SENSITIVE GESTALT MASSAGE

GESTALT = WHOLENESS = INTEGRITY

Gestalt Therapy was developed by Fritz and Laura Perls and Paul Goodman around the 1940's and 1950's. "It is a form of theory of mind, body and brain positing that the operational principle of the brain is holistic, parallel and analogue, with self-organizing tendencies", just like nature. Meaning that we cannot work on the body without affecting everything else. As a masseuse, being aware of this magnifies my skills and treatments effects. "The Gestalt-effect is the form-generating capability of our senses." The capacity to build patterns and materialise reality.

HOW WAS IT BORN?

The Masaje Sensitivo Gestaltico®, Margaret Elke's method, was created in California around the 60's at the Esalen Institute. This institute was a real laboratory of exploration of different methods aimed at the development of the individual in his physical, psychological and spiritual integrity, according to the expression: “give up your head, go to your senses”. To reach such a result the Gestalt therapy respects a fundamental principle: to be confident in the human nature, enjoy the present moment, integrating the experience with mind, body and brain.

Margaret Elke's massage was a "synthesis of a hundred of touch" because she had studied many types of massage (Swedish, Japanese, native American, etc.) before moving to Europe in order to teach her technique first called “Californian Massage”. This massage was then further developed by Miguel Angel Beltran (my teacher) in Spain and by Ulla Bandelow and Raoul Bécart in France. These days, the MSG® is regulated and recognized by the International Association of Somatotherapy and is now practiced in Spain, Italy, Switzerland, France, Australia, America, Germany and now here in the UK with me. You can find more information at the AFE, Associazione Filosomatica Europa. Miguel Angel Beltran introduced the MSG® into his Associazione Filosomatica Europa as one of the tools of the Parco Jogo (play park). Other tools of exploration of the school are the hammock (Air), the futon (Tansu, Earth), the water (Watsu). Filosomatica® refers to Body Counselling® and it offers a sacred and safe space for exploration of the individual nature.

THE AIM OF THE MSG®

The Masaje Sensitivo Gestaltico® aims for the Integration of the individual's nature, and incorporates breathing techniques, verbal-tactile relaxation techniques, as well as the use of visualisations and the Gestalt integration of the whole body. The experience consists of four parts:

  1. The Preparation and accommodation of the receiver on the massage bed through specific touches, stretches and mobilizations which prepare the body to be receptive.
  2. The massage combines different rhythms, strokes and pressures integrating the body "layout", as well as different temperature and texture of the mediums used, to awaken sensitivity, activating and harmonising the energetic circulation. This massage works on unifying the body sensations with the psyche.
  3. The Integration is a moment when the client is left to interiorise and repose the experience, where sensations, thoughts and emotions which may come up during the massage, are integrated from a attitude of acceptance. It is like the silences in a song which give structure to the song. Songs would be a indiscernible mess without the integrating silences!
  4. The termination or closure is a reactivation process, a process of waking up from the vigil, a time to place the feet on the ground, to realise the changes and share them with the person accompanying the process (the professional).

It is recommended to live an MSG® experience without judgements nor brainy input like thoughts, when possible. This allows for the individual's sensitivity to be awaken and receptive. But this is not set in stone; we know freeing ourselves from the controlling brainy input may not be possible at all times, so the MSG® professional will work with whatever the client brings at the time of meeting, focusing on the here and now. The MSG® operator works with the client in making sure the experience is right for the client, respecting any limits of the client but also of the operator him/herself. As a MSG® operator, I try to be in a state of deep listening and grounded when doing the massage. The MSG® allows me to meditate through the movement of the dance of the massage, whilst the hands flow like water on the receiver's body. I have to say that doing it I feel just as relaxed as the person receiving it!

As we grow older, it sometimes takes a good effort to re-discover the pleasure of being touched, we forget to love our body, to be true to our senses as we put the automatic pilot on in our lives. We miss or take for granted the joy of walking, breathing, surrendering, eating, feeling vulnerable, tuning in with the inner peace, being receptive and sensitive, and we may find we only get a glimpse of these occasionally. Often, somatizations are an alert that the body sends to the brain, to bring awareness of very real blockages and issues which we may be neglecting. Somatizations are our bodies talking to us; we can listen to them!

HOW DOES IT WORK?

The MSG® operator works with 'open-focus' and develops great presence in the 'here and now' which allows him/her to liberate the breath and the mind of any therapeutic intention of diagnosis, leaving behind the own pre-concepts, blocks and expectations. In Filosomatica® it is developed the figure of the 'loving witness' understood as a listening attitude. In this safe space the body gets back its sacred nature, the mystery of its belongingness to the microcosmos as well as to the macrocosmos, integrating all there is. This way the operator can treat the person from the maximum respect, understanding and also enjoying this form of corporal communication.

