The main masculine role model for my father’s generation was the good old, rough, tuff and silently strong John Wayne. I love my father; he genuinely believed that hugs and kisses made little boys soft. It has now been proven after years of research, that the healthier touch and positive reinforcement we receive as children, the quicker we become independent as adults. I regularly see in my generation, very insecure and indecisive people–the exact opposite of John Wayne, not to mention an almost complete disconnect from emotional intelligence.
Creating a healthy massage routine between parents and children is the essence of a healthy relationship that can be maintained through the transition stage of the apron strings being cut. The physiological and emotional benefits of healthy touch between parents and children can truly be measured over the course of a lifetime in healthy meaningful relationships–in short, children that receive healthy positive reinforcing touch through massage don’t grow up to be weaklings, as the John Wayne’s seemed to believe. In fact, it would appear to be the exact opposite.
The physical attributes of regular massage are expediential; this is clear when we look at cultures such as in Asia and Europe that maintain very healthy populations through regular massage with no pharmaceutical industrial subculture. The mental attributes of touch in babies and children are very well documented–the verdict being that touch stimulates brain neuron firing. The more physical sensations we experience as children, especially infants, the more neurological connections our brain cells make. In addition, touch and sensations in early childhood make us more adapt to becoming smart. Touch depravation in infants is believed to cause severe physiological and emotional imbalance that is very hard to reverse even with years of therapy.
We communicate through touch. When we learn to experience the many different emotions we can convey through touch, our lives become rich in emotional depth. I believe that when we receive protective, health generating touch through massage, as children, we don’t crave attention, and this unhealthy craving doesn’t follow us into adulthood. The best part of creating a massage relationship with your family is that it is a two way street!
Children learn fast, and compression through kneeling and crawling can very effectively be directed to tired feet and sore forearms. Children love to love back so don’t be surprised if you are inundated with offers of massage from well meaning darlings who want to show off their skills! They want to be the best at whatever they do, which is a great attitude to maintain through life. Genuine positive feedback for their efforts will ensure this attitude survives childhood. Children also learn to learn through massage. They learn to adapt, anticipate and apply their massage techniques, and parents get all the benefits of their efforts!
In India, Champi (a sacred Buddhist technique) has long been practiced between mothers, daughters and grandmothers. The story goes that a local woman was watching some monks practice Champi, a spiritual scalp, face, neck and shoulder massage technique that addresses the spiritual chakras. The lady saw the expressions of bliss in the monk’s faces and asked to be shown the technique. The head monk told her she could learn when she was reincarnated as a man and became a monk. Thankfully, this didn’t stop her, and she watched and copied with her daughter what the monks were doing. Soon after, the woman was practicing with her mother and other women from the village. The women discovered something for themselves that the monks could never have discovered (since the monks shaved their heads) –that this technique made their hair strong and lustrous, and they began incorporating this technique into their daily lives. This daily Champi routine for healthy hair is known in the west as shampooing. Champi, as a complete stress eliminating service, is offered in all barber shops in Asia and is experienced before the western influence of shampooing.
Teaching parents to introduce massage into their family life, and teaching couples to introduce massage into their relationships, has been a very rewarding experience during my time in America. At the Balance Massage studio, we offer a wide range of classes that cater to 6-8 participants. Children are welcome and everyone from 8 years to 80 has an amazing time! Professionals looking for extra energy can learn simple and powerful massage techniques and stretches that yield beneficial results. Visit: www.thebalancemassage.com
Aoghain Lakes McLocha
Massage Lifestyle Coach/ Therapist, Reiki Master Teacher ~ Contact him at: (248) 542-3073 or visit: www.thebalancemassage.com.
Energy Medicine Practitioner. Visit our site for upcoming classes include; European lymph skin massage and a wide range of self care and partner classes. Contact him at: (248) 542-3073 or visit: www.thebalancemassage.com.