Before writing this post about The Love Me Touch Me Heal Me Summit, I went searching online for some appropriate images. At one of my favorite image sites, I entered the words “body therapy” and then “body psychotherapy”. To my surprise, all they showed were half naked bodies posing or working out or pregnant women touching their belly or intimate sexual relationships. When I entered the words “somatic therapy” they showed mostly naked women, and a few naked men, partly covered with a sheet receiving massage or hot stone massage. The words “touch therapy” showed a little more variety, different kinds of treatments (head massage, foot massage, one hand stroking another).
Touch Is Powerful
Touch is so much more powerful than just soothing a tired or achy body or calming an overused muscle. Just the mere intention to touch sends energy to the receiving person. Touch can be gentle and soothing, harsh and painful, caring or abusive. Our capacity to give and receive loving touch develops at a very very early age. There is one gene that can only be turned on through touch.
Mark Tarnopolsky, a Neurometabolic Researcher at McMaster University in Hamilton, Canada, after suffering an injury and receiving massage therapy during rehab, set up an experiment to understand how massage helped him to heal. He and his colleagues recruited 11 young men to do an upright cycling session to the point of making their muscles damaged and sore. Then minutes after the workouts, each subject received a massage on only one of their legs. The researchers took tissue samples from both quadriceps muscle of each volunteer – once before the workout, again 10 minutes after the workout, and again 3 hours after the workout to compare the genetic profiles of each sample. “The massaged legs had 30% more PGC-1alpha, a gene that helps muscle cells build mitochondria, the “engines” that turn a cell’s food into energy. They also had three times less NFkB, which turns on genes associated with inflammation.” “The results, published in Science Translational Medicine, suggest that massage suppresses the inflammation that follows exercise while promoting faster healing.”
Many of us have experienced the healing benefits of massage. Some of us have ventured further into the world of touch therapy and have received acupressure or acupuncture or the very light healing touch of Reiki. But touch is so much more powerful than just its capacity to alleviate inflammation and make us feel temporarily less stressed and more at ease.
What many people do not know is that memories and emotions, stored in body tissues, can instantly be triggered through the simple act of being touched. Without understanding or a supportive guide to help you make sense of what just happened, you may alienate a loved one or develop a fear of being touched.
The way we habitually hold our body, our “body armoring”, can literally determine the course of our life. Stuck in a certain stiff pattern, we may consistently be unable to see another person’s point of view. Or maybe we do not have a solid stance in the world so we are easily pushed around by others. The body patterns and unique meanings, when worked with and understood, can reveal to us the way out of our current or lifelong dilemmas.
if your curiosity has been piqued, then check out the very special Love Me Touch Me Heal Me Summit, a one-of-a-kind event, featuring leading touch therapists, somatic awareness therapists and body psychotherapists. After listening to the wise and experienced speakers, you will gain a sense of awe and respect for the wisdom of your own bodymind system and the true capacity you have within yourself to heal.
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