Heart Beats


Are you on the same “wave-length” as your spouse?

Shlomo HaMelech says “there is a time and season for everything.” He speaks about the rhythms of the world and the rhythms inside of us. Everything has its time and the rhythm/pulse or wave is what brings us to these times. We ride the wave up and down; the pulse expands and contracts. When we ride the wave, things are a lot smoother. We’re not riding against the current. People have these same waves or pulses physically as well as emotionally, psychologically and spiritually. And so do relationships themselves. Nothing is static; there is always movement both for each individual in a relationship and for the relationship as a unit. The individual pulse of a person affects the whole unit, and the pulse of the whole affects each individual part.

Being able to feel or be in touch with someone’s pulse is essentially the same as being on the same wave-length as someone. In order to read or feel a pulse, one must be very sensitive and open to flow with it. If a person is too focused on his ego, he will not be able to feel the pulse. The pulse is still there, but he has no idea what it’s doing or saying and therefore could end up going against it. Many times in a relationship, a person will say or do something, and the other person says to him/herself “where did that come from”? They weren’t listening; they weren’t focused on where the other is at. Focusing and riding the rhythm of a spouse is about being aware of and respecting where they are at and supporting it. Are they in an expansive movement or a contractive movement?

Let’s do a listening exercise. We will feel three different pulses or waves in the body. First we will feel the heart beat, then the respiratory rate or the breath, and then the cranial rhythm. Try feeling the heart beat at the radial artery, which is found close to the inside of your wrist near your thumb. Your spouse’s elbow should be bent with the palm of the hand upward. Use your middle and index fingers to feel for the radial artery. You should feel a pulse. Notice what the pulse feels like. Is it strong or weak? Does it miss a beat? If you want you, you can count the beats for a full minute. A normal adult heart beats somewhere between 60 and 100 beats a minute for adults.

Next, feel the breath. The easiest way to do this is to place your hands on the chest or rib-cage. You can also try to listen from the shoulders. You can check what you’re feeling by looking at the rise and fall of the chest. You can see the body breathing, so you can check to see if what you are feeling is the same thing. The normal breathing rate is between 15-20 breaths a minute, although a person deeply relaxed usually takes around 8 breaths a minute. Notice what’s happening with the breath. Is it a full and long breath or short and small? Or something else?

The cranial pulse is a more subtle pulse which arises out of the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord). It is said that it is the pulse of the soul manifesting physically. Feeling this pulse can be a very powerful experience for both the person laying down and the person listening! Being such a subtle pulse, one must be very quiet and non-intrusive to feel it. Very little pressure should be used when placing the hands on the body, about five grams or less (the weight of a nickel). It can be felt anywhere on the body, but the easiest place to feel it is through the bones of the head. With your spouse laying down on his/her back, place hands on both sides of the head like you’re holding a ball. Just remember: very light pressure. Quiet down inside, and ask non-verbally to feel the cranial rhythm. This “asking” helps to focus the mind. You should feel a very subtle filling and emptying as if the ball gets a little bigger and smaller. The normal rate is between 6-12 pulses a minute. Notice if it feels weak or strong. Does it feel the same on both sides of the head? Can you tell how many times it fills and empties in a minute?

These exercises not only give you excellent listening skills but are a great way to spend quality time with your spouse in an intimate way which requires 100% attention of both partners. Both partners learn how to give and receive in a very down-to-earth kind of way.

About Matt Gleicher

Matt Gleicher is an accomplished Massage Therapist, certified Craniosacral Therapist and Myofascial Release practitioner. He currently runs a private practice, Jerusalem Massage, where he helps people with acute and chronic pain and stress issues, as well as babies and children with developmental disabilities. After earning a degree in Philosophy and learning for two years at Yeshivat Darche Noam in Jerusalem, Matt was inspired to enter into the healing arts and learn massage therapy. During this time Matt began to study Myofascial Release with John F. Barnes, PT and Craniosacral Therapy at the Upledger Institute, which is where he discovered the true power and healing potential of hands. Matt also has a passion for teaching people to use Intentioned Touch as a vital communication tool to enrich their relationships. Many people work with married couples to improve and enrich their marriages, but Matt noticed that there is no one working on the level of touch. Touch is an extremely important and necessary skill in every marriage and Matt has a special, enjoyable, non-intimidating, non-judgmental, and modest way of teaching Intentioned Touch and Massage Techniques to couples. Feel free to reach Matt at: jerusalemmassage.com
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