Massage & Bodywork

July/August 2013

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best practices Business side | Q & art | table lessons | savvy self-care How Best Intentions and Poor Boundaries Fuel Burnout QA By Art Riggs DEAR ART, I have a client who always requests deep work, but I never seem to get deep enough for his standards, and I find myself exhausted after the session. Do you have any suggestions? —TUCKERED out DEAR TUCKERED, This is a common problem. In fact, I've had two similar queries this week, both from therapists whose clients imply that the therapist's pressure isn't "deep" enough for their standards. Of course, proper mechanics, the use of core energy and not muscling, a precise intention of depth, and the ability to sink through superficial tissue are all important to working deeply, but the bottom line is that we should never strain or sacrifice ourselves for our clients' requests, especially if they subscribe to the "no pain, no gain" fallacy that confuses intensity with depth. Session Planning More often than not, fatigue isn't a result of how deep one works or how hard one presses, but how quickly one works trying to make things happen to satisfy clients. In my early Rolfing work, I was often tired and even depressed at the end of the day. It took years to understand that I was trying to coerce resistant tissue to conform to my demands and, sometimes, the client's perception of depth. We must remember that we are working with tissue to overcome its resistance, not on tissue by overpowering it. The great bodyworkers I know are masters of choosing a limited number of goals that they can work on at a proper pace without trying to force things. The major reason I was so tired was simply that I was biting off more than I could chew in a limited time period and not being selective in my goals. www.abmp.com. See what benefits await you. 33

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