Massage & Bodywork

MARCH | APRIL 2015

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SPEAK YOUR MIND 14 m a s s a g e & b o d y w o r k m a r c h / a p r i l 2 0 1 5 As I was performing abdominal massage, my client quickly sat up and started having a panic attack. I kept calm and put a cool towel on her forehead and assured her she was safe here. She started crying and revealed a bad childhood memory. She started to confide in me, and I told her this was out of my scope of practice and said her psychiatrist would be of more help. She thanked me the next day! She's currently being treated for anxiety and depression, and said she will return to massage therapy as soon as she feels stable. I kept calm and helped her in the moment, but I am glad I didn't try to be a mental health therapist. She respected my decision. HEATHER JEROMIN KILLINGTON, VERMONT Some massage sessions evoke an emotional response. Some are more overt and dramatic than others. When a client begins to cry or share an emotional event, I maintain the cadence of my treatment rhythm. I assure the client this response is normal and that all feelings are welcome. I like to share this with the client: "There is an issue in every tissue." This usually lightens the mood and the physiologic explanation about postures associated with emotion and the muscles they involve is helpful. SHEILA FONTANA JERICHO, NEW YORK How do you handle a client's emotional reaction on the massage table?

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