The last time in Thailand, Pichest came up to Michelle as she was working on someone and stopped her and said, “weight of the hand. That’s all.”
That idea has informed my practice these days. The weight of the hand (and arm) is all I need 80 percent of the time. The challenge is backing off, letting the arm relax and letting the full weight of the hand/arm sink.
It takes a moment. A moment for me to scan my body and relax it. A moment to make sure I am truly letting go of my arm and hand. A moment to trust that in time, that amount of pressure will be enough. And after a few moments, I am usually surprised to realize that, yes, it is enough. Sometimes it’s more than enough.
Try this sometime. Hit your open palm into a wooden floor. Ouch. Then, put your hand on that wooden floor and let the weight of your hand connect to it. I think you will find that the floor seems hard when you hit it hard, as you might expect. But when you let yourself sink, there is a softness that seems to emerge, making the floor seem pliable in some way.
In the body, the same thing happens. When you just let the weight of the hand engage the tissue, a whole new world emerges in the space that you are entering. You begin to see contours and ridges and softness and hardness and movement in a way that you may have just pushed through before. You begin truly communicating with the body instead of just imposing your will on it.
This takes trust and patience. There might be fear that comes up when you back off and let go. There might be a sense of loss of control. There might be an awareness of your sense of the client’s expectation for “deeper” work. The interesting thing is, though, you will find that the work does become deeper and more personal when you just use the weight of the hand.
Try it and see how it goes for you. And then let me know your experiences. I’m always interested.