"What is the ONE thing you've learned that has the potential to completely transform your Thai massage practice, if you apply it consistently?"
From one in our group came this pearl of wisdom, "Slow. Down."
Here's the thing. Because our earliest lessons in Thai massage focused on learning a (complicated) sequence of moves, we begin our practicing DOING. We memorize. We practice. And we do and do and do.
This is the vitally important and necessary first step toward becoming an accomplished and effective practitioner of Thai massage. There is no shortcut.
Our work builds upon a foundation of sequence, imparted by knowledgable teachers, because within sequence we discover the essence of sen therapy. If we follow the steps laid out by our teachers, we will effect change in the sen.
We can trust that.
I spent many years in this mode of practice. I applied the sequence taught by my earliest teachers until - eventually - I was able to move beyond palpation to sensing. Sensing through my hands, knees and heel bones. My lifelong practice of Thai massage was now truly under way.
Over many years, my work has changed from "performing" a Thai massage to "doing" Thai massage to just "being."
"Being what?" you ask.
Being a witness. A witness to change in the sen. A witness to transformation in my clients. That's what I teach.
Do Less. Be. More.
Today all five of us head back to our practices. As we begin again the good work of holding space with others and applying our teachers' time-tested Thai massage techniques, we will all be slowing down.
In our work together over the long weekend, we recognized as givers and we experienced as receivers the incredible power of Slow Work. We played with depth of pressure, decreasing our pressure and replacing it with sustained contact.
And we liked it!
How Can You Apply This Lesson in Your Own Work?
Pam's Head says;
"A new client is coming in today. I wonder what they know about Thai massage? Are they expecting that groovy AcroYoga they saw on Instagram? Did some tiny Thai lady walk on their back on the beach in Pattaya? Or in the airport in Dubai?
I don't walk on people's backs. I don't do AcroYoga. I suck.
They won't like what I do. They won't like me.
I know! I will be more like the tiny Thai lady! I will do lots of techniques, so they get their money's worth. If I do that, they will like me! And I won't suck!"
Pam's Head is an idiot.
When this monologue starts up these days, I smile. It will probably never go away, this self-doubt. This feeling that I am not enough. But, I have learned to smile at it and cut it short. Super short.
Smile when your heads starts to monologue. Cut it short. Replace it with... Well, replace it with nothing.
Slow down. Do less.
In that you will find the essence of sen therapy.