In the beginning of my journey as a Rolfer, I was hoping to develop “special “ abilities that I had heard were often displayed by practitioner’s of the healing arts. The Chinese Chi Gung folks come to mind as well as Don Juan and Don Genaro from Castaneda’s books on the Shamans of Mexico that I read in his books in my late teens and early twenties until I lost his drift. I won’t bore you with my escapades into the different modalities that populate the realm of consciousness expanding techniques, just know they are plentiful. In the beginning of my training at the Rolf Institute, Dr. Rolf had left a few crumbs on the trail that might have been viewed as cockeyed, to the “untrained” eye. I remember vividly the burning of epsom salt in bowl for “clearing the air” in the room after performing bodywork sessions at the Rolf Institute during my training which I had used in a bath, after being tossed and thumped by the horses I was sharing space with. Yet, the burning of the epsom was considered valid then in 1989, I don’t know if its still being practiced in those hallowed halls, I only assume that some may still hold her beliefs as truth. I also remember her recommending washing my hands and lower arms with cold water using a particular mantra like vowel to clear the energy after each session according to the wisdom passed down buy our founder. Rarely do I do that, but I do catch myself occasionally following her advice, as if somehow she is mysteriously looking over my shoulder in the bathroom while I perform that ritual, reminding me of that important tradition to remove unwanted energy that I may have picked up during the session.
What I have learned, during my years of practice that seems to work for our clients, is the practice of presence, non-judgement, authenticity, and being in our own bodies fully. This allows us to hold the space for the transformation/healing that unfolds when we touch and hold the space for our clients evolutionary process, or something as simple as changing their pain paradigm. If you are grateful for them and can be compassionate with their suffering, the room fills with an energy that inexplicably assists in the the “healing” that transpires. Can I prove it, don’t even care too! Can one separate the massage practitioner’s focus from the outcome of the work? There is something that happens when the two entities (therapist and client) merge where magic manifests. All of us who have been at this for awhile can testify to the difference in resonance that we share with some of our clients. Not every session is remotely the same. And outcomes are often wildly different with the same client between other practitioners. Why is that? I believe its the holding of a resonate field and the state of attention that Rolfers, Cranial Sacral and massage therapists all hold and project.
Years ago Larry Dossey, the Texas physician and author who has become known for asserting the importance for healing with prayer and other non-physical factors, essentially reported that our feeling of love and compassion infuses the field with a power that transforms the condition of the client that was brought to our table. Dorsey said as a practicing physician, that modern medicine has become care-less and the repercussion of that mind set is an atrophying of its ability to heal. He has spoken of distance healing and has the data to back those claims up! He also did a study where patients who had a similar health problem were studied using prayer. The control group received standard and appropriate medical intervention. The other group received the same care but were prayed for as well. Of course the patients didn’t know if their group was receiving prayer or not. In this double blind study, neither the patients nor the doctors were aware of what was happening. The results were overwhelming undeniable. I know for some of you its hard to wrap your heads around the fact that thought, even projected from miles away can impact the well-being of another. I don’t really care if you wrap your head around it or not, just your heart will do. So why I am I sharing this with you? Its very clear, when we have our clients in such a close field proximity, that we are projecting and holding, it makes sense to believe our thoughts are impacting their wellness during our sessions. Heed these words well, bring the “Monkey Mind” of modern living under control while working with your clients, and focus your intention on compassion and watch as the bar raises on your ability to help others on their journey!
What I am attempting for you to firmly grasp is the realm of thought and its ability to generate a change in the field, which changes the vibratory quality of the client’s field and ushers in a new potential. No one understands what stimulates homeostasis, but focused intention with an open heart is very powerful and definitely works. I have seen feats of martial arts that defies reason. Their mindset, cultivated through years of practice, is astonishing to the point of being surreal. These same states of awareness and accomplishments happen in our profession from focused practice as well. Cranial sacral therapists work on the mindset through the practice of stillness and field dynamics, massage therapist can do this as well through focusing on the felt sense of the field. There are few limitations to practicing presence, but its importance can not be understated.
What is the big message, don’t objectify your clients, if we do we squash the healing potential of our work. Its imperative that we realize that our techniques, from whatever toolset we have been given, are only part of the healing and therapeutic equation. There is a super intelligence within the tissues, that Dr Sutherland told his cranial osteopaths, which know much more about healing itself then some force applied externally! The greatest service we can provide for our patients, is their own self empowerment, but this in no way detracts from your disciplines ability to illicit change. We are all well aware of the placebo effect in its power for immense transformation, but that in no way should allow us to distance ourselves our client’s deep, inner, healing work. Remember that you are in a room to service your client. Have fun, stay focused and practice the art of stillness!