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L i s te n to T h e A B M P Po d c a s t a t a b m m /p o d c a s t s o r w h e reve r yo u a cce s s yo u r favo r i te p o d c a s t s 87 3. Try the 50/70 rule. Keep eye contact for about 50 percent of the time while speaking and 70 percent of the time while listening. This shows interest and projects confidence. 4. Use the triangle technique. Imagine an inverted triangle connecting the client's eyes and mouth. Every 5 seconds rotate your eyes to a different point on the triangle. 5. Make a gesture. If you begin to feel uneasy with the amount of eye contact, break your gaze by making a gesture, such as a nod, or use words and sounds like yes, uh–huh, and mmm. This is a great way to keep the client talking and show them you're interested in what they have to say. 6. Look away slowly to the side, not down. Try to refrain from darting your eyes, as this can make you appear shy or nervous. Remember to look from side to side, not down. 7. Listen with your eyes. Communication happens with your eyes while you're listening just as much as when you're talking. Remember to maintain eye contact and add a little smile to enhance the oxytocin. 8. Practice. Good eye contact may come easily to some but not others, so just keep practicing until you gain confidence. Try rehearsing in a mirror or even practice while watching TV. To further embrace the therapeutic value of eye gazing, you can take these tips to the massage table. Try starting each bodywork session with the client in a supine position. Begin by connecting verbally, and then perform relaxing neck techniques (Images 2 and 3). Choose one or two of the "Easy 8" exercises, and as you're calmly talking, begin engaging the client's eyes while you work. For many clients, massage therapy may be the only place where care, understanding, and nonjudgmental acceptance are reflected to them from the eyes of another person. As an added bonus for the bodyworker, honing your eye-contact skills is a great way to remember why working as a health-care provider is so meaningful. Note 1. Kerstin Uvnas-Moberg and Maria Petersson, "Oxytocin: A Mediator of Anti-Stress, Well- Being, Social Interaction, Growth and Healing," Zeitschrift fur Psychosomatische Medizin und Psychotherapie 51, no. 1 (January 2005): 57–80, Erik Dalton, PhD, is the executive director of the Freedom from Pain Institute. Educated in massage, osteopathy, and Rolfing, he has maintained a practice in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, for more than four decades. For more information, visit The therapist performs relaxing neck massage techniques while practicing eye-gazing exercises. 2 3 Engage with the client verbally while practicing eye-gazing exercises. Bodywork assessment and treatment calls for sustained and concentrated observation, which can be enhanced through the conscious use of eye contact. SCAN AND WATCH "Eye Contact"

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