Wednesday, August 24, 2022, 02:50 PM
Becoming attuned to another person's needs is a skill that takes refining, especially concerning body treatments through holistic health care.
Many practitioners are already intuitive in their practice, but there is always room to grow our consciousness to the whole person.
Image courtesy of Suzanne Belanger.
NHPC Member Suzanne Belanger, massage therapist, Craniosacral therapist, and Reiki Master, defines trapped issues as "unprocessed or repressed emotions, thoughts, and beliefs that pile up in our internal environment."
"When too much of this energy is stored, it overflows into our conscious awareness as pain, discomfort, or dysfunction."
These issues are not always consciously seen or felt, and as a result, they can impact the individual without their knowledge.
Suzanne says, "I've found my clients experience both conscious awareness (such as body pain) and conditions that we don't generally 'feel' (such as high blood pressure)."
Possible physical signs or symptoms that clients may experience are sore muscles, headaches, exhaustion, gastrointestinal issues, and difficulty sleeping.
"Any disturbance in our physical body is a signal that non-physical tension and stress are impacting our well-being," Suzanne explains.
"Body discomforts alert us that our choices are leading us away from balance. Physical symptoms are actually helpful messengers trying to get our attention so we can choose something better."
This is one of the reasons why practitioners conduct an initial assessment that involves a question component before treatment begins. Practitioners can take this opportunity to review any issues clients are consciously experiencing.
This comprehensive, "whole person" approach enhances the session and produces a more robust treatment plan, helping client and practitioner to discover which techniques may fit their needs.
Although many holistic practitioners already practise more than one modality, holistic health care can often be seen as compartmentalized, as NHPC CEO and Registrar Tendai Nzuma explained in last month's interview.
"There is holistic health, but it's very focused on the individual modalities that exist and pushing one over the other as the primary modality to use," Tendai said.
Incorporating or blending different techniques can help address your client's needs.
"Over time, we will see more modalities merging and there being fewer distinctions. People's needs will push the industry in that direction," Tendai envisioned.
Many NHPC practitioners are already recognized for more than one holistic health practice, and it's a trend that is expected to continue.
Using different techniques can help a practitioner's career longevity and prevent them from having severe muscle strains from repeated use of a limited set of techniques.
Additionally, practising more than one modality can help practitioners apply key ideas across modalities and approach treatment with a more whole perspective.
Suzanne says practising more than one therapy (and in some cases, merging them in a single treatment) has helped her find common truths that appear in many of the treatments she offers.
"Detecting these common themes solidifies my confidence in the values I resonate with. This deepens how I trust my inner wisdom and insights. I feel reassured that there really are universal principles guiding health and healing," she says.
Many practitioners draw skills and techniques from multiple practices to help grow their sense of intuition and ability to read the body.
Suzanne draws from her extensive experience in holistic health care to help identify patterns in her client's bodies. Reiki is one of these modalities that helps Suzanne lean into her intuition and guide her through her practice.
"It is subtle and nurturing, connecting both practitioner and client to a greater state of self-awareness (their Higher Self) — inviting Qi, or Life Force energy, to gently nudge and release blocks to wholeness, increase feelings of wellness, and reduce symptoms of physical or emotional imbalance," she explains.
Suzanne has worked with many clients who experience a common pattern. For example, when clients suffer from tension headaches and pain in their neck and upper trapezius, she usually asks if they feel they're carrying "the weight of the world" on their shoulders.
"They let out a sigh and reply: 'Yes! How did you know?'" Suzanne says.
However, treating trapped issues doesn't end in the treatment room. Suzanne encourages clients to find ways to offload or share the demands on their energy in their daily lives — whether in their professional or personal world.
"Ask for help and change habits that are taking up valuable energy," she recommends.
"People often believe they don't have the capacity to be intuitive," Suzanne says. "However, intuition is something we all are born with. It can be increased or enhanced, similar to muscle strength and endurance."
If our physical "container" is out of balance, we're too stressed to process new information.
Suzanne suggests a few tips for practitioners to become more intuitive (which can be helpful for clients, too):
Take a moment to consider: What other strategies do you use to tap into your intuition, and how does it help you answer your body's needs?
In addition to her regular practice, Suzanne offers workshops designed with health care providers in mind, with topics on Decoding Emotions in the Body, Energy Balancing in the Body, and Becoming a More Intuitive Therapist (which she presented as a mini workshop at the NHPC 2017 Conference).
She also facilitates Surround Sound Baths, a form of meditation held in a quiet group setting.
"Much gratitude for the opportunity to share what I love to do, and for the values of inclusivity and integrative health the NHPCA truly exemplifies!"
Learn more about Suzanne and her practice.
Learn more about reiki and other practices that can help release the issues trapped in your tissues in our Holistic Health Guide.