Are you trying to incorporate more mindbody practices into your routine? You may not think of massage at first but there are many ways a somatic massage can incorporate complete mindbody principles.
Lets get beyond the basics of the physical plane. First, we all know and think of massage as a way to help sore muscles, increase circulation, and relax - and it does; but it is much more when you apply your mind (or brain) to the session work. Massage can be a holistic, centered mindbody activity, like Tai Chi, or meditation.
What Is Somatics?
The field of Somatics combines movement with sensory awareness. That means "you" consciously participate in the processes of your own movements. Now think about that. How many times a day do you move and and just ignore your own movements? You don't think about it. Maybe when it hurts. But really, how much movement goes on in your body without you even giving it a moment's thought?
Somatics brings into your life a deeper awareness of what you feel and sense and applies it to your movements. Creating this awareness helps you move better, feel better because you are bringing your body and your mind into synchronicity.
Now, apply the field of somatics to massage. A somatic massage will incorporate more movement and participation into the session work. Your experience will become more complex because you come in to a somatic massage session to experience your body in the present moment. You can learn about you own body just being a aware of your own feelings. I greatly encourage all massage clients to get on the table with an inquisitive mind, seeking information that will be translated through the massage. A somatic massage may include combinations of movement, sound, breath, touch, imagery and dialogue to deepen understanding of what it feels like now, what it feels like after, and how did we get here! You may be given help on how to experience and access and what you feel in their body. You may be reminded or coached on how to move gently and feel the smaller sensations you may have forgotten but were once pleasurable. Communication and feedback between client and therapist is key to broaden this mindbody experience.
The field of Somatics is growing. There are many modalities and just like massage there is no one "right way" to do it. It's all good for you. Each approach will differ slightly but all will incorporate movement and sensory awareness. Now that I have added somatics to my life I have found more satisfaction with my work, my workouts and overall state of well being. Somatics was brought into massage work to offer a more complete and holistic mindbody approach.