Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Bam! Pow!

Today in massage therapy class, we were working on the backs of each other's legs. We were trying out an "invigorating" flow, which includes faster movements, compressions and tapotements. Those are what they sound like: a tapping on the body. There are various methods to choose from, including the "hacking" method, slapping, and other methods of "stimulating" the body.

Massage Hacking Technique - The best bloopers are a click away

The key to doing any of this stuff is with a soft hand. If you do it with a stiff, hard hand you're beating them up. It feels really good to have done, and if done correctly it really can stimulate and release the muscles. And a light touch with these moves doesn't work. You don't want to go to hard, but light isn't going to make a difference.

Anyway, I was at that part of the flow and one of the teachers comes over and says "you know, you can do that with a little more pressure." In other words, really get into it. And she demonstrated and she really started to wail on the person I was practicing on. As the teacher was demonstrating the more vigorous application I felt this moment of horror and nearly blurted out "but I can't hit her!!!!"

You see, when I was much younger (and maybe not so much younger) I was not one to necessarily vocalize my emotions. Instead, I would hit someone if I felt some pent up emotion. Usually my younger brother but as I got older it became a bad habit and I would show the least little bit of frustration by hitting the person next to me, often a friend.

It is not something I'm proud of and it took a LONG time to break myself of it. Honestly, I think one reason I haven't had kids is because I'm terrified I will fall back into that awful habit and start hitting out of anger and frustration again. That is not who or what I ever want to be.

I am trying to process this realization and frankly I'm not sure how to proceed. On the one hand, I know it is a authorized, legitimate procedure that I am learning and its application has definite positive merits. On the other hand, do I really want to give myself permission to start hitting people again? Is this a place I want to go?

I guess for now, this is just something I'm going to have to monitor in myself. It may well be that I'll do it for school and leave it on the sidelines once I'm practicing. Or maybe I'll get over that need to hit.

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