Mindful Touch & Transformation

1 Acu yoga Photo reverse warrior

Let us count the ways we are “touched.”

Loving touch. Rushed touch. Musty touch. Soul touch. Rough touch. Sole touch. Soothing touch. Acu-touch. Healing touch. Nose touch. Toe touch. Soft touch.

We need many kinds of touch, but recently, our communities have been touched by stark tragedies that stem from the lack of healthy touch. Adults who as children were not sufficiently touched by loving and guiding hands can become anxious, aggressive, and violent. So why is touch so significant to our species? And how can we reverse the trends of our touch-averse societies?

Inside the womb, touch is the first sense we feel. At death, touch and hearing are the last senses to go. Staying with us longer than any other capacity, touch is vital to our well-being, behavior, and social connectivity.

In between, instinctively, we lean toward the pleasure of touch and avoid its pain. For most people, a lot of this push-pull around touch operates in the unconscious mind. Because many of our touch habits formed before the age of reason, before conscious thought, most people are not aware of the ways that touch affects us or how our ideas about touch may limit the joys of healthy, natural, wholesome touch.

That many people in our world today seem “out of touch” is beyond dispute, yet research shows we may need touch more than we need food. And not having healthy touch on a regular basis may be forming new generations of men, women, and children who suffer from the tactile insensitivity, a kind of touch neurosis.

Touch is a friend and teacher, but in our modern civilization, we are deeply confused about good and bad touching. Children who are touched roughly may equate love with abuse. They grow into teens and adults who crave the feeling of touch but have no healthy outlet for their desires, and so they act out violently.

Touch changes us. Touching inside ourselves with awareness as we do in meditation and yoga is powerful and transformative. Sensations, feelings, and emotions that we open to and pay attention to shift and transform in the moment we attend to them.

Touching others and being touched in a healthy way is another way touch transforms us, but it’s a part of life we don’t often talk about. Intimacy with how our bodies work and the graceful energies flowing through us doesn’t command the kind of media exposure and splashy headlines that unhealthy touching does.

I would venture to say that unhealthy touching has become epidemic because we have, as a culture, been unwilling to talk about how we’ve repressed healthy, non-sexual, loving touch because of fear and distorted beliefs about touch.

The first step in transforming the kinds of touch we foster in our lives is looking at what our touchstones are.

The first touchstone is to always ask someone for permission before making contact. Ask, “Is it okay with you if I touch you?” before placing a hand or fingers on another person’s skin.

This goes for yoga teachers, doctors, nurses, massage therapists, and coaches. Unless you know the person and have implicit permission from previous discussions or agreements, always ask first.

The skin is a sensitive organ, our main physical interface with the world. Touch receptors called free nerve endings act like receiving stations in tiny branching trees, absorbing information and sending shoots, stems, and flowers of feeling into the body, responding to hot and cold, pain and pleasure, rushing toward the spine, heart, gut, and brain.

Touching is one of the most natural acts in the world. We instinctively bring our hand to the head to alleviate pain or to the back to support an aching spine. If we are struck, or stung or gripped by agony, we bring our hands and fingers to the painful spot to rub, knead, or massage the agony out. If a child is ill, the first thing we do is place a hand on the forehead to detect – and rebalance – energy flow.

The last time you struggled to think, did your hand instinctively move to the forehead, serendipitously bringing blood flow to the pre-frontal cortex? Have you ever felt a fright and found your hand reaching for the chest to calm a racing heartbeat? All of these responses are a kind of acupressure, placing the hands on key body points to restore or renew energy.

Over the years, our ancestors have developed maps of the most vitalizing points for healing touch. Sages in ancient India and China discovered more than 5000 years ago that certain body reflex points, if pressed, punctured, massaged, or heated, could relieve pain, soothe injuries, and expand consciousness. Healing touch was found to have a therapeutic effect on the whole person, energizing and calming specific organ systems while rejuvenating the energy bodies known as the koshas in Yoga Philosophy.

Spots that have the most healing potential are easily accessible in yoga poses that can be sequenced together like a lei of flowers. Sequences of movements touching Yogassage points can become a significant ritual for our personal and transpersonal evolution.

So, here’s what I want to ask you: Are you “in touch” with your deep inner flowing, your feelings, your relationship to your own body, emotions, mind, and spirit?

Everything in life relies on this intrinsic, integrated flowing in the body, unobstructed and creative, rising and falling, inhaling and exhaling, touching the depths and surfaces of life.

Touch has tremendous potential for healing and transformation. All we have to do is find the right touch. And always ask permission first!

An Evolutionary Yoga Seminar
Saturday, November 18, 2017, 1:00 – 4:00 pm
with Marya Mann, Ph.D.

Learn Acupressure for Key Meridians or Nadis to restore balance and invigorate your health. Acu-Yoga uses the power of touch, the breath, and your intention to bring more joy, balance, and stress resilience into your life.

Exploring the acupressure points Central Treasury (Lung 1), the Great Surge, (Liver 3), the Gushing Spring (Kidney 1), and other Meridian and Regulatory Channels, you’ll learn to nurture and harness your inner life force.

Through long yin yoga stretches and flowing asana practice, we’ll engage energy centers that bring deeper intimacy with the movement of vigor, healing, and wisdom in our bodies while clearing and cleansing the biofield.

A hybrid of Yoga Therapy and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Acu-Yoga features finger, hand, or elbow pressure at meridian skin points to remove harmful toxins and boost endorphins. Specific points also help to release trauma from the body, balance the chakras, restore vital energy, and empower the Soul.

While in yoga poses — or walking, talking, even working at your desk — you can delight in the right touch. Acu-Yoga bridges body and mind back into harmony so your natural life energy flows fully. You have new strength to face any challenge with less stress, more insight, and just the right touch.

Please bring a yoga mat, a journal, and a closed water bottle.

When: Saturday, November 18, 2017, 1:00 – 4:00 pm
Where: New Thought Center – 81-6587 Mamalahoa Hwy, C302
Pualani Terrace in Kealakekua
Why: For harmony, health, and happiness.
How: Fee is $40.

Please register here: http://www.maryamann.com/store/the-soul-of-touch-acu-yoga-seminar-yogassage-ii/
Or call 808-345-0050 for more details.

Acu-Yoga balances the Meridians and Regulatory channels using Pressure Points to connect to your Highest Self, relieve sinus, back ache, and headache, and recover Your inner truth and creative aliveness.

Where: New Thought Center – 81-6587 Mamalahoa Hwy, C302,
Learn more and please register early: http://www.maryamann.com/calendar/month-view/

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