#8

Hello!

     Today's blog isn't going to be a video, but rather just a short piece on the nature of massage. Massage is something that I have been involved with my entire life. Ever since I was little my father would have my brother and i walk all over his back and legs to help him find relief from the stressful work day. As I got older I found that I loved to give massages to my swim teammates and other peers at school. I was good at it, and everyone seemed to enjoy it. As I got older I began to understand why.

     Touch is an intrinsic part of human nature. As primates, much like our cousins: the chimpanzee, we use touch to establish social boundaries. We do this on an instinctive level, we crave it. We are social animals, and touch helps us to establish and enforce social boundaries and emotional bonds.  We touch when we are sad (a hand on the back), happy (an embrace or pats on the back), ill (rubbing small circles), etc. Think of an emotion and try to picture the physical reaction you associate with it, it most likely involves touch. 

     Massage is an extension of this process. Social grooming is a natural phenomenon that is found through multiple animal species, and our is no different. Though we no longer require the same grooming practices, massage is a facilitator of connection. I am not speaking of supernal, or spiritual connection though, for some, that may happen. I am simply referring the connection between therapist and client. Massage helps to break down the psychological boundaries that we establish around ourselves and let us connect with another human being. This is why it is so vital and key in helping with depression. To many, massage is a way that one can experience closeness with another with the usual reservations that trouble us day to day. So go out and connect with family, friends, a stranger, use the old methods (don't be creepy), and see if you make a connection.

All the best,

Christopher Hensley