Waves tracing patterns in the sand: what could be more inspirational! The water and wind flowing rhythmically along the shore aligns perfectly with the flowing dance of massage.

Whenever I stroll along a beach, I pause to experience the ebb and flow of the waves. I watch, close my eyes, and simply observe. The wind compressing my shirt against my chest, ballooning out behind me. The air’s smell and taste; so clean. I open and close my hands with my breath. I join into the grand immensity. there are messages there. I could decode them if I chose.

Initially, I witness encroachment, control, and retreat.

It’s the human condition. All the phases of life are represented: inception, youth, maturity, old age, and death. Each with its naïveté, hubris, wisdom, despair, and rebirth. It’s all there, in the water.

There’s always another wave. Always hope, as the oncoming wave erases, compounds, revises, and replaces what has come before. That’s a metaphor for massage!

I scheduled 2 massages, back to back. First the owner, then his dog. While applying MFR, Myofascial Release, to my human client’s back, I imagined the movement of waves at the beach.

My hands drifted up, paused, held the skin in gentle traction, and released, as it receded. Ebb and flow. In my mind, I imagined silhouettes of lacy sea foam. Tiny bubbles thinning to translucent, and disintegrating. I imagined millennia of memories de-gassing, discharging their contents.

Another wave rolls over them, flowing as high up onto the beach as its lifetime of inertia can push it. It too pauses, expresses itself, eviscerates its bubbles, and recedes.

Each wave marks the sand with its very individual impression. Each wave is an old memory and the creation of a new memory. It joins and supersedes what had been collected and carried for years!

The movement is:

  • touch/connect
  • slide forward
  • hold slowly releasing pressure
  • tap with your fingertips to pop the energetic bubbles.
  • While you tap, visualize the next wave rolling over your wrists.
  • Allow it to carry your hands with it
  • and repeat the sequence.

I can never be sure what my client was feeling. I just trusted that this massage was the right method to do. Just as I began to question myself, he sighed, and said “My pain just disappeared. Whatever you’re doing, keep doing it.” So, I did.

When his massage was complete, I felt radiant! Invigorated! It was as if I had just spent an hour at the shore. I skipped to the canine massage room where his dog was waiting.

I soon found myself flowing with “the wave” again. I slid my hands into the dog’s undercoat, and flowed up his spine to his shoulder blades. There, I held, and slowly releasing the pressure, tapped the skin with my fingertips.  Tiny bubbles popping on the sand.

The next wave dragged my hands back toward me. I lifted them as they moved, smoothing the surface hair with my palms. I felt the tug. My fingers dove back into the undercoat and flowed back toward the head.  They again paused, released, tapped, and receded.

Slide, hold, release, tap, retreat. Slide, hold, release, tap, retreat. It had a pleasant rhythm. Up, pause, tap, and back. Under, over, and through.

I checked in on my monitors. How’s the dog responding? How does it feel in my body? It was right.

This dog normally maintains an anxious pant. He swallowed, closed his mouth, rested his muzzle on his paws, and released a great sigh. He was expressing his contentment. His body said “Whatever you’re doing, keep doing it.” So, I did.

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