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February 3, 2005

The Importance Of Breakfast

In school we're told about the importance of taking care of ourselves as therapists before we take care of others. After all, if, as a therapist, you don't get massage, eat healthy, exercise and get a good night's sleep, where will you get the personal resources to take care of your clients? And how can you counsel your clients on healthy living if you don't live reasonably healthy yourself.

I made a mistake in that realm today. I was out of my normal routine this morning and skipped breakfast. Breakfast has become my most important meal and I have broken my needs down to a science. Because I tend toward low blood sugar, I've learned to limit my caffeine and sugar intake. I insure that I get three square meals a day or I'll suffer from mood swings and headaches.

How does this relate to my massage practice? Running on empty this morning, I almost had to abandon a session because of weakness and nausea. Often clients use a massage session to talk about the stresses that put tension in their muscles. And normally I can listen without taking on the burden of their experience. But without my usual underpinning of strength that my breakfast gives me, I found that I overly receptive to the queasiness that descriptions of blood and trauma generate in me.

Lots of deep breathing and centering my focus on the task at hand possibly queued the client into a quieter state and the feeling passed so that I could finish the session. I immediately ate something when I got out of the session. In the future I will be more diligent about not skipping breakfast.

Posted by linda at February 3, 2005 4:30 PM

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