The Night of the Emotional Release
© 10/26/02

One of the things that we have been learning about in my massage therapy classes is that emotional releases can occur. When you do a massage and are in touch with the entire mind, body and spirit of the person, there are places that together you are able to visit. An emotional release is an activity that frees up emotional energy of any kind to restore a more clear, fresh perception of the moment. Expressions of release can range from a gentle sigh to more of an all out screaming or crying. These are not bad things and they are very beautiful for the facilitator as well as the person experiencing them. These can occur at other times than just massage like in Yoga. When this happens, it should not be stopped or stifled or managed in any way. It should be allowed to take place in whatever form and duration it needs to take place. The person experiencing the emotional release should be allowed to continue and know that they will not be laughed at or thought of as doing something wrong. The best thing for the facilitator is just to be there in a comforting and reassuring manner.

The other night I was getting a massage in my class and I had an emotional release. Now this isnít real easy for me to cry and part of that is because of what I was taught as a little boy. And to make things a little tougher, I was in a classroom full of other people. Fortunately, I had two people around me that I really trust and have gotten to know. So I felt safer with them and they continued to reassure me during the entire time.

I normally have a hard time fully relaxing and letting someone give me a massage. I try to keep a lot of the control in myself and whoever is giving the massage has to constantly encourage me to just relax. One thing that has been helping so much is when I focus on my breathing. Anyway, this night in particular, I was being worked on by two people and I think it was a very good thing for myself. Normally if one person is working on me, all my focus goes to where they are working on me at. So my mind is busy trying to anticipate what they are going to do which is connected to events of many years ago. However when two people were working on me in harmony, my mind was having a much harder time doing this. It began to show me a lot about myself.

At one point, I began to laugh. I did not know why I was doing this, but I started laughing. I think they were holding my arms and stretching me somewhat at that point. Of course they encouraged me to laugh if I needed to laugh and I donít think I could have easily stopped it at that time. As the time went on, tears started to form in my eyes. They both saw it and tenderly kept working on me while beginning to encourage me to let anything out that needed to come out. I kept fighting it because I didnít want to be seen as a cry baby in class as being a guy, that is what I was afraid people would think of me. But with their encouragement and acceptance of it, I began to allow myself to go where I needed to go. And the tears flowed and the emotions came from deep within.

When things came back to a more clear point, I was able to sit up and focus myself. We are encouraged to find a place in the room to journal or write about things such as this. So I did exactly that as I knew I needed to allow my hand to put together what was going on with me. For me I cannot always speak the words until I have had a chance to form the sentences. Below is what I wrote that night and what I shared with these two individuals.

Mom, thanks for coming here tonight. I really needed you so much. I miss you and know that I canít be with you. I wish you were still here. You wee so caring; I felt your gentle touch and those hugs you used to always give me even though I was scared of touch. You know how the touch hurt me. We never spoke of it but I know you knew. And I can feel the pain you felt when you knew it was going on. I so badly wish our lives could have been different but I guess they brought us to where we are today. I felt you here mom, I felt your hug, I felt your warmth and your tenderness. I miss all of that so badly. You know there is so much of me in you and so much of you in me. The caring, the gentle touch Ė I received those gifts from you. Itís still hard for me to know we will never physically touch again but Mom you live in my life each and every day Ė each and every moment.
I am glad this happened as it helped me beyond a point of emotional turmoil that I was in all week long. That night, I slept more soundly and more relaxed than I have in a very long time. If you are ever around someone going through an emotional release, donít stop it in any way. Just be with the person and encourage them to do whatever they need to do. Most of all let them know that they are accepted no matter how the emotional release is manifested.

If you ever experience it yourself, donít try to stop it but let things happen, as they need to. Donít worry about what others may or may not think. Do what you need to do for yourself because an emotional release is a very beautiful thing.

In order to journey to new worlds, we must first be willing to lose site of the shore.

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