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DANCING WITH SWEDISH MASSAGE

            The art of touch is a subject that has become popular in the last twenty years.  Being a massage therapist and previous massage teacher, this is gratifying to see. Massage itself has blossomed into a viable avenue of health care, working well with chiropractic work, physical therapy, workmen’s comp, auto injury, Oncology, Reiki and Reflexology just to name a few.

       The basis of my work as a therapist, and also what I have taught is Swedish Massage. The main emphasis of this bodywork is that it increases circulation and assists your lymph system to work effectively. It thus enables your body to better fight off disease and infection, and brings a sense of relaxation. It is to this last point that I wish to comment.

        There's a lot to be said for getting someone to relax. I have noticed how much more can be accomplished in a session when my client is able to let go and trust me. One of the best ways this can be achieved is through repetitive, soothing strokes, which is the essence of Swedish Massage.

        Now let me say, that the deeper work is also important to experience and to learn if you are a student. It is an integral part in maintaining the overall health of the body. But I feel that sometimes in our eagerness to heal and grow, we overlook some obvious avenues for release. One belief I hear often repeated by some of my clients, almost like a mantra, is "no pain, no gain". So often the effects of stress become too intense.  By the time we get to the massage table, we are willing to endure almost anything just to experience some relief.  Massage therapists must often be on guard against the "fix it" mentality. Since the client is in pain and often hurting, the mistaken tendency for the therapist is that it is their duty to cure them. Then Swedish massage somehow seems like only the warm up; too light and ineffectual to be really helpful.

 

        With massage students, there is a great eagerness to learn more and more and more about the body. I remember reminding students, and often now remind myself, that it is not always how much you know, but how well you apply what you've already learned. 

        I love doing Swedish Massage! I enjoy the sense of flow, the evenness of rhythm that spills from my fingers as I make a connection to the person on the table. To me, it is a dance of energy and technique that often takes on a presence all its own, moving me through the massage. This effortlessness has a beginning, a middle and an end in each session. It is never the same or becomes routine no matter how often I do it. This place that I connect with that person is an area, a stage where we seem to look each other in the eye and say, "Yes, I'll trust you. I'll let you in." From there, the dance begins. I do my best to get out of the way and let that healing energy just flow.

 

        It is this element, the Universal Flow, that is the thread that makes the needle weave through the client and myself. There are no boundaries only a feeling of expansion. It is so beautiful that, at times, I could just cry. This must be joy, I say. Through this work, I learn about trust and nurturing from the heart. It appears effortless and it really is!

        This is my experience of massage.          

        My clients' responses to our sessions are also of a deep connection to themselves. They feel a sense of what their boundaries are and where they are on the planet. It's as if a deep sigh escapes that place inside. Relaxation allows a big deep breath to come out. There is also a sense of needs being met, of being nurtured in a healthy way. The trust I feel is mirrored by them. I constantly admire their willingness to let me in; their great ability to assist me in their healing.

        This energy has also taught me a lot about gentleness. Gentleness has a very subtle power not to be used or manipulated in any way. Simply acknowledging it and knowing when it is present (always I think), lends the massage a very special quality. It means not forcing a movement, applying too much pressure or rushing the stroke. I heard a famous dancer being interviewed once. She was asked how she could dance so well with so many partners. The essence of her response was that she fell in love with each one of them when they danced. I misunderstood those words for a long time; since I've been doing massage, however, I've realized what she meant. It's not about falling in love, but it is about loving the people I touch. The love I feel is unconditional.

        I encourage people to not overlook the subtle forms of bodywork out there, especially Swedish Massage. The relaxation and gentleness in this form of bodywork is of immense value for many reasons. Most importantly, it brings comfort and caring to the body and the soul.

 

Maryann Kosinski is a licensed, registered massage therapist working and dancing with Swedish Massage, and other forms of bodywork in southeast Denver and Aurora. She also includes Reiki, Deep Tissue,and Heated Stone Massage  in her practice, and is available for Chair Massage sessions. To schedule a session contact her at www.truenaturalstates.com, and www.massageaurora.com .Or call 720-519-7695.


 

 

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