Descriptions of subjective reactions and softness of movements are best conveyed through touch, only supported by images from outside medicine, which are, however, slowly becoming present in academic work. You can present the concept of particular elements of the session, but you cannot show a framework in an article where there is no space.
Recently, a patient of mine has described the session as follows:
“ (…) Going for a massage, as this is how I understood it, I was expecting a massage with the use of strokes, kneading, rubbing, or something along these lines, to relieve my pain. However, what I felt was that by using gentle pressing and working around the joints, someone showed me new directions of where to go. And I do not mean my own limitations, but rather where I can reach further. It does not matter whether the pain decreased or not,
I didn’t expect that after having lived with it for so long. Yet, I am peaceful knowing that I can do more. I know what my capabilities are and I felt more personal space again. I am safe.(…)”
Patient 62 years old.
For the purpose of distinguishing between the traditional understanding of massage and images about it, I described one of the elements of work where we use massage, breathing, manipulation of soft tissues, passive exercises which are a part of body work sessions. The whole process can be described using the tiniest elements of kinesiotherapy or massage, perhaps using soft techniques of manual therapy. However, these would be only borrowings for a mechanical description or an attempt to convey very subtle impressions; thus, depriving a description of its crucial features. The practitioners know, the patients feel. Here lies the space for experiencing.
Touch and a sense of space are the core of the patient’s positive impressions.
Integrating Body Work Massage in my concept has been present and practiced from 20 years. It is available from therapists certified by IMBW according to Piotr Szczotka concept.
© Article by Piotr Szczotka