Monday, March 15, 2010

Hand-y Work


Carpals.
Metacarpals.
Phalanges.

Hands.

Sensitive information gatherers of my world. The world of fascia, muscles and soft tissue. As a body worker and healer, along with my heart, they are my most precious tools. Objects of wonder.

My hands have eyes and ears and a mouth. Oh, they're not visible to others. That would be quite scary. But, I know they are there. They see and listen to what the body I'm working on needs. They tell me what to do.

Soft tissue speaks. Perhaps "communicates" is a better word. It makes its injuries and wishes known to those who can become still enough to hear. As I work, I don't need to see with my physical eyes. For me it is better to shut out any external stimulus that could confuse my senses and intuition. Shutting my eyes, I disengage my brain and let my hands wander the hills and dales of muscles, tendons and bones.

I feel the tissue become warm and malleable as the blood comes into an area. I find trigger points, round, hyper-irritable spots, in the muscles. I sense pulses, softer than a whisper. Pulses different than those of the heart and the breath. Pulses that traumatized tissues send as invitations to my hands causing them to linger until the pain and throbbing ceases. Spasmed muscles melt under my hands as I coax them into submission. I can feel a headache through my fingertips. My hands know the instant the body relaxes, lets go of the outside world and moves into the calm "eye of the storm" that is always within us.

People thank me when I am done. I take no credit. I am only the open vessel through which the Creator sends this flow of healing energy. The conduit. The channel.

I am humbled by my gift.
I give thanks every day.

I am in awe of my hands.

46 comments:

Brian Miller said...

i am in awe of your hands...way back in the day, i dated a maseus (sp?)...

Ronda Laveen said...

Brian: you dated some interesting women. A ballerina and a massage therapist. Very cool.

Vicki Lane said...

Wonderful explanation! (And very useful to me -- I'm writing about a massage therapist in my current novel. Thanks!)

Jai Joshi said...

I would love to get a massage from you. *sigh* Someday...

Jai

joanny said...

You speak from the heart -- and yes you have a wonderful gift-- you follow a unique linkage throughout the ages of healing heads.

Unlike Brian I never dated a masseuse but do love going for massages, and I never dated a ballerina, but did take ballet when I was so very young. However I would have loved to date Mikhail Baryshnikov-- Sigh!

Joanny

Ronda Laveen said...

Vicki: If you have any questions, ask away. My email is posted on blog. I am a career therapist with nearly 20 years experience.

Jai: I would love to give you a massage. I occasionally imagine what it would be like for bloggers to meet at a common locale, visit and exchange their unique gifts. It makes me happy.

Joanny: I do follow an honored lineage. I am always aware of that connection. Regarding Mikhail Baryshnikov--My friend, leader of our meditation group and Pilates instructor, Ellen, danced with him on stage when she was with a New York ballet company. The photo is amazing.

joanny said...

Ronda

I am on the computer right now working on a research paper -- and saw your comment -- there are no coincidences in the universe -- -- am originally from NY -- Yes we are fairly close -- how divine --
Your lucky friend to have danced a most beautiful dance of ballet.
I have not thought of Mikhail Baryshniko in a long time had a mad curse on him back in the very late 80's --it would be fun to do a post about him and the ballet ..

Joanny

christine said...

Your writing was awesome and to be able to tell so much through your hands a wonderful gift indeed.

Christine

Lorenzo at the Alchemist's Pillow said...

And I am in awe of your hands, too, after reading this. Wonderful stuff, Ronda. In addition to having gifted hands you also have the gift of putting us into the mind and hands (carpals, metacarpals, phalanges and all) of a body worker and healer.

Peter Goulding said...

My own hands have now developed a sense of worthlessness after I read this piece out to them. I was trying to inspire them, but now they're just sulking.

Mrsupole said...

The problem for me would be that once you gave me a massage, I would then lock you up and have you give me massages all day long to take care of all of my aches and pains. Oh if you could just bottle up your powers, and then sell them, that would be so great.

Okay, back to learning about my new gadget hubby bought me tonight. iplaying with it now. Oh it is such a touchy, touchy little thingy. My hands cannot stop touching it. Just tell me enough already. I need to start getting used to those little "i's".

God bless.

Dave King said...

The wonders of the human body are a ceaseless joy. Your post adds to the total sum of its telling. Beautifully written.

willow said...

"My hands have eyes and ears and a mouth." I love this. And so you, Ronda!

Harnett-Hargrove said...

I am humbled and amazed at the energy that flows through and what is created by hand. -jayne

Queenmothermamaw said...

Rhonda your piece surely spoke to me. I was an RN who trained as a massage therapist for pain management. Your words put my hands back to work again. Great job.
QMM

Stacy Post said...

Your hands are a gift indeed! Not everyone is blessed with the gift of healing touch. Nice post, Ronda!

TechnoBabe said...

I have been fortunate to have many massages in my life. No longer part of my life now though. But I know of what you speak. A good massage therapist does listen to the needs of the body and it is a blessing to be on the receiving end of a massage. In the time I have been reading your blog, I know you must be a caring and intuitive massage therapist. Caring for other human beings as you do is indeed a gift to humanity. The ones like you are like angels with healing powers.

Unseen Rajasthan said...

Oh this is so a beautiful post !! I loved this one !!

Violet Cadburry said...

You have made your hands sing. Just reading your piece made my back feel better. Thanks for visiting my blog and your kind words.

amy said...

Ahhhh...I'd love a massage now - thanks for sharing your gift !

DUTA said...

The lines in your post are like 'poetry in motion', and you sound like someone who loves both people and her work, and is grateful for the gift that God has bestowed upon her.

I've always been fascinated and hypnotized by shape and touch of hand fingers. Nothing, no electronic massage device on the market could ever compete with the expert touch of a massagist.

