Saturday, February 16, 2008

The Second Massage....

If I wasn't a believer before, I'm a believer now.

One of the things on the list of "things to do" when I get back to Thailand for good is to continue getting a massage every few weeks.

The second time I went, I was barely recovered from the first. This is one type of massage that really seems to get to the depths of who we are, pulls it to the surface and gets rid of it. It's similar to Rolfing.. or even Reiki.

When I went for the next treatment, it was with the same guy. He remembered well enough what had occurred the first time and went easy in some respects and but was even more challenging in others.

He sat on me, he pulled me, he put me in positions that no 56 year old, arthritis-riddled body should have experienced. They were actually contortions.

Still, I stuck with it and kept doing it because I knew it was important.

One of the most significant things that occurred is that I began recalling old memories, things I'd buried years ago. The memories that were stored in the cells of my body started coming into my consciousness, vaguely at first ~ then more clear as time went on. They were snippets really, glimpses, but I knew they were real.

Before anyone cautions me about how dangerous it could have been, I'll say outright that at no time did I bring anything to the surface that endangered me in any way.

Some of you know, some of you don't, that I have dissociative amnesia. There are things in my background that are like a blackout, similar to a drunk who wakes up the next day and can't remember what he or she did the night before. For me, it is chunks of time, years, that are unknown to me.

Still, our bodies are wise. There is no way I would have captured a memory that I was not ready to process.

This brings me to certain conclusions, certain things that seem so clear to me now. The first is that our bodies, as I said, are wise. They store information in the core of our muscles and organs, information that for all we know could go back generations. It's awfully hard to tell at this point whether some of this stays with us through DNA, ancestral memory. I lean in that direction though.

It appeals to my logic.

I'm not a believer in talk therapy. I've done it plenty in my life and never found it particularly satisfying. What is the benefit in sitting and talking to someone about memories I don't have? It also just didn't work for me because of other factors. I know it works for some and I'm all for it ~ as long as it produces desired results. For me, it just doesn't.

The massage does work. The herbal treatments work.

I'm not going to say I think the massage will cure all that ails me. Dissociative amnesia is a complicated issue that is outside my knowledge base. There are parts of my past that will always be inaccessible to me and most of the time, that's perfectly okay. Still, if these massage treatments are detoxifying my body of old crap that I've been carrying for decades, I'm going to stick with it.



flutter said...

I am so glad that you are feeling the benefits of that work, Chani. I know as a therapist that I could feel it when people were rounding corners and coming out the other side.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Deep tissue massage does bring up old memories because the body never forgets anything. It is like a giant computer which holds onto data even after it has been deleted. Different parts of the body store memories from different events and stages of our lives.

It is always painful to bring up such things but it is necessary in order to experience real healing and the freedom that follows. And you're right that things do not come up until we are able to process them safely.

Sending you wishes for good health and great joy.

molly said...

I find your talk of this kind of massage fascinating. Where do I go to get one....all the way to Thailand? Interesting too, what Heart says about our bodies being like computers and storing everything. There's so much I want to remember but don't.

Liv said...

Thai massage is sort of like having a yoga class done on you. They're not too difficult to find stateside, fyi

Angela said...

I've heard this type of work can be very powerful, Chani. I'm glad you're feeling positive results from it.

Your last post was so beautiful. Sometimes we need to recognize that the samsara is so very sweet. :)

Take care.

Anonymous said...

Chani, I'm so glad you have found your way to this skilled healer. Good for you. And by the way, Sylvain and I checked out a new Thai restaurant last night, which was so lovely. We were surrounded by Thai people clad in Thai silk. Thai things adorned the walls and shelves everywhere. Of course I thought of you immediately!

QT said...

Chani - I am glad your experience was so profound. As you have posted before, the power of touch in healing is underestimated by Western culture.

Girlplustwo said...

Thai massage changed my life. I found a woman in Ao Nang who completely rocked my world. i am glad your body responds so well to it too.

Anonymous said...

Oh, my aches and pains are telling me to look into this!

Sai Hijara - Ferraris said...

How I want to explore what you had when you were there!

Jen said...

I've just been reading Bangkok Haunts, which is the third book by John Burdett in his Sonchai Jitpleechepp series. Massages figure in a big way in this book and I was very curious about Thai massage. It was fascinating to read your post.

storyteller said...

I’m relieved to find you still posting here because I’d hate to lose touch … wherever your journey takes you. How wonderful that this “massage therapy” is helping you and I hope you’ll be able to continue with it. From what you’ve written, the effects remind me of Reiki work … something I’ve seriously considered myself but haven’t yet acted upon. I’m a big believer in paying attention to inner messages … and it seems that’s what you’re doing.
Hugs and blessings,

Anonymous said...

Of course, word to everything Heartsy said.

Regarding talk therapy. As a practitioner of same I am keenly aware of its limits. I am an experientialist by nature--I learn best, deepest, when I have a personal experience of a certain something in mind, body and spirit. I need to have all spheres engaged in the process for whatever I "get" to really integrate and manifest as wisdom.

Because I cannot always practice in such a fashion (limitations of a designated setting/environment) I like to work with folks after they've had some kind of bodywork.

Just as there is "stuff" brought to the surface of awareness in hands-on bodywork, so it is with meditation. I've found a place for talk therapy exists alongside these modalities. It is beneficial to process "stuff" in a multitude of spheres as we exist in a multitude of spheres, ya know? (Course you do, lol)

Synergy. I like the wholistic results of combinations.

Great post. Thank you. Massage on! (I'd love to have a weekly massage!!!!!!!)


Unknown said...

Massages can be wonderful! I’ve not had one in years. Someday I must write about one that I had that, because of my failure to follow-through on instructions, left me stiff for three days.

Mary said...

If it feels good, do it :o)

Annie Z said...

It sounds fantastic Chani. You are so brave for doing it. I look forward to hearing more.

painted maypole said...

wow, chani, that is intense. I hope that it continues to help you heal and grow.

S said...

I've always been too frightened to have a massage. I think it's a body image problem.

Someday maybe I'll be brave enough -- as you've been -- and experience the rewards.

Amy Y said...

This is fascinating! I want an experience like this! :)

mitzh said...

wow! I am in awe reading this, may you continue to heal as you go along.

Janet said...

Fascinating. I would try that in a heartbeat.

Anonymous said...

At 23 I found myself in the first safe place I'd ever been. I spent a year with memories popping up that I couldn't stop or control. Memories I'd recognize but as real, but had completely blacked out. I never believed in talk therapy either, never helped. But that one year sorted out a lot more than I ever could have imagined.