My massage practice integrates the ideas of Eugene Gendlin on experiential intricacy. Inspired by Gendlin, I have developed, along with other bodyworkers, an approach called 'haptic music', which makes use of a wide range of traditional massage techniques{accupressure, shiatsu, swedish) but channels them into a form of 'massage music' with it's own tactile rhythms, tonal vocabulary, chords, harmonies and melodies.

Traditional massage uses metaphors like medical, healing, spiritual(chakras, chi, energy), ritualistic(Kama sutra). Tantric comes closest to my approach, emphasizing sensory stimulation and sensual pleasure. I use an aesthetic metaphor also, but want to bring the art of touch into the world of fully realized, mature artistic expression.

Haptic music , just like auditory music, has a tonal vocabulary, chord sequences, rhythms. Music creates a language of emotion in part through mathematical relationships of symmetry and proportion, consonance and dissonance. Take the proportionate distance between notes of a diatonic scale. As varied as forms of music are across time periods and cultures, certain regularities and structures apply across a wide expanse of Western history. Notice that music doesn't just make you feel, it also makes you THINK.

How does it do this? Notice how your mind wanders during massage. I call this inhabiting places or worlds. The stimulation of nerve endings through various degrees of pressure works in the same way as auditory music to create tonal and chordal relationships.

BACK