Ida Rolf noted “gravity is the therapist” – meaning we derive the sense of balance from our relationship to gravity in space.
To say that “time is the therapist” is equally true. Of course we already say time is the great healer – meaning superficially that, given the right amount of time, things will tend to heal themselves.
And what if, more deeply, it was also just like our relationship to space? – meaning, we derive the sense of balance from our relationship to time in life.
All the times we’ve lived are part of us. Yet some of them hold us back and some pull us forward in time – just like body segments being “in” or “out” of place in structural alignment.
To be balanced in the present moment, yet supported fully by all our past and the dreams that give birth to our future – you might say supported by the destiny that lies before us — this is health in time, not just space.
So we are made of time and so is our therapy. The ways we make meaning with time are among the most profound elements of our art.
The magic, as in music, of how long a note or a stroke should last or how long a pause between notes or movements shall be held is one of the great mysteries we enjoy and explore as therapists each session.
Sometimes I am exploring the iliotibial band. Starting at the greater trochanter, I pause, establishing a clear sense of beginning in time. Then I begin moving down the i.t. band. For the first two-three inches, I may well take three or four seconds. Then I might slow down, going more and more slowly until it seems to the client, by the time I’m three-quarters of the way down this longest tendon in the body, that time itself has come to a standstill. Indeed there I will pause for a few moments — then resume slow, graceful movement finally reaching, after what seems like a long time, the end of the tendon.
I call it the “therapeutic use of eternity”. Because one thing we want is for our clients to step out of the relentless time of chronology, of “chronos” and enter the sacred time of “kairos”. “The ancient Greeks had two words for time, chronos and kairos. While the former refers to chronological or sequential time, the latter signifies a time in between, a moment of indeterminate time in which something special happens.”
In Eastern Orthodox Churches, before the service, they invoke “kairos” indicating that this special time is “an intersection with Eternity.” (Wikipedia).
Isn’t the whole massage indeed a time in between, a moment of indeterminate time in which something special happens?