Using ‘Energy’ in Massage Therapy – Part 2

As the last blog suggested, there is a singularity of thought and purpose that is characteristic of creating effective energy, and it begins as an internal process/phenomenon on the part of the bodyworker. Here we will look at the energetic interaction between the therapist and client, and how to use that for therapeutic effect.

There are two aspects to the therapist’s attitude toward the client that come strongly into play, and they are acknowledgement and respect.

One of the most satisfying feelings we experience as human beings is the deep satisfaction we get from being acknowledged, from being recognized. This should come into play from the very beginning of the client/therapist relationship: the first contact and initial interview. It is a product of becoming intrigued by all of the client’s complaints and comments. Dismiss nothing nor downplay anything the client has to say. Rather, encourage the client to go into detail. Most often, details suggest approach options and possible root causes, and so is at the same time in the therapist’s best interest.

Acknowledgement puts the client at more ease. It honors the client’s circumstances and with that will come some degree of relief for them. This will in turn encourage a parasympathetic response on their part, and that response is essential for a healing energetic field.

Acknowledgement and respect go hand-in-hand. In your attitude toward the client, see him/her as a success story. The client, and their body, has done what they’ve had to to get through life. And so far they’ve made it. I think of everything going on in a client’s body that causes pain, discomfort, or dysfunction as ‘badges of honor’.

Another facet of purposeful energy is that the therapist have no judgment of the client and the client’s experiences, even to the point of having no opinion. Judgment never works: when you think about it, judgment says, “I know everything about you and your circumstances,” and that could not be. Judgment always assumes, and we know where that goes. Worse for the therapist, judgment narrows one’s ‘vision’, one’s perspective, and that impairs the therapeutic potential. Accept the client with an open mind, and heart, and listen with your ears and then with your hands. You are hearing and feeling part of their life story.

I like the way the book Conversations With God put it: ‘life is simple for spirit, but it’s not easy’. No one here is having an easy time of life, not with any consistency anyway. Life is often very difficult and it takes a toll on the body. Addressing that is, of course, our job. Show honor and respect for the client’s experience (you may be one of the few who do) and the stage is set for purposeful, healing energy.

4 comments on “Using ‘Energy’ in Massage Therapy – Part 2

  1. Chuck,
    great to hear your words again that I got back i WMTI. you are so right about energy and intention in a session. A simple version that came to me is to let a totally nonverbal conversation begin. I set the intention of “What do you want me to do?” Then I just let the ideas come to me and like you said, get out of the way and respond to the ideas as you have them. It’s hard to hold the focus, but when I do, clients always feel the difference and I feel much better knowing I gave the best i could do. Thanks for writing the blog. You’re a great therapist and a great teacher!

    • Great hearing from you, Andy, and thanks for writing, “It’s hard to hold the focus…”. That’s true for most of us, tho it gets easier with time (practice, practice, practice). It’s amazing how clear it almost always is to the client when you zone in your energy.

  2. Well put, Chuck.

    Eventually, someone will ask “your opinion” about something. As such, they are- essentially- requesting a judgment on your part. I will try to put forth options (of treatment, for example) or simply differing views and turning it back to the client, asking which THEY feel is more helpful, more in keeping with their feelings, etc., taking any of my judgment out of the picture.

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