Honolulu massage therapist Charisma Koffman has introduced a new type of bodywork called “Sarga Bodywork,” which puts a new spin on an ancient technique. It’s a barefoot massage, but it differs from other techniques in that it incorporates a silk cloth to let the therapist provide deeper pressure and a stronger connection to the client.
The technique is performed by wrapping the cloth around the massage table and the therapist’s neck, shoulders, and arms. The tension from that bind gives the therapist stability, which allows more specific targeting of the muscles. Furthermore, pulling up on the cloth creates tension that translates to deeper pressure. The cloth replaces what normally would be overhead bars for support.
The word sarga can mean a type of tapestry in Spanish, but also has Sanskrit roots as well, Koffman explains. In that language, it refers to a creation.
“This is deeply meaningful to me as a therapist because I use ‘Sarga Bodywork’ to create a healing energy for my client,” Koffman said. “There is normally an exchange of energy between therapist and client, and here, it’s amplified because the sarga literally wraps us together.”
Koffman is one of only a dozen certified “Sarga Bodywork” providers in the world. The technique is so new, its founders only began offering courses this year. Koffman offers “Sarga Bodywork” to clients in Kaimuki at BAM Body and Mind Studio.
Koffman has a passion for working with people in a healing capacity. She earned her massage therapy license in 2012 from the Thai Massage School of Chiang Mai, where she underwent an intense, year-long training to learn traditional Thai massage and Thai foot reflexology. She loved the experience so much, she continued her education and became certified as an instructor. Now she is excited to show clients the healing powers of “Sarga Bodywork.”
“The body is a vessel,” Koffman continues. “I am honored to work with people to help them find better health, both in the physical form as well as the spiritual one.”
ABOUT SARGA BODYWORK
State of Hawaii licensed massage therapists Jivatma Massageur and Daniel Tsukayama developed Sarga Bodywork as a practical matter. As they explain on their website, “While we love the bold, steady contact of massaging with feet, this type of work often requires that the therapist holds on to overhead support such as a rope or bar for balance. Over time, the combination of engaging the arms overhead while looking down with the head can make for a real pain in the neck!” They now offer training courses around the Islands.
Photo courtesy iMages by Ryan Sakamoto.