SUN DANCE HILL said...

So awesome, beautiful visualizations; and what wonderful healing hands you must have to speak so deeply and emotionally about your work. I know the trigger points intimately, ouch... live it daily.

Ronda Laveen said...

Christine: Thank you and welcome to the Wonderland.

Lorenzo: My hands were happy to let you see into their world.

Peter: I'm still laughing. Now, don't let your hands sulk too long. Get on them and set them to work. They CAN do it.

Sherry: I wish I could bottle and sell it too. It would be my retirement fund. You didn't say which gadget hubby bought you.

Dave: Bodies are magnificent and infinetly interesting to me too.

Willow: I love you too. Thanks for all the time and work you've done in setting up Magpie Tales.

H-H: Yes, the creation through hand is quite humbling.

QMM: My mother-in-law was also an RN trained in massage. We were able to share on this subject. I'm not sure they train the nurses like that any more. They probably have too much to do as it is. A shame.

Stacy: It sounds like you could use some of that with the way your back is right now.

TechnoBabe: You understand the dance between giver and receiver. You understand that the giver gets as much out of the session as the receiver when the flow is present.

Unseen: Glad you enjoyed.

Violet: My hands DO sing and dance.

Amy: I wish I could give you one.

DUTA: I do love people, my work and my gift. As do you, I don't think they will ever invent a mechanical massage device that can equal human touch. But they keep trying.

Megan said...

Hand, hand, fingers, thumb.

Excellent musing on your most valuable parts (next to your amazing mind, of course)!

Baino said...

I love a masseusses hands I just don't get to feel them often enough! And I'm definitely getting you to 'work' on me especially if you close your eyes!

Nessa said...

what a wonderful way to describe your hands. i could feel them.

Book Review - Moving In

Pat transplanted to MN said...

Neat take on the hand with good expression; oh but that wooden hand would hurt;

Pat transplanted to MN said...

Neat take on the hand with good expression; oh but that wooden hand would hurt;

Rob said...

This is quite nicely done, very good. Enjoyed this, thank you for sharing…
…rob
Image & Verse

Reya Mellicker said...

You do have a gift, not only in the treatment room but here as you describe what you do so beautifully!

I think you should share the credit, because you do put yourself fully into your work, you do!

One of my great teachers used to say, "follow your hands." Sometimes I am amazed to watch the progression of a session. Or the way that clients show me, with their hands, where they are tense or hurting. Wow.

Ronda Laveen said...

Megan: I'm kinda "handy" to have around.

Baino: Any time, chicky.

Nessa: Thanks.

Transplant Pat: Some people like to be hurt.

Rob: My pleasure.

Reya: I do put myself wholly into my work but, it's easy when "The Force" is with me. I've never heard that expression "follow your hands" but it is so, so true. Yes, the way each and every session unfolds is as unique as snowflakes.

JGH said...

Gosh Ronda, I've been suffering with a crick in my neck for two weeks (usually it only lasts a couple of days, so I've never had to call in a professional). I sure wish you lived nearby :-)

I've never had any training, but I'm told by my family that I'm a pretty good masseuse and back scratcher. I respect a good masseuse because I know it isn't just technical, but largely intuitive, too. Hard to do on yourself LOL.

C.M. Jackson said...

ronda--when I saw the picture I immediately thought of my massage therapist and how she can make my tight shoulders and back less so...wonderful post ...now I need to go make an appointment! thanks!

Rajesh said...

Very interesting post.

steviewren said...

Please send your hands to work on my neck. I've been trying to get those muscles to relax all night.

Ronda Laveen said...

JGH: Bring that cranky ol' neck on over here. I'm a good masseuse but, back scratcher? I get less than rave review from the Wonder Husband. I don't have finger nails so I'm not so hot. You are right, a good masseuse is not only technically skilled, but also highly intuitive.

CM Jackson: That's so funny! Massage was my first thought too when I saw Willow's hand. Yes, do call and set your appontment.

Rajesh: Thank you.

Steviwren: First, I'll put a hot pack on your neck and then, I'll make those rebellious muscles behave. Oh, behave, little muscles, behave.

Uma Gowrishankar said...

Wow, all the ways that the hand can speak. Really loved your writing Ronda.

Ronda Laveen said...

Uma: And I, yours!

Jennifer said...

I just love the idea that the hands represent the "practical" - they communicate in times when our brains can not (or is less appropriate). The hands as healers. Beautiful.

Ronda Laveen said...

Jennifer: my hands are SO practical. The way you wrote your comment made me remember.

little hat said...

Ronda, I related to your commnet on Yemalla's blog where you said 'the true ones are the best' or words to that effect. That's my feeling too. And now you write about your hands as having that ability to sense and heal, again in the most honest way. Takes me back to my days as a movement teacher when i used to get students to do lots of tactile work with hands. And feet as well. Massaging with feet was always amazing for them. They couldn't believe how sensitive and versatile their feet could be.

Ronda Laveen said...

Little Hat: Thank you. You know, I've always been intrigued by movement specialists. The body was designed to move. I have never thought about massaging with my feet, though. Now I will have to try it!

martha said...

This reads like it was written by my friend and masseuse. Which reminds me, I need to call and make an appointment.

Excellent use of the prompt.

The Muse said...

Please forgive my tardiness...I have been on two trips and my son was just married :)Most pleased to be able to visit and to read your work. Throughly mesmerized with the immersion of characteristics to the hands...! Glorious!

Ronda Laveen said...

Martha: I'll be following up with your massage therapist to make sure you made that appointment:-)

Muse: You have definitely had your hands full. Thank you and you are welcome any time you can make it.

♥ Braja said...

Nice :)