Domestic Violence and dealing with hardness in our lives – Esoteric Connective Tissue Therapy

 By Simon Voysey, B. Ed Human Movement, Dip RM, Esoteric Healing Practitioner, Sydney, Australia.

I was watching a TV program the other night and there was a panel of four, three women and one man, discussing domestic violence. Asked at the end of the discussion to state, in their opinion, what was the most important thing to tackle about domestic violence, the man replied that men needed to get rid of the rough and tough image of what it was to be a man.  As the camera panned back to the women, all three were nodding implicitly.

Addressing the rough and tough image around being a man is a key factor in understanding domestic violence. And one very important aspect of this is the hardness that men develop in their bodies and the insensitivity that goes with it.  Men are conditioned from a very young age to be tough, to not cry, to be insensitive and physiologically this means holding hardness in their bodies.  


To explain this in physiological terms is very simple. The hardness is like a bracing in the body, which occurs when we take on the image of being tough. When you are told to ‘suck it up’ or not be ‘a sissy’, or ‘a girl’, there is literally a tensing in the body and over time, the hurts that could easily be released by expressing how you feel and perhaps crying, instead become a held tension in muscles, connective tissue and even deeper in organs. The deeper hardness in organs means a more entrenched hardness in the body, which affects its natural harmonious function and flow, and the resulting physiological and emotional dysfunction can lead to the body becoming run down, to depression and to other forms of mental and physical illness.

Emotional dysfunction means living in reaction. This means reacting way out of proportion when feeling threatened, even by someone who is not physically threatening you. Such ‘irrational’ behaviour goes hand in hand with hardness in the body, which can lead to people being abusive, or accepting abuse, as well as being a factor in many other lifestyle choices that do not make sense such as emotional eating, alcohol and drug abuse, and indeed any other choice that can harm our bodies.


Our Connective Tissue

The very interesting relationship between the hardness held in our bodies and our behaviour, highlights the importance of understanding the role our connective tissue plays in our physiological and psychological health and wellbeing.  The role assigned to our connective tissue in modern medical science is of protection and support of other body tissue.  The fact that it wraps around muscles, joints and bones, all of our blood vessels, nerves and organs, plus throughout our central nervous system, the spine and brain, indicates how important connective tissue is to our general wellbeing.  In its role as a protective layer of our body, it is very sensitive to impending hurts.

At any time we feel an insult, our connective tissue contracts, influencing the muscles, blood vessels, nerves or organs it is supporting.  The hardness held in our bodies significantly relates to how the connective tissue acts like an ‘armour’ and as muscle fascia, it relates to the hardness in muscles often seen in men as ‘beneficial’ – according to the model of how ‘a man’ should be.  Yet this kind of hardness does not release as a muscle should, when not actively being used.  It stays tense, and so, the whole sensitivity of our awareness to our world becomes distorted and dulled, just as if we were wearing armour all day long.

Esoteric Connective Tissue Therapy

Through the amazing work of Serge Benhayon and Kate Greenaway – a physiotherapist who has worked in close relationship with Serge for many years – a form of healing called Esoteric Connective Tissue Therapy  (ECTT) has evolved.  This therapy knows and understands our body and the role of connective tissue to such a deep extent, that it recognises how very subtle movements applied to the body causes a physiological and energetic shift in people’s bodies, like a ‘ripple effect’, where the hardness can release markedly even in one session.  ECTT is a very gentle therapy performed lying on a massage table, which has been found to be great for the relief of pain. Yet more importantly in the context of this article, any one who receives ECTT gets to feel the hardness held in their body and how unnatural it is compared to the natural sensitivity and tenderness that we can surrender to in treatments.

My personal experience of ECTT and Esoteric Healing began several years ago when as a fitness and Yoga instructor I considered myself to be very strong, fit and flexible. Through these deeply connected modalities I became aware of the hardness in my body and this awareness was integral to how I changed my exercise and Yoga practice. The sensitivity I reclaimed meant listening to my body and exploring a totally different relationship with it to avoid any insult I was causing my body through intense, forceful or jarring exercise or stretching.


This increased sensitivity and awareness has also become a whole new foundation for the way I live and brought a new more gentle quality to everything I do, which has greatly increased my level of vitality and my sense of wellbeing. Letting go of hardness and honouring my deeper sensitivity has led to a tender, loving way of being that has positively affected my whole life, including all of my relationships.

The extension of ECTT into everyday life is choosing to be sensitive and gentle with ourselves, rather than tough and hard in how we live our lives. This includes the choice to be present with our bodies and to the constant signals they offer us about our posture, the quality of our movement and how we relate to people. These choices can be easily made when we begin to feel and appreciate what a difference it makes to our energy levels, our self-confidence and our overall quality of life.

