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Ground & Center Roots
Four Dimensions of Your Being

Massage is one of the oldest forms of therapy that promotes health and wellness in all dimensions of your being.

As you ground and center, you move closer to the light, where all dimensions of your being are balanced and flowing together. Massage can help you on this journey because it helps you feel your integrity and wholeness.  Massage can open a door that leads you on a path of self-discovery and self-healing.

What is Ground and Center?

Ground and center are resources that are woven through each and every one of us, even if we are not aware of them yet.  It is not a matter of belief, but rather a matter of experience.  We are all familiar with being stressed-out, and a natural way we might try to calm ourselves down is to take a nice deep breath.... and exhale....  This brings us down out of our heads and settles some tension, until it builds back up.  That deep breath balances the stress through the process of grounding.  We all do it in some form or another, but breath is always one of the most powerful tools to help us ground and center.

GroundGround To be grounded is to be balanced.  Acknowledge the feeling of your own weight pushing down into the earth, and the earth pushing equally and oppositely back.  You can also think of being grounded as being "plugged in" to the electromagnetic flow between earth and body - and universe.

It is said in the Tai Chi tradition, that it would be good to imitate the trees.  After all, trees live much longer than people do.  In the tree's connection to the Earth we can see that the Earth provides power and support, that the Earth is a resevoir of recycling and healing energies, and that the Earth, when combined with a seed, can create new life.

Grounding, then, is also the practice of gratitude for all that is provided to us through this Earth, and the practice of pointing awareness to the present moment, which allows you to approach life with an attitude of relaxed harmony and integrated wholeness.  Grounding gives you stability and makes you receptive to your own intuition and wisdom.  
From this place, you are able to approach life actively, rather than from a rushed, anxious, reactive state.

CenterCenter Life, like a wheel, turns round and round.  There are highs to life and there are lows.  If you dwell on each high and each low, it is like you are clinging to the “rim” of the wheel - no doubt you will be taken for a dizzying ride.  If, on the other hand, you are able to center yourself and move to the middle of the wheel, you will notice that your everyday changing circumstances have something in common.  At the center of all of them is your own center.  At the center of you is eternity.

To begin centering you can focus, literally, on the centermost part of your body, at the place where you were once connected to your mother via the umbilicus.  Visualize your center, and while inhaling and exhaling deeply from your belly, try to also embody your center by sensing into the strength and power in your core.  Deep within you is a life force, a soul, that gives rise to the rest of your being. This eternal flame is an infinite pool of energy supporting us like the axis of a wheel.  Life swirls around us, but it is our center that holds us true and supports all dimensions of our being.

How does the therapist apply the ideas of “Ground" and "Center”?

Ground and center are important elements for therapeutic massage because they enable the practitioner to maintain a healing presence and to connect with the client’s experience.  

A massage without ground and center is not much more than a moisturizer application.  The therapeutic benefits of massage are directly connected to the quality of the touch by the practitioner.  If the therapist is thinking about others things during a massage, or they are simply not fully present, then their scattered presence is going to provide scattered therapeutic benefits.  That is why I use the resource of ground and center to maintain a healing presence and to make informed, intentional contact while tracking the present experience of the client.  Ground and center are components of mindfulness, and mindfulness is the key for creating the space for healing.

The process of massage also helps guide the client to a place of ground and center.  From this space, your innate self-healing abilities are activated, which allows you to sustain the therapeutic benefits in your daily life.

To encourage true healing, we must send the message of relaxation and love to our bodies.  Our society has trained our minds to be powerful, while we ignore the wisdom of the body.  Cultivating ground and center can open up your innate intelligence by
creating receptive space in the body and quieting the mind.  Slowly replacing "mind-fullness" with mindfulness.

Want to give it a try?  Grounding Meditation

Imagine the roots of a magnificent tree reaching down through the bottoms of your feet. Feel the weight of your body against the floor, or against your seat.  Feel the roots reaching and extending down from your spine and tailbone.  These roots grow deep and anchor all dimensions of your being.  Feel the sustainable supply of nutrients and support.  Allow this connection to travel all the way up your body as it expands into the canopy of the tree.  The extensive branches reach up to the skies, extending through the crown of your head, connecting you with the energy of the cosmos.  Allow the energy to flow in both directions. You may notice when these energies are allowed flow freely, how a sense of inner calm and harmony is created within. 
In this place of stillness and calm, you may be able to start sensing into your center, the place in which the whole self, the spirit, or God, resides.  Use this present awareness to connect to your self, and to connect with the oneness of the entire universe. 

From this place of gratitude, awareness, and confidence comes our power to act, to make decisions, and manifest our dreams. 

The tides of life ruffle our edges, and as we move in from the periphery towards the center, everything becomes less scattered and we can reconnect with what, and who, we are truly meant to be.

"Now and again, it is necessary to seclude yourself among deep mountains and hidden valleys to restore your link to the source of life. Breathe in and let yourself soar to the ends of the universe; breathe out and bring the cosmos back inside. Next, breathe up all fecundity and vibrancy of the earth. Finally, blend the breath of heaven and the breath of earth with your own, becoming the Breath of Life itself." 

          – Morihei Ueshiba, founder of Aikido
Ground & Center Tree
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