Massage & Bodywork

NOVEMBER | DECEMBER 2019

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technique ENERGY WORK 98 m a s s a g e & b o d y w o r k n o v e m b e r / d e c e m b e r 2 0 1 9 The Energetics of Attraction By Cyndi Dale Attraction. It's a no-no in the professional massage room, as it should be. But we—and our clients—are human, which is why it's especially important to understand attraction and how to deal with it. There are many ways to examine the issue of attraction—all of which support saying "no" to acting on it. In this article, I'm going to provide a unique perspective to the discussion of attraction, which is one aspect of energetics—specifically, subtle energetics. Examining attraction from this perspective will add to your boundary-setting toolkit and help you approach these situations with a greater sense of ease. I'll also address the two main ways that temptation, particularly sexual, can strike in the massage office. WHAT IS ATTRACTION? Fundamentally, attraction is the ability to evoke interest or liking for someone or something. We might find a client alluring or a client might feel that way toward us. But you don't need to be embarrassed about acknowledging the fact that these situations exist—whether or not you've experienced either or both sides of the coin. It's completely acceptable to like a client and for them to like us. "Liking" isn't the same as "crushing." Crushes awaken butterflies in the stomach, generating the plaguing thoughts that often start with two simple words: "What if?" "What if I like my client too much?" "What if they like me too much?" Still, an infatuation can be contained. We all know how to button up our fantasies and keep them in a box. It's also fairly easy to ignore the insignificant indications that a client might overtly admire us. Brass tacks: We must be concerned if sexual feelings arise that shouldn't be indulged. HANDLING ATTRACTION It's always good to talk about what can become a very real aspect of a massage practice so you are prepared for such a circumstance, and we need look no further than Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals' guidelines to start the conversation—and learn how to behave. Laid out in the guidelines is a clear code of conduct. As a student or current massage practitioner, you've already vowed not to date a client, engage in sexual intercourse or impropriety, or participate in any form of sexual harassment. 1 The legal system also prevents indiscriminate behavior. The rigors go two ways. As professionals, we can't dole out sexual innuendos or indiscretions, and neither do we need to tolerate them from a client. All this being said, there is still a flag waving in the wind. How exactly can we deal with the feelings of attraction, whether they

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