Sometimes when a muscle wasn’t letting go after working on it, I’d “let it cook”, and return to it in a while to see if it had softened. Finding it as stiff as when I’d started was an unpleasant surprise. Poor technique, wrong technique? No, it had to be something else.

It was the mind. The client had an issue, probably more, which resulted in a tightening of those muscles, and keeping them tight, anticipating something, always on alert for something. Tuning in through energy sensing helped, as does imagining what category of stress would induce the same tightening in myself. For example, tight upper back into the neck comes from “carrying the world on your shoulders”.  Feeling like you’re the only one dealing with something when others are lazy can produce the same result.

So what to do when you find this? If you notice in yourself that a quick massage there doesn’t cut it. Massage is not the answer, no physical therapy has a chance, the tightness will return, if it ever left briefly. Guided meditation helps, in conjuction with massage to help release the embedded emotions, the client doesn’t have to say anything, just follow the instructions and the tissues will let go. If you dealt with all the associated issues, then the release is permanent, or until you add more issues.

Two techniques come to mind, The Felt Sense when the issue is more body related, and The Onion Layering technique when it’s purely a thinking issue. I’ve described The Felt Sense in an earlier post, the next post will cover Onion Layering.

Unless you can directly communicate and experience what is going on in the tissues through energy work, but not every massage therapist has that talent. When I do that, I feel and ‘hear’ what the tissues have been asked to do and have a ‘conversation’ leading to either a message for the client’s mind, or to correct a misunderstanding by the tissues of what was intended by the mind. And the muscles let go.

Paul Rice

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