Monday, June 30, 2008

The 5A's: Five Tools to Facilitate Massage Ethics

I just got back from a quick trip to Pagosa Springs, CO, to
present an Ethics class to the Western Colorado Chapter of the American Massage Therapy Association. It was a lot of fun and I appreciate the opportunity they gave me to speak on one of my favorite topics.

One of the things we discussed in this class was the 5A's from the work of David Richo: Attention, Acceptance, Appreciation, Affection, and Allowing. In his book, How to be an Adult in Relationships: The Five Keys to Mindful Loving, he discusses each of these in detail. It's a book I highly recommendto anyone interested in improving relationships and healing emotionally. Or in our case, studying ethics.

Richo tells us the 5A's are essential for healthy human development. They help us grow, mature, follow our dreams, and trust others and the world around us. They are also keys to being mindful and present.

He goes on to say if you have received (initially from your caregivers, but later in life from yourself) enough...
attention, it leads to self respect;
acceptance, it leads to a sense of being inherently good;
appreciation, it leads to self worth;
affection, it leads to feeling lovable;
allowing, it leads to the freedom to pursue our deepest needs, values, and wishes.

When we provide the 5As to ourselves, others people, and situations, we introduce a catalyst for transformation. Giving the 5A's is basically a practice of unconditional love.

This post is just to give an introduction to the 5A's. I haven't said much about the correlation between them and ethics. I'll have more to on that later, but in the meantime, please give your comments on how you see the two interrelated. (Thanks!)

Oh yeah, the photo is of a kayaker surfing at Corner Pocket in the Animas River, just 1/4 mile from the school. I thought it was appropriate for attention, acceptance, appreciation, affection and allowing--lessons of the river too!

© 2008, Rebecca Mauldin, All Rights Reserved

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Rebecca - I have never heard of the 5A's. How does a massage therapist use these tools when giving a massage ... and how does a recipient use them during a massage. In fact, in many ways, a massage is totally about the person getting the massage but sometimes, I have had negative thoughts about the person giving me the massage. Less now that I am older and just grateful to have the massage -- but it can creep in sometimes! Can the 5A's help with that? Stama