Massage & Bodywork

MAY | JUNE 2017

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technique ENERGY WORK 92 m a s s a g e & b o d y w o r k m a y / j u n e 2 0 1 7 In the words of Austrian neurologist, psychiatrist, and concentration camp survivor Viktor Frankl (1905–1997), "When we are no longer able to change a situation … we are challenged to change ourselves." 1 I take inspiration from this quote. Sometimes I feel powerless in the face of a client's challenges. When this occurs, I "turn it over" and ask for greater help. I examine my beliefs and attitudes, as well as my training and desires. Although I dislike feeling personally paralyzed, I struggle even more when I perceive this condition in my clients. How are we supposed to support a client who seems unable to alter the causes of their aches, pains, and predicaments? Certainly, we can do our best to address a client's physical needs, but we are often called to do more than this. Whether we like it or not—or feel capable or not—a bodyworker is often perceived as a beacon of wisdom. What can we do when the job seems to include helping a client cope with what appears to be the impossible? Frankl authored a memoir based on his life in the Nazi death camps. In Man's Search for Meaning (Beacon Press, 2006), Frankl shared stories of his own client work, but also reflects on the inhumane treatment he underwent at the hand of the Nazis. 2 His book is a staple in my personal and professional library, as it directly addresses the reality of suffering, especially unnecessary suffering. From my point of view, his ideas are also fundamental to the understanding of subtle energy, which is my particular expertise, and provide an exemplary model for bodyworkers who need to support clients through challenging situations. The Subtle Energy Search for Meaning By Cyndi Dale

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