Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Practicing What I Preach

Just yesterday I got to take advantage of one of the best job benefits of a massage therapist- the trade. A trade is when two bodywork practitioners exchange sessions. I love trades for two reasons.

Reason number one- I get a bodywork session! As you are well aware, I am constantly singing the praises of bodywork. When I receive bodywork myself I get to practice what I preach. Each time I am that person on the table, my belief in the healing power of touch and the wisdom of the body becomes stronger. I know that this work is powerful, otherwise I wouldn't do it, but it is really something to experience it firsthand. The changes that even one session can bring are remarkable. This morning I woke up feeling rested and energetic. Today I have been productive and happy- my body feels relaxed and pain free. In short, I feel balanced.

As a massage therapist, receiving a session from another therapist can be wonderfully instructive. We all develop our own style, so when I receive work from someone else, I find it incredibly inspiring. Whether I make a conscious effort to adopt a particular technique I have experienced or not, the sessions I receive from others expand my own repertory. And since I am a firm believer that one size does not fit all when it comes to massage, I am always striving to offer the very massage that is exactly right for each client that I see. The more experience I have as a receiver, the more I can offer as a therapist.

Reason number two- Trades offer an opportunity to experiment and play. You might think that giving a massage to a massage therapist would be intimidating. My experience is that it is anything but. We call it bodywork, but when it is at its best, it doesn't feel workmanlike. The best sessions have an element of play in them- where the therapist is able to experiment and innovate. It is more like serious play than work.

Yay for the trade! With each one, my connection to the work deepens and my palette of techniques expands and for that I am grateful.

Wishing you balance,



  1. I traded yesterday, too ;) My body and mind completely gave in to it and when I arrived home, I slept for hours.

  2. Amy- That's great. In school they talked about the importance of getting bodywork and they said that some lmts didn't get bodywork at all- they just got too busy to take care of themselves. I can't understand that.


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