In her massage office in Alabama, my friend has a sign posted:
“When you touch a body, you touch the whole person-intellect, spirit & emotions.”
She is a healer, a facilitator, a conduit for connecting a person’s energy to the source of healing in the universe.
She does not cure people, she would never claim that. Just like I don’t.
During the Covid crisis and Shelter In Place, we both had to close our practices. We couldn’t touch clients. We couldn’t touch anyone.
It felt like our hands were tied and with that, so was everything else- _emotions, intelligence, spirit. It was hard. It was very hard.
Some people think what we do is just a job, a career, that we have chosen.
That’s true for many massage therapists. It’s different for us, though.
Jennifer and I both feel as if massage therapy is our calling, it is what we were created to do. It goes beyond a job description. It is who we are.
Years ago,a very good friend of mine said to me,” There is no separation between you and your business. You are Rockwall Body and Soul Massage and it is you. You are complete when you massage, when you give a massage, you seem to receive back as much as you give.”
He is exactly right. It’s the whole truth. It’s also why I’m so particular about who gives me a massage. I will only receive bodywork from those that I trust with my soul. It’s the same way as making love, or having sex… Only those that fall in love with the naked soul should be able to touch the body. That’s how I feel anyways
That’s why Jennifer’s message bought tears to my eyes. She understands so well what touch means to me.
We have been friends a long time and shared many stories-personally and professionally.
Yesterday she messaged me and my heart felt as if she had taken my words and wrote them down for me.
“When touch a person, I lose my self. I shed my skin. I am a tool. Molding muscles and tissues into a piece of art work that is soft and knotless. I connect on a level that is beyond touch. Finding the lack of flow, and creating space where there is none. Unraveling knotted fibers, smoothing out scars and adhesions. Assessing each area for congestion caused by stress whether it’s physical or emotional. This is what I do. It completes me.”
“Intimately , it is similar … When I make love, I connect fully, giving myself over completely, connecting on a level that is beyond physical-Heart, Mind and Soul.
When I fuck, I connect,too, fully, feeding on passion, and offering my own up in exchange. I can guard the heart and keep some emotions at bay, but not all of them. I am able to disassociate enough to protect myself but just barely and with a lot of effort. I have to focus on feelings of physical pleasure more extremely than otherwise necessary.”
We are both survivors of sexual assault. I can and do split myself into three parts still. I can be touched, and not feel. I can feel without being touched. I can go through the motions-heart guarded and intact while my body moves.
If my emotional cup is empty, I can swallow the bitter taste and my body can go through the paces. I can hold back most of my feelings for as long as it takes. I’m used to it
This serves me well when I’m in training and my knee gives out. My willpower takes over and I push through the pain my body feels. I can close my hands and put my spirit elsewhere while my body is present for whatever reason.
It’s a blessing sometimes. Other times, it’s a curse.
There are certain people that give and receive touch from me that fills me on every level. These people are as vital to my well being as oxygen… During Shelter In Place, I craved their touch so deeply because, quite simply, their touch calms my spirit in ways I can’t put into words, try as I might.
*Regardless, in either case, because I am either focused on complete connection, or guarding myself from emotional pain, I am often incapable of holding back, that includes my noises as well as giving and receiving pleasure.
I feel the urge, I act upon it. I do not want to hold back, there is an innate need that has to be fulfilled.
If it is not fulfilled, I am left feeling empty. Needing more. Wanting more.
This is why I am so insatiable now that I’m able to touch again
For so long, I have been empty. I have cried, I have begged,
I have pleaded for someone to help me fill my cup.
How many times did I say that when I went to fill my cup, the machines were broken, out of order signs on each and every source?
My cup was broken anyway, shattered in a million pieces.
It was impossible to fill. My cup is still broken, but I am finding the glue to mend it.
It at least holds that essence of life that is so necessary for completeness.
I am living again, I am thriving. I am starving for more.”
Jennifer had been married for over 17 years to a man that withheld affection and touch so she received the touch she craved through her work. She gave massages and in giving, she received.
During Covid, Jennifer finally signed the divorce papers and began to write a new chapter of her book of life.
“When I touch someone, I share in the healing. When I touch someone, I become a part of something larger than myself.”
She is getting new cups and filling her broken cups and she is finding ways to be complete.
She can touch again and so can I .
👣♥️ Jeanna’ Mead
7 42 a.m. 6.24.20