March 1, 2019

What? All I Get Is A Thank You?

Last week I was working with a new client. I’ve had a lot of new clients lately, but that’s another story for another time. One thing I’ve realized is I’m not the best massage therapist for your first massage. You’d like to have a Swedish relaxation massage? Really? Okay, but God knows I’m probably going to forget that little suggestion and sneak in some trigger point work. I do catch myself sinking in, usually before the client flinches. Oops. Go back into relaxation mode. Stay present. This is the client’s agenda, not mine.

Needless to say, I was pleased when I met my 4th new client (for real) of the day. He had issues! This male, muscular, red headed teacher has right shoulder pain and throws his back out 1-2x per year. He’s with me because last Tuesday was one of those two times a year. His spine is stable again, but he’s still feeling cautious. We have 90 minutes. Let’s go! 

I’ll share just a few of the highlights of my 1000 word SOAP notes. (Again, for real – I have to chill)
Began prone and warmed the back. Glided down to L5-S1. Lumpy as raisins in oatmeal back there. SI joints need attention. Lots of attention, but lots of patience too. I worked the area; went to rhomboids and traps; came back to the area. Not too much too fast. Just what his body would absorb. Finally…balance left to right. A happy pelvic girdle. Yay! Now on to that shoulder. Sub scap on a muscular guy can be tough, but I’m patient. He is basically silent other than very short answers. “Okay”, “Fine”, “Yes/No” Alrighty then.

Next stop, the extremities. I find crazy imbalances in his wrists. Crunchy, gritty movement smooths out with specific attention to the carpal tendon and anterior aspect. I’m talking to my angels, asking for help. They are showing up. 

The session winds to a close and I communicate to my client we are done. I leave and I’m so pleased. This was a magical session…I’m floating. I’m thinking, ‘Wow, my client is going to be SO happy.’ After washing my hands, I stand faithfully outside the door. Smiling as the he exits the room, I offer a bottle of water. I ask, “How are you feeling?” He pauses and says, “Good.” Then it’s quiet.

I continue with my grinning and say slowly, “Great. So I have a question. Do you have any wrist issues?” He tilts his head and says, “No, not that I know of.” I’m still smiling and nodding during the next 5 seconds of silence. So I say, “Well, nice to meet you.” He replies, “Yep, nice to meet you too. Thanks.”

Are you kidding? That’s it? It felt like the Earth moved in there and that’s all he has to say? Thanks?! Alrighty then. Your welcome.

As of this writing I’ve had a few days to process my reaction. My ego was expecting to get mad accolades from a grateful client. ‘Oh that was the best ever, Jodi. Thank you so much, Jodi. I can’t wait to work with you again.’ Oh no, I got none of that. Just thanks. 

My lesson? Leave my ego at the door. Show up in the session with good boundaries. Let go of being a perfectionist. Accept where my clients are in their understanding of their body.  Feel the gratitude from the body’s Spirit, even if that doesn’t make it out the mouth. This work really is about them. Not about me. Tough reminder, but a good reminder.

Keep up the good work you guys. We make a difference in the world whether we are acknowledged or not.


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