I’ve been reading a few blog posts lately about the science/art conflict in massage therapy. I remain confused about why there is conflict at all. I look at science and art together as the Reese’s cup of the idea world — good apart, but addictively delicious when combined. Two great thoughts that think great together.
This came to mind again today when I saw a few Facebook posts showing results of some right-brained/left-brained quiz. As I am a sucker for a good quiz, I took it, and found my results were exactly in the middle. Unscientific, but every time I have taken one of these quizzes, it comes out the same. Exactly in the middle. Maybe I can’t favor art or science because my brain abhors extremes.
Or maybe science and art are more delicious together than separate. I call myself a “science monkey,” I warn my students against talking about toxins, I have multiple Google Scholar alerts. And yet — Every time I lay my hands on someone I think to myself: “This is (name.) She needs (compassion/peace/comfort/whatever.)” If I don’t do this the massage suffers. When I am in the middle of a massage, especially an oncology massage, I feel a tight circle around myself and my client which physically blocks outside noises, thoughts and feelings. I describe it as that TV blurry fade, only it just fades out background chatter.
I want to live in my Reese’s cup world, where creative combination is the way to practice, not willful exclusion. Open, but not gullible. This is how we create new ideas, new methodologies, new relationships. Let’s sit in a balcony and let those chocolate bars fall.