Integrative Body Psychotherapy

I’ve been saying this for a few years now: therapeutic massage should be available on the NHS.

Everyone should be able to get a weekly massage from a qualified practitioner.

The NHS bill would rise briefly, and then it would steadily reduce, week-by-week, year-by-year.

If you want to find a symptomatic cure for a large number of those persistent, unquantifiable, indefinable, niggling little illnesses which take up so much of the doctor’s time, and which he cannot do anything about, then he should be able to refer the patient for massage.

It’s surprising how much of our sense of well-being is created by touch, and how much tension is generated by the lack of it.

People would be more healthy. They would be more optimistic. They would enjoy their work more. They would take less time off. The doctor would see less of them and, in the end, not only the NHS, but the whole of society would be better off. And I don’t mean that only in the financial sense.

What we call disease is, in part, a symptom of a deep, spiritual dis-ease, a lack of ease in our lives. What we call illness is often down to a profound neglect of the body and an inability to hear what it is crying out for us to hear.

All those disappointments, those frustrations and confusions which fill our daily lives – the misunderstandings and misrepresentations, the sore points and bruising which arise from our encounters with the world in the daily grind – lodge themselves in the body in knots of unconscious tension. It takes a set of skilled fingers to find those knots and to begin easing them out of you again.

I say this as a person who is currently enjoying a regular fortnightly session with a biodynamic masseuse.

It is wonderful. To have your body taken out of your hands for an hour or more. To let someone else bear the weight of it for a while.

Masseuse

I mean that literally. My masseuse will lift my leg and move it around. It takes a certain trust to allow this to happen. At first the leg resists. But, then, after a while, you relax and let it happen, and then it’s as if a wave of release passes through the body, and all those hidden tensions come flooding out.

The best way I can describe it is in a quote from the New Testament. From 1 Corinthians 44: “It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body.”

That is exactly the sensation. Suddenly the old, angry, knotted-up body of locked-up resentment and tension is swept away, to be replaced by a brand new body, full of colour, full of light, full of optimism and imagination down to its very core.

Afterwards it’s as if my bones have melted. I don’t so much sit on a chair as ooze into it.

Last week Ruth, my masseuse, was working on my feet. It was exquisite. My feet felt like two fat, self-satisfied cats curled up on the rug, purring in front of the fire. It was like “this little piggy” all over again, those tiny neglected parts being given attention for the first time in years, and returning me to a lost feeling of childhood.

I can’t recommend the experience highly enough.

Ruth Hoskins:

“I trained at the Chiron Centre and hold the Certificate in Integrative Body Psychotherapy. I am currently working towards UKCP registration and run a private practice in Whitstable, Kent. I am a member of CABP (Chiron Association of Body Psychotherapists) and AHBMT (Association of Biodynamic massage Therapists)

“My work is influenced by humanistic, psychodynamic and biodynamic principles. For the last 6 years I have worked closely with people recovering from eating disorders and am experienced in the use of CBT and MET models.

“You can contact me on 07742 295506 or ruth.hoskins@btinternet.com”

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