Shortly after SWIHA was founded, a guest massage instructor came to our modest campus to offer training on a technique known as “positional release therapy.” In this type of therapy, the body is positioned in strategic ways so as to release the muscles and tension stored from past injuries, accidents, and traumas. Within the first few hours of the workshop, one of the students had a reaction to the position in which her body had been placed. She began to cry and then shake; finally, her left hand involuntarily contorted into a claw-like cramp. The guest instructor (who had over 20 years of experience) stood by in confusion, looking as if he had never seen an emotional release before. Immediately stepping up to the table, I offered the student a guided visualization, taking her to a “safe place” and instructing her to concentrate on slowing her breath to calm her mind.
As the guest instructor look on incredulously, he commented, “In all my years, I have never had THAT happen on my table!” Luckily, I had the grace to not say what I was thinking, which was: “And you never will… because you don’t know how to ‘hold space’ for others!” Even if I had shared what I was thinking, this instructor probably wouldn’t have understood what I was talking about.Read More