MIGHT THE MASSAGE TABLE TAKE OVER FROM THE PSYCHOANALYST’S COUCH? TRADITIONALLY, IF YOU WANTED TO WORK ON YOUR EMOTIONS, YOU TURNED TO THE TALKING THERAPIES. MANY PEOPLE ARE NOW FINDING , HOWEVER, THAT, BY WORKING WITH THE BODY, THEY ARE OBTAINING SWIFTER, MORE EFFECTIVE RELEASE FROM EMOTIONAL DISTRESS AND UNRESOLVED TRAUMA.
The joy of bodywork as therapy is that you don’t need to confess your darkest secrets: you don’t even need to know your darkest secrets. Bodyworkers believe that our bodies know the truth and the truth can be stretched, squeezed or simply touched out of us. It was biochemist Dr Ida Rolf who, in the mid-twentieth century, discovered that manipulating the fascia, the connective tissue of the body, could ring about profound changes to both body and emotions. By manipulating and stretching the fascia back to their original position, she could reprogram neurological pathways and return her patient to alignment and , eventually, physical comfort. Rolf also found that, when she changed the body on a physiological level, her patients changed on a mental and emotional level as well.
Virtually every bodywork practitioner – from acupuncturists to zero balancers, from osteopaths to reflexologists – affirms that touch ( whether deep or light) seems to draw psychological material from the body. are convinced that their therapies will become a recognized part of healing emotions, as well straightening bodies. Many ‘somatic’ therapists work with the breath, asking clients to lie down and deepen their respiration until it stirs up feelings and memories. Others encourage their clients to use movement to express how they feel or perhaps sound, asking clients to make sounds, rather than coherent speech. Yet more work directly with the body, using touch and manipulation to trigger change.
As children, we are just ourselves: spontaneous, exuberant, intuitive, really ‘alive’. As we get older, however, we gradually learn to hide our feelings from the world for fear of ridicule or disapproval. Biodynamic therapy aims to put you back in touch with your true, uninhibited personality. Many people find that they gain the courage to take up new challenges, to take calculated risks, to dare to change their lives.
Massage is perhaps the most famous (or infamous) part of biodynamic therapy – it is singular in that the therapist gauges the effect of the bodywork by listening intently to your stomach. The rumbling of digestive system, they believe, give a clear indication of whether or not you are releasing emotional blocks. It has proven that through certain kinds of deep massage, that emotions held within the body could be released. But the greatest release comes when the gut starts to rumble. A finely tuned technique which encourages the body literally to ‘digest’ emotional stress through deep, powerful massage.