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50 Shades of Gray

Not the book or the movie

2girlsBut the problems associated with identification of one's self as the body, morality and political correctness that in the modern world is so confusing that people are becoming less able to function as human beings.

When we take massage as a holistic concept and approach the body holistically, we see the body is the total of all its parts from bone, muscle, fluid, the personality and the spirit of the person to be treated.

People have a floating reality where they can expose the totality of their body to medical science which also allows doctors to penetrate body openings and even cut open the skin, but when going for a massage, people are somehow terrified of the idea that the massage therapist may see them as a whole person and heaven forbid - naked.

Medical science sees the body is a wonderful opportunity to explore and experiment without any real concern for the personality and spirit of a person. Doctors are more than happy to spend time poking around inside people's bodies, but they have great difficulty in explaining why they do what they do and to society has come to accept that.

Like religions and belief systems, people have faith in doctors that they will remove their problem and make them feel better. Improvements they experience after treatment are more often due to the chemistry of the drugs they are ingesting or the temporary relief from having some offending body part removed. This is not healing this is simply quackery in the disguise of medicine.

Massage on the other hand is about facilitating a healing process within a person and as there are no two people the same, so there must be different strokes for different folks. The healing process for some people may simply be a relaxing massage and real conversation, it may be simply a superficial facial treatment that gives a moment of reprieve from the stress of life.

For massage to be effective as a humane treatment, the whole body needs to be addressed which is where peoples shyness and sense of morality gets in the way of the treatment.

Within the American style of massage therapy, treatments exclude the buttocks, inner thighs and front torso. The muscles of the legs run through the hips and attach into the lower back. The muscles of the back attach into the pelvis so to treat a person effectively one must follow the course of the muscle from its attachment pointed either end. This often means working in deep around the groin which for a doctor is fine but for some crazy reason this is not often considered wrong for a massage therapist.

To remain safe and to avoid being accused of molestation, massage therapists by and large must conform to the restrictive American standards. In practice while this may protect therapists and preserve the modesty of clients, it completely avoids the human condition and reduces the massage therapist and healer to that of a clinical technician.

Solutions to the problem

A great many people are so entrenched in their beliefs that change is not possible, therapists must continue to treat them in accordance with their beliefs however some clients are more open to an education process and are willing to relax their inhibitions.

People need to be reminded that their body is a complete unit and it must be treated as such. They would surely be upset if they took their car for grooming and the car was spotless except for the windows which were some reason were not cleaned.

If you can see your own body as an accumulation of all the food that you have eaten and you can see that your mind is an accumulation of all your thoughts and experiences, you will understand that you are not your body or your mind. In fact you and every human being is a form of consciousness that exists beyond body and mind.

Most people call this consciousness soul. It is distinctly separate from body and mind because body and mind are simply physical aspects that are dispensed with at the point of death. Within the yoga tradition the body is referred to as the vehicle for the spirit and it makes better sense that when you take your vehicle service, it gets a complete service.

Of course not everyone is able to park their body on the massage table while they go and have a cup of coffee somewhere which they may do when they are getting their car serviced. But it is helpful if the therapist can steer the conversation in a more spiritual direction which will also help the person to relax and grow within themselves.

When people grow sufficiently and have some spiritual understanding, they are more likely to understand the nature of morality and surrender their entire body to the soothing hands of a therapist.

Until then, every therapist must continually negotiate the 50 shades of grey which was present the opinions and morality of these of today's society that shift constantly.

If you happen to be a massage client reading this, perhaps you will find the courage to ask your therapist for a complete full body massage without any of this politically correct bull shit. By doing so you will not only get a good massage, but you will also experience some real healing.

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