So much for the bad news. But how is it that massage can help stimulate creativity and sharper thinking? I'm sure several credible theories are lurking around, but here's one I lean toward: The more a person is capable of
relaxing, the more she or he becomes a locus or focal point through which universal movement, call it the Tao if you're so inclined, can express itself. This point is examined by Donna and Steven Finando, authors of
Trigger Point Therapy for Myofascial Pain (1999).

This potential, this dynamic, this opportunity, this
responsibility of allowing our body to become a focal point comes into play possibly because our pervasive connective tissue, our fascia, has suddenly been roused from its usual
slumber. Fascia may actually harbor an intelligence and emotional content that research is only beginning to explore, and we discuss the role of fascia at various points during the video.

Low-grade, continuous stress - the kind most of us experience on a daily basis without letup (in fact, some of us are intoxicated by it to an addictive
degree) - generates the stress hormone known as cortisol, which actually starts to eat away at our
fascia (Massage & Bodywork magazine, February/March 2006).

We know we're battling with low-grade stress when we're unfocused, forgetful, indecisive, and
disorganized. We're "half-asleep when awake, and half-awake when asleep," said the eminent
psychologist Erich Fromm.

So, how fundamental is the role of fascia in all of this? Said Ida Rolf, "Just give me the connective
tissue, and you can have the rest." For the rest of the story, well, you'll just have to watch the video. (To master some of the moves, I strongly encourage you to watch various sequences in slow motion.)
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A superb body oil:
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One final note about stress, and this is a recurring point running through the literature of bodywork and most of the better works in the field of
self-improvement:
Stress cannot be talked out of a person. (Nor can
people be reasoned out of a position they weren't reasoned into, for that
matter.) People need
touch, but not just any old touch. They need touch that's structured, focused, and imbued with benevolent intention.

Tyranny of time

In fact, bodyworkers must cultivate a touch that emanates from a part of our brain that's not ordinarily used, the part that's developed by empathy. So
explains Ryokyu Endo in his book The New Shiatsu Method (2004). Our
ordinary, run-of-the-mill sense of touch just won't cut it. He says we can even do harm to our partner's ki (energy flow /  state of being) if we insist on touching in only a physical fashion. When we touch through our heart,
he suggests,
our experience of time alters.

A massage properly delivered can liberate us, at least
temporarily,  from the tyranny known as time.

Another writer in the field of bodywork, Mirka Knaster, echoes this point when she says, "A loving touch can spark the inner will to become well." This
viewpoint is not exactly new. In 1831, Shinsai Ota of Japan published a
landmark book called
Ampuku Zukai (ampuku is a system that promotes deep and gentle abdominal release). He wrote that honest, sincere and
simple shiatsu is preferable to professional shiatsu that's merely technique-oriented.

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