Updated: Aug 29, 2020
I am developing the courage to express my authenticity in my blog. Everyone who knows me, who has worked with me and has received massage from me has an awareness of my value system, my moral compass and my great love of people and animals. Animals are without prejudice, without judgement, and offer unconditional love in return for what amounts to very little for such a wonderful gift . They make it look so easy. Inhibited by my own fears of being judged, and years of conditioning to keep my work life separate from my personal life, I have remained silent regarding my personal views on ANYTHING, especially religion, politics and any other controversial subject. I don't really speak much either about my observations regarding any aspects of my job. It is a courtesy to people coming for a massage. They come for an escape from the stress "out there". It is inappropriate for ANY talking to intrude on the blessed opportunity for healing silence that most people just don't get to have. A 60 minute or 90 minute massage with total attention to soothing a frazzled nervous system and healing sore muscles is much more effective in total silence. I will always be available that way to ALL PEOPLE who come to me for massage, Silence is where everyone finds unconditional love and acceptance, as everyone deserves. This silence allows me to listen to the skin, and talk to the skin with my hands.
Our skin develops from the same mesoderm cells as our nervous system, if you were to study embryology. The nervous system and the skin are always in direct communication back in forth. The sensory nerves located in the skin transmit information to the central nervous system in order to receive a response about how to read, respond and adapt to environmental stressors and information. This function is true for any color or texture of skin. Peachy white, brawny bronze, velvet black skin, pale ivory and yellow skin all transmit environmental info to the nervous system. Hairy skin, smooth skin, baby soft and paper wrinkled old skin all does the same thing. Man skin, woman skin all does the same thing. It receives environmental information about what is going on, and transmits that sensory information to the central nervous system to receive a response. Blue eyes, brown eyes, green eyes and hazel eyes receive sensory information and transmit that via the optic nerve into the brain for a "reading" of an image. An image of a police cruiser for example. The PERCEPTION of that image, how it is interpreted by the brain based on stored experiences, decides what to tell the nervous system to do. I would like to simplify the response of the nervous system by limiting my description to the skin and eyes, only two parts of our sensory system. Our hearing, taste and sense of smell further enhance the functioning of sensory input which determines how a person's nervous system responds to environmental input.
Although eyes, skin and nervous system are designed to function in the same way for all human beings, it is the perception and interpretation of this sensory input by a person's brain which gives rise to the nervous system's response. The autonomic nervous system has two main parts: The sympathetic and the parasympathetic system. The sympathetic nervous system is our "fight or flight" system, which gets engaged to prepare our bodies for a battle that is perceived by the brain. Individuals have different perceptions and experiences and thus that will inform their response and reaction. PERCEPTION AND EXPERIENCE IS EVERYTHING. Let me clarify, if you actually have to run away from an ugly dog, live with constant reminders of economic inequality, have an uncomfortable conversation with your boss, or see a violent act of brutality on television, your body will respond in the same way if you perceive that as stressful. A cascade of hormones will course through your body and do the following: Increase your heart rate, increase rate of breathing, shut down your digestion, dump large amounts of adrenaline into your system, increase circulating blood sugars, fire up the muscles in your legs and prepare the posture of your whole musculoskeletal system to contract in a protective stance. The skin of your body will become tightened and hard, circulation will be stopped to the hands and feet as the body sends all blood to surround the heart in preparation for a battle. The parasympathetiic system contains "calm down" hormones which direct the body to recover and restore functioning after a stressful event . When the sympathetic nervous system is constantly aroused due to the persistent presence of stress or threat, the immune system gets worn down and susceptible to infections. Diseases like hypertension, heart conditions, cancer, diabetes and strokes are the results of life long over stimulation of the sympathetic nervous system. And I feel it in the skin. The skin always speaks to my hands and tells me the pain in the body, the pain in the soul, without ever having to say a word. And blessedly, neither do I, because sometimes there are no words for it.
I wish I could take language
And fold it like cool, moist rags.
I would lay words on your forehead
I would wrap words on your wrists.
"There, there, " my words would say---
Or something better.
I would ask them to murmur,
"Hush" and "Shhh, shhh, it's all right."
I would ask them to hold you all night.
I wish I could take language
And daub and soothe and cool.
Wherever fever blisters and burns,
Where fever turns yourself against you.
I wish I could take language
And heal the words that were the wounds
You have no names for.
( Words For It)