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SAVVY SELF-CARE best practices Dance, Dance, Dance Authentic Movement Can Ground You By Jennie Hastings Life as a massage therapist or bodyworker means we often pay attention to other people's bodies, noticing what muscles need to be moved and how. We move our clients' bodies through range of motion exercises and use intuition to coax tight areas to release. The partnership between client and therapist during a massage or bodywork session is much like a dance. So, it is no wonder that a marvelous form of self-care for therapists is to get up and dance. Dancing is a way to become more fully embodied and grounded in our own selves. It has a way of weaving together our body, mind, and spirit as the movements we choose to make reflect what we are feeling at all of these levels. When I was a child, I took many dance classes, but mostly ballet. Dance class is a wonderful way to begin moving the body, feeling into the body, and learning technique. And yet the kind of dancing I am writing about here is not about following a prescribed form of movement, but allowing the most authentic form of movement possible to flow through the body. AUTHENTIC MOVEMENT Exploring authentic movement is valuable for massage therapists and bodyworkers because our work is based on movement. By the very nature of how we work, our movements are repetitive and focused on the benefit of the client. When we take the time to explore movement (and we can call the kind of dance I am writing about A B M P m e m b e r s e a r n F R E E C E a t w w w. a b m p . c o m / c e b y r e a d i n g M a s s a g e & B o d y w o r k m a g a z i n e 27

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