Posted by: Integra Massage | January 23, 2013

Releasing Emotional Blockages with Deep Massage

Releasing Your Core Contractions With Tranceformative Bodywork

Try an experiment with me…..  Close your eyes and take a couple of minutes to let your awareness run down through your body from top to bottom.  As you do just notice anywhere you are holding tension, anywhere that feels not comfortable or odd, anywhere that is difficult to feel, anywhere that brings up images, memories or thought stories…..

What did you feel? Familiar things? The soreness after your Pilates? That old niggle in your neck?  The way you are only easy with one leg over the other.  Unfamiliar things? Vague “not-rightnesses?” A barely felt flutter of anxiety in your throat? Recall of a difficult conversation?…

You are tuning into the many layers of contraction in your body. We’ve all got them. Mostly lurking beneath consciousness.  They are a defence mechanism. We respond to stresses by closing down and armouring up.  We contract against the cold, wind, pain,  illness,  fatigue, insult,  a shameful memory, trauma, abuse…. Some of these contractions are short term. Some crop up in habitually in response to specific emotions or situations.  “Putting on a brave face” on a disappointment may be in fact be a mask of tension.

Some contractions are hardwired into our being.  These are our core contractions formed in our early years. Wilhelm Reich coined the term “Body armour” for this kind of contractedness.  He believed we armour against feelings we can’t deal with or have been taught are shameful.

Core contractions manifest in your body in three linked dimensions.  Physically, as areas of tension; emotionally as held in  feelings; and mentally as beliefs, often linked to memories.  Tension in the buttocks may suppress a feeling of anger linked to a belief about lack of self worth arising from being made to feel shameful during toilet training as infant.

Core contractions are often expressions of deep rooted archetypal  fears such abandonment.  After all being born itself is a pretty big abandonment.  And perhaps the deepest core contraction is the sense of alienation from the Tao or the Divine that is the nature of the human condition.

Our core contractions are a straightjacket that squeezes the life out of us restricting our breath, blocking pleasure, cutting us from our true feelings and closing down our energy centres.  Working to release core contractions offers the possibility of greater physical vitality, freedom from stuck emotional patterns and spiritually, openness to our true non-dual nature.

The Taoist tradition places particular emphasis on releasing core contractions through qigong and meditation practices and I hope to be presenting some of these practices in workshops at the Happiness Centre in the near future.  Bodywork is another powerful approach to working with core contractions.  Tranceformative Bodywork is a system of deep massage I have developed specifically for this kind of work.

Tranceformative Bodywork draws on a wide range of traditional and modern understandings including Integrated Tissue Release, Taoist and Tantric bodywork, Reichian and Gestalt psychology, Eriksonian Hypnotherapy and shamanic practices including Hawaiian Lomi Lomi massage.

The goal of this work is to encourage free flowing life energy through awareness, transformation and integration. Every session is a unique journey in which the receiver can meet themselves, confront and let go of the layers of contraction they are holding in their tissues and re-experience themselves as whole and truly present.

The sessions are usually two hours. We share verbally initially and may use psychotherapeutic techniques to bring issues and feelings into awareness but the transformational work is done primarily through touch and breathwork. The quality of touch may be intense and challenging where blocked energy is contacted, at other times nurturing and supportive, sensual or ecstatically expansive. Each session passes through four phases of creating safe and sacred space; opening awareness; releasing blocked energy; integration and awakening.

Do please get in  touch to explore further how Tranceformative Bodywork can help you and check out my deep tissue massage


website.  I can be contacted on 07891579364 or



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