What happens during a session?
Our sessions have three parts: the check-in, the hands-on time, and the session closing.
To start, we will greet you in the waiting area. From there we will head to the treatment room. Once there, we will begin with a verbal check-in. This is where you get to share what is present for you and your body, express any intentions for the work, or ask for education around our process. We often will ask clarifying questions or provide feedback based on our experience as a bodyworker. This time is included in the total session time, so use it for what’s best. Sometimes it’s good to be quick and check in further on the table. Sometimes it’s good to share more to create space for relaxing and being in your body.
At this point we will step out of the room giving you time to undress to your level of comfort. This means you can leave clothes on, underwear on, or undress completely. Next you will get under the sheet either face up or face down. Finally after a minutes or two we will knock, signifying that we are coming back in. If you need more time before we enter, please let us know.
The Hands-on Time
Sessions often begin with stillness/listening and offer an opportunity for you to arrive, drop into your body, feel your breath, feel the support of the table, and begin to open to the work. We may coach some breathing or we may just begin. Use that space before we make contact to notice where you’re at and what your body feels like. Offering your presence to yourself can set the stage for what’s to come. Many times we begin with slow, gentle compression. This technique aids in proprioception– the nervous system’s ability to help you locate your body in space and feel yourself and your tissues. This begins the process of giving you back yourself, which is truly what our touch, massage and bodywork is all about.
From there we will begin to address your goals/intentions for the session. The area we will work on will be undraped and lotion, oil, or liniment will be applied. At no point will your genitals or breasts (for women) be exposed. For chest and abdominal work for women we will apply a chest drape before removing the sheet. If stretching is required we may ask for your assistance in holding the drape as I stretch your leg, for example. This is based on your comfort level as it is deeply important to us that you feel safe and respected.
At times we may not begin with exactly the area you ask for. It can be helpful to begin in other areas to prepare for the opening of the ‘target’ tissue. This may look like the releasing the antagonist (opposing) muscle group, providing structural balancing, or working a distant trigger point that may be referring pain to your target area. At times there can also be layers of emotion or memory that want to be released before a painful muscle area will release. As a bodyworker, we are always listening to the messages of your body. If you’re not sure why we are taking a certain approach, we welcome you to ask. We will share what we are noticing and our understanding based on training and experience.
Know that what we are truly tracking is the felt sense of aliveness in your tissue. Aliveness in this sense can feel like an electro-magnetic energy that flows through the body. It equals the resonance of the blood and lymph, nerve conduction, healthy fascia, and fluid muscle bodies. It is also important to track if you have access to the organ, tissue, or section of the body that we are working on. Often we help clients to breathe into their tissues and deeply feel their body. Your ability to feel sensation in a tight or injured area is essential to helping that area heal.
Your session will have an arc of experience. Our goal is to layer the work (in particular deep tissue, deep energy, or deep emotional work) gradually in ways that the body can receive. If paced well, the body will yield and participate in the change. We apply many techniques to achieve this change. We may even ask for active participation on your part. Each technique intends to help your tissues return to resilience. The deepest, most active work of the session, often comes at more than halfway through. By then will have set the stage to create deep change will still have time to help the body integrate the work. The later part of the session then involves sealing in the work we have done and preparing the tissue for its journey beyond the office. Often our last contacts will be gentle holding or nurturing cranial/energy work. Through this arc of experience we intend to open and close your body in a responsible way.
As we end we may take a moment to appreciate the healing work you’ve done or we may simply speak that we are complete. Then we will leave you in the room. We request that you get up slowly, rolling to your side first if need be, and then open the door after you are dressed and ready.
The Session Closing
After you open the door, we will come back in and give time to debrief the session. Feel free to ask questions, share your experience, or enjoy your post-session bliss in silence, whatever serves you best. If you are open to it, we may provide education about how you can best support your body. This may include instructions for self-massage, recommendations for stretching techniques, or direction in self-care protocols. These post-session suggestions are designed to help you get the best results from our work. Clients who go beyond the session and implement these suggestions often get the best results.
Lastly we will make a plan to help you meet your goals. We’ll reschedule, if desired, and then close the session with payment. As a client you are welcome to reach out between sessions. We are always glad to answer any questions, or help support you in any post-session experiences you may have.
Have more questions? Then please get in touch.