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The Art of Touch.

Jun 242012

We’ve all heard this song (well, you have if you’re old enough, like me!). The chorus goes:

“I want a man with a slow hand,
I want a lover with an easy touch,
I want somebody who will spend some time,
Not come and go in a heated rush,
I want somebody who will understand,
When it comes to love I want a slow hand”.

This song was by the Pointer Sisters, and they got it spot on!

Some tips when you’re practicing the art of touching:

– Touch with the whole hand, not just the fingers or palm. Place your entire hand on the body – it lets the receiver know you’re present and helps them to feel confident in your abilities.

– When you touch the body slowly and with awareness, you are more likely to be present and in tune with your partner. When this happens you become one with the other. That enables you to both receive from this touch.

When receiving touch, each person generally likes it to be exactly how they feel it’s needed for their own particular body. We all have distinct and individual needs – so when you’re giving touch, you need to be responsive to their requests. How do we do that? Simply by asking the person what they need in the moment. Listen to what they’re telling you, then act on their feedback.

Remember, go slow, have an easy touch and don’t be in a heated rush! Understand the person you are touching and you will always have a wonderful session.

Now, go touch someone!

Free Up Your Hugs

Jun 172012

Recently, an online video called ‘Free Hugs’ went viral.  It told the story of a person holding a sign up in Sydney’s Pitt Street Mall advertising ‘FREE HUGS’. While people started off ignoring him, one by one they eventually began to go over and take him up on his offer.  While watching, I spotted a friend of mine. I knew he would never pass up an offer like that – and sure enough, he went over for his hug, too. It was a touching video, and a great reminder of how important these moments in life are.

We hug our babies, and receive endless joy from that simple act – but so often in our adult life, we lose sight of that connection with others. Yet hugging can work in many magical ways, bringing us into a state of surrender, helping us to feel good and allowing us to do something loving and selfless when another is in need.

In my own experience, being a mere 5”1 means that receiving a hug can sometimes be awkward.  I was often forced to step on tippy toes so I could reach the other person, which stretched out my whole body, making it somewhat uncomfortable. But over the years of becoming a hugging expert, I’ve learned that if someone is taller than me, they can easily come down to my level to give me a hug!

I’ve noticed that people use all kinds of methods to hug each other. There’s the tent hug, where we hold ourselves away and only hug the top part of our bodies together, and the trucker’s hug, where we just pat the other person on the back, without even making any body contact at all.  When we hug someone but hold on to our own arms, I call this one the self-hug.  Then there’s the one that is my worst nightmare: the bear hug! Men often go in for this one, and you’re literally squeezed so hard that you think your ribs are going to break and you can no longer breathe.

We often miss the point of a hug… but there is a way to hug where both people can feel aligned with each other. It’s a hug from the heart, where body contact is made and you both feel totally connected over a period of time. You can practice with your beloved, or just start to hug people in this way and notice the different feelings it brings to you and your hug buddy.

Start off by bringing your feet into alignment, then bend your knees slightly and allow one person to come into the other person’s body.  Now bring your arms behind onto the back, placing one hand on the bottom of the spine and the other near the heart. Next, place your head on the person’s shoulders and just hang out and breathe. This is a full body hug. Stay there for some time and notice the different quality of this type of hug.

Often I have clients who go to shake my hand after a session, and instead I offer them this hug. I can always feel them surrendering as they receive love. It’s great to see their defenses come down, and as humans, we respond very powerfully to this simple act.

It takes a little practice to get used to hugging this way – but believe me, it’s well worth the effort.



Boost Your Body Image

Jun 102012

You’re too fat. You’re too skinny. Your hair is too short or too long. You’re beginning to get wrinkles. You’ve got cellulite. Your hair’s going grey. Your tits are sagging. Your man boobs are swelling. You look like a dag. On and on the ‘What’s Wrong With Me’ list goes.

We all get that feeling of not being good enough, and it’s a message that’s reinforced constantly by the media, and occasionally (if unintentionally) by our family and friends. The endless pressure to look good all the time can be exhausting.

We need to start loving our bodies, whatever shape or form they present themselves in.  When we accept ourselves with unconditional love, we begin to see the world and others through different eyes – and we also begin to feel a little more relaxed about life in general.

One recent client told me she would have been too embarrassed to come for a session with me if she hadn’t lost quite a bit of weight. I was happy for her that she had – but disappointed to hear that her weight was a deciding factor. It doesn’t matter what size you are, we all need touch and love through body contact. So love the body you are in, right now. Tell your body that you love it, right now. Give yourself permission to feel good in the body you have, right now. This body is the only one you have – so give it love, take care of it and enjoy it through exercise, good food and healing modalities like massage, bodywork and dance.

There are no two bodies alike, and as a bodyworker, that makes for a colorful experience when I’m giving a massage! I love being presented with different bodies, and giving the exact same love to every single one. That is the art of acceptance.

So love the body you are in, and it will love you right back.

A Poem about Friendship

Jun 032012

by Trudy Starling
When you feel sad and betrayed
Who can you count on every single day?
When you feel  lost and alone
Who will be there for you in every way?
When you’ve made mistakes and bad decisions
Who can you count on to tell you you’re wrong?
When you feel you can’t go on
Who will be there with a feel-better song?
Look into your heart and you will find
That person you can trust is not far away.
Look deep into yourself, don’t give up,
For if you do, it’s yourself you’ll betray.
When you’re looking for answers
To all your questions and dreams,
There is one person you can count on,
It’s impossible, I know, it seems.
But take a few moments to look deeper inside.
Look into your heart and there you will see.
You’ll be surprised when you find out
That you’ve been looking at ME.