Last week I was chatting to you about how it works when you’re with me in person – when we can get hands on with all the wonders and quirks you have going on. But at times, getting my mitts physically on you is complicated – either by geography or y’know…stuff.
So, what do we do with your gunk then? Leave you sitting in it? Nope. Not at all. We get creative, we get curious, and we get on line.
One of the things that has always surprised my clients when they first come to me is the consultation. I ask a LOT of questions.
Why? Because there’s always a story beneath the story. Even in the early days as a pure massage therapist, it was quickly evident that your life had a lot to do with why you had shown up to work with me.
For example, neck pain is often connected to more than your neck, other factors influence it, such as: how you sit, how tight you are in your hips, the way you drive, or how your boss makes you feel at work.
Mind and Body are connected. What you feel emotionally and mentally drives how you feel physically, and how you feel physically affects how you perceive your Self and your actions.
Many times when I’m walking through the park, I’ll be idley assessing posture (I hardly even notice I do it, it’s such a habit) I do it in the studio too, and in pretty much every situation – including zoom calls. So as we talk, I’ll be picking up on the nuances and tells you don’t even notice your dropping.
Remember me likening my work to a treasure hunt? Yup, that. I’m just following your trail.
I use a combination of tools in our virtual sessions: firstly, I’m curious about why you’re here, what are we working on? What’s the gunk (although, as you’ll see from the case study, oftentimes It’s not what you expect).
Then, I’ll probably want to see you stood up and moving around (unless I know you in the real world well).
Now, here come the questions – we’re going in deeper. I’m going to ask you about what’s going on in your life, your body – all the time, I’ll be watching you like a hawk (sorry, not sorry, you’re fascinating after all).
From what you’re saying and what I’m seeing we’ll go spelunking. Sometimes, I’ll show you some hands on self care – we play along together. Other times, there’ll be an energetic glitch and we’ll test and query what’s going on there – cleaning up the energetic gunk, reframing the situation and responses, coming up with an action plan of your next steps.
Wild isn’t it!?!
Here’s a case study to illuminate you further.
Helen, is a specialist massage therapist – also a myofascial release practitioner. She’s been a client for years, up until now though, we haven’t been virtually hands on.
From a therapist to therapist perspective, I understand the demands of the job. Therapists spend long hours stood up, leaning in and over, whilst ensuring we don’t lean on our clients. It’s a common trait that we get tight across the front of our chests, and end up with grumpy necks and shoulders as the muscles get themselves into a pushme-pullyou knot.
Historically, it’s Helen’s left shoulder that gets the grouch on, but over lockdown it was happy – no muscular disgruntlement to be felt. On return to work the shoulder became a bit shouty – we worked hands on, suggested some self care and on she went.
A fortnight or so later. And her shoulder is back to being an arse. So we connected virtually. After discussing the muscular nature of it, I can sense that there’s ‘more’ going on. Helen gives me permission to test, and using the Chinese 5 element system off to go on a wild ride, chasing down the energy.
The Chinese 5 element system works like this: Find the element, identify the organ the system associates to it, work our way through the energetic beliefs attached to the organ, settle on the corresponding emotion/belief and clear the gunk.
What came up was interesting. We follow the trail and come to ‘Pissed off’ (My chart is an interpretation by Dane Thomas). It kind of felt like pulling out the stopper on a bottle of fizz. Ha! Can’t say I expected the response (but I’m no longer surprised). Turns out a new practitioner in the same building as Helen was providing some energetic provocation.
Okay, so now we need to work out why it’s causing a stir: could it be that the new practitioner doesn’t share the same ethos? No. Could it be her clients? Nope not that. On we go, until we get to the practitioner’s small dog with the squeaky toy?
Ahhh now, we’re getting somewhere! Testing on and chatting it through, it becomes apparent that the newbie was maybe not being as sound considerate as she could be.
We clear the energetic gunk (suspend your disbelief my friend – you can’t see electricity either, but you’re sure that’s there!) and move on to finding a strategy that could make things more harmonious – politely asking the practitioner to close her treatment room door when she’s with clients. Sometimes the solutions are simple, but we get so caught up in frustration that it helps to work it through. I also suggest simple self care stretches and trigger point work to help ground the change into the body.
And the shoulders? By the end of the session Helen reports they feel lighter. The next day I receive a text saying they feel “completely normal”.