Often, what my clients see when I give a Thai Massage are the efforts of my physical body as I move around the mat, maneuvering their own bodies into various shapes, shifting my weight forward to apply pressure or leaning back to traction a joint.
“Wow!” they say, “You are basically working out all day long!” Or, “You must be really strong to do this all day.”
And of course, that’s true. One must be very strong to practice Thai Massage. But, not just physically strong; one must also be strong emotionally, mentally, energetically and spiritually.
My clients may not directly observe my emotional, energetic, mental and spiritual strength in the same way they can my physical strength. Still, I think they can sense some of it, whether consciously or subconsciously, in the space I hold for them to express themselves during their sessions, in the focus and clear intention I bring to the work and in my respect and mindfulness throughout our interactions.
All of this is in my awareness when I create a session for the person sitting before me. And I am so grateful for the opportunity to take care of that person so that they can be strong, healthy, nurtured, peaceful and vibrant, living their lives free from pain and worry.
I love my work. Yet, it is very challenging. (For me, just another something to love.) The true definition of holistic health is strength and well being in five overlapping and integrated areas (that do not, nor can, exist separately, but within the one): physical, emotional, energetic, mental and spiritual.
This is what I want for my clients. And, to help them get there, it’s what I need for myself.
Usually, following their observation about the physical strength needed for Thai Massage, clients will ask me what I do to stay strong. While too long to rattle off during a session, I thought I’d share some of my list here:
Daily: range of motion exercises, small stretching/yoga/self-massage sessions, walking or hiking, 7-8 hours of sleep, 3 meals
Weekly: 1-3 yoga classes, either a massage or a physical therapy session, cooking, connecting with family and friends (in person, on the phone), 4-5 meditation/breathing/chanting practices, studying Thai Massage and Thai Medicine
Monthly: writing a blog post, a walk in nature, a bath, doing something or seeing somewhere new
What about you?