Bodies don’t lie, so neither does touch. But our minds can confuse, and even lie, to us. I watch my own responses as I work on people and think about this.
Recently, I worked on a colleague with many old injuries. Daredevil stunts in child and teen years, dog-piling into the gum-in-your-hair effect of scar tissue, old stress fractures, compensatory movement patterns, and muscle imbalances. Picturing the impact injuries she’d described so well, understanding what might happen in the anatomy from her injuries, and palpably feeling the tissue imbalances around the area, I “felt sorry” for the sacral bone, a primary area of injury for her. So many old stress fractures and so much scar tissue creating chronic dysfunction in the glutes and low back muscles over the years. I did light touch and movement on the surface of the area in starting, just to say “I’m sorry” to the skeletal structure. My colleague understood and made positive comment on. Both of us on the same page helps.
So it’s funny to me that after so many years full-time in this field, I can still feel hesitant in maintaining prolonged, stationary, empathetic touch. In working, my body responds with an innate, animal instinct human beings have for touch and giving aid, but my mind tells me other things: don’t act out of ego; they might misunderstand; this won’t do much; and so-on. I completely believe in the healing effect of simple touch, yet I was raised in a culture that varies from not believing in the value of touch, to sexualizing most touch, to being suspicious of it. Many people can relate to this and feel trapped by it.
So how to get out of this trap? Maybe everyone must answer this for themselves. For me, I like to know my intentions, stay grounded, communicate clearly, and act out of compassion. Whether actual healing happens is not up to us in offering it anyway. It has to be processed by the person receiving. A tightrope walk, to recognize the freedom of all individuals in life, to believe in the power of genuine caring, and to hope for positive results without demanding them. Keep balancing –
Copyright © 2018 by Lara Stillo