26 Nov Emotion and Massage
“Imbalances often occur when we resist an emotion and its natural path through the body. Resistance can cause an emotion to lock into body tissue, eventually leading to physical ailments.” – John Upledger. Professor and clinical researcher at Michigan State University.
Touch is an intrinsic part of life and will inevitably be related in some way to most emotions and situations. We hug when we love, shrug when unsure and jump when startled. We store emotions related to touch not only in our minds but also in our muscles where movement and functional memory are stored. Emotional muscle memory develops in the same way as muscle memory that is linked to motor learning. Motor muscle memory is developed through the repetition of movement that sends messages along neural pathways to the brain, that in turn, integrates these messages as automatic movement, e.g. climbing stairs, using scissors, playing a musical instrument.
Emotional muscle memory develops as a learned response to thought or external stimuli, e.g. Mama tickles her baby whose body scrunches up in delighted protest as she laughs. Endorphins are released, serotonin is increased, and the baby feels good. She learns that smiles, laughter and tickling feel good, and her muscles register the memories. However, issues arise when this natural expression of emotions is inhibited or stopped.
If a negative emotion registers as pain and/or discomfort, the brain represses the emotion that when blocked, gets stuck in the body. The more we fight the emotion and its release, for whatever reason, e.g. too busy, inappropriate time and place, denial etc., the more this encourages the brain to send signals to the rest of the body to keep the emotion fixed in one place. The longer it remains repressed, the more stuck it becomes, the more the muscles storing it become jammed up and we feel pain.
By the time we reach for painkillers, the emotional memory is stored in the cells whose memories have become frozen in time i.e. at the time the first emotion was triggered. Gradually the imbalance between the stored emotional muscle memory and the rest of our body causes the muscles to seize up and suddenly, or so it seems, our movement is impeded, and we are in pain, i.e. sore back, aching shoulders, tension headache. We start to think of getting outside help in the form of massage therapy or some other bodywork intervention.
Enter Benefic™ Thai Herbal Compresses! Their unique blend of Thai herbs, with aromatic essences, and moist heat properties treat not only the pain and tension in the muscles but also work on the subtle levels to ease the mind and open the blocked neural pathways along which the emotions can finally travel for release. In the same way that massage acts as a natural pump to flush out toxins held in muscles, so does massage with moderate pressure, release stuck emotions stored in the muscles.
This tried and true technique that has stood the test of time is a highly effective treatment which offers a multitude of wellness benefits making this one of a kind massage for all seasons and reasons.