" Uplifting Massage......"
Emily, Vancouver, 2018
" Uplifting Massage......"
I received a truly amazing massage from John. He is extremely professional and experienced in offering a unique experience to his clients. He is welcoming and open and offers a relaxing and uplifting massage from start to finish. I would highly recommend and i will return again. Thank you John!
Emily, Vancouver, 2018
I have participated in two Trainings with John Picard, one of which was a professional Tantra Massage Taining in the Czeck Republic with John Hawken. I am both a holistic and a Tantra massage practitioner myself, and appreciate how rare it is to find a male practitioner with the level of expertise, strength and sensitivity possessed by John.
My experience of receiving Bodywork from John has been nothing but positive. John has a very professional approach to his work and a very sensitive intuitive touch. Aside from being a top class masseur with very healing hands, John has the unique capacity to make his clients feel very safe and 'held' in a way that allows them to relax into vulnerability without any fear of John stepping over personal boundaries. He is able to make clients feel comfortable and safe by using humour and genuine interest in their needs. John has a wealth of life experience and compassion that he applies with ease and authenticity. During the treatments I have received from John he has listened to my requests with both his ears, his hands and his heart.
I cannot recommend John highly enough for his skill and professionlism, so much so that in the past I have organised for several of my women friends to receive Tantra massage from John, as I trust his integrity implicitly.
MTI Massage Training Institute
ITEC International Therapy Examination Council
"Thank you for the wonderful Tantra Massage John. It came at the perfect time. My body had been experiencing some armouring and stress prior to the massage and you helped my body feel safe, held and nurtured throughout the session.
You were very respectful and clear about boundaries and you honoured and stuck to the agreements we made at the start of the session and I really appreciated that. I experienced you as professional, clear, compassionate and nurturing and the session felt safe and held well. Thank you for creating a safe container for the treatment and for honouring my body in a sacred, respectful and loving way."
Orla Quinn talking to Joe Nash on Live95FM about 'me too', how we need to change our approach to sexuality and an introduction to the Art Of Intimacy workshop being held in Limerick on 26 Nov- places still available!
Limerick Today - Is there a need to respond to sexuality in a more mature and responsible way following the #MeToo campaign?
One of the principles of Tantra is healing through pleasure, rather than being bound by pain.
Tantra allows healing to happen through release, it allows the body and the being to do this in a way and at a pace that fosters integration.
This is so important in a process as it gives a context for the healing, it allows the being to integrate and personalise the release, which helps change flow naturally, there is no force. There is only alignment and harmony.
New understandings, new ways of being, new possibilities and the actions that these bring come out of who we are, not just something we do. There is depth, because they've become part of us, of who we are.
This is reflected firstly by a process we use called Layers, secondly by the progression through layers of being, going from healing to growth to expansion.
The initial healing is driven by some level of pain, physical, mental, emotional, sexual, spiritual, relationship... The focus is on changing the condition or situation.
However, once this has happened the healing never stops, it changes character.
It becomes more about growth.
If we say healing 'has happened', we're saying that it's complete. What has happened in fact, is that we've released one, a few, many layers of an issue that is rooted in the past.
As we become more conscious of ourselves, our patterns and responses, what we've done, what we do, and release that which limits us, which no longer serves us, we begin to free ourselves from the layer of pain.
We move into the layer of growth, the layer of choice. Here healing is not based in pain, it's based on possibility. We're no longer trapped by the past, we're moving to greater freedom and to positive choice. We're more in the present, and more aware of the future we'd like to create. We also become more aware of how much of this journey is about ourselves, how responsible we are for our happiness and pleasure.
Growth brings consciousness, awareness and presence. This naturally moves us into expansion. Simply put, we become aware of more. There are no limitations, other than those we accept. The field of possibility is continuously expanding. What is within us, thoughts, feelings, energy, sensations, expands, deepens, heightens. Awareness grows.
There is greater presence. We are present, more of us, more of who we are, more of the resources within us. The connections we have with people, with energy, with knowledge expands.
We see life, our lives, and the world differently.
The healing never stops, because the issues of life never stop.
But we start to live in a different world.
And we see that the layers of being are infinite.
( Thanks to Jonti Searle)
The faja is a long, thin fabric used to wrap around the abdomen after a Maya Abdominal massage. The use of the faja is an ancient healing technique used among the Mayan Culture of South America. It is used to help contain the uterus and ‘the heart of the stomach’ which are the two main areas of focus for the massage in women. By applying the faja immediately after the massage, it helps the organs and muscles which have undergone healing to recover in a way that is kind to the body. For that reason, the faja works on an emotional level, evoking the same nurturing feeling that being wrapped in a warm blanket evokes, that of feeling safe, held and deeply nurtured. On an energetic level, the faja can evoke strong energetic ties to the Divine Feminine and to the Maya ancestry. After receiving a massage, the faja is wrapped around the client and stays on for at least 15 minutes to help with the recovery and integration processes.
