I Love Being a Bodyworker. Why Am I Exhausted At the End of the Day?
Does this sound familiar?
You're working with a client whose situation is demanding. Maybe she is in chronic pain and winces whenever you move your hands.
Or maybe he has terrifying memories that he expresses during somatic releases.
Or maybe you've just been working with someone for a long time and she seems to have reached a plateau. She doesn't seem to be getting any better.
After the session you feel drained. You're tired, discouraged, and have no energy. It's difficult to focus on your next client.
By the end of the day, you are depleted, sad, and exhausted. You can't imagine how you're going to wake up tomorrow and do it all over again.
If this sounds like you, you may need to shore up your grounding skills and your boundaries.
If you're taking on the emotions, or even the aches and pains, of your clients, you are not in a grounded, healing space.
The first step to getting into that space is to realize what is really going on during a bodywork session.
Realizing that you are a conduit to healing and not the actual person doing the healing is the single most liberating and grounding thing you can do for you and for your practice.
A mentor of mine once shared with me a phrase I use all the time: "No credit, no blame."
What this means is that I'm off the hook to feeling responsible for someone else's well-being. When I'm not attached to a client getting well, I'm free to be in a space of openness with them, and I can facilitate their healing with ease and grace.
When I'm attached to the outcome ("This person has to get better, I have to find the right thing to do to fix him...") I can no longer come from a neutral space. And I can no longer be present for them to allow true healing to occur.
The other side of "No credit, no blame" is that if your client improves, you realize that it is not because of you. You were merely facilitating and following the body's lead.
Once I started coming from this place, I found that I felt energized and peaceful at the end of the day.
And my clients were healing, with ease.
It is the innate wisdom of the body that allows healing to occur.
The next time you feel yourself getting sucked under by the emotion or the enormity of dysfunction of a client, do three things:
1. Still your mind.
2. Follow your breath.
3. Feel your feet below you on the floor.
These three tiny steps will bring you back to the present moment, and will allow you to hold space for your client while not taking on her "stuff."
After all, you are a conduit for healing. You don't have to take anything on. Your job is to hold space, be present, and follow the body.
And what a beautiful thing it is when you do.
For you and for your clients.