Darnell Lamont Walker leading Rituals Writing Workshop
Healing Tips for Chronic Body Pain
Category:
Body

The most common request received by the professional massage and bodywork practitioner sounds something like this: “Could you please do something for my back?” Many of the most valuable tools that I have developed over the last 38 years focus on relieving the pain that many people experience at some point in their life along the back and spine.

These tools, which my wife, Johanna, and I will teach in our upcoming Healing Art of Deep Bodywork: Back, Hips, and Shoulders in July, derive from three core principles guiding the bodyworker anytime they encounter pain in the soft tissue structures supporting the spine.

Pain and Fear of Pain Are Different
I had a pain researcher from Oxford University in one of my massage certifications in Germany, who recited data from her work that fear of pain could increase the actual experience of pain by a factor of up to 10X! As soon as test subjects were given mechanisms of control over the administration of pain, the same stimuli ceased to trigger pain receptors in the brain to the same degree. As professional bodyworkers, we must give our clients as much control over the pace and depth of our work as our clients need in order to feel safe!

Slow Down and Harness the Power of Gravity
We tell our students, “Slow your pace to half of what you are accustomed to, and then, cut your pace down by half again!” In slowing down, we can harness gravitational energy to do our work, rather than exhausting ourselves using muscle strength only. Gravitational energy affects the body in a much less threatening manner than deep touch generated through muscle strength. Practitioners, as well as clients feel more supported and nourished through this simple, yet profound difference.

Focus on the Sensory Experience
Our most valuable source of information about what is happening in real time in our clients’ bodies are the sensations they are experiencing moment to moment underneath our hands. When dealing with acute and chronic pain, their feedback acts as guidance for our work, helping them notice when fear begins to distort their sensory experience, increasing the actual experience of pain. As we slow down, and give them control over the pace, and depth of our work, a synergy begins to emerge where we literally work with our clients, rather than on them. This is the difference between a massage technician, and a healing artist.

Learn more about Perry and Johanna's upcoming workshop, Healing Art of Deep Bodywork: Back, Hips, and Shoulders, happening July 1-6, 2018.



“Remembering to be as self compassionate as I can and praying to the divine that we're all a part of.” 
–Aaron

“Prayer, reading, meditation, walking.”
–Karen
“Erratically — which is an ongoing stream of practice to find peace.”
–Charles
“Try on a daily basis to be kind to myself and to realize that making mistakes is a part of the human condition. Learning from our mistakes is a journey. But it starts with compassion and caring. First for oneself.”
–Steve

“Physically: aerobic exercise, volleyball, ice hockey, cycling, sailing. Emotionally: unfortunately I have to work to ‘not care’ about people or situations which may end painfully. Along the lines of ‘attachment is the source of suffering’, so best to avoid it or limit its scope. Sad though because it could also be the source of great joy. Is it worth the risk?“
–Rainer

“It's time for my heart to be nurtured on one level yet contained on another. To go easy on me and to allow my feelings to be validated, not judged harshly. On the other hand, to let the heart rule with equanimity and not lead the mind and body around like a master.”
–Suzanne

“I spend time thinking of everything I am grateful for, and I try to develop my ability to express compassion for myself and others without reservation. I take time to do the things I need to do to keep myself healthy and happy. This includes taking experiential workshops, fostering relationships, and participating within groups which have a similar interest to become a more compassionate and fulfilled being.“
–Peter

“Self-forgiveness for my own judgments. And oh yeah, coming to Esalen.”
–David B.

“Hmm, this is a tough one! I guess I take care of my heart through fostering relationships with people I feel connected to. Spending quality time with them (whether we're on the phone, through messages/letters, on Zoom, or in-person). Being there for them, listening to them, sharing what's going on with me, my struggles and my successes... like we do in the Esalen weekly Friends of Esalen Zoom sessions!”
–Lori

“I remind myself in many ways of the fact that " Love is all there is!" LOVE is the prize and this one precious life is the stage we get to learn our lessons. I get out into nature, hike, camp, river kayak, fly fish, garden, I create, I dance (not enough!), and I remain grateful for each day, each breath, each moment. Being in the moment, awake, and remembering the gift of life and my feeling of gratitude for all of creation.”
–Steven
“My physical heart by limiting stress and eating a heart-healthy diet. My emotional heart by staying in love with the world and by knowing that all disappointment and loss will pass.“
–David Z.


Today, September 29, is World Heart Day. Strike up a conversation with your own heart and as you feel comfortable, encourage others to do the same. As part of our own transformations and self-care, we sometimes ask for others to illuminate and enliven our hearts or speak our love language.

What if we could do this for ourselves too, even if just for today… or to start a heart practice, forever?



