“What hurts us is what heals us.”
by Carl Johns, LMT, Mountain Medicine Integrative Wellness Center
People come to massage therapy for many reasons, and one of the primary reasons is managing pain in the body.
Pain is a mystery, meaning we don’t understand very well at all what causes it. But one thing is sure — we should listen to it. We should try to understand what it is trying to tell us. Pain often is a warning — the body trying to tell you to stop doing something, to change course.
We get good at ignoring pain, at masking it, at pushing it down with the aid of drugs or alcohol or just powering through it.
Pain comes from the way we use or abuse our bodies with physical and emotional stress, and from what we put into our bodies. Food, thinking, physical stress can all be positive or negative. So the message comes in the form of back pain or digestive pain or headaches or stiff, sore joints.
It starts small and then starts to shout louder and louder. The trick here is to listen, to get out of your head and to get to know your body and the way it communicates with you. So instead of popping another pill, it might be time to try one of the oldest pain management systems on earth.
Massage is one of the best ways of listening to your body, of cultivating awareness.
Gerald May gives us a glimpse into awareness: “Awareness is a space giver, an open window letting the fresh air in. It unties the knots and loosens the tension. Awareness with full acceptance is like pure sunlight shining into a cellar, making it possible for healing to happen and growth to take place. One has to do nothing with it.”
Bodywork gives us insight and can be the beginning of a new path toward healing and wholeness, without the harmful side effects — or more accurately, direct effects of pharmaceutical and recreational drugs. I have seen this process of insight and change for three decades with clients and students as they come into the awareness that massage and bodywork provide.
Make the wise choice for your body, mind and spirit, and make this ancient healing and wellness practice a regular part of your life.