Thursday, March 1, 2012

Meridians and Massage: A Match Made in Heaven

Being a massage student here at the Oriental Healing Arts Center has been a life-changing experience. Before starting school 9 months ago, when I was originally thinking about becoming a massage therapist, I had looked into OHAC having no prior knowledge of Oriental Medicine (also known as Traditional Chinese Medicine; TCM). In the past, I’ve received massages and also acupuncture but I couldn’t see how knowledge of TCM and massage would meld together. When I thought of massage, I thought of sports massage or deep tissue; but acupressure massage never came to mind. So I decided to do a little research on my own to see how TCM and massage would fit together.

The more I learned about TCM, QiGong, and Tai Chi from the books I was reading, the more I wanted to learn. My thoughts of “How could TCM and massage go together?” turned into “How could they not go together!” I quickly finalized my massage student application with OHAC and dove into the learning experience of a lifetime!

Learning about the Theory of Oriental Medicine and Meridians and Points has taught me an entirely different way of looking at the human body. Before, I always thought of the body comprised mostly of bones, muscles, and organs and while that is still the case, I now see an underlying current of energy highways transversing the lengths of the body. Symptoms of disease (or disharmonies in the body) are no longer just individual organ issues. To me, they are now keys into the inner workings of the body and instead of a something negative, I see them as a calling from the body to bring itself back into balance. A symptom doesn’t have to be a bad thing, it can be viewed as your body communicating with you that something is off and you need to take care of yourself.

Knowing the meridians throughout the body, along with what’s currently ailing a person, changes each and every massage to be specifically tailored to the client’s needs. If a person comes in complaining of certain ‘symptoms’, I’m able to deduce that it sounds like their Spleen may have a bit of a disharmony and during a 1 hour full-body massage, once I got to the lower leg portion, I would focus on stimulating Spleen meridian points to bring energy and flow to that meridian, which would then help create more harmony for the interior Spleen organ… and when there’s heath and harmony within the body, life becomes more enjoyable!
Before attending school here, I thought massage was something you received when you had a sore muscle from shoveling too much snow. Now I have learned that, while massage is excellent for sore shoveling muscles, it’s also amazing for helping heal anything a person may be going through. The body isn’t just bones, muscles, and organs. The body is an intricate part of a healthy mind and soul also. Having a healthy body begins with having a harmonious interior state for happy organs and a healthy, harmonious place for your soul to live. Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupressure are tools that help create a pleasant atmosphere within your body so that your soul can thrive!

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