In Guatemala, the faja is specifically used on women after they give birth, to help support the abdominal and pelvic muscles recover after labour. These muscles stretch and move to make room for the baby. Post birth, the body needs to readjust and regain the muscle tone which can take a long time. When the faja is used after birth, it helps to contain the uterus and the surrounding ‘loose’organs recover their tone. Worn after birth also supports the lower back, alleviating tension and pain that is common in this area after birth. After birth, the faja can be worn for weeks or even months, depending on how much support is needed in the recovery phase.
The faja’s that I use for the massages I give were woven by Dona Dominga, the mid-wife who co- trained me in this massage technique. Dona Domingo has practiced community midwifery for over 60 years in her native San Marcos community in Guatemala. This ancient midwifery practice facilitates women to go through natural birth in the home, a practice which is unfortunately under threat in Guatemala today due to the rise in hospital births. Mid-wives like Dona Domingo who perfected their skills through practice and spiritual guidance have an art that is not recognised by such medical institutions and therefore, their skill and life purpose is vulnerable to being lost completely in Guatemala. Fortunately Dona Dominga’s skill lives on teaching this massage technique to therapists like me to help keep it alive. This has been thanks to Mariu Gabbato, who organises and co- facilitates this training and who runs a very creative and healing space called AmatistA Magic Garden in San Marcos, Guatemala (www.facebook.com/pg/amatistamagicgarden).
I’ve known for many years that Massage is one of the oldest and most powerful forms of healing.
10 years ago, I spent a year in India and experienced Ayurvedic Massage regularly and found it
hugely beneficial. Since then, I would go through phases of ‘self care’ and ‘get a massage’ to loosen
the tension in my body. This week, I went to John Picard at his therapy room in Garden Vale and
experienced my second Hawaiian Lomi Lomi Massage.
I have to say it is the most amazing and profound form of massage and one I definitely recommend for
anyone who either wants a totally relaxation experience or those who are more serious about exploring the body armoring in the body.
So, what makes it so special, what is it, how does it differ from other massage, how does it "work"?
Well, after my experience of the massage, I came home and looked up on the web – the reasons why I
found it such a profound experience:-
The Hawaiians view all aspects of the body as one and believe that the physical, mental, emotional
and spiritual are all part of the "whole" self - when healing is effected on one level, all levels are
affected. They look at things in terms of energy flow, following the idea that an idea or belief can
block energy flow as much as muscle tension can. When harmony is lacking in the body, the effect
is pain physically, mentally, emotionally or spiritually. Lomi Lomi helps release this and therefore
facilitates the road to healing. On the physical level, it can help relieve stress and tension and stimulate
the elimination of wastes and toxins. It works by gently yet deeply massaging into the muscles with
continuous, flowing strokes, totally nurturing the body and, enabling the recipient to relax, give in and
simply be. However, whilst technique is an important part of the massage and associated healing, just
as important is the presence and state of mind of the Masseur with their focus on the client being deep
and complete, using loving hands and a loving heart. As I read and gathered information about this
sacred form of massage – it affirmed my experience with John Picard as a Lomi Lomi practitioner.
– I entered John’s room in Garden Vale and my senses were greeted with the relaxing smell of
aromatherapy and the inviting warm temperature of a large airy bright space. After a ample time of
conversation and relevant note taking, John left me to get ready for massage and I lay on the table
covered with my towel.
The massage is ritualistic from beginning to end. It was given in fluid, rhythmic motion using the
forearms as well as the hands, feeling like gentle waves moving over the body. At other times,
different parts of the body were massaged at the same time, while he was working on my shoulder, the
other hand may have been sweeping down my hip. It was totally relaxing and invigorating at the same
time. Apparently - it is impossible or at least extremely difficult for the brain to focus on the two
different areas at once, so while at times it felt like my whole senses were being assaulted – the body
amour and resistance in my body had no option but to eventually give up and surrender to constant of
flowing stokes, followed by slow motion and his hands being placed in Reiki positions on the body.
An hour and a half later, I was totally zonked! My body felt at ease and totally relaxed. In a busy world of being, doing, striving, achieving.... It’s a precious occurrence to be a woman and experience a sensual,
relaxing, healing massage with a safe skilled professional man.
Thank you John. I’ll be back.
Body of Light
Will someday split you open
Even if your life is now a cage...
Love will bust you wide open
Into an unfettered blooming new galaxy...
......A life-giving radiance will come...
From a sacred crevice
in your body
A bow rises each night
And shoots your soul into God...
This beautiful, arresting poem by Hafiz, speaks to me about the dynamics of Transformation. It is this life-changing process that is inherent in the Wisdom Teachings of the ancient Hawaiians.
What we speak of today as 'Spiritual Light' and 'Divine Love', was known to the Ancients through the miracle of the body. Their inner and outer harmony with all that surrounded them, allowed them to access the Light that lives within our cells. Today, science has measured at least an aspect of this light as 'biophotons' — packets of electromagnetic frequencies emitted by each cell. Divine Love was perceived in the Spirit of Aloha — in one definition: the pure acceptance of all that is within us, and compassion for all that exists.
