Reconnecting Mind and Body

The human body has many secrets, and it does not divulge them to anyone, except those who have learned to wait.
-Paul Auster

I can’t count the number of times I’ve had a client come to me for a massage and ask me to fix them. I probably can count the number of times I’ve said that to a fellow massage therapist during the intake. It’s a cry born from many different emotional places: frustration, desperation, laziness, humor, and too many more to list.

One of the most powerful components of massage is its ability to establish and reenforce the mind/body connection. For anyone who spends even part of their day dissociated from their body, the way a massage can serve to welcome the mind back home can seem miraculous. At least, it always does to me when I’m at my lowest.

Over the years, I’ve had many variations of the post-massage conversation where a client will remark on how the session served to remind them that they are human; that their bodies are not machines existing only to serve the mind. That they can only ask so much from their bodies before the body needs to be given something back.

It’s not surprising that so many of us default to this separation of mind from body with the body serving as the mind’s fleshy car. It’s a convenient way to sell us things, and the notion that we can keep demanding more and more from our bodies is pretty seductive.

Because of that, I’ve really tried to resist the “fixing” narrative that people have about massage therapy. I’m not a mechanic and your body isn’t a car. I’m going to boldly argue that even if you’re in pain, you aren’t “broken”. I don’t believe that your body needs to be fixed, but it can be attended to, listened to. The mind/body connection is weakened when we treat our bodies as simple vehicles, massage can help your mind and your body reunite.

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