When I first place my hands on a client for a bodywork session, I consciously open my senses and imagination. I always ask: What is going on with the her or him right at this moment? What do I feel in the tissues? What do I sense in the energetic flow? What images or words appear? Often, this is encapsulated by the question (which I silently ask): What is your nature? My curiosity and inquiry flow through my touch, and the movements and sensations that arise within my client help guide me in what she or he needs.
Sometimes I ask a different question: What kind of nature would be helpful for my client right now? Recently, I was with a client who was mentally and energetically spinning from a very full professional and personal life, laden with a multitude of cares and concerns. As I lay my palms on her breastbone and belly, I sensed into what manifestation of nature I could embody. Immediately I saw the image of a Tibetan yak.
As I let my hands rest and settle into my client's relaxing body, I imagined and felt myself as a steadfast, solid and extremely grounded yak, impervious to distraction. In my sensory imagination, I was lying on the ground, slowly chewing cud, gazing around the Tibetan grasslands I had seen in Michael Palin's BBC series "Himalaya." (A great series which I highly enjoyed and recommend for its beauty and sense of calm.)
I was enjoying myself immensely. As someone who loves to move and play in the imaginal realm, this was great fun. At the same time, I watched and felt my client drop into a place of deep rest. When at last she resurfaced and opened her eyes, she remarked that she felt much calmer, clearer and relieved from the stress/distress that had been spinning inside of her.
I love this way of playing/working: I am not losing my sense of self, but rather I am meeting my client with my own creative energy while being resonant with what she or he needs and it is effective for my clients.
Every session is an adventure, and this time around I was very grateful for the grounding medicine of the Tibetan yak.