Mindfulness is a buzzword going around at the moment. With mindfulness courses popping up everywhere to teach you this way of thinking. In fact, I have had a few family members attend them.
When I discussed it with them I was a bit surprised it was a topic they didn’t associate with massage. But mindfulness is really the backbone of massage therapy.
Jon Kabat-Zinn, the executive director of the center for mindfulness in Medicine, Healthcare and Society in Massachusetts Medical School defines mindfulness as ‘paying attention in a particular way, on purpose, in the present and non-judgementally.’
Observing your breath, your thoughts, feelings, and sensations.
This can prove to be difficult as we are so used to multitasking now. We don’t just walk to work, we walk to work, listen to music, sometimes whilst scrolling through our phones or running through a to-do list in our head, all whilst walking to work.
“While washing the dishes, one should only be washing the dishes, which means that whilst washing the dishes one should be completely aware of the fact that one is washing the dishes.” Hanh wrote in his book ‘The miracle of mindfulness’.
Focusing solely on a single task is more difficult than it sounds.
Try doing nothing besides washing the dishes. The heat of the water, the slip of the soap and the squeak of the rinsed glass.
Massage therapy is a great introduction to mindfulness. The stillness of the atmosphere, the relaxing music, and the soothing rhythmic massage movements help you bring your mind from the 100’s of things you have to think about each day, back to the current moment.
The feel of your muscles under the therapist’s hands. Any tensions they find. Is the pressure too much, too little or, just right? Is the rhythm of the treatment effect for the required outcome?
What area is the therapist working on? Is there more tension in that area than you thought?
Sometimes it is hard to focus on the therapist’s hands as your brain struggles to comprehend the actions. So, you focus on how comfortable you are, the heat of the room, your breathing, or just listening to the music.
This is mindfulness. And one of the reasons massages are so relaxing.
When you book a massage, you are choosing a time to dedicate to yourself. To your body and your mind. By relaxing these it can also have the impact of lifting your spirit. Making life feel manageable. Your body’s aches and pains seeming less important at the forefront of your mind. And quieten the mental stressors that are screaming at you. This feeling is one of the reasons why mindfulness is also becoming a more popular skill.
However, mindfulness isn’t something we just do. It is a skill that takes practice. It is a journey in to silencing your mind, so you can only hear/focus on the most important messages.
Start your journey with mindfulness through massage.
You can also ask us about our meditation massage treatment. Start off with a relaxing guided meditation before your treatment. Perfect to get your head in the right space before your treatment.