Massage & Bodywork

SEPTEMBER | OCTOBER 2021

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Empathic energy matching presents an obvious problem for practitioners: When we absorb the energy or emotions of someone else, it brings us out of our body. We unconsciously use cues from our client's anxiety to propel the mind toward our own stories and anxieties, rendering us unable to be fully present to ourselves and our work. So, what do you do if you're matching your client's anxiety? ACKNOWLEDGE YOUR CLIENT'S EMOTIONAL STATE When you first touch base with your client, make a point to inwardly acknowledge how you're receiving them: Do they feel anxious and contracted, or lighthearted and expanded? If the former, ask yourself: What is my current emotional capacity today? How can I show up to this person with integrity without blurring my own boundary lines? If you find your emotional capacity is lower than usual, it's helpful to have clear, affirming language you can offer. Simple statements like "I understand" and "You are heard" are excellent ways to offer verbal empathy without overstepping your own emotional boundaries. ACKNOWLEDGE YOUR EMOTIONAL STATE After assessing your emotional capacity, it's important to check whether you're matching the client in any way. Ask yourself: Do I have any personal "matches" with what this client has shared with me today? If the answer is yes, a great next step is to implement a quick energy separation practice. Do a Self-Check Beyond energetic separation, if you find you often have emotional matches with your client's energy, it's important to examine your own mental and emotional health. Here are a few helpful check-ins: • Am I regularly taking care of my body, mind, and soul? • Am I giving myself permission to receive outside support? • Am I remaining judgment-free about my process? 82 m a s s a g e & b o d y wo r k s e p te m b e r/o c to b e r 2 0 2 1

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