I mowed my lawn yesterday. Each year I forget that the season’s first mowing always takes much longer than the mowings to follow. Early in the Spring I can’t help but hack into the wooded areas surrounding my acre of yard. Always whacking away at the brambled borders, wielding my push mower as part weed-whacker, part chain saw. Enlarging my little country acre. Out here we have a pesky, parasitic vine which loves to wrap its way into all the trees. Left unchecked, it thickens into rubbery, boaconstrictor-like bands. They crawl across the ground and climb the tree trunks then wrap around the branches in a strangle-hold. They create ugly nests in the canopies. When I encounter them, I stop the mower and yank them down. They’re tough, insidious creatures and fight me every step of the way. But there’s a real joy in pulling the vines down, and it often takes my full body weight, hanging from them to do this. When the tree branches bounce up in a quick dance of freedom, I always sense an accompanying sigh of relief. As though the trees are taking in a breath of air, stretching with their recovered liberty and flexibility.
It’s like that when I work out the painful tension in muscles during a therapeutic massage. The tension and knots in a muscle often feel like thick bands or ropes under the skin. Insidious vines. These adhesions inhibit circulation, which means the tissues aren’t getting their adequate nutrition, nor are they being properly cleansed and flushed. They inhibit movement and range of motion. When the tension and adhesions are worked-out and circulation is restored, there’s always a sigh of relief from the person on the massage table. Flexibility, movement, and freedom are restored. What a feeling.