- Bonnie Karen Carter
Taking action from inspiration or intuitive impulse pans out, meaning - you get the gold!
Updated: Nov 12, 2019
This is how the article below wrote itself. The article is published in my trade magazine, Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals, July/August 2019 issue.
When I came upon a quote while reading a book about energy healing, I felt a jolt of lightning through me. "Oh my gosh, I am going to write an article and it is going to be published, I said to myself. My attention and emotions flowed in that direction for three weeks through the submission to the editor.
This response is a great example of acting from what rings true to my being. Of course, the subject matter made a response easy as I have a long history and endless interest in the field of healing as a practitioner. I am already 'in tune' with the content.
What was renewed? My heart-impulse to share with others the depth and breadth massage and bodywork hold.
Please read the article. I hope it moves you to listen and respond to your body-mind and call your bodyworker for a session. I also invite you to contact me for a session as well. I would love to hear what your experiences have been. Thanks for taking the time to visit my Blog and read the article. I look forward to hearing from and meeting you. Bonnie
The Epitome of a Beauteous Testimonial
by Bonnie Carter
Grounded in Spirit
From The History of Massage (Healing Arts Press, 2002)
"Perfectly massed [sic], one feels completely regenerated, a feeling of extreme comfort pervades the whole system, the chest expands, and we breathe with pleasure, the blood circulates with ease, and we have a sensation as if freed from an enormous load; we experience a suppleness and lightness till then unknown. It seems as if we truly lived for the first time. There is a lively feeling of existence which radiates to the extremities of the body, whilst the whole is given over to the most delightful sensations."1
-Claude-Etienne Savary, a Frenchman,
describing his experience receiving massage in Egypt in 1785.
When I first came across this quote in my reading of Robert Noah Calvert's book, it stopped me in my tracks. I was in awe! What depth of feeling. Poetry! If my clients fell into a depth like this Frenchman did in 1785, I would be a very satisfied and happy massage therapist indeed.
As I revisit this incredible testimony to our profession, I sit here in my chair utterly speechless. What I intended to share now seems pale by comparison. Mind you, the studies, experiences, and teaching points I have acquired over the years are important to me and have deeply shaped my values as a professional and as a person. But I must confess, Savary's stunning account blows my mind, thrills me, and makes my heart swell. His depiction reminds me that inherent in the therapy session is capacity for profound change of body and mind. So, I choose not to share my wisdoms at this time but to keep the focus on this rich and extraordinary narrative from 234 years ago.
Savary had a profound experience. Or should we call it an event? What Savary so clearly reminds us of is that massage and bodywork is humanizing (even in its simplest delivery) ... "freed from an enormous load" and "truly lived for the first time," our "whole is given over to the most delightful sensations." Exquisite! Beautiful! It seems that he transcended what he previously knew as himself to become himself.
His remarkable description brings me right into the room. I feel tangibly touched by his powerful transformation. The summary demonstrates how open he was to receive the therapist's intelligent touch, energetic skills, sensitivity, and understanding of the life processes of his body. Truly, Savary dropped out of daily life and dropped in to a life-positive feeling of pleasurable association. I dare to suggest he expanded to a connection with something greater than his usual awareness.
Just because this narrative is from 1785 does not mean it is greatly out of context with the work we deliver today. I am going to go out on a limb here: keeping up with the unrelenting pace of 2019 is not modern at all. In fact, the front page of a newspaper in the late 1780's reports revolution in France and ratification of the Constitution of the United States. The world stage in the late 1780's was fraught with change and tumult, same as today. Conclusion? Massage and bodywork are just as, or more, a necessary requirement to counter the times. Positive therapeutic touch will always provide a vital service affecting every level of being.
I am looking forward to finishing Calvert's book and sharing some of its contents with my clients. Maybe some of my clients would enjoy listening to the testimony read aloud to them. Perhaps hearing Savary's experience would widen their parameters to what is possible or tickle their curiosity. That might be idealistic on my part. I must confess, I don't recall having such a depth of relaxation when I am the client.
At the very least, I would like to share what I want the most for my clients, which is for them to let go and begin a process for the body-mind to correct itself in its own time. I would also like to share my passion for my trade, my heart.
1. Robert Noah Calvert, The History of Massage: An illustrated Survey from Around the World. (Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press, 2002): 33.