why soma healing?
To give a massage is an act of caring, to physically help someone. Contrary to myth, massage is a healing art and not an advanced sexual technique. Naturally, when practiced by lovers, it can be a beautiful extension of sexuality.
When receiving a good massage you fall into a mental-physical state difficult to describe, a special room locked and hidden away, a space that is most likely to be experienced by those meditating on a daily basis. It is a sacred gift, connecting the receiver to his own existence. It is true nowadays in different sciences that we are our body. Our perception and understanding of the outside world, the emotions, feelings, thoughts begin and end within this mass, which is our being. Through touch the receiver gets in contact with parts of the body possible long forgotten, possible in pain, traumatized or just sensitive and re-establishes the communication and connection.
Touch is a way of communicating, getting in contact with what needs to be ‘seen’ and not only. Therefore, the receiver being in this open space let things unfold, by observing, sensing and if ready letting go of what stands in between, sometimes consciously, but most of the time unconsciously. Certainly, there are times that receiver is reluctant or not ready to let go of the pain, to let go of what really hurts, and this is one of the reason why therapists ask for more time with the specific body. It takes time to heal, ‘like it takes time to see a friend’.
Trust, empathy and respect of mutual physical existence can be expressed with a fullness never matched by words. In its essence massage is something simple, it makes us more whole, more fully ourselves, while this stands true for both parties involved. It is a kind of meditation for both participants.
Inspired by George Downing, "The Massage Book"
why soma awareness?
The body/soma (word for body in greek) is our vehicle through this life. It is our best friend, carrying us through places and experiences, carrying us to people. Through our soma sensations, our brain gets information for interpreting the world outside of us. All information coming from the soma arrives in the brain at great speed and transmits to our conscious realm only the significant bits, deciding what is necessary for us to know based on past experiences and patterns. The brain processes 400 billion bits of information a second, but we are ONLY aware of 2,000 of those. When the sages and philosophers said that we are not deeply free, this is what they meant. There is no conscious choice.
All information that reaches the brain, where it is translated, comes from the soma.
In soma awareness we learn to slow down, listen and understand what the body is telling us before it is translated and turned into patterns. Knowing and understanding our own body, going deeper and deeper through the layers of tension it accumulates, we can connect with the soma and eventually set it free. This is how we get to know the soma and become sensitive to what it tells us. However this must not to be misunderstood as an intellectual process; rather it is a long-lived practice. One needs the actual involvement of the soma to get there, by practising, observing, opening and releasing, and do it in an honest way.
As a therapist, having my own soma awareness gives me the insight into another human body: what needs to be healed, where the wound is and how to get there. Techniques alone do not serve the healing process in the deepest levels for they are just ways to get where needed and not the actual understanding of what the body really asks for in order to unwind. As Dr. Sutherland puts it, “if you understand the mechanism, the technique is simple”.
Cultivating this relationship takes us deeper and deeper, giving us the knowledge of what we need to do in order to heal ourselves. The mind will always be there, worried and stressed, taking us away from the present moment, flying us to the past or the future. Only with our soma can we remain aware, and potentially in peace, in the present moment. Soma will always know where to take us, only we need to listen to it. When we quiet the mind through meditation or other similar ways, the body simply is, and then we have the time to observe our own existence through breath: the power engine of the human existence. Knowing our soma is one of the ways to find out about our deepest nature.