Massage & Bodywork

SEPTEMBER | OCTOBER 2016

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A TWO-WAY STREET The clarity and confidence of her approach put me completely at ease. She had a defined goal with three possible threads to explore. It was clear she knew what she was doing and, more importantly, why. I immediately thought about how important the therapist's clarity and confidence are from the client's perspective, and how that confidence is communicated through both the therapist's language and touch. While we assume that through palpation we are reading the client's body, they are in turn reading us, as well. Communication is a two-way street. Jennifer's exploration of my neck musculature was akin to a guided tour of my own body. The experience was like someone with a flashlight walking me through my house, exploring the empty rooms I had forgotten to reopen after a long, cold winter. Some areas had a sense of immediacy and relevance, while my nervous system sensed other areas as old and once problematic but now relegated to the background. How many times have I heard clients say that? Furthermore, how does the nervous system really sense that? It is an amazing mystery. SERVING THE SERVER The longer and more often we do massage therapy, the more possible it is to become immune to the profoundly personal experience massage can C h e c k o u t A B M P 's l a t e s t n e w s a n d b l o g p o s t s . Av a i l a b l e a t w w w. a b m p . c o m . 31 I immediately thought about how important the therapist's clarity and confidence are from the client's perspective, and how that confidence is communicated through both the therapist's language and touch. provide. The purpose of this column has always been to celebrate every session as an opportunity to learn and grow in the work. Sometimes, the best way to learn is through role reversal, putting oneself in the position of being served. Douglas Nelson is the founder and principal instructor for Precision Neuromuscular Therapy Seminars, president of the 16-therapist clinic BodyWork Associates in Champaign, Illinois, and a trustee for the Massage Therapy Foundation. His clinic, seminars, and research endeavors explore the science behind this work. Visit www.nmtmidwest.com, or email him at doug@nmtmidwest.com.

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