Massage & Bodywork

SEPTEMBER | OCTOBER 2020

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90 m a s s a g e & b o d y w o r k s e p t e m b e r / o c t o b e r 2 0 2 0 technique ENERGY WORK Tapping into the Wood Wide Web By Cyndi Dale How can a bit of tree knowledge assist your bodywork, help your clients, and even bolster people struggling to cope with COVID-19? To explore these questions, I'm going to approach the topic energetically through physical and subtle energy. In examining the physical science of trees, I was surprised by the research I found. Like you, I was raised to believe that a tree is an independent ecosystem. Not so! Trees are actually part of a "wood wide web" that shares information, water, and nutrients underground. Those with fused roots communicate directly. Others chat via mycorrhiza, symbiotic fungi that grow between tree roots. 1 Same-species trees are particularly communal, participating frequently in exchanges called "kin recognition" to look for each other. Yet, they also form alliances with trees of different species. What type of information is food for fodder? Distress signals, for one. Yes, trees will warn each other about the presence of drought, disease, and even insects. In return for serving as middlemen, the fungi consume about 30 percent of the sugar that trees photosynthesize from light. Trees also communicate through their leaves, detecting scent signals even while busily tasting whatever comes their way. For example, they can distinguish deer and caterpillar saliva. ("Watch out!" trees tell each other as their leaves are being munched on.) We've also discovered that trees emit and detect sounds, especially through their roots. Internally, trees busily share all they are receiving through chemical, electrical, and hormonal indicators that seem very mammalian. In fact, trees are actually more sensitive than animals. For example, the root apex of a plant or tree has the capacity to detect 20 different physical and chemical parameters, including gravity, light, magnetic fi eld pathogens, and more. 2 So far, one grand takeaway is that trees are communal creatures. But they also assist all living creatures, including humans. As an example, forest areas are ripe with negative ions, which are good for our health. Negative ions are atoms or groups of atoms that have gained an electron because of environmental forces, such as sunlight or moving air. Humans thrive in a balance of negative and positive ions; the latter

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