As massage therapists, we know that there really isn’t any firm boundary between mental or emotional stress and physical tension, so when we invite clients into our practice for treatment, we need to take care that our space is not only physically clean and welcoming, but also emotionally tidy.
Larisa Goldin, CEO of Dreamclinic shares, “I’ve always used a funny little mental trick, a visualization. For me it became a routine and seemed to work quite effectively, in that no matter what kind of mood I was in, I have always been able to enter my neutral sacred space of healing once in the massage room with my client. I picture a string or stream of golden healing light coming through into the top of my head and flowing through my hands to the client. It’s like an energy moving through me, nothing getting stuck within me or drained from me. You could call it an energetic alignment.”
While that particular technique may or may not resonate for you, the trick is to find what does. You need to be able to leave your own stresses and frustrations at the door to ensure that you are free to do good work for your client, as well as prevent yourself from taking on any of their tension, which can really wear you out, if not burn you out. There are as many ways to draw that gate across your healing space as there are modalities, therapists, and massage techniques combined. If you haven’t found yours yet, you could try:
- Meditation: Either listening to a guided meditation in a recording or an app, or taking a few minutes for silent Zen meditation, will enable you to bring yourself into the here and now.
- Deep Breathing: Even just a few long, slow, deep conscious breaths can help you lay your troubles aside for a while and clear your mind for what’s ahead.
- Ritual: Whatever your faith tradition or spirituality, you can incorporate aspects of it into a brief ritual to guide yourself into your healing mode.
- Affirmation: Either while looking at yourself in a mirror or gazing at the sky, repeating a chosen memorized passage, written either by you or by someone else, can reinforce the clarity of your intention.
What other techniques have you found that help you to keep your practice emotionally tidy?