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Enjoy the practicalities of pleasure

 

Last updated 4/12/2019 at 4:53pm

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Laurel Lozzi is a member of the Fallbrook Wellness Directory and currently practicing massage and craniosacral therapy at Transcendent Touch Healing Massage in Fallbrook. Cesar Wilson photo

Laurel Lozzi

Special to Village News

What if pleasure was on the to-do list? As Tony Hoagland said in his poem "The Word," "Down near the bottom, Of the crossed-out list, Of things you have to do today, Between 'green thread,' And 'broccoli,' you find, That you have penciled 'sunlight. To remind you that, Among your duties, pleasure, Is a thing, That also needs accomplishing. Do you remember? That time and light are kinds, Of love, and love, Is no less practical, Than a coffee grinder, Or a safe spare tire?"

What a great reminder that pleasure is indeed practical, and yet as the world speeds up and people's lives become full of impossible to-do lists and endless notifications pinging for attention, pleasure is shoved aside. At a superficial layer, it's easy to agree that pleasure is good, yet to live and act as such is counter cultural. People are rewarded for working hard, accumulating intellectual knowledge, status and sacrificing themselves for the greater good. Only in some subcultures are people encouraged to slow down, trust their bodies and enjoy a life of sensation. It takes time, space and attention to cultivate a life with pleasure.

Fundamentally, pleasure comes from sensory experiences. It's of this world, of the earth and of the body. However, pain is also a sensory experience. So what distinguishes the two?

Simply put, people's preferences. One they like and one they don't. At their essence, both pleasure and pain are sensations people experience in their bodies. Consider a personal experience of not knowing whether something is painful or pleasurable because the sensation was simply so intense. That's exactly it, it's intense sensation that goes beyond known preferences.

In my massage work, there are two primary ways to affect pain or discomfort. One is to lean into it, open toward it, breath and see if the sensation moves and releases. It's best done without an agenda, with considerable care and sensitivity, right on the edge of discomfort so there is openness and relaxation creating space for sensation and energy to move. This space is my primary mode of working in massage; it's effective. It also dissipates any fear and closure people may have toward their own pain, freeing mental energies for other things.

It is also true is cells and bodies hold memories. If someone experiences repeated physical pain in a certain area that pain creates a pathway, a habit or groove, and it becomes a solid accepted part of their life. If they experience a new sensation or movement, and it's repeated enough, the cellular memory shifts, and thus they shift as well. Experiencing a pleasurable sensation is enough to shift this experience and reality by imprinting a new memory or a remembering in the cells.

Which leads to the second and less common way to affect pain or discomfort: experiencing pleasure or the absence of pain. It's subtle and requires a willingness to find the places that don't hurt, the places that feel good and to magnify them. It rewires someone's experiences on a more neurological level. Sometimes pain becomes fixed because they expect it to be there; it's habituated into their bodies. So they must change their minds to change their bodies. This instance is where pleasure can be most effective and helpful in healing and changing pain. Craniosacral therapy fits into this category.

Both methods work, both are great and it takes discernment and listening skills to know which method to use at any particular time.

So what would happen if people's everyday lives were woven with pleasure? No longer squeezed and pressured for air time. Something they trusted as a practical thing.

Laurel Lozzi, a Fallbrook massage and craniosacral therapist, gives a massage to a client.

I'm inclined to believe that one benefit of pleasure is increasing someone's health and quality of life. It may be the mindset that shifts their orientation toward preventative health care rather than the current symptomatic health care system. It may heal their relationships with their bodies, as a place to enjoy rather than control. It may lead to less consumption and overspending, as people take in and absorb their sensual world as nourishing and enlivening. It may be just the thing needed to reclaim joy and spiritual fortitude in their lives.

Laurel Lozzi is a member of the Fallbrook Wellness Directory and currently practicing massage and craniosacral therapy at Transcendent Touch Healing Massage in Fallbrook with her father Craig Lozzi. Her sessions are intuitive and restorative, often touching into both pain and pleasure.

 

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