Tantric teachings and procedures, which include a tantric massage, have, for hundreds, if not thousands of years, been confined to India and Asian South and Far East region. In the recent century, however, they have made their way into the Western world – and increasingly into the western consciousness as well. Still, there is plenty of misconceptions as to its nature, history and purpose which this article aims to clarify.
Tantric massage is a branch of an ancient tree
While some enthusiasts insist that its tradition is over 5000 years old, the first literary references to what would later become tantra can be found in the Vedas, written most likely between 1500 and 1200 BC. The word “tantra” itself had multiple meanings associated with it throughout history – originally it meant “weave”, or “loom”, later it became “model, framework, doctrine or theory”. The yoga and ascetic / meditative practices that are related to it, however, are probably much older. Contemporary tantric massage, which you can try yourself, draws from this tradition, while incorporating some of the more modern phenomena of psychoanalysis and Western physiotherapy and sexual therapy. At is also good to mention that there is not a unifying doctrine, not a single “tantra”, rather a variety of schools and individual approaches.
Energy is central to the way tantra approaches the body
What these have in common, however, is the belief in the steady coursing of energy, both through the universe and through the human body and mind, which are, on a deeper level, connected with it. There are certain points on the human body, however, where the energy can become stuck and blocked, causing an imbalance and further complications. Or vice versa, outer complications, injuries, physical or mental trauma and negative thoughts can cause the energy flow to stall – which only exacerbates the problem. The aim of tantra is to provide your body a comprehensive treatment, and “repair” the energy flow to restore the balance again.
How big a role does sexuality play in this?
Its role is definitely important. Most of the tantric massages involve non-penetrative erotic stimulation to a degree, since many of our frustrations, complexes and energies are centred on our sexuality and neglecting this fact would simply lead to the massage being necessarily incomplete. However, cheap orgasm is not what this massage aims to achieve. Its aim is to arouse, but also control and guide the sexual energy towards a higher purpose. To work towards this goal, it utilises the technique known as “edging” – bringing you to the edge of orgasm without actually letting it conclude until the last moment. This is not only extremely pleasurable, but also teaches greater self-control and restraint, which will definitely come in handy even after this massage is over.
Erotic stimulation, edging – anything else?
Don’t be mistaken, it’s not all about erotic stimulation. There’s genuine massage therapy that will unknot your tired and sore muscles in the most gentle, sensual, yet methodical way. There’s also the meditative aspect, embodied by the correct breathing technique and sometimes even mantra chants, which are known bring about ecstatic-like states, clarity of mind and more. And finally, there is an emotive aspect to it, the experience of intimate and unconditional care being given and received. The implications ant transformative powers of tantra go far beyond the erotic, and can bring about profound changes to one’s life, especially when repeated multiple times!
The overall benefits of this procedure include, among others:
- Perfect muscle relaxation
- Stress relief & the regaining of mental balance
- Improved libido and sex life
- Boosted confidence
- Improved blood flow
Would you agree with the tantric premise of energy flow and interconnectedness of the individual with the whole, or do you subscribe to the more positivist outlook? How do you personally view the issue of eastern practices entering the mainstream? Discuss with others in the comments below!