The problem of quantum mechanics and bodywork- not a problem!

21 Jan

You are a Quantum Being! You are not just a collection of bones and muscle, ligaments and organs and blood with a brain that makes everything go! That reductionist view of a human being is laughingly outdated, especially with the increased understanding of ourselves we are gaining from the study of quantum mechanics; or I should say, the increased understanding of what we don’t know about ourselves, but which is suggested by, quantum mechanics!

Quantum mechanics is “the branch of mechanics that deals with the mathematical description of the motion and interaction of subatomic particles, incorporating the concepts of quantization of energy, wave-particle duality, the uncertainty principle, and the correspondence principle“, says the dictionary. Now, I can’t explain those concepts to you in a mathematical way, but that sentence defines for me some of what I do on a daily basis in my studio! I often say when trying to explain the bodywork that I do, that I tune in to my client’s body and mind, ‘hear’ where the problem or need is, and then do what that person’s body tells me to do. But how does one teach how to do this? There are certain things that are easily teachable, tools I’ve learned in my 25 years of practice: engaging the tissues rather than plowing through them, using the principle of thixotropy when addressing connective tissue in the body, using arms and legs as long levers. But how do you explain getting sudden and correct knowledge of something your client hasn’t ever verbalized to you? Or “seeing an arrow” in the body pointing to the area of greatest need, as your client exclaims, “How did you know that was bothering me?”? Or sensing what can only be described as ‘energy’ coming from the body- drawing you in, or pushing you away? These things that occur in a bodywork session are difficult to describe and difficult to teach; I’ve come to rely on the “I Don’t Know” Principle.

The “I Don’t Know” Principle: is it the same as the Uncertainty Principle?

The uncertainty principle of quantum mechanics says that we cannot measure the position and the momentum of a subatomic particle exactly. The more precisely we know one of these values, the less precisely we know the other. So, your observation of either position or momentum will be inaccurate- and interestingly, the act of observation affects the particle being observed. This experience I’d had so many times in the massage studio was finally explained for me in the movie “What the Bleep Do We Know!?”, in which a young basketball player uses his basketball as a metaphor for subatomic particles: “When you’re not looking, they are waves of possibility; when you are looking, they are particles of experience.” I work with this wave particle duality in my studio all the time: when I focus my attention directly on a client’s problem, whether it’s their hamstring muscles or some energetic information, I can see only part of the picture, a little frozen piece. But when I open my mind, soften my touch and listen with my heart rather than my head, a whole world of information can speak to me; waves of possibility! When I teach bodywork, I emphasize to my students that when they decide ahead of time they know what their client needs (perhaps based on what the client said during the intake interview, or from conclusions the student drew herself), they have effectively cut the lines of real communication between them and their client’s body and mind. It’s like finishing someone else’s sentences, because you think- incorrectly- that you know what they are going to say! So I teach them to say this mantra over and over again: I don’t know. In other words, if you want to really know what the body needs, you need to relax, put your hand on the client’s body, and open your mind like you’ve just dialed the body’s number, and you’re wondering what it will say when it picks up the phone! If we’re looking too directly at the body’s information, we’ve congealed that information into experience-maybe ours, maybe our client’s- but when we say “I don’t know” and keep a soft focus that allows for those waves of possibility, then we are open to EVERYTHING! This includes information from the body’s physical, emotional and spiritual aspects, plus all the other aspects of which we can’t even conceive! This is similar to looking at the constellation Pleiades in the night sky: you’ll see it better if you look at it out of the corner of your eye.

Align yourself with what you know to be true. The reason I’ve named my business SoundHeals Holistic Health is because I recognize the amazing, vibrational nature of our bodies and our universe. I know that health is really a state of vibrational alignment with our bodies’ natural desire to thrive- it’s only when we get in the way of that natural tendency that we become ill. Can we tune in to ourselves and our fellow human beings to be more holistic in our lives? “Holistic” means ‘characterized by comprehension of the parts of something as intimately interconnected and explicable only by reference to the whole.’ All aspects of a human being are intimately interconnected; all human beings are also interconnected; we work better when we work together, as a whole. If we can remember this, then we will become better bodyworkers and better human beings.

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