The OM of Massage
“For all of the successes of Western civilisation, the world has paid a dear price in terms of the most crucial component of existence – our human spirit… our focus on exponential progress in science and technology has left many of us relatively bereft in the realm of meaning and joy, and of knowing how our lives fit into the grand scheme of existence for all eternity.”
“Proof of Heaven”, Dr. Eben Alexander (2012)
Monks, mystics and poets have pointed to the inherent unity and meaning of existence and the power of human consciousness for thousands of years. Yet this quote comes from a world authority on neuroscience and a renowned brain surgeon. He admits that he was steeped in the materialism of science his whole life – until he died. No mere heart stop for a few minutes, this. His brain cortex was utterly dead for over a week. Zero activity. There is no other recorded incidence of a human being living after this – unless we count Lazarus of course!
This remarkably honest man was being attended to by his neurosurgeon buddies and after literally coming back from the dead (brain dead for a week), he was able to examine all the medical notes after he returned. More importantly he was able to understand them and refute all the arguments that doctors have used to disparage such NDEs (Near Death Experiences) – by using his very own science. In the same way that Edgar Mitchell returned from the moon trip to set up the consciousness based research centre The Institute of Noetic Science, Dr. Alexander returned to life and set up a consciousness based research organisation called Eternea. There is a pattern here…
Dr. Alexander points to the uncomfortable birth of Quantum Physics as far back as the 1920s when Werner Heisenberg proved that every experiment he made was influenced by the observer’s consciousness. Science is still reeling from this, yet has stubbornly refused to embrace the significance that this places on the role of human consciousness in any science of reality. For Alexander, this is why he believes we are only understanding 4% of existence – as scientists now admit that something else makes up the remaining 96% of studied matter. They call it dark matter, but what if it is simply human consciousness? Alexander writes:
“The ascendance of the scientific method based solely in the physical realm over the past 400 years presents a major problem: we have lost touch with the deep mystery at the centre of existence – our consciousness”
So what does this mean for those of us who have dedicated our lives to healing and massage? I think it means that if – in the middle of our very busy lives – we stop and ask ourselves THE REALLY DIFFICULT QUESTION of “what am I really doing here?”, many of us find ourselves admitting that the reason we do what we do is this simple raising of consciousness.
Anyone can (and should) get out on the streets and march for what we believe is important in life. Yet only a few of us can touch. As the mystic bodyworker Don McFarland once wrote:
“A kiss is just a kiss,
A sigh is just a sigh,
But the touch of a Bodyworker,
Now that is something else entirely”
I wonder if the real changes to society may well be happening on the Massage table? After all when we march we are affirming our existing position. But how many of our clients have got off the table having totally transformed their position? I regularly hear comments from my clients after treatment that go something like: “I feel tall and powerful,” “I feel hope,” “I can think more clearly,” “I realise that who I am is OK,” and so on…This is why I think political change may well begin on the massage table. So my vote goes to the consciousness raising ‘Om’ of Massage.
After all, hatred and fear of others only stems from fear and hatred of the self. Yet under the gentle onslaught of healing touch we can often feel the presence of LOVE and ACCEPTANCE and sometimes, even, a sense of our own divinity. This is what enables us to CHANGE our position and embrace a picture that holds a greater sense of unity and compassion than the “vote for my own selfish interests” lobby. The loving acceptance of healing touch enables us to feel safe enough to reach out beyond our own skin and connect with the greater needs of all humanity.
I have been privileged to spend the last 30 years of my life watching rooms full of Massage therapists experiencing and using my approach to touch. Watching these practitioners move in the slow and disciplined manner of my postural principles of HARA and SOLE with a ferocious concentration on their BREATH and paying intense ‘here and now’ attention to the minutest changes in the pressure of their SLOW TOUCH, I see something that resembles a church more than any church I have ever visited. A Tai Chi church perhaps, or a Chi Gung church, even.
I see a place of going beyond the limitations of this materialistic world – through disciplined mental focus and slow, controlled meditational movements. For anyone privileged enough to watch it, this ‘temple of healing’ is moving to behold. Such rooms speak of compassion and caring and harmony and love. If this is not holy, then I do not know what holy means. In these rooms, I see just how holiness moves and I see just how holiness looks. This is HUMAN CONSCIOUSNESS in action. This is what what I call…
“THE OM OF MASSAGE”
If you are interested in spending a day in the company of other Massage therapists who wish to learn more about the MASSIVE SIGNIFICANCE of our healing work in a traumatised age, then why not ‘VOTE WITH YOUR FEET’ and come along to my ”Massage For Trauma” day?
by Gerry Pyves, NO HANDS Massage Founder and Creator