Music as a catalyst for the healing journey

warrior 3

As a massage therapist and yoga teacher, I have discovered how playing carefully chosen music during a therapeutic session or yoga class can be a powerful catalyst for my clients’ and students’ experiences of connecting deeply within themselves, often eliciting a wide range of emotion: smiling, sobbing, shaking, or in some cases, deep belly laughs—all of which promote the healing process and support a journey of self-exploration….

Parama healingAfter all, what’s the point of getting a massage or taking a yoga class? It’s not just a physical “feel-good” frivolity, right? …Well, it’s never been that way for me. Not only am I seeking relief from muscular tension, but I’m also looking for a meaningful inner connection that can only be accessed in a context of stillness … and the loving presence of a skilled facilitator who truly cares about how I am feeling.

Being a massage therapist with over 15 years of professional experience in the U.S. and abroad, I seek out other well-trained therapists who can work on me regularly, so that I can be reminded of just how… f#@ing good it feels to be touched, rubbed, soothed, held, and … paid attention to, mindfully, in a professional context.

I believe we all need much, much more therapeutic, nurturing touch than we’ve probably ever had the opportunity to receive, for whatever reason.

I’ve recently discovered the joy of artfully crafting unique music playlists that can serve as audio backdrops for my yoga classes, workshops, and massage therapy sessions. I find that I have a strong preference for those masterful, maverick musical artists who challenge popularly held beliefs, push our boundaries, convey messages that are unconventional and provoke us to question our assumptions, to release the stranglehold we often have on ourselves, grasping too tightly to an old belief or identity that no longer serves us as we journey onward to better, brighter places….

Butterflies training

The mystique and alien-like nature of David Bowie has always captivated me…. For some reason I’ve always found something about the song “Let’s Dance” especially enchanting. I so love the way David Bowie sings the phrase “tremble like a flower” ….The music video has a poignant message about cultural inequality that resonates with me, since I live in Belize and interact with people from indigenous cultures, for whom the American lifestyle is mostly an alluring enigma.

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Here beside the Caribbean Sea in southern Belize, Central America, my neighbors Emmeth and Jill at the Maroon Creole Drum School teach the local youth how to make drums and play drums…. There I own a small plot of land and a thatch roof hut in the jungle. Emmeth enlivens the whole place with rhythmic African drumming almost every night: Come join us for a wellness retreat in the tropics! 

group pic at lunch - Maroon Creole Drum School

For anyone interested, here is a link to my YouTube playlists. (I’d love to share and hear your suggestions)… Let’s dance!

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