The intimacy of pain and grieving
Pain can manifest in our body as well as in our brains. Grief can be held in our body, our muscles can get tense, sore and fatigued.
I recently conducted a beat down on a wonderful and trusting client. The previous few months have dealt him a lot of grief and in previous sessions, he has held a great deal of tensions in between his shoulders which I have flogged and whipped and painfully massaged, which has, according to him, helped to release the tension stored there (he also took my advice and now sees a physio fairly regularly).
This session, he wanted his first beat down experience. Perhaps when you think of beat downs you think of slapping and punching, there was indeed, plenty of both of these in our time together. There was, however, a plethora of intimacy.
I began on his chest, where I punched and slapped his pectoral muscles. I stared into his eyes as I did this. I held my head close to his between the punches. I breathed with him as he deeply exhaled. We both giggled at some of the noises he made when I finished my ‘round of 5 punches’. There was occasional bitings. There was lots of combined deep breathing. He was attached to a cross so we didn’t need to be as concerned if his knees would give way at any point. They buckled a little towards the end and I held him once the crescendo of my fists had dissipated.
We moved onto his back, specifically looking at his rhomboid and shoulder blade area. I warmed the area up with some slaps, bringing blood to the skin (also the sound is simply wonderful). The punching began soon after he was suitably reddened. I would deliver some punches to him and then hold him, wrapping my hands around his reddened pectorals or one single arm which gently touched his neck.
On to the buttocks, I had no idea that the buttocks was an area which was so sensitive to him. There were many more winces, squeals and snorts. I enjoyed being able to spank him a great deal, he reddens wonderfully. I provided far fewer punches and slaps to much more bodily response from him (which was good as my arms were getting tired at this point as I had been climbing earlier that day). Biting produced the most excellent squeals and screams and we ended with a further crescendo of punches and slaps.
I had a sofa behind me and I pulled him onto my lap and from here I could hear the tears escaping him. He cried, he released, some of the grief bubbled out and over and I held him as these emotions and sensations arose. I felt so grateful to be able to be there, holding him, in his moment of grief, so glad that my actions could allow him to get closer to those sensations and so privileged that he was willing to trust me and be vulnerable (not only to try a beatdown for the first time, but to allow the tears).
Thank you for trusting me.