“I’m just not sure if I’m doing the right thing,” she said, shrugging.
I thought for a moment, settling back into the couch. Then: “What’s the one thing you could do right now that would make you feel in control?”
“The beach.” A pause. “Salem. That would do it.”
“Okay,” I said. “You want to go?”
“Yes.” Then she did a double-take. “Wait; do you?”
I checked my watch. “It’s only 10:00 now. There’ll still be a bar open when we get there.”
Rubenfeld Synergy relies on gently shifting or pressing the subject’s body while they lay back. The subject describes how they feel while this goes on: what parts of their body are in contact with the table, how the realignment of weight affects the rest of their body, and so forth. It’s not a massage, or even acupressure. The subject has to remain present and vocal throughout.
It’s like assisted meditation. Constantly narrating how your body feels keeps you grounded in the present moment. You focus on sensations and abandon the stream of background chatter we all have in our heads. I came out of the session feeling the opposite of detached: very present, as if continually being told, “I’m standing, I’m walking, I’m sitting.” A very Zen type of concentration.
I wouldn’t ascribe any more mystical aspects to this than I would to meditation or massage. But it was interesting.