The deepening awareness of this Light and the movement towards Self-Acceptance and Total Compassion, is a process which leads us to come face to face with every resistance we have either learned or constructed. As we open ourselves to all of who we are, we expand the connection to the Spirit that lives within and become our own vehicle for transformation. Resistance, patterning, trauma, imbalance and dis-ease are transformed into vibrancy — as Hafiz says: 'a life-giving radiance' — in the alchemy of this process.
The Ancient Hawaiian path is one which by-passes the mind, working directly with the Light and natural harmony of Life that lives in each of our cells. It is said that 'the body gets it first, and the mind catches up later.'
The galaxy that Hafiz speaks about is within. To the Ancients, it is the limitless Life that animates us. Our system is constantly in the movement of Union, of dynamic Balance and blossoming Harmony. We are not just minds seeking for God. We are all of it: Body, Mind, Emotions, Spirit, Hopes, Dreams, Memories, Sensations, Vibrations, Awarenesses, Fears, Regrets, Love.....all of it, in One seamless Whole. The voice of this One, from deep inside, is the bow that 'rises each night, and shoots your soul into God.'.
Undecided what to buy your partner for Christmas? Gift Vouchers available at Athlone Massage Clinic. Prices from 30 Euro.
Call in, phone, or simply send a cheque and I will post the voucher to you.
I know what you're thinking: Are you nuts? My back hurts like hell. Why would this ever be a good thing?
First off, I know what back pain feels like. I know what it's like to have pain shooting down your leg. I know what it’s like to not be able to move your toes properly. I know how excruciating it can feel to peel yourself out of bed in the morning and I know how infuriating it is when your body keeps you from living your life the way you set out to live it. I get it.
At 25, my lower back started hurting so much that I often couldn’t find a physical position that would free me of my pain even just for a short while. After months of denial, trying to medicate the pain, and forcing myself to strengthen my abs and stretch my hamstrings, I finally admitted that something more serious was going on with me. I was diagnosed with two herniated disks in my lower spine.
As a then soon-to-be med school student and the daughter of two physicians, I did what made the most sense: I had surgery and went through month of recovery ... and guess what? The pain was still there.
The primary emotion I felt throughout was anger. Anger towards my body for hurting, for being weak, for deserting me, for keeping me from reaching my goals and living the ambitious life I had planned out for myself.
I was deathly afraid of looking like a failure and now that my spine was giving in, I was forced to take a break, forced to stop what I was doing (applying to medical school), and worst of all: since I wasn’t able to keep myself busy and distracted, I had to feel all of my stored up unhappiness.
In addition, I was an avid runner and loved yoga, and I had I drawn a lot of confidence from being athletic and feeling like my body was invincible. Secretly, I was also obsessed with exercising because I was terrified of gaining weight. (In fact, I was constantly trying to lose 10 pounds.) I often pushed my body beyond its limits and told myself that until I lost weight, my body wasn’t love worthy.
The world I had built up for myself crashed when my back pain became unbearable, and thank goodness it did. Throughout my recovery, I came to realize that my entire reality was built upon the idea that I had to impress others, that I had to push myself to perform, that I had to compete and that I needed to be “successful” at all costs. What I did was more important than who I was. What others thought of me carried more value than how I felt.
My back pain forced me to question this reality and the choices I was making.
By way of the pain, my body forced me to stop and to reconsider the choices I was making. My body wasn’t willing to sacrifice myhappiness for what I thought “success” was. My body had my best interest in mind and since I didn’t want to listen when it was whispering, it began to scream.
My back pain sparked the biggest transformation of my life.
Through my pain, I was able to reconnect with my body and come home to myself. I was able to hear my own voice and identify my own desires without thinking that the external environment knew better. I began to honor my body, listen to my intuition, and create a mind-body connection that is full of wisdom and gentle guidance.
I withdrew my med school applications and instead got my M.A. in Counseling Psychology. I graduated as a published author for my work on how women experience emotion in their body and have created my own life-coaching business since. I fell in love with the man of my dreams and lost 20 pounds without forcing myself into a strict diet or exercise regime. Best of all, I am now free of pain, once again running and practicing yoga, and I'm filled with a deep happiness and trust in myself and my abilities. When my back starts aching (which it sometimes still does), I know that I need to listen, release the pressure I put on myself, and invite more playfulness into my life.
My back pain saved me from a path that was in disharmony with my internal world and instead allowed me to take a step back and create a life that is in alignment with who I am and what I want to add to the world.
If you are experiencing pain—whether it's back pain, tight shoulders, a knot in your throat etc.—ask your body what it is trying to tell you. If your symptom could speak, what would it say? By having this pain, what is your body forcing you to do differently? What is it keeping you from doing?
If you want to befriend your body, think of it as your most loving advocate, helping you become the happiest and most fulfilled individual possible. Be gentle with it. Honor it. Engage in conversation with it. Make feeling good a priority.
Original by Caroline Zwick, Nov 2013.
For more than 15 years, John Picard has employed Massage Therapy– the arts of Shiatsu, Aromatherapy and Sports Massage, Tantra, and Reiki in particular – to help his clients feel better.