We spoke with the priestesses of tantric massage; Manhattan, it’s high time you found a better way to reconnect.
What comes to mind when you hear the phrase “tantric massage”? Is it something dingy? Something dirty? Or, nothing- because you have no real clue what the term could possibly mean. Whatever your initial reaction is to this innocent coupling of words, NY BodyLove of Manhattan thinks you might be getting it wrong.
“Very few people have a clear idea of tantric massage,” Manhattan based practitioners tell us. “Generally, people closely associate the practice with massage parlors or prostitution, and that’s just such a massive departure from what the practice actually is, or what we aim to achieve.” The guru’s at BodyLove generally begin by helping people to shed these types of expectations and ideas. “It’s just a really counterproductive stance. It’s something that can actually serve to limit the boundlessness of sensuality and the impact it has on people’s base functionality.”
What Is Tantric Massage
Despite the origins of tantra dating back millennia to ancient Hindu and Buddhist traditions, tantric massage was actually developed in Germany in the 1970’s. Leaning heavily on neotantrism. The Western World did what the western world does, taking the parts of ancient practice that best suited their needs, and distilled them into a new practice that was most beneficial.
Not to say that this distilled version of tantra is bad- just something that better fits a modernized western culture. The ancient practice of tantra is centered around ritual that is specific to the individual, rather than the religion. So, it’s simple to see how tantric massage became a Westernized phenomenon while still paying respectful tribute to its Eastern roots.
Sure, tantric massage does often involve an element of sexual gratification, but that’s not the end goal. Instead, this type of erotic massage is about the entire experience, tapping into people’s pent up stressors and sexual energy, by focusing on disused or underappreciated pressure points in the body. First and foremost, emotional healing is the main focus of tantric massage. Manhattan based massage therapists of the BodyLove Temple remind us of this several times as they break down the process. Most tantric massages do involve a full body massage element, but also encapsulate other practices like yogic breathing, mantras, and reiki. Unleashing the full gambit of stressful release and body/mind balance. Helping to promote a more holistic level of wellbeing.
“Unfortunately, most of us live during a time where it’s sociologically fashionable to be completely disconnected from ourselves. We end up compartmentalizing base desires and needs, and become fractions of a whole.”
What Does Tantric Massage Do?
Which is a main focus of tantric massage. Melding together all of the different sections of our existence that we have cordoned off because of stigma and unrealistic expectations. “Being sensual is a very human state. Being thoughtful, kind, emotional- these are all different, and important, aspects of being human. Many people tamp these parts of themselves down as our overly corporatized society views them as weak. But it’s not a weakness. There’s nothing weak about having the courage to genuinely connect to your core drives.”
They go on to explain that tantric massage helps us to find calm and does sometimes result in orgasm- so those are some pretty big bonuses- but what they say is the real benefit, is finding a better equilibrium between our invulnerable mask we show society and our vulnerable inner self. Tantric massage helps to release repressed emotions and align our energies- using rhythmic breathing, sensuality, and physiological response to touch, to relax and re-engage us. Which can help fight depressive models of behavior, or negative outlooks.
“I think most people think of tantric massage as just a shortcut to orgasm, but that’s not at all what it is. There would be no reason to seek out a practitioner for something you can easily achieve at home.” The guides at the temple tell us that this near surreal departure from future and past focus is one of the ways people can re-center through tantric massage. “Manhattan is a busy place. It’s loud, it’s judgmental. It’s a very business minded city. While it has so many wonderful things to offer, it’s rare to find a peaceful spot where people can actually let their guard down and be vulnerable. But that’s something that has to happen to be able to truly center and unwind.”