1,366 thoughts on “Domestic Violence and dealing with hardness in our lives – Esoteric Connective Tissue Therapy

  1. Our bodies are meant to flow and move with lightness and grace – a grace beyond what we would normally consider. That is what is Esoteric Connective Tissue Therapy opens us up to – to move normally again in the truest sense that we can – that is, to move with God in our veins and our connective tissue. It is how our bodies are designed to be.

  2. Connective Tissue Therapy is one of the most powerful therapies for the physical body that exists on earth. The body loves it! You can feel it unwinding all the complicated and twisted ways that we have moved and set in our tissues, and releasing us back into the universal Love we come from – and it is such a non-invasive technique. One day the whole world will benefit from this amazing modality.

  3. Thank you Simon for your insightful blog on Esoteric Connective Tissue Therapy and its relationship to releasing tension that may contribute to abusive behaviour. There is much food for thought here in this sharing and your own experiences.

  4. One day we will all know that there is far more to us than a thinking head and a functional body. We are multidimensional divine beings choosing to live with a fraction of our innate awareness. The state of our world and all our issues reflect this discrepancy. And our body in its true expression is one of the greatest gifts and support for us to return to the glory and grace which we walked away from.

    All Universal Medicine modalities offer powerful support for returning to our true expression on all levels.

  5. Having come under attack recently I can so relate to the hardening of the body as it contracts and protects itself from further onslaught. I have also wanted to protect myself by eating more and more filling foods and have found myself more withdrawn than usual. Looking back I can see how I have let the world impose on me and soldiered on, when I really needed to rest and recuperate. In being so tired I have less energy to deal with what is coming at me, it can become a vicious circle that only I can break and opportunities for this change keep coming till I say yes and realign consistently with an energy I know to be true.

  6. Letting go of the hardness and long held tension in our bodies through Esoteric Connective Tissue Therapy is indeed a blessing, it is an amazing, simple and loving modality.

  7. ‘Emotional dysfunction means living in reaction’ – This is a great definition Simon, and actually makes a lot of sense. If we were to address emotional distress by looking at how we respond to situations, and by creating more space to deal with things instead of going into a state of overwhelm then mental health and stress would become much more manageable.

  8. until I experienced Esoteric connective tissue therapy I didn’t realise how normalised I had made hardness and rigid movements in my body – it was such a blessing to deepen my rest and let go.

  9. We don’t realise the extent that our physical movements and thought/consciousness have on our energy levels and vitality and since receiving Esoteric therapies I can vouch for the fact that my mind has become much clearer, focussed and having the type of thoughts that I would like to have , and this is a direct correlation to the work done on the body – as Plato once said: The part can never be well unless the whole is well.

  10. “Yet this kind of hardness does not release as a muscle should, when not actively being used. It stays tense, and so, the whole sensitivity of our awareness to our world becomes distorted and dulled, just as if we were wearing armour all day long.” I can so relate to this Simon, even when I have recognised I have hardened, the hardness does not just disappear. This is where Esoteric Connective Tissue Therapy is a great support, when I surrender to the modality, it is amazing how the hardness falls away.

  11. It is so sad that men believe they have to ‘suck it up’ and harden in order to be considered a man. They already are men, there is no need to prove anything, and men are entitled to their feelings just as much as women. Somewhere we have gone very very wrong, and the effects of this are far reaching as stated here. To begin to bring an end to domestic violence we need to start with honouring and appreciating men’s natural tenderness – a quality that is super lovely and super important. Without this we will continue to be lost.

  12. We are raised to believe that boys are tougher than girls, that this is just the way they are, they don’t feel as much pain and if they do, they don’t like to show it. I wonder though how young our boys are making the decision to suppress or alter their true feelings? I know if a baby girl and a baby boy bumped their heads they would both cry but as they grow up, something changes along the way. As they become more aware of what is going on around them, what’s on TV, what the teachers says, what Mum and Dad say, what books say and what other children at school tell them, they are usually left with two choices. Hide their sensitivity and “fit in” or take it like a man, be vulnerable, cry when it hurts and bare all and be told your gay, a wimp or a pussy.
    We have been so busy “fighting” for women’s rights I feel we have missed a huge part of the puzzle, Men have hardened to imagine they think they need to be in order to be liked, in order to be a “man”. I am so glad there are modalities being introduced that support men back to the true tender place they naturally had as babies.

