I’ve been very very fortunate to receive numerous massages and other body work over the last few decades. And its been a process of being able to ‘let go’ to specific muscles in the body during a treatment. The therapist will often say ‘just relax and let your leg be heavy’. At first I found this challenging. What shape were they going to pretzel me into? Are they qualified to listen to my body and know when they’ve gone too far? What if my lower back is too sensitive for them to manipulate my knee that far across my body? But over time I’ve surrendered my limbs and extremities. I’ve trusted their requests and without exception I’ve never been hurt or even found the need to say ‘stop please’. The release has been gradual and only in retrospect do I realise how far I’ve moved. And yet, there is still room for more.
Yesterday I was receiving an amazing treatment from a man who was quite powerful and confdent in his manner of twisting and torquing my body into various shapes of release. I was able to breathe deeply and go with the flow. That is, until he reached my neck. Suddenly I sanpped out of my blissful calm and was on high alert. I told myself I have a sensitive neck. Its delicate and typically quite sore from holding tension. Could he be trusted to handle my neck with care? My muscles and tendons didn’t think so. I found it near impossible to fully relax while he manipulated this part of my body.
After the treatment I started thinking about my resistance to softening my neck. I was left believing that a key function of this glorious structure is to hold up our melon like heads for the majority of our waking hours. Quite a task! And in a way, our neck is protecting our heads, a gateway to the brain and our thoughts. Am I really so attached to my thoughts that my neck moves into high alert at the slightless perception of threat?! Instead, perhaps my chest should tighten into protection mode when anything gets close to my heart or lungs? Toes could curl as we anticipate rough surfaces and thighs could squeeze shut to safeguard our body cavity. But no, its the head that seems to need guarding.
In time I hope to be able to trust and surrender my neck more and more. Perhaps a shortcut is to spend a bit more time inverted – awake, but allowing our head to do the work, not the neck.