Mindfulness during massage can be a wonderful way of both gaining a quiet mind (taking full advantage of this quiet hour) and also being fully in touch with your body during the experience.
The practice of Mindfulness is known to beneﬁt the mind and body in all sorts of ways. It quietens the mind, reduces anxiety and fatigue, lowers blood pressure and alters the experience of pain. Many people report that during mindfulness practice pain seems to ‘quieten down’ and oftentimes seems to disappear all together during the session. It is an interesting factor that allowing ourselves to fully experience the sensations of aches, pains and fatigue signiﬁcantly alters the experience, providing a new relationship with it. For example, a patient may report that on a 0-10 scale pain can be at a 7 or 8 whilst ‘avoiding’ it and then reduces to a 3 or 2 when we accept it or “sink into it’ as it were.
There is a way of ‘listening’ to pain and hearing what it has to say to us. Many people report that when they ﬁnally listen to their body they have made signiﬁcant changes to their lifestyle and pains which were previously experiences as a great burden are dramatically reduced and sometimes disappear.
I worked with a lady some time ago who had suﬀered migraine for many years. She had ‘fought’ this condition, wishing it all the while to ‘go away’. She had taken painkillers and done everything in her power to dismiss it, wishing with all her heart and mind for it to leave her. One day, following an insight during her treatment, she decided on a radical approach during her treatment.
How did she do this ?
This lady lay down, became ‘mindful’, watching her breathing and surrendered, as it were, to the pain. She told the migraine that she welcomed it ( it felt right to her at the time although previously totally counterintuitive). She decided to lay there and let the migraine overtake her. She ‘breathed into it’.
During this ‘mindful’ session the pain reduced and ﬁnally left her. She reported that she never ever had a migraine ever again.
The therapist’s hand
A second way of being ‘mindful’ during a massage therapy is to ‘follow the hand of the therapist. Whenever the mind wanders and gets caught up in habitual thought, simply bring your attention back to the therapist’s hand and to how that feels on the body. Notice tensions that arise and simply breathe through them.
Here,above, is a brief introduction to some of the ways that mindfulness can be introduced into a massage session and how it can signiﬁcantly alter the experience of pain. If you would like to know more about how this practice might help you, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.