The new age movement uses several metaphysical terms to describe the movement of the soul throughout the universe. One term that is very popular is an out of body experience. Books by prominent authors including the right Reverend Raymond Moody document the experiences of individuals claiming to have left their bodies. The stories differ some, but they all report having had the experience of leaving their body, temporarily. The body, or I guess I should say their sense of self is elevated upwards by degrees depending upon the severity of shock or trauma, and returning when things become more stable. They many times can report with great accuracy events that happened during the time when they were unconscious- life hanging in the balance.

I would never dispute the thousands of individuals who claim they have had such experiences. Regardless of what does or doesn’t happen, these people truly believe they experienced some kind of unexplainable phenomenon. The interesting part, most of these individuals come back with a heightened sense of awareness, living each moment of their lives more fully.

Individuals given a terminal diagnosis many times experience the same sense of heightened awareness. Life takes on a certain kind of immediacy. They understand if they are going to live their lives, they are going to have to do it now- now is all they have.

Curiously enough we all remember at least some times in our lives, in particularly our childhood when life was lived in the moment with a wonderful sense of heightened awareness. Where did that go? When did it leave us? Some of us can pinpoint that moment in our lives with laser beam accuracy, but for most of us it’s been an accumulation of traumas, large and small throughout our lives. We slowly and systematically closed down to pain, physical and emotional, insulating our bodies against further hurt. Turned off to pain, as well as other feelings we maneuver through life as if sleepwalking, ignoring the messages our body is sending. Ignored or suppressed feelings including pain leads to more and more symptoms and eventually will appear as a physical illness.

Nothing is wrong with not wanting to experience the sensations of pain, but when we are so closed to our bodies for fear of pain; we can’t feel the good stuff either. Little things like love, compassion, fulfillment, joy, gratitude, hope. We might survive for a while without these things, but we will never thrive.

Therapeutic massage is one of the best ways of dealing with pain and allows for a reconnection of the mind and body. In fact many individuals receiving their first massage will comment on a heightened sense of awareness and a feeling of well being that has not been present for sometime.

Feeling out of touch with your body, but don’t have time for a massage? Try the next best thing for the relief of pain- creating joy in your life. Weed the garden, take a hot bath, walk barefoot outdoors, play with a child, just do whatever brings you joy. Till next time, Rebecca.