Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Teaching Presence During Bodywork

Today Ryan and I co-taught Swedish Massage. The class was about blending energy work with massage. We decided not to really teach much in terms of energy work technique (the 200-hour Heartworks Approach Program does a lot of that), but to instead focus on the quality of bring presence, attention, and awareness to the session. It was a wonderful day in the classroom and I felt incredibly grateful to have participated in the day. We started out with Ryan describing how he had grown from a newbie at massage therapy into a practitioner who blended energy awareness into each of his massages. His story was quite lovely and I was inspired by his relating that the changes in his bodywork came from changing himself. I spoke a bit about why paying attention to energy during a session is beneficial (something they hear from me a lot in neuromuscular therapy class, but not with the same clarity and intention). We gave some tips on how to handle big energy when it's encountered during a session and can feel distressing (like nausea, dizziness, etc.). And then I gave a short demonstration where I showed how I connect in with my client and then proceed with the bodywork.

We gave simple guidelines for doing the trades which were this:

Practice "Routine" for Integrating Energy/Presence into Massage

1. Client sets intent.

2. Decide if client starts prone or supine.

3. Do a series of holds while listening to the client's body.

4. Follow your intuition with the bodywork that ensues.

The students were absolutely amazing in the bodywork they did today. It was beautiful to watch. At times there was so much love in the room that my heart felt the fullness and hugeness of it all. Afterward as we shared in closing circle, one student remarked that doing this type of bodywork would really make a difference in the world. I think we were all struck with how deeply we can connect and touch one another. The tools of presence and awareness and allowing ourselves to trust our intuition are powerful.

© 2009, Rebecca Mauldin, all rights reserved


Alexandra said...

My favorite aspect of massage school was learning how to have presence whether it be in my life or in my practive. Thank you for that. I look forward to coming back to Durango some day in the future to join the Heartworks program!!

Rebecca Mauldin said...

Hi Alex! I look forward to it too. Thanks for the comment! Rebecca