The Martial Arts / Massage Connection by Frank Carone
Healing wounds is a must, Life demands we adapt. Wounded warriors, for instance, must fight on to the next battle despite injury. Over the years of sustained conflict, the warriors/priests cultures of Asia simultaneously developed Healing Arts and the Martial Arts. In China, Japan, and elsewhere in Asia the principles of Non Action(mindful emptiness) and YIN/YANG were applied to massage as well as weaponry and empty handed combat. Techniques that soothed muscle pain, increase performance, set bones, encouraged general health were developed. SUIKODO/SHIATSU ( what I practice at METAbodyWORKS ) is a descendant of ANMO, a Chinese form of Massage, TUI NA, developed along with utilization of herbs, moxibustion, implements and acupuncture that traveled to Japan via the Monks of China. Anmo was developed in Japan specifically for the Samurai Culture that also embraced the Taoist / Buddhist , and Confucian philosophies and practices. In Japan, modern Western understanding of anatomy and physiology changed the look of Anmo around the turn of the 20th century. A great new form of massage was developed for a modern world: Shiatsu ( ‘finger pressure’ ) A series of bodywork techniques that incorporated Western Science and Traditional Chinese Medicine. SUIKODO was developed by Mitsuki Kikkawa, CST after years of Practice and intense training at Namikoshi’s Japan Shiatsu Institute. Kikkawa Sensei was an avid meditator, and devoted his entire life to understanding disease and human healing. Suikodo is firmly rooted in the Samurai Warrior Culture tradition but designed to relieve modern ailments the 'the easy way'. These are very subtle techniques using hard and soft, deep and superfiscial, to change the wiring in the brain ( neurons that fire together wire together, neurons that fire apart, wire apart ). The successes of Kikkawa Sensei's techniques were numerous including: relief from stubborn diseases, spinal alignment in two or three moves, and an increase in function and range of motion. His greatest achievement may be the training of other therapists whom use Suikodo techniques daily. Massage is about helping to remove blockages. To heal, and to keep on going. Whether on the battlefield, the sports field, or the Chesterfield ( a couch ), SHIATSU is designed to encourage the innate healing Ki ( energy ) by Massaging the Tsubo ( Accu Points ) along the meridians. SUIKODO emphasizes more of the Vibration, Oscillation, and Shaking techniques of Shiatsu. Massage is an essential skill for any experienced Martial Artists: it can be used in traumatology; when oneself or another is injured in such a way that requires immediate attention ( broken or subluxed bones joints, loss of vital signs, consciousnesses etc..), a means to get battle ready ( stimulate organs, and activate meridians and ' iron shirt' ), to address long term chronic problems after years of training and battle, and a way to heal others in a world that doesn’t wait. Our modern life drives ambitions, money, responsibilities and stress. We should learn how to integrate a health regiment as were the ways of our ancient peoples; a method of self care that doesn't require an "expert", just yourself with good techniques and a little experience. This way we can still function when all seems impossible. We must heal along this journey of life.
The Chakra Series: The 4th Chakra- Love and the Fantasy Bond by Rina Thibault
In this month’s article, we’ll be looking at the 4th Chakra: Anahata, the heart. Its element is air and associated with the colour green. This chakra is considered to be the integration centre for all the other chakras, as this is where our experiences get integrated and re-assimilated through emotional messages, and which gives our life experiences a rhythmic flow.
In developmental psychology (transactional analysis), the 4th chakra would be the stage of development where one begins to understand the different aspects of self, especially in developing a social identity. It is where we operate, unconsciously, internalized scripts. This stage begins between the ages of 4-7, where the child begins to learn about socialization, by interacting with other children of similar age it engages their development of a social identity. Social identity prepares them for increasingly complex social interactions. This is heavily reliant on balancing ones boundaries and letting go of autonomy, also 3rd Chakra issues. Children learn about relationships by imitation which stems from family values. The issue of spanking is a hot topic amongst parents and child caregivers today because of its tendency towards a confused and misunderstood concept of love. Often hard to detect its effects on a child, usually a balanced and healthy relationship within the family helps children understand and cope with the situation. In an unbalanced family home (i.e. lack of touch, threatened sense of security and social identity) can lead to misinterpretations in adult life.
John Bradshaw calls it the fantasy bond, “It is an illusion that keeps us believing that our partner (father, mother, friend, lover) really does love us- maybe today is just a bad day, we did something wrong, or it will be better tomorrow.” The behaviour becomes normally unacceptable. Through continuing the internalized relationships, bonding patterns appear and lead to a disintegration of personal boundaries and self-respect, feeling of disembodiment (mind and body are separate, ones worth is defined in sexual terms), and there becomes a need to find “corroborators” (peers). We become tolerant of our life living in an unbalanced “stereo” world: uneven volume control, distorted sound quality, or static interference.
The effects of mistreatment happen on 3 levels: the physical (experience), emotional (interpretation; attribute the experience to our own shortcomings), and conceptual (fusion with love; twisted concept of love becomes inseparably linked and the abuse continues to perpetuate). In order to understand and cope with our past mistreatments, we need to take the time to listen to ourselves, discover who we are as a human being, and most importantly honor the complexities of our inner self. By beginning to honor the different aspects of ourselves and individuality, we start to develop compassion for the inner soul. When we have a healthy social identity, operating from a healthy closed/open system of love, it increases our ability to integrate our experiences which leads to healthier relationships, which leads to a balance of energies.
By transcending our ego, one can become more conscious of these internalized relationships within us, breaking the spell of bondage to illusions.
“Abuse is the antithesis of love. If we do not get the love we need, we lack the basic ingredient necessary to assemble ourselves.” Anodea Judith, Eastern Body Western Mind.