Energy in we space, between patient and healer

Hi, Rick, I want to bring a topic of energy to the body worker. Maybe you can write a few bullet points about what to look for when you are looking for a new massage therapist or chiropractor, What are the red flags?
Thank you.


Thanks for asking, Sasha. I’d start with an acknowledgement that each person might start with what is really important to them. For example, someone who really goes deep quickly and “works” the muscles is something my friend Mike loved – and it is utterly a red flag for me!

What are you looking for from the session?

If you’re clear on that, you can articulate it to the potential practitioner and see whether they feel it is a “good fit” for them. Ask them how they approach that.

For example, as a licensed massage therapist someone could have asked me:

a) I’m feeling disconnected to parts of my body. I’d like your support in reconnecting. How would you go about that?


b) I can feel the tension building up in my heart, chest, shoulders… can you help me balance the energy there without rushing through it… and bring more flow and ease down through my hips and legs?

c) I’m grieving, and I need someone to hold space for me to emotionally process. Is that something you’re calm and confident doing with clients? How might we go about that?

Different, eh? I’ve worked with clients on all those. If someone asked, “Ah, your a man and I need a man’s strength to really massage out the tension all over my body!” – I say, "I get that! And I’m not a good fit for that. I don’t have the physical strength and stamina to do that. Here are some possible referrals (including two women who have much more strength and skill for that!)

So starting by being clear about what is right for you immediately starts to filter out.

Some other possibilities to consider:

  • If your vulnerable, look for practitioners with lots of experience that gives them a radiance of confident and deep listening. (That said some of the best practitioners I’ve had are naturally gifted intuitive healing presences that have just started their career in the last year – but I was more resilient when I met them. When I was really sick, the bodyworkers that could and did help me had much deeper experience – because I didn’t know my body well yet.)

  • Ask about how they work, based on “proven formulas” or “intuitive guidance.” I’ve had solid bodywork from both, and intuitive people who are freed to not follow a set “massage formula” have often been really helpful.

  • My body has a really difficult time being “forced.” With chiropractors it has been a challenge to find ones that use “finesse” more than “force.” My bones DO need to be MOVED, not just touched with energy for certain types of chiropractic needs. The person who is skilled enough to “get that” while not “overcorrecting” or getting frustrated is key.

  • My body at this point will feel more open and accepting and ready with the practitioner that is a good fit for the NOW… even if it also feels some anxiety or uncertainty.

  • I make sure I feel that I can say NO and STOP. Some practitioners radiate a sense of “once you’re on the table I’m in charge” – and if I have any question about that, I’ll take on the issue:

    • “Rarely, I may need to stop an adjustment or session. Or I may need to pause to re-regulate my system and see if continuing is right for me. How do you handle that?” How they respond tells me how trauma-informed and accepting they are.

I hope this helps, and I believe choosing a practitioner is a mindful and intimate practice. I know for my coaching clients many have been “observing and feeling into” how I work and what it might be like for them for YEARS before it becomes a YES.

~ @Rick

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I would never even think to come from this point of view, i usually say that i have a TMJ or shoulder pain.
Maybe I need to ask my body what it’s needed, before i go for a session and also bring emotional component to it. I was looking at massage as it’s a body work, bringing emotional aspect to it it’s totally different game for me. I am not sure allot of practitioners familiar with it.

If I don’t have any references, how can I start the proses of finding someone who is good, I understand it’s trails and errors, but it’s allot of people who do this kind of work.

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My guess is that 20-50% of practitioners are aware of the emotional component of pain. If you said “I have TMJ, and I feel my jaws store a lot of ____ emotion. What’s your approach in that situation?”

If they are emotionally savvy, they would talk about pacing, listening, as well as the structural releases that are helpful.

I certainly don’t go strictly by reviews and websites. Still, if you do not have any referrals from people on similar paths, looking at how the practitioner engages on their website, on social media, and how any people who have experienced them talk about them in reviews gives a lot of clues. I take that approach that it is a “filter out” approach and a “bring body yes” to.

For example, I might filter out 9 out of 10. Then, for the others left I’d feel into where I wanted to start… to reach out by email or phone depending on what they ask for. I’d have an opening question about the place you’d like to focus first, such as TMJ, and if it feels right include the emotional component.

Then see how you feel as they lead the conversation that follows. Do you feel “listened to”? Do you feel like the “get you” and have some desire to be of service without pressuring you?

Of course, these are my metrics. Some people are looking for a practitioner that radiates “We can fix this and it will take 10 sessions and this is what I’ll do!” That doesn’t work for me, personally.

Does that give some movement to your search?

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Yes, thank you so much.

I feel like i need to do a lot of grounding when i ask my body for yes or no, because the amount of pain i am experiencing, but i know it would be good thing for me to practice and explore.

Thank you again.

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