This article in the New York Times illustrates the beautiful ability of bodywork to open up new and unexpected ways of healing and integration.

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“Massage has been an important part of my life for over twenty years, but it wasn’t until I found Brian that I experienced what a massage should be. Brian has a nurturing spirit and an intuitive as well as practical knowledge of the body. He uses those gifts along with his years of training to make positive and long lasting changes in the body.” –Kim C.

Welcome! Thank you for visiting.

integration: the act or instance of combining into an integral whole.

Integration is the task of our lifetime, and a task that our bodies and beings work on every day of our lives. For many years I have called my practice Integrative Bodywork, in honor of this divine process that is unfolding within and through us, and the experience of well-being that arises when we feel a state of higher integration within ourselves.

My massage practice is an intuitive blend of Swedish, Myofascial Release and Deep Tissue Massage with an emphasis on the overall balance of the mind and body. My goal is for you to leave the massage table with a greater sense of ease and well-being. Since every client has different needs, no two sessions are ever exactly the same.

I also offer Mind-Body Balancing, which is a process of coming into a deep internal awareness of–and relationship with–our inner selves through tuning in to the intelligence and information of our physical bodies. Unlike a traditional massage, the client is fully clothed during a Mind-Body session. This is not a passive exercise but an engaged encounter with your own body’s intelligence. The results of these sessions can be very powerful and long lasting. Mind-Body Balancing sessions have a higher fee due to the specialized training required for this work.

An abiding interest of mine has always been the consciousness at the heart of every individual. What is the common spark that we all share; the life force that sustains us? How can we contact this healing presence even when we feel estranged from it? I have found that the simple act of conscious presence and touch can allow this spark to speak for itself, and bring us back to a greater sense of balance, grace and well-being.

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phone: 615.496.0782

email: briwingate@gmail.com

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David Brooks published an op-ed piece in The New York Times today entitled “The New Humanism.” He starts from a platform of political policy and quickly ties decision making on a large scale in with our changing knowledge of how human beings encounter the world within their own bodies and minds.

Massage, bodywork, somatic therapies, art, dance, music, good conversations–these all speak to healing the rift between reason and emotion that David Brooks describes. Body based therapies engage so much of the unconscious mind that is below the surface of our conscious awareness.

An excerpt follows. The article is short and worth the read.

“Over the past few decades, we have tended to define human capital in the narrow way, emphasizing I.Q., degrees, and professional skills. Those are all important, obviously, but this research illuminates a range of deeper talents, which span reason and emotion and make a hash of both categories:

Attunement: the ability to enter other minds and learn what they have to offer.

Equipoise: the ability to serenely monitor the movements of one’s own mind and correct for biases and shortcomings.

Metis: the ability to see patterns in the world and derive a gist from complex situations.

Sympathy: the ability to fall into a rhythm with those around you and thrive in groups.

Limerence: This isn’t a talent as much as a motivation. The conscious mind hungers for money and success, but the unconscious mind hungers for those moments of transcendence when the skull line falls away and we are lost in love for another, the challenge of a task or the love of God. Some people seem to experience this drive more powerfully than others.

When Sigmund Freud came up with his view of the unconscious, it had a huge effect on society and literature. Now hundreds of thousands of researchers are coming up with a more accurate view of who we are. Their work is scientific, but it directs our attention toward a new humanism. It’s beginning to show how the emotional and the rational are intertwined.

I suspect their work will have a giant effect on the culture. It’ll change how we see ourselves. Who knows, it may even someday transform the way our policy makers see the world.”

A poem by Rumi, translated by Coleman Barks

Body Intelligence

Your intelligence is always with you,

overseeing your body, even though

you may not be aware of its work.

If you start doing something against your health,

your intelligence will eventually scold you.

If it hadn’t been so lovingly close by,

and so constantly monitoring,

how could it rebuke?

You and your intelligence

are like the beauty and the precision

of an astrolabe.

Together, you calculate how near

existence is to the sun!

Your intelligence is marvelously intimate.

It’s not in front of you or behind,

or to the left or the right.

Now try, my friend, to describe how near

is  the creator of your intellect!

Intellectual searching will not find

the way to that king!

The movement of your finger

is not separate from your finger.

You go to sleep, or you die,

and there’s no intelligent motion.

Then you wake,

and your fingers fill with meanings.

Now consider the jewel-lights

in your eyes. How do they work?

This visible universe has many weathers

and variations.

But uncle, O uncle,

the universe of the creation-word,

the divine command to Be, that universe

of qualities is beyond any pointing to.

More intelligent than intellect,

and more spiritual than spirit.

No being is unconnected

to that reality, and that connection

cannot be said. There, there’s

no separation and no return.

There are guides who can show you the way.

Use them. But they will not satisfy your longing.

Keep wanting that connection

with all your pulsing energy.

The throbbing vein

will take you further

than any thinking.

Muhammad said, “Don’t theorize

about essence!” All speculations

are just more layers of covering.

Human beings love coverings!

They think the designs on the curtains

are what’s being concealed.

Observe the wonders as they occur around you.

Don’t claim them. Feel the artistry

moving through, and be silent.

Or say, “I cannot praise You

as You should be praised.

Such words are infinitely beyond my understanding.”

I am most fascinated by how humans behave and operate both as personal beings and as containers of God, and how these roles coexist, clash, and exert opposing needs on each of us as a person. How can the strain of those opposing callings express itself in our body, our musculature, our nervous system?

I am curious about how to live a life that honors both the needs of the personal and the universal, the body and the soul. Of course no such division exists. We live as a whole in a state of dynamic tension, with many opposites coexisting simultaneously.  Our resistance to this can manifest as pain on many fronts–physical, mental, emotional, spiritual.

Our bodies provide a simple way to check in with where we are. Our bodies seldom lie as easily as our minds and faces. We feel the inner strains that our smiling face may never admit. Our body can serve as our conscience.

When we live in our body as a vehicle of consciousness, we open ourselves to many things we would rather leave behind. The need to breathe deeply and stay present within ourselves.. The need to endure a few moments of discomfort in order to experience a renewed sense of physical freedom and clarity. Our resources arise as they are called upon. The trick is remembering to call.