I went to a yoga class last week where the teacher came from behind me and rubbed tiger balm mixed with something icky all over my neck and it splogged on my toe. I felt really annoyed because she didn’t ask and I didn’t like it. The guy next to me was visibly watering at the eyes as his dose had been too strong – we spent the rest of the class looking at each other’s burning eyes in despair. Hoping she wouldn’t come back and do it again.
Even with my longest standing clients I ask if they want to be assisted or mind me touching them or not as some days they feel OK and some they don’t.
Part of the initial assessment process is a questionnaire we go through in person or online which helps me to understand what things might make someone feel uncomfortable, what people like, dislike, have experienced in the past and to highlight any areas of my practice that might be sensitive to the person. Each person has had very different experiences and what is OK with one, will not be OK with another. Nothing can be assumed or taken for granted.
Before we even get to the touching I have to see how they feel about me being in their personal space, their flat and home, then being in their personal space and then, only then, touching.
It is a process and journey getting to know another person and how to work with them and even when you think you know, you must stay open and aware of how moods and feelings might be different from day to day. The work we do can put people in a vulnerable position emotionally as they work with their body in new ways and try to break old habits and put themselves out of their comfort zone.
I can resonate with this article as I have some issues myself where certain things will trigger a panic reaction in me, and they can be seemingly simple things that someone else might not be aware of. We shouldn’t go around on tip toes scared to upset people, but body work is a sensitive area and we should be compassionate towards others and take these things into consideration.
“Meditation, mindfulness, breathwork and yoga helped Julie reduce anxiety, transform fear and increase her ability to manage her emotions.”
Interesting article on trauma and addiction
“The Trauma-Addiction Connection
While experiencing a trauma doesn’t guarantee that a person will develop an addiction, research clearly suggests that trauma is a major underlying source of addiction behavior. These statistics (culled from a report issued by the National Center for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and the Department of Veterans Affairs) show the strong correlation between trauma and alcohol addiction:
Sources estimate that 25 and 75 percent of people who survive abuse and/or violent trauma develop issues related to alcohol abuse.
Accidents, illness or natural disasters translate to between 10 to 33 percent of survivors reporting alcohol abuse.
A diagnosis of PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) increases the risk of developing alcohol abuse.
Female trauma survivors who do not struggle with PTSD face increased risk for an alcohol use disorder.
Male and female sexual abuse survivors experience a higher rate of alcohol and drug use disorders compared to those who have not survived such abuse.”
I love my clients truly madly deeply. They work hard, open up, sweat, cry, laugh, shake, jiggle and challenge themselves.
I am so proud to know them and get to know their passions, loves, lives and get an insight into how they became who they are by listening to their stories and sharing time together.
I love waking up and getting ready to spend my day cycling around to see them all – I find joy in my work and I never thought that would happen for me. Sometimes the days are tough and all we can do is roll on the floor or drink a coffee in the sun, sometimes we push and push and sweat and pant and sometimes we pretend we’re ships in the mist howling out fog horns with our resistance bands on. Sometimes it’s a hug, sometimes just to get the moan out of the system. The results aren’t always six packs – it can be some lightness when the world is feeling heavy, a reminder of why we should be kind to ourselves, a nudge when you start to fall back into bad habits and a high five when you overcome challenges and meet goals.
This isn’t a bootcamp, this isn’t a military weight loss program. This is human to human, helping supporting, sharing, caring and encouraging. Being there and helping clear the leaves from the path that can be so hard to see sometimes.