I am very good at it, and most of my clients report how great they feel both during and after the massage.

But I don’t think of myself as “pushing on muscles” anymore. I understand that I am interacting with energy on the levels of the client’s body, emotions, mind and spirit. I also understand that even during a massage, a large part of the healing power and benefit to the client is created through an energetic connection and flow from me to them. It is my ability to touch them at a deeper level than just “the body” that really maximized pleasure, relaxation and the other benefits they discover.

As I massage, I am also allowing energy to flow. This helps to wash away energetic stress at the emotional and mental levels as well. The massage experience is an invitation to become more present to what you are feeling at the level of emotion and body. This deeper awareness helps you to become more connected to your Self. It helps you to feel more deeply which allows you to process the thoughts and feelings (even unconsciously), which further encourage the energy channels to open and the tensions to melt from the body.

Additionally, there is the factor of the human connection. Tantra’s teaching around “relationships” are focused on cultivating connection and a deep reverence for the Sacredness of both Self and Other. When we are being touched consciously in this way, even through daily activities, our deeper essence feels honored and free.

Through the massage experience with an energetically aware practitioner, there is sustained conscious connection and honoring which allows every level of body, emotions, mind and spirit to receive and to open. Each of these levels is given the chance to feel accepted, loved and safe. Being allowed to enter that space brings us back to clarity and to center. We feel our “Self” more clearly as the tensions that normally distract us are removed. It becomes safe and affirming to “be me” again.

Tantra teaches us that the Deeper Healing takes place when we clear the energetic blockages out of these energy channels within the body, and activate increasing levels of energetic flow in the energy channels. This forms much of the benefits of a great massage experience. A chance to turn the mind off, tune into the present moment through sensation and breath, and make space for energy to open and flow freely in the energy channels as tensions melt away.

So, the benefits of “Massage” go beyond just the body. There is also the effect of energetic connection and nurturing, as well as the general clearing and opening of the energy channels.

These principles can be taken even deeper through more specific energetic healing methods. When this understanding is skillfully used in an Ecstatic Union® Energy Healing Session, we direct even more intention towards accessing and clearing the energetic blocks at the levels of emotions, mind and spirit. Whereas the massage creates a more general opening and flow that can be likened to the more gentle effect of water washing away “blocks”, during an Ecstatic Union® Energy Healing Session the methods used are more focused, like energetic surgery.

The often more gentle “energy washing” of the massage will create healing and changes over time with regular application. The more energetically focused work of Ecstatic Union® Energy Healing can create more specific healing and transformation at deeper levels in a shorter period of time.

They are, of course, also two different healing formats with two different overall intentions. The massage includes the benefits of relaxation and unwinding tensions in a more general way while also giving the body a sensual treat. The Ecstatic Union® Energy Healing approach is intended more specifically to transform self-defeating patterns that block us from experiencing out fullest potential in life.

Everything is Energy, and Through It Deeper Healing Take Place

It has been through my own personal journey that I have discovered the Deeper Healing that can be created through conscious energy awareness. As I reconnected with my deeper desire to be an Energy Healer, I learned through direct experience that massage was included in that model of energy healing and not something separate.  The Body is energy, and is energetically connected to the Whole of Being.

There is so much more to massage than what appears on the surface. Regular massages from an energetically aware massage therapist can create healing and transformation much deeper than just relaxation. It can remain a time of “self-pampering and nurturing” or it can evolve into a more conscious exploration of what is possible through the power of Energetic Healing. It can become a gateway into creating a life filled with greater joy and Vibrancy. A gateway into the power of Ecstatic Union® Healing, which brings transformation and growth at every level of your being, leading to an awakened experience of your fullest potential.

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Is “One Powerful Healing technique” enough to be an Effective Energy Healer?

 

Is “One Powerful Healing technique” enough to be an Effective Energy Healer?

If you are going to do something, such as seek a method for A Healer in the Inner Realms of Power, Accessing the most effective healing methodspersonal healing, transformation and spiritual awakening, then you would want the best, most effective method, right?  And, the most effective method would be even more important if you were to step into the role of an Energy Healer or Healing practitioner of any kind, don’t you think?
 
After all, don’t you want the best and most effective ways to solve your own challenges and live a more Authentic and Joyful life?  And if you want to learn to be an energy healer, you want the best for your clients also!
 
During the past 24 years, I have explored every healing method I could come across.  If I haven’t already learned it, then I have probably learned something like it by a different name! Having been through all those many years of study, professional training, personal healing and transformation, trust me when I say that it can be confusing out there! And during my over 17 years of working professionally with clients as a healer and spiritual teacher, I have also been there to witness what works and what doesn’t when working with others.
 
Looking back from where I am now, there are such a wide range of techniques, that I can easily see that it would be hard to make sense of them all.  I know a big part of my journey was discovering them, working with them and directly experiencing the transformation, healing and awakening that they created within me.  But being on the other side of that phase of my journey, I also can see some things about the “experiences” that I wasn’t able to see while I was in them.

An Obstacle on the Path of Healing? 

The journey itself was fueled by a desire to learn to be a better Energy Healer, but also to overcome my own challenges and better understand my Self through what I was learning and practicing.  I ran across a bit of a “trap” that I didn’t see at the time, but now clearly appreciate.
 
