Continuing on from my "coming out" blog last week, I thought I might write about a few sessions I've had recently, just to give you an idea of how they differ from a typical massage treatment.
A client came in for her session and I could immediately see she was stressed and certainly not in the right head space to lie on the table to receive her manual lymphatic drainage for her lymphoedema arm. You could almost see the sparks firing off her - we've all felt that kind of energy when someone walks into a room. There was no point putting her on the table until she had been given the opportunity to vent and I didn't need to ask her any questions, she just let go. And I let her. She'd had her young supervisor at work suggest to her that she needed to be more resilient. My client had recently returned to the job having been working in another city and this was a new supervisor she had no history with. Resilience was this lady's middle name ... breast cancer, teenaged daughters, lymphoedema, working through treatment, recently broken wrist on the lymphoedema arm which triggered her lymphoedema which had been under control, still working through. You name it, she just kept going. Grrr.
After she vented I pulled out my trusty pyramid and "dinged" her. She took a massive breath in and her entire body let go and relaxed. A smile even appeared. Followed by "what is THAT"? I explained as best I could what I think happens when I strike the pyramid.
Now that she was more receptive I showed her the amazing garment I had ordered for her the previous week - the Mobiderm Autofit Sleeve. Her eyes lit up and she quickly put it on and said, "oh yes, I can wear this". So we left it on and I got her onto the table and started our manual lymphatic drainage session.
We talked while I worked and I got the impression that what the conversation with the supervisor had triggered was a feeling of unexpressed grief. I held onto that thought but not for long because a minute later she said, "I feel as if I was never allowed to grieve during my treatment because my daughter wouldn't let me, she would tell me to get over it" (or words to that effect, I can't remember exactly now). So the resilience comment took her right back to when she was in treatment and unable to express emotion.
This led to me asking her what tools she used when she was stressed ... meditation, deep breathing, mindfulness, tapping, going for a walk? She had a think and said she used to go to mindfulness classes and those were great. I suggested that she might find a mindfulness app and do it on her own and save some money and she remembered that she already had a number of them downloaded on her phone!
Next I asked her if she'd ever heard of tapping ... why yes she had, but hadn't done it for a long time. And bingo, I pointed her in the direction of some great YouTube videos to guide her through until she felt comfortable doing it on her own.
In between all this I had taken off her new garment and shown her the marks on her arm from where it had already started to work and she was amazed.
By this time, she was laughing and happy.
She went home in a totally different frame of mind to the one she came with - her arm feeling better and with her sleeve to wear at night while she slept and some ideas on how to help her manage her stress levels. For me, it's all about giving people tools to self-manage.
I even got a hug!
Book online here