When I was given the opportunity to experience a Ka Huna massage with Gavin Hodges of Spirit of Man, I said yes so quickly I nearly gave myself whiplash (a valid reason for another massage). After a challenging few days, I was extremely tense with my shoulders so high I could easily have been mistaken for the Hunchback of Notre Dame. It was time for some nurturing for my body, which has been ignored these past few weeks. Whilst I’m a great believer in taking responsibility for our own self-love practice, regular massage is wonderfully beneficial on every level.
Now for those of you who are new to Ka Huna, it’s not for the bashful wallflower. Let me reframe that – it’s perfect for the bashful wallflower who’s looking to expand their comfort zone. You are naked except for a strategically placed sarong. That is confronting with a guy you don’t know, especially if you’ve not experienced Ka Huna before.
Ka Huna is a traditional Hawaiian massage technique, with flowing, rhythmic movements that encompass the whole body, mind and spirit. It’s a holistic treatment and whilst deeply physical, also infuses a beautiful intention of giving and receiving from the heart. Other massage styles focus on working on separate sections of the body at a time: a very different experience.
Ka huna is a flowing dance where the therapist moves around the table with sweeping strokes up and down the body, combined with a strong focus on synchronising with the breath and being in the present moment. I am a massage junkie and it’s one of my favourite indulgences. I have experienced all sorts of styles, all over the globe. With Ka Huna I find it forces me very much into the present moment. I’m conscious of the movement both around the massage table and across my body, with also the sound of my breath and the sound of the practitioner’s as they exhale quite deliberately.
I was recounting my positive experience to a friend over dinner last night, which then lead into reminiscing about ‘most dodgy massages with male therapists’. In first position is an experience in Brazil where I terminated the session after 10 minutes after being urged repeatedly to ‘let your legs flop open like a butterfly so I can remove the block from your sacral’ whilst he removed my underwear. I wondered if he was about to perform a pap smear and left hurriedly, ignoring his requests to ‘help me’. Number 2 in off-putting massage experiences happened in Kathmandu with a 4ft man with no comprehension of appropriate boundaries, who managed to spend the entire time with his eyeballs 2 inches away from my right nipple. He didn’t blink once and I wondered if he’d ever seen a woman before. As I came out, I was informed that I’d gone into the men’s section and the ‘women’s massage rooms’ were on the other side of the pool. That experience provided the rest of my tour group with hours of hilarity. I was not amused. I could go on, but I think that’s a separate blog post.
I’m delighted to inform you that my Ka Huna experience was a blissful world away from those dubious encounters. With Ka Huna there is a degree of vulnerability involved as you are completely naked and so it’s crucial to feel trusting towards the practitioner, particularly from a woman’s perspective. According to research we make assumptions about whether or not we can trust someone within seconds of meeting them.
I immediately felt comfortable with Gavin who is extremely professional. He’s a solid, grounded bloke who gives off a calm vibe, like you would expect to find in a trusted friend or brother. I felt he is someone who is integrating his own masculine and feminine energies in a balanced way. There is something reassuring about a man who seems relaxed in his strong masculinity, combined with a gentleness and much light in his Being.
Throughout the session I felt my awareness settle into my body, rather than up above my head somewhere. I became conscious of all of the sore, tight and tense areas of my body that have been recently neglected. I also noticed where I was really ‘holding on’ particularly in my chest and arms and experienced various waves of stored feelings being released such as sadness and disappointment.
I ended the appointment feeling lighter and relieved, with a commitment to myself, to experience Ka Huna on a more regular basis. A couple of days on and I feel more centred and have experienced clarity in a few areas. Book your appointment with Gavin Hodges in Bondi Junction here. I’m already contemplating when I will be going again.
So tell me in the comments below, have you experienced Ka Huna massage and what did you enjoy about it?