When people attend massage school, they touch, and are touched more over six months or a year than most people are during their entire lives. Many experience profound personal turmoil, nearly all undergo change in fundamental ways.
Of course, massage school isn’t about turning yourself inside out, it’s not about being reborn, reinventing yourself, or finding yourself. It’s about teaching massage for licensure. The rest is gloriously, magically and mysteriously incidental. In mediocre schools, these spiritual crises are often seen as an inconvenience and, frequently, unsupported students will drop out or be pushed out just when things are getting interesting. At all the better schools, the process is supported and embraced, even if it isn’t fully understood. When I arrived at Educating Hands in Miami, I got to observe something else, too. Lots of people seem to end up in massage school with no sure intention of becoming licensed or practicing massage. What’s more, quite a few of them would cross an ocean, to a school that did not advertise, have an experience, then go back to the same lives, as different people.
It took me a number of years to try to distill the essence of this phenomena. I struggled with it, trying to understand and articulate my experiences. To find ways to hold space for others to have such experiences. By then, I had experienced and practiced many other healing disciplines besides massage. It was not a linear process, but in 2012, I developed and began teaching workshops on Intimacy and it’s role in healing. I’ve been working on and refining the workshops and adapting the manual into this book pretty continuously since.
Initially, I was teaching the workshops as continuing education for massage therapists, but have since opened them up to healers generally, and pretty much anyone with an interest. For the current workshop schedule, a description of the workshops and comments by students, please visit https://www.healinginparadise.rocks/intimacy-series
Then, last year, Louise, Traditional Akwesasne Bear Clan Mother, introduced me to a word in her language. One word. I feel a little silly now. I hope you’ll still find some of the rest of the words in this course useful.
Kononronkwa (Pronounced: Go no loon gwa): “I take all that I am to wrap you in it, that it may be a medicine for you.”