  13. I love that you have exposed the hardness that can be chosen but that also can be let go of when one’s sensitivity is honoured and tenderness embraced. Too many people, both men and women alike, have subscribed to the former at great harm to themselves and others, yet it is the latter that is our true nature and the foundation of true and loving relationships that could never tolerate abuse let alone participate in it.

  14. ‘Emotional dysfunction means living in reaction. This means reacting way out of proportion when feeling threatened, even by someone who is not physically threatening you. Such ‘irrational’ behaviour goes hand in hand with hardness in the body, which can lead to people being abusive, or accepting abuse, as well as being a factor in many other lifestyle choices that do not make sense such as emotional eating, alcohol and drug abuse, and indeed any other choice that can harm our bodies.’

    Simon, this is a fabulous series of understandings you are sharing with us here. I feel as if I have just reached a new level of clarity about my reaction to life and people is general… it’s all been a bit scary, I’ve hardened as a result, then been oblivious to the abusive choices I’ve made in disconnection from my essential tenderness.

  15. ECTT is a grace to humanity as through this modality we are given the opportunity to experience how it is to live without the tension the body holds because of all the emotions and hurts we buried, sometimes deep, within the body because of us choosing to do so. But the problem is that when the body hardens we are less able to feel the precise cause of this hardening, but are left with a general feeling of unease instead without any clue of its root cause. ECTT on the other hand lets us to feel this root cause again, from which we can let it go and free the body from this burden.

  16. I’ve just completed a ECTT course and wow, I was blown away by the depth I was taken to in my body. It’s fast becoming my chosen modality.

  17. I think addressing the ‘rough and tough’ ideal that is often imposed on men is really important and so is addressing the lack of worth or value women often hold for their body and who they are – so that it becomes very natural for all to not accept abuse and in that help everyone to step up (or back we could say) to living with the kind of respect and love that is actually natural to us.

  18. We have been sold a picture of what fitness involves and also being a man or a woman. These pictures fail to acknowledge the tenderness and absolute harmony that we can hold and can bring to life and to each other.

  19. Within our day to day lives our connective tissue is a part of our body that we have completely underestimated and disregarded for too long – and I for one would love to learn much more about its quality and function.

    1. Spot on Suse! I was amazed to learn about the importance and delicacy of the connective tissue and how it is everywhere in our body! Around all our organs, surrounding the muscles, all the tendons and ligaments and around our blood vessels, etc etc – we cannot escape its presence, and hence everything we do and how we do it impacts on the health of our connective tissue! What an amazing responsibility!

  20. The hardness in our bodies did not really mean that much to me until I started to be more aware of my own movements and discomfort within my own body. And what I now observe about people is that you can physically see and feel how restrictive their movements have become, and that, how over time they have changed the way they walk and hold themselves.

  21. Simon, I love what you have shared here about the importance of men allowing themselves to drop the hard and tough image that they are so conditioned to carry from a young age. There is of course another facet to consider, and this is to do with women being supportive of this. When a man drops the tough and hard exterior, they are far more vulnerable, and it is about supporting this vulnerability. However, in today’s society we find a lot of women drawn to the tough and hardened images of men – so we could ask, are women in some ways driving this too, and not just the men?

  22. I never really considered that those behaviours we may have such as emotional eating can come from a hardness, but it makes sense … for if we harden we can foist any manner of abuse on our bodies and on others … we literally become desensitised and in this state all of us are capable of abuse. So back to the hardness then, the path back is to feel it and here Esoteric Connective Tissue Therapy is amazing, so gentle and simple and yet it allows us to feel how our bodies are and we are being with them and thus how we live. It’s an amazingly supportive path back to the sensitivity we all are.

  23. I love this modality and the way your whole body surrenders and lets go during a session and you feel so amazing after because all of that tension that you have held is gone.

  24. So helpful to view hardness from the initial contraction to then exploring the impact that this has on the body and also on our awareness meaning that we can continuously build on it and shut down our innate sensitivity. Thus we need to review how we are with all boys and support them to reconnect to their sensitivity rather than just focussing on the ones that end up committing domestic violence which is the extreme end of spectrum of behaviours.

  25. I don’t remember seeing connective tissue being broken down in this way and I understand its role and things around it more. I have had Esoteric Connective Tissue Therapy many times and it’s out of this world in how it makes you feel and now reading this article I can understand why more. The therapy works directly with the body from its natural and true state out and so it connects you deeply with what it is like to move without the hardness. I can feel how my movements have changed even now with this understanding as the way I move can be either a session to take me back to how I naturally am or my movements can walk me away. It sounds simple and yet the truth of it is so profound and my movements reflect this and a therapy that walks or moves with you whether you are in or out of a sessions, it’s great value in this way.

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