Training the mind to stay with the body without reacting to it can be quite challenging. Especially when the body has been a source of distress, either because of pain, anxiety, body image issues or trauma.
In my work I often coach people, individually or in groups, to experience their bodies in new ways. My clients are often quite amazed at the shifts they experience with those practices. And it's so exciting when they try to do it on their own!
Here is a free audio recording of me guiding a self-massage session for you to experiment.
Of course it is so good when someone else massages us, but there is something that only self-massage can give you, that someone else massaging you can't and that is the sense of being in control and having choices. And that experience of feeling in control is the novelty that you want to present your brain with, in the process of unlearning pain.
As with any other technique, all reactions are possible. You may just jive with it and fit right in, in which case, enjoy! Or perhaps you may find it a bit weird, kinda uncomfortable, sort of challenging, maybe due to physical discomfort, or maybe because your mind gets too busy. In this case, I'd say it may still be worth trying. If you start and feels totally uncomfortable, just stop it. Maybe you could have a different experience doing it with someone else and better not do it alone, for now. In any case, remember that you are the boss. This is for you, and you know, better than anyone, how far you should go and for how long. Remember that you can make choices here.
- For this practice you need 2 hand towels that you will wrap as noodles. Some people like deeper massage, so bamboo sticks may also work, or long bean bags of about 1.30 inches thick. But even if you love deep pressure, there is still a huge value in doing it with towels.
There will be a point in the practice where you will be invited to have the towels underneath you, like in this picture below, as you lay on your back.
- You will also need a quiet space to lay down. To really honour this opportunity for you make sure you turn off your phone and other sources of distraction, so that you can be fully present to the practice for these 30mins.
Click here for the audio