Recently, many more articles and books have begun to appear highlighting the increasing number of injury problems that conventional massage techniques are producing in practitioners. In the light of this, I think it is an appropriate time for Siyanda to prove its worth!
I learnt that in China the government finance’s and support’s the blind by training them to work in massage. I kept a picture in my mind, after finding out about a particular blind Chinese masseur who lost the use of his hands through over working them and in fear that he would be without work, started to use other surfaces to provide muscle stretching and soothing touch.
There are many creative ways in which the practitioner can ethically and professionally use other parts of the body to apply massage strokes. The idea of a safe way to work came to me from my own agonies. Because due to a necessity to meet daily living responsibilities and commitments I just had to work through my pain. At the same time, I was thinking about what other way I could provide my clients with a top quality treatment and still look after myself. So, over the years, I started using varying ‘tricks’ that supported me to move and use the weight of my own body. All of these did actually help to a certain degree. However, it wasn’t until I decided to offer 20 of my clients an opportunity to become part of my research project and I offered them 5 sessions each, with them providing me with feedback as I gave them massage without using my fingers or the palms of my hand, that Siyanda was created.
My initial intention was to develop a way that I could massage, reduce the strain to my body and offer a good treatment. The result was that not only I, as the therapist benefitted, but, my clients were experiencing positive improvements on a physical level that were beyond my expectations and also they were reporting that on an emotional, energetic and mental, as well as spiritual level they were noticing positive shifts. In the beginning these clients resisted this different approach and I had to remind them of the agreement we had. However, very soon I had them asking me if there were any more places available on the research massage project, as their friends and loved ones were noticing a difference on many if not all of these levels and desired to be involved too. My greatest teachers were indeed these same people who took me further than I had anticipated, by their requests, constructive comments and truthful responses. I salute and thank them all.
Because Siyanda has grown from a simple desire to be able to continue to work and stay healthy, but has grown into a complete method for both therapist and client, it seemed more than appropriate to Call it Siyanda which means in African Zulu “We are Growth”.