musings on bodywork

Bodywork and Art

Bodywork is like music; bodywork is like architecture; bodywork is like a novel…

It’s like music.  Music can be analyzed as melody, harmony, rhythm, progression…  but music is also simply vibrations (a la physics) that is inexplicably meaningful to us humans, expressing and communicating something about the human experience.

Bodywork has melody: the detailed attention to the specific tissue that is being worked.  It has harmony: finding a relationship between the specific tissue, and other regions of the body.  As in music, the harmony flows and moves, as does the relationships between areas in the body.  Music has rhythm, which expresses/conveys from a sense of peace to a sense of excitement, and/or coherence or chaos…  And the performance of a piece of music is like a ritual, with a beginning, progression, and end.  And so is bodywork.

Bodywork is like architecture.  I trace the sense of space in the body, and I track the geometrical relationships between structures.  Like rooms in a house, each region of the body has an aesthetic.  Bodywork is like straightening up, putting things away, creating more space, buttressing the structure, correcting the engineering of the infrastructure…

Bodywork is like a novel.  I’m expressing my sense of the depth and breadth of what can be communicated through touch.  Like telling a story, I move from back to neck to leg, with an arc of meaning.  I don’t know what you will get from it — different people read relate differently, and find different meaning, in a single novel.  The novel might create a whole world of meaning, or might tell a story of a smaller episode, just as bodywork might be profoundly meaningful, or it just might be one story about a very localized physical pain.  But I am communicating something about the meaning that I find in physical life: it’s my aesthetic, my sensuality, my compassion, my sense of the meaning of life.  My capacity to sink into deeper states of consciousness, my desire to communicate such states of consciousness to you…

Bodywork is like music, like architecture, like a novel.

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