The reason I chose, in mid-life, to adopt bodywork as a profession is not an uncommon one. I’d had some back pain problems that just kept getting worse and didn’t seem to be responding to anything I could get from doctors and other health professionals. I went from therapist to therapist then one day I booked a session with a Rolfer and I was sold. Not only did he help me with my problem but the experience of working with him turned me on to a whole new way of feeling my body.
It was just so – intense. Sure, there was pain; anyone who is familiar with Rolfing will know that this is not a therapy for the faint hearted. But it was what I later came to know as “a good hurt”. It was like a recognition, a deep, embodied, awareness of what needed to be touched.
This was something other than the pleasurable sensation of massage and much different from the intrusive, clinical and sometimes scary “handling” of my body by doctors, physiotherapists and chiropractors. It was the knowingness of skilled hands reaching into my pain with sensitivity and care. “Yes”, I wanted to say, “That’s where the problem is”. At the same time I was thinking “I’ve never really felt that part of my body before, how strange!”
These revelations can make quite an impression. So much so that some of us, me included, decide to share them with others. I’ve not become a Rolfer as it happens but the massage and Bowen work I do is informed by their approach and I am often gratified by the response of clients to those moments when my touch “reawakens the body part and the whole person to a clearer, stronger experience of themselves”.
...when my touch “reawakens the body part and the whole person to a clearer, stronger experience of themselves”
Randy Barber is a massage and Bowen Therapist working in Nottingham, England
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