June 14, 2011

There are times when I am not forceful enough, when I don’t stand up for myself enough. Thinking back, this past weekend was one of those times.

When I go out to classes, I need to realize that we are all beginners in what we are being taught, and if the mode we are learning is something so totally different from anything we have learned before, it is like we are starting over. It is like getting worked on by someone that does not know what they are doing.

Doing the moves right, or doing them with some competence that we won’t hurt someone is something that comes from experience. And I don’t mean experience in what we are learning. I mean experience in how to touch the body. While I have been licensed for nine years, I have been doing massage for almost 15. And while I have not done it professionally, or regularly for that period, it is still experience, and it is good touch.

What happened the last day when I was on the table was not good. We had a therapist that did not know what he was doing, but acting like he knew everything. No matter how many times the teacher told the class to listen to the body of the person you are working on, he just plowed on as deeply as he could. He never asked how I was doing. In fact after talking it over with my friend, I really think he was intentionally doing his best to make me uncomfortable and in pain. This is not what it is all about.

Unfortunately, I didn’t speak up. I should have told him to back off. I should have told him to get help from the teacher. Instead, I let him hurt me. I set myself up in a compliance situation. (Compliance: letting something happen that you know is wrong, but you are afraid to do something about it.) When he told me that I could not teach him from where I was, I should have just gotten up and let him find another body. It would have upset the teacher and caused a ruckus. But it is something I should have done.

Unfortunately, the truth is that I go to workshops to learn new things, not to be hurt. If I am hurt, and it causes me trouble doing my work, then I am not doing my job up to the level I should be and this lets my clients down. If I can’t work because of an injury, then it is loss of income as well.

I guess I need to be more proactive in protecting myself, even if it means walking out of workshops.