By Gurusahay Singh Khalsa, D.C.
It is essential for your health that you regularly cleanse and detoxify your body. Similar to changing the oil in your car, you need to purify your blood and give your digestive organs some quality rest and rebuilding time so they can function optimally. Sluggish digestion and impure blood leads to early aging and disease.
By practicing yoga you are able to stimulate the flow of prana (incoming, life giving energy) and apana (the eliminative energy) to keep your body balanced and eliminating properly. By eating light, easily digestible foods, you are giving your body the building blocks it needs to heal, grow, and repair.
As part of the wonderful health technologies of Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan, he often shared different massage techniques to aid in the healing and cleansing of a person. These massages in large part were taught to the Khalsa Chiropractic Association during week-long seminars. We learned that by stimulating acupressure points and other areas of the body in a specific order, the healing channels and flow of energy are opened to allow the body to self-heal. All healing comes from within, but external stimulation of points allows the circuits to be turned on.
Yogi Bhajan would pick a person, have them lie down, and then have one of the other doctors give a massage based on Yogi Bhajan’s step by step instructions. The person receiving the treatment would, at its conclusion, explain to the rest of us what the effects of the treatment were. Yogi Bhajan would also add his explanation of the treatment, such as “rubbing this area of the knee releases the tension in the opposite elbow.”
The following massage protocol was taught in Espanola, New Mexico, in 1992. It is a very short but powerful example of the synchronistic effects of healing through area (the points), pattern (the order of stimulation), and rhythm (the tapping). I think this mini-massage is a perfect representation of the basics of all of Yogi Bhajan’s teachings on the subtlety of body work.
This particular series stimulates the stomach and spleen, the main organs of digestion. The diaphragm is also released, which allows for greater breathing capacity, which in turn allows for a more complete exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the lungs. By tapping on the feet, all the organs of the body are toned and the nervous system is allowed to go into a deep relaxation.
When doing massage work, always ask permission from the “receiver” to work on them. Explain to them the areas of the body that you’ll be stimulating and make sure they don’t have injuries or areas (like the belly if they’re pregnant) that you should be avoiding. Start off your massage by centering yourself, chanting Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo, and rubbing your palms briskly together for 1-2 minutes to increase the healing flow in your hands.
The following times are what were taught by Yogi Bhajan that day. It would be okay to increase the times proportionately for a longer massage.
1. With the person lying face up, rub a point, on both legs, on the outside front of the lower leg, about 2 inches below the knee cap. It is just outside the shin bone. This corresponds to the acupuncture point, ST 36. (30 seconds)
2. Next, using the base of your palms, massage the front of the thigh, half way from the knee to the groin area. This massage should not be so deep that it is painful. It should be very soothing and rhythmic and the pressure should alternate from one hand to the other. (1 minute)
3. Now massage the thigh directly above the knee caps with your thumbs inside and your fingers outside. Again, this is a soothing, rhythmic massage alternating from one hand to the other. (2 minutes)
4. Strike the abdomen very lightly directly above and below the navel with the sides of your hands. You should alternate your hands like gentle karate chops. (1 minute)
5. To finish, strike the soles of the feet, one foot at a time, with the sides of your hands very lightly, again like a karate chop. (20 seconds each foot)
Dr. Gurusahay Khalsa has been practicing chiropractic and acupuncture in Atlanta since 1978 and is a co-founder of the Khalsa Chiropractic Association. Gurusahay is able to share these techniques from a unique perspective—Yogi Bhajan personally demonstrated many of his massage and yoga therapies on him. Contact Dr. Gurusahay through www.grdhealth.com
[Published in Aquarian Times, Feb/Mar 2009]