Posted by: Khepera | Saturday, 16 May 2009

REVISED: Some thoughts on the benefits of massage in relationships


This is another one from the archives…

Premise: IMHO, I am convinced — though I have never experienced this bidirectionally — that skill & competence in massage is by far the single most crucial skill set for the establishment, sustenance and evolution/development of a mutually rewarding male/female relationship, second only to effective communication skills.  Most already know about many of the benefits which would accrue in a situation where both possessed such competence — reducing/relieving stress, relaxation, enhanced health, internal/external balance, etc.

Let me first be clear that I am not speaking of erotic massage/foreplay, though this too is a good thing in its own right. I am referring to remedial massage, healing massage. I make this point because if we focus first on the level of detachment such healing work requires, it provides for a rare & much needed opportunity — how do we allow for touch & touching, without it always being linked to or triggering a sexual response?

If you are massaging your woman/man in an effort to relieve pain/stress/illness, it provides a crucial opportunity for each to *learn* their partners body — how it is when it’s healthy, how it varies in size/consistency over the various phases & cycles both male & female bodies go through. It also allows for a direct engagement & learning of your partner’s aura/energy body, which is where everything starts.

As you get to know your partners body, as they become comfortable with your touch in a nonsexual context, it becomes a platform for conversation, sharing, the gaining of insight, the freedom to express — most of all, it leverages the medium of nonverbal conversation.

Now, fellas, a bit of secret… In another post, I have discussed the issue of *venting…* Here is a compelling alternative. When your woman gets home stressed, and wants to vent, before she can start, ask her for 5 minutes. Sit her down in an easy chair in the living room. Get yourself a pan, pot, whatever, of warm water, a wash cloth, and maybe even some lotion or oil — it doesn’t need to be anything fancy. Start at her feet and ease off her shoes(& stockings/socks if necessary). Firmly rub over each foot with the wash cloth — wet but wrung nearly dry. When you finish the last foot, leave it wrapped in the cloth. Now begin with or without lotion/oil and work each foot slowly, particularly the sole/arch of the foot. Trust me when I say that the sounds you will get will amaze you… Not surprisingly, this can work both ways.

Massage introduces &/or provides several other advantages which, though not so subtle in themselves, can be significant potential sources of benefit:

  • As masseuse/masseur, you get to know your partner’s body in ways most folks cannot even imagine — and in the process benefit from the yin/yang combination of the clinical detachment/awareness, as well as the intimate caring, which both manifest.  Cultivating a context of physical engagement in the relationship where sex/sensuality is not always the goal engenders other benefits as well.  Just as gaining insight is often more about asking good questions, insights into the health of your partner can be gleaned best when one’s focus is on health, more than other things…;
  • as masseuse/masseur, you get to know your partner’s propensities & tendencies for storing stress, for certain health/ailment patterns which are revealed through thorough hands-on engagement.  This empowers one to *read* your partner, at a deep subliminal level, promoting a different, more comprehensive mode of interpersonal engagement & communication dynamics;
  • as masseuse/masseur, you get to know your partner’s history, their past hurts & challenges, as those things are often stored in tissue, until released through massage &/or deep tissue work.  This can be termed as the “memory or psychology of the body.”  The massage can help open up, bring things to the surface, which can be a mixed blessing, though it is unquestionably beneficial in the long run;
  • such bidirectional sharing and *reading* creates an environment of touch, of familiarity and nurturing through touch, and broadens the scope/context of such touch to where it no longer implicitly carries a sensual agenda or expectation, but can simply be remedial &/or nurturement as an end in itself.  Touch has long been held(pardon the pun) as a meaningful element in the human engagement of their environment.  Noted as a key factors in SIDS(sudden infant death syndrome), how vital might this be for us as adults, especially those of us who may not have received enough *righteous* touch throughout our lives?
  • beyond simple personal maintenance, such shared circumstance is specific to enhanced health.  We know, as energetic beings first, the flesh is but a reflection of our flow of energy.  Massage, in its varietal forms, can provide direct access to this aspect of one another in a manner not unlike yogic dynamics.  The varietal factor, true of yoga and cuisines, also holds for massage, as methods/schools of practice from different cultures and different locales present different modes, and *flavors*, if you will, each with its own special benefits and areas of focus;
  • lastly, equitable skills in massage would mean that when you feel your partner’s hands on your shoulders, feet, neck, etc., you would know implicitly that those hands are not just willing, but competent — a lot like the difference between someone being a good cook, instead of one who just *likes* to cook.

All of this, and more, of course, swell the potential harvest of such shared efforts of mutual cultivation.  While easily savored as recipient, massage is even more appreciated when it is seen as a dialogue between two beings via the  hands a tools, and both flesh & energy as media.  In most relationships, touch is a seldom explored frontier, except in specific contexts.  Like any terrain, exploration provides information, insight, understanding, familiarity, and the wherewithal to effectively navigate the realm under circumstances which multiply and proliferate with the exercise.

Just some thoughts you may find as a source of accord and attunement, and, of course, discussion… You may also find some useful info @ the health benefits of massage & the role touch plays in human relationships in the following articles:

Regimens: Massage Benefits Are More Than Skin Deep

Human Connections Start With A Friendly Touch

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Responses

  1. Oh Jamal! This post seems like you’ve read my mind! I’ve been saying this forever! Actually, I also reason that the very action of going to a masseuse or chiropractor for instance, then paying them for their services, is so removed from the true purpose of these types of healing modalities. The operator must maintain a “professional distance, detachment and objectivity” with the person they are treating. I think that this “detachment” is the very thing that shunts a true healing cycle in an individual! So, as a result, you may feel good for a short time but you have to keep going back… Conversely, as you are touched by your loved ones, both are infused with an ascended connection- much like completing the circuit of an electrical exchange. So I think that the missing element of the love, concern and empathy that someone feels for you, while they touch you, actually aids in the healing effect.


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