Anyone who practices massage therapy recognizes at some point there's an energetic component to massage. The best massage therapists learn to understand how energy affects their clients.
Huna, the ancient Hawaiian science of consciousness and energy healing, teaches people how to get in touch with their mana (life-force energy) and how to harness this energy. We do this by connecting with our higher consciousness, which allows us to tap into energy.
Most massage therapists who come to my trainings have experienced clients become emotional during a massage. When this happens, they have hit more than just a cramp or a tight muscle. Skillful deep-tissue massage can trigger an emotional response by touching upon a negative emotion stored within the physical body. I call these stored negative emotions "black bags."
Here are some basic tips for massage therapists to help their clients release their black bags:
- Be attuned to the ways the mind affects the physical body. Pay attention to your clients' reactions during massage as well as their comments about their mental and physical health.
- Encourage the client to share. When a client expresses emotions during a massage, stop and ask the client what they are feeling and experiencing.
- Offer to assist the client in resolving the problem. If the client responds positively, he or she may want to share more about the origins of their feelings.
- Ask the client to envision releasing the negative energy they have stored in their body. As you continue the massage, ask the client to communicate the emotions they are experiencing.
- Be aware: When a trapped negative emotion is released, the body may have an almost instantaneous response. Clients may express this release through tears, laughter or words of relief.
Understanding how to flow energy involves training in the four basic forms of energy—air, fire, water and earth—and how they are manifested in us. Massage therapists who take the time to study these energies will find rewards in the ways they can help their clients heal in body, mind and spirit.