Through the MSG®, body, mind and spirit get a deep sense of INTEGRATION in its natural communion, so that what was separated (Cartesian Dualism) gets unified again.

This massage kindly invites the mind to liberate from the controlling and predicting tendencies of the brain that prevent us from fully embracing a joyful life experience. One of the techniques are the groundings, through which the therapist acts as a channel between the receiver and the Earth providing with a grounding feeling. As we advance in the massage, we go integrating all parts of the body within the rest providing of a deep feeling of integration.

At the end of the massage, the word is placed at the service of the body in a verbal feed-back as RESTITUTION so that the experience can be configured as a conquered space to which we can go back.

WHO IS IT FOR?

This massage is for all persons interested on the benefits of massage, both in a personal and professional level. It is a precious tool for health professionals, educators, counsellors, nurses, carers... (10% for psychotherapists, full time teachers, NHS staff, Carers, Social wWrkers). It is a proven effective co-adjuvant in psychotherapy, sexology, some cases of neurological recovery and in all cases where the contact is relevant. Also beneficial to re-discover the pleasure of being touched by a nurturing touch, to live the experience of exchange. It helps awaken the overwhelmed body from the restrictive 'no-touching' culture and to re-sensitize the forgotten areas of our body or release the ones you pay too much attention too, coming from social prejudices mostly. Thanks to its precise touch and the psycho-corporal approach clients achieve a deep listening and communication and better knowledge of themselves, over regular sessions; a personal and relational positive evolution that re-meets with the autonomy and responsibility of our potentials.

This massage respects the rhythms and limits of the operator and the client. Its global effect contributes to the acceptance of ourselves and the world around.

MY EXPERIENCE WITH S.G.M.

After I finished my Quiromassage studies I was called to join a pioneer group in Spain of MSG®. in the 2005.

I was invited to do the 1rst of the three modules of the course for free! So I thought I'd try it. I ended up completing the whole course because I sensed how it was transforming my life already. Learning about some of the Filosomatica® principles and disciplines such as the MSG®, was revealing as it treats the clients as individuals instead of applying the same methods for everyone. In fact, in Filosomatica®, the client chooses the tool they want to work with. It can be the hammock, water, the floor or the massage table (what I do).

My companions where Italian, French and Spanish, a real eclectic and creative European mix. And because it was a pioneer group and the School of Filosomatica® and the MSG® have evolved since then.

The course always started with a meditation to connect with ourselves before practice, to be focussed, to look inside and recognise what is there and what isn't. This is a habit I still do for some of my treatments, only a shorter version which I like calling Focussing. This meditation practice was followed by a personal feedback from us pupils and then, before going to practice, Miguel A. would talk to us about the meaning of Filosomatica®, Gestalt and Masaje Sensitivo Gestaltico®. And then we'd learn and practice body awakening techniques as well as the massage routines.

I made beautiful friends from all over the world as it was part of the course to do a Self-Experience week in Ticino, Locarno, next to the Lacco Maggiore in the lovely Switzerland, where we also had an introduction to Watsu (massage in water) and Tansu (massage on a mat).

This course was a huge confirmation for what I really see myself doing which is helping people feel better in many levels by providing of a good sensible and professional massage therapy. It is all about communication when it comes to "talking" to the body and from the body.

BENEFITS

(when done regularly) it has the overall benefits of massage plus:

  • Neuronal and sensitive recovery in some cases (I have experienced this on a client where he recovered sensation on his lower back after thought of forever gone)
  • Deep Relaxation and Meditation
  • Trans-personal Transformation
  • Re-connection with the balance between mind and body
  • Great night sleep. Good for insomnia
  • Anti-stress
  • Feeling of integrity and wholeness within your individuality

The MSG® brings a concrete and quantifiable best-being in the course of the sessions. The human being understands, analyses, forgives but in our body, the imprint of wounds, shocks and frustrations is always present. The MSG® allows to recognising them, care for them, leading to an internal harmony. Some wounds may not be healed by the client but at least, conscious of them has been gained and now the client can deal with the way he or she decides to feel about that.

I use MSG® techniques on the Pregnancy Massage too to promote deeper positive effects. The difference is huge and the results quantifiable. 

PRICES (REDUCED)

60 minutes £50

90 minutes £70

COURSES

Course of 5 x 60 mins at £240

Course of 5 x 90 mins at £330

 

Heated massage bed & warm oils included! The warmth benefits the tissues and the mind by relaxing and loosening them up for better and deeper results.

 

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PLEASE NOTE: See full list of contraindications of massage here