In massage class last night, we were learning how to work more directly with the body’s network of fascia. If you’ve never heard of fascia before, it’s a connective tissue that some researchers have compared to a continuous sweater covering and interpenetrating everything in your body, including your muscles, bones, and organs.
Here’s an image I found online that shows some of the fascia between chicken skin and the underlying muscle–the fascia is the spiderwebby stuff.
Research is indicating that this network is also a means of communication, so in a sense, you could think of your fascia as your body’s own internet, sending messages all the way from your head to your toes.
Our instructor compared this to the concept of mycorrhizal associations, which are partnerships of vast networks of fungus in the soil and plant roots. This has been dubbed the “wood wide web” by some scientists, and according to the BBC, “by linking to the fungal network [plants] can help out their neighbours by sharing nutrients and information – or sabotage unwelcome plants by spreading toxic chemicals through the network.” So, too, our fascia allows distant parts of our body to communicate–both messages of wellness and messages of dis-ease.
So, what does this have to do with meditation? Well, I drew my tarot card of the day this morning, and I got this lovely Wild Unknown rendition of the six of cups:
Check out those beautiful roots! I immediately had the urge to do a meditation on roots as information gatherers, and it was so useful that I’d like to share it with you here.
To begin, settle into a comfortable meditative position. Calm your body and your mind by focusing on your breath, gradually lengthening the inhales and exhales.
Focus on the base of your spine, and imagine roots extending from this base, deep into the earth. Allow the image to fill out as a single root branches into many. Appreciate the complexity of your roots, the vastness of the network tethering you to, and making you one with, the Earth.
Set the intention to receive via your roots the information that is correct and good for you at this time, then allow the experience to unfold.
Maintain gentle awareness of the root network, and allow any thoughts and sensations to arise. You might see images, hear words, have thoughts pop into your head, and so forth. Allow the information to flow into you.
When the experience feels complete, give thanks as feels appropriate to you, and return your awareness to the here and now.
When I did this meditation, ideas popped into my head, seemingly out of nowhere, and they were ideas that definitely tested the boundaries of my comfort zone. Here’s one example: I’m one month away from finishing massage therapy school, and the thought surfaced that I am being called to do primarily energy work with some massage incorporated into it. But, but…I’m a massage therapist! I’m supposed to be doing a ton of massage…right?
In spite of my ego’s clawing and scrambling, I had to admit a deeper feeling of release and softness.
I have no idea where this will lead, but I do know that I am now open to making energy work more of a focus in my practice, and even on a logical level, it makes sense. I’ve studied energy extensively, and I work with my own daily: You could say I’m a little obsessed. 😉 And yet somehow, I’d gotten a little out of touch with those roots.
What do your roots tell you?