I am not a fan of massages. While others feel the ooze of relaxation as the massuese digs into and manipulates the blocks, muscles, spine, back, legs and oh, shoulders, I cringe a little. It's a lot like slow dancing with someone I don't know. I wonder where their hands have been, I worry about them sweating in or around me, I really don't know where to look. So I don't dance with strangers. Massage therapy, although I get it, gives permission to an unknown to become familiar with my tension, my stress, the ratio of fat to lean body mass. Too much goes on in my brain for me to drop off into sleep and walk out bright-eyed and chill.
However, I do love energy work. In many ways it's more intimate, but in the case of reiki and cranial sacral therapy, acupuncture, my body is calling the shots. The release of the chakras, the unveiling of the inner cerebellum, the ebb and flow of tides all emanate when the therapist calls. Lying on the table, waiting for the involuntary spasms that release the prana, feels downright joyful and profound at the same time.
My sister, Geralyn, and her husband, Kevin, gave me a spa certificate for my birthday, a big number and for a specifically beautiful joint in Calistoga, CA named Indian Springs. There they have a Buddha pond, a heated swimming pool, cabins and cottages, manicured grounds, fresh water and orange slices everywhere. The past year had been big medically, surgery, energy, radioactive stuff, loss of energy...feels like a little bit of a set back. Medicine, ugh, running my body. I believed I had an energy traffic jam in my body. Across the country Geralyn sent her contribution to comfort and healing. After 3 months of holding onto it, last Saturday, Anthony and I headed to Indian Springs and I took all the crap that built up along with me.
So in lieu of a massage, I asked the therapist to do Craniosacral therapy. She was thrilled that she wasn't going to do another how's that feel massage to a tourist who then would lie in the pool and eat toxic food for dinner. (Although i was planning to do both). First no sounds, no crashing wave recordings that always make my bladder feel a little fuller, no scents of this is lavender, it will soothe you and then we'll try bergamon to open your lungs a little. I lay on my back completely covered, closed my eyes and went into the semi-drowse that accompanies being locked in these little rooms.
Here's what a practitioner does The emphasis in Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy is to help resolve the trapped forces that underlie and govern patterns of disease and fragmentation in both body and mind. This involves the practitioner "listening through the hands" to the body's subtle rhythms and any patterns of inertia or congestion. Through the development of subtle palpatory skills the practitioner can read the story of the body, identify places where issues are held and then follow the natural priorities for healing as directed by the patient¹s own physiology.
Here's what my therapist did: when she put her hands over my 3rd chakra--at the solar plexus, she said, "you know, you don't have to be so disappointed that you are not healing as quickly as you like, you had a serious operation." If this were a conversation, I would have slammed on the brakes and said, "how do you know so much?" because i hadn't told her what my year had been like, how I'd been fighting these disappointing bouts of lethargy and all matter of other things that piss me off. But in the ease of the therapy, the expectation of relief and the gratefulness of this gift, I accepted her/my body's message.
Later, as I was lying at the Buddha Pond where other post-treatment clients were scrooling their Iphones, I reviewed her findings. What? Was I vibing this dissatisfied, unhealed mess everywhere i went? Were all these months of pushing more workout, more hikes not reflecting the smiley back-at-it warrior I wanted to be? Was I just too involved in my body and not enough in the world that is such a disaster?
I pulled my plush robe more tightly and sucked on my 3rd orange slice. Bummer. It was clear, my mother needed to leave the building. Truth of the matter is our lives are filled with moments big and small where we need to break down and to build back up, where we need to stop pushing and skate, where we don't feel like we need to be pleasant and socially exciting, that we can be absent. All in favor of absent, raise your cucumber water. While I don't like to slough (great word, huh?), i will count this as a cycle that i probably won't remember next year when I am stoked and prana-jazzed, in shallah. Later I'll be more focused on getting the squash game back, riding my bike more and going higher and higher.
This is not resignation (so I tell myself), this is wisdom (I hope) because all that listen to your body stuff is not bull shit. As I walk through my body sculpting classes, correcting the structures of the participants, I can see how their bodies are telling the stories of carrying a lot, too much standing or sitting, too much meat, not enough greens and that's just a drive by. Imagine if I listened in on their chakras (TMI!)
This is the year of rewriting. I'm working on several books which need revision, a new design for my office and a new message in my body. Elmaz to chakras, we're going to do this together...step by step, but in the mean time, keep your messages to yourselves.
Causes Elmaz Abinader Supports