Wednesday, May 12, 2010

No Force

I have recently become interested in a form of moving bodywork and self-healing called Breema. This interest led to me to purchase the book Self-Breema: Exercises for Harmonious Life by Jon Schreiber and Denise Berezonsky which I have spent the last week ravenously reading. Not only a movement system and a form of body work, Breema also offers a philosophy for balanced living based on nine principles of harmony. What has most resonated with me and which I admit I have much to learn from of late is the principle, "no force."

As the book states, "Force is a relationship between separate entities, an energy that moves something outside of itself."

This simple idea has inspired a radical change in my approach to my work as a therapist. As I give a massage using my hands, I could think of my hands as separate from me and separate from the muscles they touch. I could think of myself, also, as separate from the earth beneath my feet. All separate entities. My hands, my body, the client, the earth. Approaching the work in this way, my hands, lacking connection to my body, exert force, subjecting them to stress rather than working from the energy, movement and weight of my whole body. Without feeling a connection to the tissue with which I am making contact, I use force to move or effect a change in those tissues. Instead, if I think of my hand and my client's body as existing in unity with one another, change is brought about willingly. Without feeling a connection to the earth, I must summon up all my strength and weight to affect that change rather than feeling the solid support of the earth and allowing that support to flow through me.

Letting go of force requires a quiet listening, a peaceful presence, an unhurried inquiry into what is happening. It is about connection and support, a unity through which movement and change are welcomed.

No force.

Wishing you balance,


Photo by Gregory Colbert. Click on photo for link to his Ashes and Snow exhibit website.

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