A family in harmony will prosper in everything.
Home is where one starts from.
—T. S. Eliot
No other institution in our society does more than a loving family to shape our values, support our needs, and nurture our mind, body, and spirit. The family provides not only food and shelter, but also love, security, and a sense of belonging.
What we learn or don't learn from our family can affect us for a lifetime, shaping who we are, how we live, and how we interact with the world. A strong family is our anchor in a world that is inherently unpredictable and constantly changing.
Touch: A Vital Means of Communication
Our first experience with touch is our mother's loving caress in our home. Within our family we learn how, when and where to touch. Yet natural touch among family members is an often neglected means of communication.
Touch is vital to our relationships. It is critical for our growth and development. It is essential to our emotional well-being. What better place than within our family to rediscover the healing benefits of touch? And what better way than through the medium of massage to express loving touch to those closest to us?
Expressing Yourself Through the Language of Touch
When the massage table becomes as natural a piece of furniture as the living room sofa, families achieve better health, increased relaxation, and a deeper connection with each other. Parents have a way to relieve stress and enjoy renewed intimacy. Children fight less as they learn to nurture each other. When massage is a natural routine, families learn to express themselves easily through the language of touch, creating harmony, mutual respect, and stability in our homes.
Time alone together sharing the gift of massage
allows every pair in the family the opportunity
to connect with the opening of the heart and the relaxing of the ego.
The giver becomes the receiver
and the receiver becomes the giver.
And, in that special moment, become one.
Home Massage Makes Touch a Household Word
There is no Place like home.
—Dorothy, The Wizard of Oz
What better place than in our own homes to regain our comfort with touch? Fears and inhibitions about touch begin in our home, but they can also end there. Home massage makes touch a household word instead of allowing it to become a taboo subject.
Too often parents, in an attempt to protect their children from the dangers of improper touch, are reluctant to discuss issues surrounding touch or even worse, they discourage any kind of touch. Often they wait until their children are teenagers, unwilling to listen and thus more influenced by their peers. Adults who are raised in families where touch was awkward or discouraged often suffer from a discomfort with touch that can affect their relationships in ways both disguised and apparent.
Making Massage A Part of Our Daily Lives
When massage is part of our daily lives, it becomes a natural bridge for both adults and children to talk easily about issues relating to touch. Home massage reminds us that our bodies belong to us. Through exchanging massage with our loved ones, we learn to communicate what kind of pressure we want, where we want to be massaged, and when something doesn't feel good.
The trust and comfort that grows on the massage table can easily be transferred to more delicate and personal matters. By experiencing loving, safe, and appropriate touch, we also learn to understand the many signs our bodies offer us when touched appropriately. Furthermore, the confidence gained on the massage table will help us recognize the signs and communicate our concerns when touch is not appropriate.
Once we become comfortable with touch on the massage table, we don't need to be told how to touch, where to touch, what is bad touch, or be convinced of our need to be touched. We experience a return to our natural expression of touch. As touch becomes a household word through massage, everyone learns to honor and respect themselves and each other in all matters of touch.
©2011 Chuck Fata & Suzette Hodnett. All Rights Reserved.
Reprinted with permission of the publisher,
Findhorn Press. www.findhornpress.com
This article was adapted with permission from the book:
Home Massage: Transforming Family Life through the Healing Power of Touch -- by Chuck Fata and Suzette Hodnett.
By emphasizing the innate healing power of touch to reduce stress and improve the immune system, this practical manual provides the tools for achieving health, relaxation, and connection with loved ones. Designed for the nonprofessional with simple step-by-step instructions, this book teaches the three principles that make learning massage easy and fun. Also included are ideas for bringing home massage into daily life and how to use these principles to share massage with infants, children, adolescents, spouses, and the elderly.
About the Authors
Chuck Fata was a nationally certified massage therapist and co-founder of Touch Communications Home Massage, Inc. He taught professionally at the Santa Monica School of Shiatsu and the California College of Physical Arts as well as massage workshops and retreats for non-professionals.
Suzette Hodnett, M.S., also co-founder of TCHM, has more than 20 years experience as a licensed psychotherapist, professional artist and Tai Chi Sandan instructor. She currently works as a Life Coach, blending her experience to bring emotional and physical health to youth and adults. With Jackie Sloan, CMT, she offers retreats, lectures and workshops nationwide to promote relaxation, connection, and the healing power of touch.