Massage & Bodywork

November/December 2012

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The Power of Presence Mindfulness for Your Life and Practice By Mary Beth Braun You have most likely heard the instructions on an airplane to don your own oxygen mask before you help others. If you apply this to your life and your massage practice, you can see that, over time, consistently putting yourself last may lead to burnout, which can range from fatigue and edginess to a sense of hopelessness and feelings of being overwhelmed. When this occurs, even in a small way, you and everyone in your life—including your clients and massage practice—suffer. That's where cultivating and sustaining a mindfulness-based practice can help. Mindfulness is the "oxygen" you need to handle the daily challenges of life, and it provides the energy you need to be fully present for yourself and your clients, day after day, week in and week out. Furthermore, it allows you to experience the joys of life and the reward of delivering quality massage sessions more deeply. Practicing mindfulness cultivates a calm, centered energy that helps you respond rather than react. This calm energy begets more calm energy, and it's your energy that makes your massage unique. So, what exactly is mindfulness, and how do you begin to incorporate it into your life and your massage practice? Mindfulness, in its simplest explanation, is paying attention—on purpose—to the moment. In the present, you are able to observe 66 massage & bodywork november/december 2012

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