Last modified June 4, 2007 by Nik

The Tao of Bodywork

in order to survive in the high-stress world of high-tech, we more than ever need the high-touch psycho-technologies and body-work methods that are the enduring legacy of spiritual practice and the human potential movement.
from Thoughts on the Relationship between Technology and Spirituality

Well, according to Oriental medicine, dis-ease appears when the body loses it’s harmony with nature (can anyone say environmental degradation and auto-immune disease on a national/global scale) because the alternating currents of energy between the patient and nature are obstructed.

If the primary thingies that contribute to illness are: anxiety, fear, anger and other negative emotions contributing to mental dis-ease; excess work and stress to physical illness; and environmental pollution and the intake of artificial additives in food to social illness, then the aim of (medical) treatment is the creation of a better world as a whole through the healing of the individual. Right?

Or, as Confucius say:
To put the world in order, we must first put the nation in order; to put the nation in order, we must put the family in order; to put the family in order, we must cultivate our personal life; and to cultivate our personal life, we must first set our hearts right.

During meditation, the function of the epithelium* is suppressed, activating the midbrain, which increases the conceptualisation of contrast and the intuitive perception of life – and that’s gotta be good. As a result of meditation, the body’s homeostasis is heightened.

One aspect of Shiatsu / bodywork therapy is the effect touching the skin has on the midbrain. Touching the skin has a direct effect on the limbic system – the complex of nerves and networks in the midbrain concerned with instinct and mood, controlling the basic emotions (fear, pleasure, anger) and drives (hunger, sex, dominance, care of offspring.)

Through appropriate hands-on therapy the patient’s brainwaves change, as during meditation, from beta to alpha and potentially delta. In this relaxed mental and physical condition, patients release their thoughts and, by the practitioner’s caring hands, can be expected to acquire a positive image of themselves and others. Now this is a cool thing…

It’s clearly therapeutically significant if a patient is liberated from a held negative image. For example, those prone to stomach ailments live with the sustained subconscious image that something is wrong, making them constantly aware of the stomach, or neck, or back or left knee. Being overly conscious of one part of the body because that part has sustained an injury or is unhealthy for some reason is an indication that one has lost contact with the holistic nature of the body. When people are aware of their whole body, they do not create negative images about themselves.
And this is why it feels so good when you get a session from someone who instinctively knows how to make contact! Remember what that feels like (take a moment… remember?) when you feel whole, at least for a that moment.

What’s more, the best way to relieve stress is to feel compassion and appreciation towards others. The patient who is appreciative of therapy heals more quickly. Appreciation restrains a patient’s pessimistic feelings and dis-ease and puts them at ease.

More bout this right here