About

Esalen Team

Darnell Lamont Walker leading Rituals Writing Workshop
Category:
Body

The most common request received by the professional massage and bodywork practitioner sounds something like this: “Could you please do something for my back?” Many of the most valuable tools that I have developed over the last 38 years focus on relieving the pain that many people experience at some point in their life along the back and spine.

These tools, which my wife, Johanna, and I will teach in our upcoming Healing Art of Deep Bodywork: Back, Hips, and Shoulders in July, derive from three core principles guiding the bodyworker anytime they encounter pain in the soft tissue structures supporting the spine.

Pain and Fear of Pain Are Different
I had a pain researcher from Oxford University in one of my massage certifications in Germany, who recited data from her work that fear of pain could increase the actual experience of pain by a factor of up to 10X! As soon as test subjects were given mechanisms of control over the administration of pain, the same stimuli ceased to trigger pain receptors in the brain to the same degree. As professional bodyworkers, we must give our clients as much control over the pace and depth of our work as our clients need in order to feel safe!

Slow Down and Harness the Power of Gravity
We tell our students, “Slow your pace to half of what you are accustomed to, and then, cut your pace down by half again!” In slowing down, we can harness gravitational energy to do our work, rather than exhausting ourselves using muscle strength only. Gravitational energy affects the body in a much less threatening manner than deep touch generated through muscle strength. Practitioners, as well as clients feel more supported and nourished through this simple, yet profound difference.

Focus on the Sensory Experience
Our most valuable source of information about what is happening in real time in our clients’ bodies are the sensations they are experiencing moment to moment underneath our hands. When dealing with acute and chronic pain, their feedback acts as guidance for our work, helping them notice when fear begins to distort their sensory experience, increasing the actual experience of pain. As we slow down, and give them control over the pace, and depth of our work, a synergy begins to emerge where we literally work with our clients, rather than on them. This is the difference between a massage technician, and a healing artist.

Learn more about Perry and Johanna's upcoming workshop, Healing Art of Deep Bodywork: Back, Hips, and Shoulders, happening July 1-6, 2018.



“Remembering to be as self compassionate as I can and praying to the divine that we're all a part of.” 
–Aaron

“Prayer, reading, meditation, walking.”
–Karen
“Erratically — which is an ongoing stream of practice to find peace.”
–Charles
“Try on a daily basis to be kind to myself and to realize that making mistakes is a part of the human condition. Learning from our mistakes is a journey. But it starts with compassion and caring. First for oneself.”
–Steve

“Physically: aerobic exercise, volleyball, ice hockey, cycling, sailing. Emotionally: unfortunately I have to work to ‘not care’ about people or situations which may end painfully. Along the lines of ‘attachment is the source of suffering’, so best to avoid it or limit its scope. Sad though because it could also be the source of great joy. Is it worth the risk?“
–Rainer

“It's time for my heart to be nurtured on one level yet contained on another. To go easy on me and to allow my feelings to be validated, not judged harshly. On the other hand, to let the heart rule with equanimity and not lead the mind and body around like a master.”
–Suzanne

“I spend time thinking of everything I am grateful for, and I try to develop my ability to express compassion for myself and others without reservation. I take time to do the things I need to do to keep myself healthy and happy. This includes taking experiential workshops, fostering relationships, and participating within groups which have a similar interest to become a more compassionate and fulfilled being.“
–Peter

“Self-forgiveness for my own judgments. And oh yeah, coming to Esalen.”
–David B.

“Hmm, this is a tough one! I guess I take care of my heart through fostering relationships with people I feel connected to. Spending quality time with them (whether we're on the phone, through messages/letters, on Zoom, or in-person). Being there for them, listening to them, sharing what's going on with me, my struggles and my successes... like we do in the Esalen weekly Friends of Esalen Zoom sessions!”
–Lori

“I remind myself in many ways of the fact that " Love is all there is!" LOVE is the prize and this one precious life is the stage we get to learn our lessons. I get out into nature, hike, camp, river kayak, fly fish, garden, I create, I dance (not enough!), and I remain grateful for each day, each breath, each moment. Being in the moment, awake, and remembering the gift of life and my feeling of gratitude for all of creation.”
–Steven
“My physical heart by limiting stress and eating a heart-healthy diet. My emotional heart by staying in love with the world and by knowing that all disappointment and loss will pass.“
–David Z.


Today, September 29, is World Heart Day. Strike up a conversation with your own heart and as you feel comfortable, encourage others to do the same. As part of our own transformations and self-care, we sometimes ask for others to illuminate and enliven our hearts or speak our love language.

What if we could do this for ourselves too, even if just for today… or to start a heart practice, forever?



About

Esalen Team

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