General Guidelines for Giving a Deep
Be in communication with your
client. Find out what areas need to be addressed and how the person feels
to start with. Is there pain, tightness, numbness or tingling anywhere?
Ask them to assign a number
to the level of pain they are feeling - on a scale of one to ten, ten being
the most painful or stopping level.
Be sure to tell them that they
are in control of the session and that their feedback is important to the
session. They can tell you to apply more or less pressure or to stop
at any time.
Be sure the client is as present
as possible. Keep their awareness under your fingers by asking them questions
about what you are doing and what they are feeling. Can they feel
the change in pressure and pain?
Be aware of their breathing
at all time. Most people do not know how to breathe deeply and possibly
can't because of the restrictions in the rib cage and torso. Coach them
into breathing deeper and into the pressure. Give them breathing exercises
to help them become more aware of their breath. Ask them to notice
how the ribs move or don't move, how does the air feel, what does the rest
of the body do when breathing? When do they hold their breath?
Be present at all times for
the client. What do you feel? What are you thinking about?
What is for lunch? Can you stop your thoughts completely and listen
to the clients words and body responses? What does the tissue feel
like? What layer of the tissue are you working on? Can you feel the
change? Can you feel the clients breath? Can you feel the skin, the
hair, the temperature of the skin? Practicing meditation is one way
to assist you in stopping your thoughts. Many thing can be meditative
- movement, dance, gardening, hiking, walking, running - whatever activity
that allows you to stop your thoughts and just be totally immersed in that
activity can be considered meditation. Finding the practice that works
for you is important.
Pause often enough to give the
client a break and time to notice the changes that are happening in their
body. Ask them to compare sides or notice how they feel. Can
they feel more or less contact with the table? Do they feel lighter or
heavier? What emotions come up?
Release can come about in many
ways: shaking, moving, yawning, sighing, crying, yelling, screaming.
Be prepared to have any of these happen. The best response on your
part is just to be there when it happens. Don't say anything unless you
are also a qualified counselor of some sort. Quietly place one hand
on their abdomen and one hand on their wrist and let them get through it.
They are very vulnerable in this condition. Anything you say will
become part of their reality. If you start asking them questions
or making suggestions like " oh it must be due to your abusive mother or
father" or "the sky is green and the grass is blue" they will believe
it. They are so open to any suggestions and very fragile.
Make sure the client leaves
grounded and centered. Working the extensors of the back and forearm
usually create positive emotions. Working the psoas or ASIS can assist
in getting the energy back down to their legs and to the ground.
Pulling their fingers and toes can help relieve that sick feeling that
some may feel.
Bodywork and massage is a dance
that takes two people. Learning to adjust your work to what the client
needs and what they can handle will make for a very effective session.
Learn to turn your thoughts off and listen to the clients words and body.
Ask for feedback as to how your touch feels and what is going on inside
them and ask often during a session as things change minute to minute.