Trauma and Massage Therapy
We can experience trauma in many ways. How we manage trauma is not easy, our minds and body experience differently. When working with massage therapy as a tool to manage trauma. Your massage therapist should be able to provide a trauma awareness, safety and trustworthiness, choice, collaboration and connections, and strengths-based skill building.
Trauma Awareness: understanding that trauma has many forms, how it is perceived within the individual/community, the outcome of trauma and the response to the situation.
Safety: providing assurance to the client that this is a saft place to share experiences, emotional and physical no judgement.
Trustworthiness: therapist will show the client that they are trustful, provide a safe area where they can open up and feel vulnerable. Having consistent boundaries and being informative on how the treatment will progress. No surprises.
Choice: providing the empowering choice on how long the treatment lasts, areas that can be worked on, areas not to work on.
Collaboration and Connections: Held in the therapist/client relationship, has rules that will be followed, relying on empathy and intuition.
Strength-based Skill Building: Recognizing the strengths of the individual and move froward and build on them. Showing the individual that they can make decisions on the treatment, provide a foundation for reaching optimum health. Giving the understanding that massage is beneficial, when you fall that you have tools available for you.
Massage is beneficial when to comes to trauma. As massage therapist we are taught touch is very powerful. We need to have permission to begin a treatment, it is received from the client. Once permission is received then though the knowledge we gained from anatomy, physiology and neurophysiology combined with the psychology. We can determine a treatment that is beneficial for the client. We need to be patient and empathetic to the emotions that are being received from the client. The body can hold stress in the body from trauma, as a massage therapist we can collaborate with the client to release the trapped stress within the body. With numerous techniques, diaphragmic breathing, checking in with the client and being present through the treatment will be successful. Numerous treatments may be scheduled with the client to combat the levels of stress the client is going through. Handling trauma in clients can be emotional for both the therapist and client. The therapist needs to practice grounding techniques before and after the treatment.