Massage & Bodywork

March | April 2014

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given with bodywork in mind, also guided him toward a release of his nervousness and self-consciousness by reframing his thoughts regarding the relationship of his mind and body. the power of anecdotes One more way to assist your clients to feel greater ease during and after a session is by using anecdotes to illustrate a concept, rather than direct requests. Simply asking your client to relax may not work, and may even make him feel self-conscious, which will make relaxation even more difficult. An anecdote about your own experience or someone else's, with a suggestion woven into it, can more effectively communicate with the client's subconscious. An example of this technique might be: "My first massage therapist gave me wonderful advice when he said, 'To relax, all you need to do is close your eyes and focus on your breathing and your belly.'" Unlike a direct request, these words are more likely to bypass your client's conscious mind, engage him in the story, and subtly guide him toward relaxation. honoring speech and silence Let's be clear here—I'm not advocating that you talk through all of your sessions. It is possible, and often preferable, to work in silence. By working in silence, you will be able to provide your clients with a way to enter a meditative space. This may even be the optimal way to facilitate most of your sessions. Be discerning in choosing the most appropriate times for speech. When speech is appropriate, the ideas presented in this article can be a skillful way to integrate healing words into your sessions when your compassionate touch triggers unexpected emotions in your clients. When you are skillful with your words, you will be able to help your clients experience beneficial and lasting impacts on their physiology, emotions, and overall health. By helping them make positive adjustments to their perspectives and perceptions, you are supporting them in building a greater sense of acceptance, strength, and self-regard for their bodies and lives. Notes 1. Carol Sommer, Conversational Hypnosis: A Manual of Indirect Suggestion (Downers Grove, Illinois: Sommer Solutions, Incorporated, 1992). 2. Jamie Smart, "The Hidden Power of Meaning: The Top 10 Tips for Reframing & Belief Change with NLP," accessed January 2014, THE L ANGUAGE OF HE ALING Terry Anne Wohl has been studying and practicing alternative medicine for 30 years. She is a licensed massage therapist, certified continuing education provider with NCBTMB, a certified shiatsu and Thai yoga practitioner, Mind- Body Vibrancy Coach, and hypnotherapist. She holds a doctorate in divinity from the American Institute of Holistic Theology. She has taught at various healing centers in California, Colorado, Illinois, and New York. She currently teaches classes related to her new book, The Language of Healing: for Bodyworkers (& Everyone Else) (CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2013), available from If you are interested in learning about her books and courses, go to and When you are skillful with your words, you will be able to help your clients experience beneficial and lasting impacts on their physiology, emotions, and overall health. I t p a y s t o b e A B M P C e r t i f i e d : w w w. a b m p . c o m / g o / c e r t i f i e d c e n t r a l 71

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