A Personal Story

Bruising has been one of my personal issues throughout my 15 career in receiving and giving bodywork.  The first massage I ever received, a basic swedish relaxation massage, my trapezius was so bruised and sore afterward I never thought I would ever get worked on again.
Most of my training has been in deep tissue work and with the Zentherapy® Institute which is really deep structural integration work. After getting worked on I would be one big bruise.  Some areas like the side of my ribs, hips, thighs would be worse.  My back would never get bruised.  I would bruise easier right before I started my period.  I would bruise easier if my diet was really poor and not eating enough vegetables.  My acupuncturist said bruising was stagnation in the tissues. I would be totally bruised when I had cupping session. My bodywork instructors would tell me that it was bad tissue in my body and that I needed to take 10,000 mg of Bioflavinoids a day for  6 months or more to help build up the strength of my tissues and blood vessels. It could be the practitioner I was told.  They aren't using their awareness.  It could be my resistance I was told but I had been getting bodywork for 15 years, it couldn't be me I thought.
I tried everything. Sometimes it seemed the bruising would be less. Then it would be really bad. I would look in the mirror and just about cry because of the grief and confusion I felt about the bruising.  This couldn't be right I would think. I feel like it's damaging the tissues even more.
Then one day  I was getting worked on by one of my usual practitioners and I realized as she was working on me the work felt different.  I felt like I was really able to feel every muscle, every cell and what it was doing in response to her touch (deep triggerpoint therapy).  I was laying there and could feel the pain but actually was amazed at how much else I could feel and I was really enjoying that feeling. I told her about it and we proceeded at having the best session of my life.  I was able to go into the pain and not run away from it. She was able to work deeply and intensely on the sides of my ribs and chest.  More released from my body in that session than in all my years of bodywork. I left the session feeling so much; everything from intense anger to extreme joy. The most amazing thing was that there was not one single bruise on my body. I kept looking in the mirror that evening waiting for the bruises to take over my body, but they never came.
I had also been doing other work on myself up to this revelation - Somatic Unwinding, Acupuncture, Hypnotherapy and regular sessions of bodywork. It was a combination of all these modalities that allowed my body to wake up and truly be present in my body.
I am now wondering how many people actually experience this in a session. How can I teach this to clients?  What am I doing to clients who do not have this awareness?  Should I give up bodywork because most people do not have this awareness and I don't know how to teach them this?  Now that I have felt this myself will I be able to teach or share this with clients myself?
It takes two to make a session a spiritual experience such as this.  The practitioner must be present and doing their own work on themselves to allow the person on the table to even the slightest chance at ever experiencing the same.
It is a dance the practitioner and client can perform together.

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