Take time to observe your client on the table. Do they look comfortable? What body parts are comfortably resting on the table? What body parts are elevated? How are they positioned? Things to look for: Are they face up or face down? Are they Stiff? Are they fidgeting? Are they adjusting to get comfortable? Are they breathing? Are they talking? Are their eyes open or shut? Are they clothed or unclothed?
Take notice of their breath. Is it deep or shallow? Slow or fast? Consistent or inconsistent? Sighs and groans or silence? Are they breathing through their mouth or nose? Are they responsive to your breath? Are they releasing large amounts of breath.
Where to start? They mentioned that their neck hurts and you are drawn to their feet? Is that a projection or an energetic decision that the energy is stored in their neck and needs to be released through their feet?
Intention clears ambiguity. Whatever you do, commit to it. Bodies respond well to confidence. Your confidence does not come from a place of certainty or correctness, your confident touch comes with commitment. You looked, you reflected and you chose where to begin, trust yourself and your client will have trust in you. Your commitment to whatever you chose will be translated to your client's body. There is no right or wrong. Because your intention is clear that you are just trying to gather information and introduce yourself, you will not feel the need to make something happen right away. If this makes you feel uncomfortable then you can explain to your client that you will first just be attuning or assessing at first. You will not heal or resolve your clients aches pains and problems with your first touch/es. But you will communicate to your client that you are comfortable, grounded and confident which allows the client to relax. You have created a safe container which allows your client to chose if he/she wants to "let down his/her guard" and let go of daily coping mechanisms that seemingly help one "get through life." This is their choice, not yours and that is important to remember. Clients can be as open and vulnerable as they want or as private and contained as they want. Our job is to acknowledge them and meet them in the present moment.
Intention, Commitment and Information
What is your intention in the work that you do? What are you trying to do, communicate or understand? Are there certain modalities or philosophical ideas that you are drawn to? Make your intentions clear and that will help you define who your clientele is and who you want to attract. It will also help you keep your boundaries in tact. For example, my intention with bodywork is to explore and deepen my awareness of how I interact with other people. Am I being present and responsive or am I projecting and reactive? Am I letting creativity and spontaneity flow or am I rigid and mindless? My intention is to allow fellow beings to relax in the presence of others. To be able to feel their body. To be able to allow someone to help without feeling the need to respond to that helpfulness. This session is about my client and what they want and need. Truth and honesty are important and should be communicated to allow for deeper more effective work to happen. I want to allow people to feel good in their bodies, to love their bodies and to be fascinated by how much control they can have over their bodies. The more self work my clients do, the more effective the bodywork.