The “trap” was this:  Each time I was introduced to a new healing methods, I would most often have a pretty powerful experience of it.  It would impact me in a very obvious and noticeable way that would give rise to the feeling that “I have finally found what I was seeking!!” I would then become a “big fan” of that method, and use it over and over on myself, getting benefit after benefit.  
 
And then something strange would begin to happen: After a period of time (sometimes long, sometimes short) it would stop feeling powerful.  It would start to feel as if almost nothing was happening from it and that I was just spinning my wheels.  At that point, I would seek out a new healing method to learn and explore, and the process would begin again.
 
Each time I discovered a new healing method that seemed effective, I would think “This is it!  This is what I have been looking for the whole time!”.  And then eventually, “the honeymoon” would end, and I would wonder what happened.  And I would move on to something else. (Rinse and Repeat)
 
What I couldn’t see at the time was this:  Each healing method I learned was very powerful for a specific type and level of healing.  In other words, it was an appropriate and effective tool for a specific area of healing, but it was not, as I falsely imagined, a “magic bullet” for all that ailed me.

The Healing Obstacle Leads to Insight and Wisdom

What I understand now was that each time I found a new “powerful” healing method, I was actually entering a new phase of my healing and development.  It wasn’t that the previous method had “stopped being effective”.  It was that I no longer needed it as a primary healing method.  It had done its job, and the next stage of my growth needed to be nurtured with a different method.
 
I came to understand after looking back that the process of healing is a journey.  It isn’t a “single event”.  I have had many powerful experiences of healing, for sure, that created new levels of wholeness and wisdom for me.  Those moments were life changing.  But from another perspective, they can also be seen as “another step” towards wholeness.
 
An important principles in “energy healing” and “Tantra” and “Yoga” and “alternative healing” is the understanding that we are “multidimensional” beings.  Our experience of life and Self is being created through the interaction between the energetic layers of Body, Emotions, Mind and Spirit.  And an effective Healing process must be able to honor, understand and evaluate each layer to see how it is contributing to either health or disease.  And of course, it should also provide a targeted healing method to address the source of the imbalance directly within the layer where it exists.
 
What was happening along my journey was that different steps, I was finding a powerful tool that addressed one Level of these experiential layers of Self.  For instance, I would find a powerful tool that was super powerful for creating Emotional healing.  Then another for Physical healing.  Then another for Mental Healing.  Then another for Spiritual Awakening. Then another for Life Force Energy activation, etc. My journey was giving me direct experience as both a “human” and a “seeker” to discover the importance of each of those layers, and also to show me the most affective methods for addressing healing at each of the layers.
 
And when the needed work was completed for a specific phase of my healing, then the focus on that particular healing method was done.

The Fruits of Deeper Awareness and Insight

I have come to understand the process of Healing and Spiritual awakening to be like that of building a house.  There must be a strong foundation.  Then a structure.  Then plumbing and electrical.  Then the walls are put in place.  Then the Roof.  The floor.  Then the finishing touches, etc.
 
And at each of those phases of “building the house” a different set of tools is needed.  You would not, for instance, make the mistake of trying to cut boards with a screw driver or installing sheet rock on the walls with a sledge hammer. Each tool serves a specific function and addresses a specific phase of the project.
 
It is like this with healing and spiritual awakening also.  Different healing methods and approaches serve specific levels of healing.  Different philosophies and practices are also needed at different steps along the journey.  And also, like in a house, once the primary structure is built, the various tools are sometimes needed for maintenance, such as needing to make an electrical repair or replace the roof.  But even then, they are only pulled out once in a while.  And some tools you may never need again.
 
Once I saw and understood this clearly, then the beauty of my own personal journey become obvious: I was moving through different stages towards Wholeness and Self-Realization, while also being given a variety of experiences and healing tools to allow me to assist others at various different stages of healing and awakening.
 

7 Things a Healer or Spiritual Teacher Must Have to Be Truly Effective

I also learned that someone needs more than just “techniques” if they truly want to learn to the best and most effective energy healer possible.  
 
To be a truly effective healer or spiritual teacher, one needs, at minimum, the following:
  1. Direct experience of the healing methods they are using with their clients
  2. Effective methods to dialog with and coach the clients they are serving
  3. Effective methods for assessing the different layers in need of healing for any given session with a client
  4. The ability to know and implement the best method for addressing the healing at the assessed level
  5. A deep, experiential understanding of the True Source of healing, and where the process of healing is actually leading
  6. Intuitive tools to access the deeper wisdom of the energy moving within Self, Client and the healing process. 
  7. The confidence and trust to allow the healing to unfold in a way that is natural and for the highest good of the client being served

The Culmination of the Journey Leads to the Ecstatic Union® Healing System

After 24 years of study, professional training and walking my own path of personal transformation and spiritual awakening, I have developed the Ecstatic Union® Healing System.  It takes the best healing methods available, and brings them together into a cohesive, integral system that addresses each level of body, emotions, mind and spirit while also keeping a clear single goal of awakening Wholeness and Direct Experience of the Deeper Nature of the Self.

 In future posts, I will discuss in depth the components of the Ecstatic Union® Healing System, as well as the benefits for someone seeking personal healing, transformation and spiritual awakening.
 
I will also more fully address the benefits it has for someone who is called to be a professional healer or spiritual teacher of any kind.  That with include a detailed look at the 7 Things a Healer or Spiritual Teacher Must Have to Be Truly Effective that are mentioned above.
 
Need to take your personal healing journey deeper?  Need Mentoring as a Healing Professional? 
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