Memoirs of a MasseurTodd Pequeen

Why aren’t we more in touch with our own natural cycles?

By Todd Pequeen

Ebb and flow, rhythm and tempo, it doesn’t matter what you call it. The world works in patterns and is always in balance. Night to day, ying to yang, in good times or bad, everything around us organically transitions back and forth. Why then, as humans aren’t we more in touch with our own natural cycles? How many among us let someone else set the rhythm of our lives, and why? I spend much of my time observing people, trying to understand them because nothing is more fascinating to me. As a body worker I have learned that tension lies not just in the flesh, but in the mind, heart, and soul as well. It is my job, if I am to be the best at what I do, to be able to understand reasons for peoples’ actions and behaviors and how that incorporates into their lifestyle, thus their person. I must physically “feel” as well as sense which parts of the body needs more work or less. A quality massage in itself is filled with rhythm and tempo changes, high pressures and lows. This can only be made possible with the ability to listen and hear, then reacting. Exactly the same thing as quality personal relationships.

A salesman must know when to press or when to sit back. My wife (a fabulous photographer) can prompt or pull back her subjects to hopefully get the results she seeks. Remember your favorite teacher? Why do you think they stand out so profoundly? I propose it is because they knew when to stimulate and inspire, and more importantly when to be silent. Failures in life are not often caused from the lack of trying, they are caused from the inability to “let” the universe do what it does best, create and destroy. One must not force things….in life or on the massage table. Sports are a passion of mine and another fine example of the nature of how things work. How I love the feeling of a run in basketball, a momentum change in hockey, or unanswered points by my home town football team. As a distance runner I had to learn the secrets of knowing when to push or when to ease off. An “in tune” dancer or even a surfer escapes him or herself by being 100% involved in what they are doing. Why then wouldn’t we do this with our work and personal lives? We can learn simple mental exercises to “tune in” and teach ourselves to be more aware each day. The value being an easier and more successful way of getting through our days, months, and years. The peaks and valleys of our lives need not be so extreme.

A little known invention called the clock changed everything. It is an instrument to indicate, keep, and coordinate time. It is one of the oldest human inventions mimicked today by our wrist watches, cell phones, dashboards of our vehicles, as well as on our computers. It sure seems important. Now we add artificial light, insane work weeks, poor diet, and stress…no wonder why it is almost impossible to follow or even know one’s own body rhythms. Do we eat to simply fuel ourselves? With modern living we eat when the clock says it is time to. Kitchens are bigger than ever, living rooms have become nearly obsolete. It seems as if there is very little concern or compassion for what is truly organic in our day. Study upon study has shown that short siestas after lunchtime for example, or even 1/2 hour of exercise drastically increase productivity. Why then is there no time for this in society? I have friends that work best well into the night, personally I am on fire at sunrise. Physical, mental, and emotionally clear thoughts and actions should be suited towards one’s own rhythms. When you fight your body you are sure to lose. Try your best to not be a prisoner to artificial time or to perform like the mechanics of a clock… automated. Be willing to let go, and in doing so you return to yourself and your rhythm and style.

Todd Pequeen is a graduate of the NY Institute of Massage and a pioneer of the spa industry here in Manuel Antonio since 2000. He works independently at his home studio or at your location and can be reached at 8830-7727.