Yoga practice of asanas, cuddling, affection, physical attention, sensuality, sexuality and emotionality - mentality - spirituality are all tied in to touch on many levels. It always surprises me and never surprises me when, as a massage therapist and with over 20 years of experience, I learn of people not ever having had a session or even liking to be touched. As an extreme abuse survivor, with 15 years of direct trauma on all levels inflicted on me in my youth, post trauma it took an additional almost 10 years for me to be able to be completely open to and receptive of touch. (So rape survivors, incest survivors, neglect survivors and/or physical abuse survivors...trust me I get it!) I would still and have always massaged because it's my souls purpose and joy to do so. I love to share the deeper love that is rooted inside of me, that has been unharmed and untainted by the past, and people have always felt good through my touch but to be on the receiving end was always difficult, until it wasn't. It was easier to give because that's all I've ever done, even when things were taken from me. Giving was easier because there's a control aspect to it that we are unaware of sometimes. Receiving makes it less in our control on some level, however subtle it may be, exposing us to vulnerabilities we may not yet be prepared for. As part of my healing and recovery process, grace would have it that a lot of my healing came through others hands on work with me, without which I know I wouldn't be where I am today if at all and if it weren't for the many healers that have crossed my path.
Today, it's a story that I (this character known as Vishnu/Antonio) can tell and share and not have it represent a current state or reality. I happily continue to be of service and have done extensive healing and transformation around this so that I can encourage and inspire others to do the same. We all need touch to live and thrive. Many of us feel undeserving of such an act and as much as we deny it, resent it and/or resist it, our bodies benefit from it when it's the "right" touch and when we allow ourselves to be open to it. Our mind and emotional defenses justify it otherwise but the truth is that touch is essential, if not and at least, then it wouldn't be one of our six senses. (Think about it) Not giving it to ourselves is like holding our breath, we'll die slowly. We live in a touch deprived culture/society and so many people are on edge, anxious and malnourished on deeper levels. Not allowing yourself to receive is another way of cutting yourself off from life. Life wants to give you life but when we say no by denying touch and connections with others then what are we really telling the universe? It becomes a "come here/stay away" message and you'll only receive what you put out there, based on a contradictory intention. Many view massage as a luxury but I've said for years and to my patients and students that it's a health necessity, just like eating, sleeping and brushing your teeth. Being touched is another way to give to yourself, a way that is by far more important than getting into materialism via buying things that aren't as gratifying or longer lasting. Touch goes a long way, that's why when it's the "wrong" type it leaves an impression, leaving at least an unhappy/unsettled feeling and when it's the "right" type it leaves an impression and the body feels stronger and healthier.
The body is slow to letting go of things while the mind is earnest in holding on to the past and/or worrying about the future. In my eastern medicine and yoga practice and over the many years of working with clients / patients / students I have come to see how emotions that are stagnantly lodged in the body are causing a domino effect of health conditions ranging from insomnia, constipation, infertility, anxiety, depression, digestive issues, memory issues and many many many more. With many hands on treatments I have come to witness the transformation of such things and the person finds their health and humanity. Their tissues and organs rejuvenate and they re-embrace life, living it exactly how they were meant to before all this. I educate physical trainers and individuals that partake in all sorts of physical exercise regimens that massage keeps the body supple enough and maximizes efficiency of the body. It's like keeping a hing oiled for the repetitive use. As a side note and food for thought, in Ayurveda, we talk about "snehana" being the word for lubrication and love. Through snehana we apply oil, which acts as a conduit to the body to stimulate the tissues of the skin and organs to revitalize and encourage health and well being. What I also like about this is that although we can go to a practitioner to receive a session, Ayurveda encourages self-massage as a means of inviting and invoking self-love. How sweet is that? To reconnect with yourself by massaging yourself. It's a win win situation. We touch ourselves and give ourselves attention and when we allow someone else to touch us we allow ourselves to drop the emotional guarding and give to ourselves. My shiatsu teacher taught us that "giving is receiving and receiving is giving." (We see this sometimes depicted by the yin/yang symbol.)
Within all this, is how I have chosen and been guided to ignite hope in others and be a model for healing potential that awaits us all. Are you willing? Ready? I think it's about time. With the current times being as they are I feel as though we need this more than ever. I feel that if we encouraged loving touching relationships that there would be less violence, less health issues, less of a reason to supplement life with drugs and substances that only temporarily gratify us and keep us yearning for more, leaving us inevitably unsatisfied and back in the same place where those tendencies sparked from. Therefore, anything is possible and tremendous transmutation is available to all of us, all we need to do is extend our hand and reach out and touch someone. We all deserve to be loved up! So, whether it's through massage, shiatsu, thai bodywork, reiki and the countless other hands on treatments... go get one! Come get one. You won't regret it!
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