|Did you know that Spirituality & Medicine used to be combined in Traditional Healing Systems? That’s a foreign concept to most of our Americanized minds! They were practiced together, in order to care for both aspects of the illness: the spiritual/emotional side & the secular/physical side.
There is a strong divide between the two in our American culture. Spirituality/Religion is in a church & Medicine is practiced with your doctor–normally we would laugh at the idea of our family doctor giving us spiritual advice!
As much as I enjoy & am curious about the physical aspects of my massage practice–knowing the anatomy, physiology, pathology, & kinesiology in order to be safe & effective with my patients, I also believe it’s necessary to be aware of the other layer–the Spiritual aspects of my patient’s illness/pain. I think many practitioners fall to either one side of this camp or the other, but it’s important to have a sweet balance of the two.
In my massage practice & in Traditional Thai Medicine, there’s a prayer that I say at the start & end of all massage treatments & massage classes. It’s called the “Om Namo”. This is a prayer–asking for help with the session. I don’t view this prayer as religious, but as sacred–the two are VERY different to me! “Religious” brings to mind a formula of belief & the structure of an established church, but “sacred” brings to mind “devotion” & “holiness”. This prayer is a way for me to ground myself before I teach and/or work with patients–it’s a way for me to infuse the session & class with a Sacred Sense.
The last line of this prayer, which is in Sanskrit & Pali, translates to: “We pray for the ones we touch, that they will be happy & illness will be released from them.” I don’t always say this prayer out loud, but I always say it to myself & as a mantra throughout the session–an infusion of spiritual medicine!
What a beautiful phrase to say over & over again! I hope you can find the Sacred Sense in something today. If you’d like to watch & hear me recite the whole prayer, call & response style, click here