Everything in life has a spiritual aspect, and receiving massage is no different. There are times, however, when a bodywork session seems particularly sacred and you feel as if you have transcended your ordinary material world and entered a special state. You connect with your essence and are immersed in a deep well of peace. You find restoration in being connected to the spirit – both personal and universal. In this sacred space, there is access to powerful resources of healing and transformation.

Experiences like this can’t be forced, yet there are conditions that support the flow of spiritual energy during the massage session. These include feeling safe, having a meditative object to focus on, and letting go of an expected outcome.

Possibly the most important condition is having a sense of safety. Feeling safe includes being listened to, having a sense of privacy, having confidence in the massage therapist, and feeling comfortable in the environment. Knowing that you are accepted and that the massage therapist can meet whatever arises with compassion and respect is also important.

In addition to feeling safe in the external environment, you need to feel safe on the inside. This means trusting your ability to handle pain and emotions, so that you can allow yourself to feel as fully as possible. Ironically, when you let go of your defenses against feeling what you fear is unpleasant, you open the door for spiritual connection.

During the massage, getting into a meditative state is helpful. Finding a massage therapist with a good quality of touch is a strong foundation for this. When the massage feels great, you have less mental distraction about the actual bodywork. The wonderful touch can become an object of concentration. If you find yourself caught up in thought, bring your awareness back to the physical sensations of the strokes. Watching the breath is also very helpful. It’s not necessary to force deep or slow breathing, in fact this, effort could detract from the experience. Just bring awareness to the breath and notice its flow in and out of the body.

Finally, let go of expectations or desires of actually achieving a “spiritual” massage. Allow it to be what it is. If you spend the massage striving to achieve something, you lose the opportunity to relax. By relaxing and doing nothing, you are actually just being. It’s in the moments of being that you can experience your essence, where you are connected to your deep Self and everything in the universe. In your essence, you find everything you need, including clarity, strength, compassion, peace and joy.

Try using these suggestions the next time you receive bodywork. You just might find it divine!

Author's Bio: 

Rebecca Mauldin is the founder and director of Rocky Mountain Institute of Healing Arts in Durango, Colorado. She is a nationally certified massage therapist specializing in neuromuscular therapy and integrative bodywork. She founded RMIHA in 2001 in order to blend consciousness and compassion with rigorous academic standards in massage therapy education. She is a passionate, caring, and knowledgeable educator who believes in the value of each student and each client she touches.

She writes about massage education and massage in general at The Spirit of Massage Education: A Travel Guide to Massage School.