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What I thought was a "normal" sensation for massage therapists is turning out to be not-so-normal. Right after school, I began working at a spa. The more I practiced, the more I found myself "listening" to my client's bodies. To my astonishment, they would tell me exactly what they needed, and my hands would just naturally follow some sort of flow.
If I had any wandering thoughts, like thinking about what I was doing later that night or over the weekend, I would lose my concentration and the flow would be broken. The same could be said if I had a chatty client. In my head, I would sort of tell the client "shhhh", because I couldn't hear their body properly.
I have asked other therapists if they experience the same things, and surprisingly I get a lot of funny looks :( I didn't want to toot my own horn and call myself "gifted", but this doesn't seem to be as normal an occurrence as I originally thought.
My question here is, what is it exactly that I'm doing? Is there a specific modality I should look into? Reiki, polarity, shiatsu...? Also, I find that some days I can tap into this fairly easily, and other days I struggle intensely. My clients can feel the difference between the two, so I feel like I let them down when I don't deliver a spirited massage. I meditate, rest and ground myself between each client, but some days it just doesn't work. Is there something else I should do?
I also feel this energy connection to my clients, and that is what you are doing, you are "reading" their energy body and following the cues it gives you. The reason that some therapists do not or can not do this is because they are not "open" to the idea at all. People in this society have been conditioned to ignore any such esoteric information as being a figment of their imagination, of no real value, perhaps even "devilish". I believe that we are all born with the ability to sense energy, but that we are trained out of it at a very early age. We learn not to sense it any more because the people around you give you those funny looks and you learn that it is Not Normal, perhaps even A Bad Thing. so we shut that part of our sensory system down. That is exactly what I did at the age of about 3 or 4 because the auras that I was seeing were not visible to the people I mentioned them to, the "funny looks" and negative comments I got when I did say something made me feel that there must be something wrong with my eyes. The sense re-awoke when I was studying massage, and fortunately I was in a school where the teachers not only were aware of energy but actively encouraged us to become aware of it.
I was doing this sort of intuitive work long before I formally studied massage. After I got my certification, I pursued the work by studying with a woman who taught energy work. Later on I also was attuned and trained as a Reiki master, and I, for one, do not think that Reiki training is the best way to explore this sort of energy connection. Reiki teaches you a formula to follow using symbols to help you focus your energy, and while it is true that you will eventually start to become aware of energy flows in this modality it does not specifically help you hone this talent. Polarity and shiatsu also use energy flows. Studying any modality that work with energy will help you hone in on it, but sometimes the connection just isn't there.
The best way to pursue this is to pay attention to it when you are doing it, respecting and honoring the energy that you sense. Use your "third eye" to "look" with. It also helps to spend time meditating with the specific intent to balance your own energy and chakras. I recommend reading Barbara Brennan's book "Hands of LIght". Grounding and meditating is the best way to nurture this gift. And it is a gift, because it takes courage and strength to allow this sort of information to come to you, given the attitudes of the day.
I believe that possibly sometimes you do not "feel" the energy flowing because you are blocked in some way, either by your own thing that is going on (you are tired, you are involved in your own energy in some way, you are not "clear", you are not as grounded as you thing you are), or sometimes the person you are working on is blocking you. Don't worry about it, just do the best massage you can, accepting that sometimes the spring runs dry. It will flow again.
I hope this is helpful.
That was a lovely reply Ellie. It helped me to look at how may need to change my perception of working with clients in the energy healing field.
Natalee this means you are doing what you should be doing. I would recommend that you learn Taiji to maintain your balance and expand your talent. Something along this line might be good http://www.lipeiyun.com/index.html. Learning grounding is important. Ellie gave some great advice.
I think you will find that teachers will be there as you need.
I understand what you are going through as I do many types of energy based modalities and also teach massage students subtle body energy work. The massage students have 20 hours of subtle body energy as part of their curriculum, which I feel should be part of every massage school curriculum. Some students are more aware of what is going on with their clients other then just a massage. We hold cellular memories in our bodies of past traumas, emotions, stress, etc. The client releases these memories in a variety of ways and if the massage therapist is aware of that, it will make their job easier and the client will greatly benefit. Sometimes massage therapists will get tired, sleepy or feel emotions after working on a client and they don't understand why. If they are sensitive to the energies of other people, they are "picking up" those emotions, etc. from their clients. Some may have to make a special effort to be sure they are grounded and shielded.
It looks like you've gotten some great replies - I would also add Reiki and Polarity to the list of great modalities to study.
I personally find that Visionary Craniosacral through The Milne Institute is excellent at encouraging us to pay attention to both, and learning to do the work even when the client feels chatty. It takes practice. Otherwise - follow that same intuition to listen to yourself when looking for classes and teachers.
It's ok to be unique - trust it and as one Taoist teaching suggests, "if they did not laugh, it would not be the Tao."
I teach a subtle energy class to massage therapists at a local massage college. The students are seniors by the time they take my class. Most are "feeling" the energy, but aren't sure what to do with it or how to ground themselves and not take on what their client is releasing. Although they may not realize what it is, when you do a massage you are also dealing with their energy fields.
What you are doing is tapping into their energy field, sensing the imbalances, releases and their emotions. The more you become aware of what you are doing, the more you will sense different sensations. Being grounded and centered is important. I teach my students a brief exercise/meditation to do before a session. Also, set your intention for the highest good of all.
There are many forms of energy moralities to choose from. I'm familiar with Reiki, Healing Touch, quantum touch,
and integrated energy therapy. Energy moralities, I feel enhance the massage session.
For more articles, you can visit my website,
The main line, big churches have spent centuries teaching us that anything that even mentions, energy, magic or the paranormal in anyway is bad and evil. In many cases it went to the extent to try and teach us those things aren't possible and don't exist. No wonder why as humans we are confused and have a tough time with it.
Anyone who has worked with those things has experienced the "funny looks" at one time or another. If your using energy now you have gotten through that. My personal opinion is that reading books is fine and dandy. You might even find something that you can use, I know I have.
However, if you have taught yourself, you are your best teacher. Follow your gut and intuition. Steal things from other people if it interests you.