In Your Massage and Bodywork Practice
Do you suffer from “Grind the Therapist into the Ground” Syndrome? As somatic practitioners, learning to gather, organize and utilize Chi — the boundless healing power of the Cosmos — is the most influential and stress relieving compliment you can bring to your practice. Using Chi energy, a Taoist tradition which dates back five thousand years to the Tang Dynasty in China, presents a potent and unique opportunity for mutual healing.
In the 30 plus years that I’ve worked in the field of peak performance, I’ve had the privilege of working with many master teachers. In the area of creating immediate and dramatic improvements in one’s physical body, there are none who can rival the impact of Mark Lamm’s work. Mark is my friend, mentor and model of wellness and longevity.
~ Anthony Robbins
Motivational Speaker and Bestselling Author
Cultivation of the focus, flow and interaction of Chi energy aids the practitioner and benefits the client. Drawing on Chi energy, with every touch and movement, releases client knots, tangles and blockages easier and faster than physical energy alone. Only energy generated through your Chi center is necessary, any additional power from the use of muscular effort will cause tension in the practitioner body and resistance from client tissue. Consciously tapping into the non-muscular Chi energy is also tremendously supportive to you as a practitioner as it allows you to create your own psychic shield of protection.
There are three major Chi centers in the body. The primary Chi energy center is located just below the navel point. This center, known as the lower Dan Tien, is the origin of power. Somatic practitioners who utilizes Chi energy from this center will experience less stress, tension and wear and tear on their body.
The second major Chi center, or middle Dan Tien, allows the practitioner to blend and harmonize from the heart center. More importantly, working from this center allows the practitioner to intuitively connect with the client.
The third major Chi center, or upper Dan Tien, provides intention and direction from the third eye point. This center keeps the practitioner present and working in the moment.
Building Your Chi Practice:
You might also like
Learning to generate Chi by dynamically efficient body positioning will nurture integral “whole body” movements. You will find yourself intuitively alternating between Yin energy and Yang energy while fluidly working with a client.
There are certain observances and requirements to utilize Chi flow. Body integrity is called forth by the alignment of feet with shoulders even, chin tucked slightly down, elbows and knees unlocked. If you feel excessive tension or shaking in your back or legs or any part of your body, you’re using muscular force. To make this dynamic shift, transfer your focus through the navel center and generate energy from your core.
Before You Work with a Client:
The spiraling energy of a wave is like the intrinsic energy of Chi-based martial arts. Here is a Chi warm up exercise to increase whole body integrity and make your treatment sessions effortless. There are many Chi-generating exercises, one of simplest and most effective is the “Standing Wave” illustrated below.
Imagine pulling a blanket up and over a beach ball with wrists loose, tucking it under with palms vertical. Move slowly, in rhythm, with all motion generated from your lower Chi center. Let the breath flow naturally. To vary this movement, switch legs. The more you use Chi the more it integrates and becomes a totally natural expression.
I consider client and practitioner as “partners on an evolutionary path”. Transformational changes available in a client are directly related to the philosophy, consciousness, personal experience, and tools of the somatic practitioner ― massage therapist, sports therapist, physical therapist, rolfer, structural integrator, etc. Using all of the Chi centers in synchronicity is foundational to releasing a client’s physical and psycho-emotional holding patterns of distress and dysfunction. This ever present ancient power, utilized in your practice, becomes an indispensable tool for healing and well being for both you and your client.